Just want to say it really is amazing that this community exists. I'm sorry so many people seem to feel the same or worse than I do, but I believe this is how we take down those stigmas. Thank you to so many of you for even just saying how you feel. I think that's the right first step and you are all so brave for taking it.
I don't even know if what I've got to say compares with so many on here. This started as a vent but became a full rant about anything and everything I've been thinking about recently. I also think there's so much context I've felt the need to insert that it's become an essay. Apologies in advance, I also don't think I'm looking for advice just to vent but I appreciate anyone who takes the time to respond, thank you.
I'll start with basic stuff. I (m28) have a partner (f28) who I've been with for only a short time (8 months). It's honestly the best relationship I've ever had, she's very supportive and caring and every time I've felt like opening up she has only ever listened to me and respected my opinion. It's very rewarding and I'm very lucky. I still struggle with actually saying when and why I'm upset for reasons I'll talk about below, and that's the heart of my issue today.
I've started to see a therapist recently because I've been dealing with what I think is anxiety from work and financial problems. I also think I went through a very depressed period of my life without any professional help and I think I'm still dealing with it. Ever since I found out about the term Passive Suicidal Ideation I've known that bang on describes me when I get into a state of prolonged sadness. If you don't know (and I'm not a therapist so sorry if this is a bad description) I'll get into this melancholy where I would hope to be hit by a car, or would hope that a hole would just open up and swallow me. It's not actively attempting suicide but it's kind of hoping for it to happen, or at least that is my experience. Anyway tangent aside my therapist has been very helpful and made me feel very valid when I opened up. I will say that if you've been struggling with anything you see on here I'd very much recommend going to see one. It's really hard to objectively see what your mind does to you when you spend all day inside it, so if you think you could benefit it can be really worth it. It's most rewarding when I say out loud what's been cycling in my mind, and I instantly hear how absurd it is. It's always reassuring, because I've spent a lot of my life telling myself that I'm logical and objective, so when I've been depressed over honestly silly things it seemed like a forgone conclusion that I was sad over objective things. I was objectively a bad person, who objectively disgusted others and that's why I was alone. That is not the truth and I'll say that there are very very few people who that truth applies to. If any of the above rings true for you let me tell you are going through a very human struggle BUT you deserve love and respect. I love and respect you.
I've also started to spend time thinking about what it means to be a man and what our place is in the modern world. It seems to me that the current system for 'masculinity' is doing real damage to the majority of men who grow up with it. I certainly don't feel like my male friends have been in anyway prepared for the world like my female friends have and it was such a harsh and terrifying wake up when I saw how immature and ignorant I was because as a man I never felt like anything else was expected of me.
(I'll say here that I'm trying really hard not to put anything in absolutes because I think generalisation can be really damaging. I really am sorry if anything I've said or will say is making any of you feel attacked or offended for any reason. If I'm talking about 'masculinity' or the role of men it is not an attack on you. You are valid and separate from the system you have been raised in and your struggle is made worse because that system has only cared about making men into work horses. Or at least that's how I see it.)
Anyway this is all context to say that recently myself and my GF have been planning a holiday of late and have been setting money aside for it. Except I keep dipping in to that money when we go out to dinner with friends or family. And now I'm approaching a time when we need to buy the tickets and I don't think I can. It's making me feel really ashamed and useless. I think what makes it worse is that my partner's brother and her dad are both hard working financially stable men who don't seem to struggle at all in the ways I do. I know they most likely do struggle but I can't help but compare myself to them and feel inadequate. My partner is a very attractive person who works in the music industry at a fairly high level. She regularly meets fashionable, attractive and famous men who I'm constantly afraid will just turn to her and be like 'come with me to Morocco'. What is very strange is I definitely don't feel like my partner would do this. She talked to me about these people and what they really are like and it's not glamorous on the inside of that bubble. She's also been in the industry for ages so if she was going to do that she would have. That doesn't make me feel less ashamed and inadequate when I can't be strong and stable. I feel so much pressure to be this resolute and strong man who can give her the life she deserves and when I fall really short of that mark and talk to her about she is nothing but the best. Genuinely she listens and is very helpful because she's gone through her own mental health journey and is actually outstanding at helping people through their problems. And yet I'm so afraid that if I keep opening up, keep showing her how weak and vulnerable I really am she will just get tired of it. Why should she have to deal with this sub par man who can't get his shit together when she has so much going for her. Why not just cut ties and find someone who can give her what she deserves. And I know that's ridiculous, I do. I know the solution is to just speak and let her know how I'm feeling, not so she can fix me, that isn't her job, but so she knows what her partner is going through. But I don't know how to tell her that being a man is being part of a constant competition, and dating for us is this stream of rejection. We are conditioned to be climbing a ladder with a million other dudes, and we know that the further down the ladder we are the sadder we deserve to be. That's my struggle. If I just keep being sad and vulnerable eventually she will see the forest for the trees. So the dumb solution is to 'man up' shut down and deal with it internally.
I think I'm going to show this to her. I'll post this afterwards because whatever happens I want to live in a world where men can share how they feel.
Okay, just spoke to her and she was very understanding and happy that I spoke to her about it. She made the point that this was the first financial thing that we've had to plan and it's absolutely put some pressure on us. I feel a lot better.
I hope this has helped someone. Asking for help is hard to do but it's helpful if you have good relationships to turn to.