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How do I attract a marriage minded man?

answered 02:19 AM EST, Fri February 01, 2013
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anonymous anonymous
I am turning 40 very shortly and the panic of possibly not having kids has caused me to not be able to focus on anything else in life for the last 3/4 years after I broke up with my now ex fiance who I am not sure was the right one for me and whom I got involved with too quickly as a result of being needy living alone from family & my mother's words regarding how just time to have one work. I didn't listen to my initial instincts and furious and still resentful at my mom about wasting so much time getting involved wt wrong guy but it was my decision at end of day and have tried to forgive her. My family dynamics is a mess with a verbally abusive sister and mother who doesn't understand lines of privacy nor limits and divorced parents, however I do not want to use any of this as much excuse to not have my life together. I am attractive and have dated more than the average woman; I easily attract men when I put myself out there, however my concern and disappointment is that I haven't found the one and I don't know if there is a one and what I am doing wrong to work with the next one I meet. I do not want to to go a sperm bank or adopt on my own. My having a happy life long relationship and companionship is more important to me and I don't want to become a voluntary single mom so not go have a baby on my own. I want to be happily married before seeing if it happens and then if not getting help together for it or adopting. I feel like since my ex fiance so much dating (almost too much) but I do not get physically close to them, and no one I have connected. I feel like something is blocked inside me. I should also mention that my mother put in my head that my ex fiance was gay and that was hard to deal with and I also don't know if he was or not, and that fear has actually made me very scared to trust. I know I have to trust and overcome these fears, and I truly want a healthy relationship with a man and concerned the good quality men are looking for a younger woman who can have kids. I do not want a man who just wants a baby making machine, so in a way I want a man who wants what I want first a life time companion, because you can have a woman or man that is younger who can not make kids and you have older women as old as 50 and attractive and healthy whom I have known to have healthy children with someone they wanted finally. So I have not settled. I feel stuck in the suburbs, this topic has affected my work life and taken over my psyche. I can relax and live my life but then this concern and the reality that I must settle down with someone now and have a child to be able to in this life time is not going to go away I have tried.

I want to know why it is so easy for some women to get married and remarried (do they just take any crap just to be married?) and for someone like me whom men and women say is an amazing catch, I am being told I may intimidate men. A very good male family member told me to not waste time with men to tell them on the 2nd or 3rd date the truth which is that I won't sleep with anyone unless I am in a serious relatinship planning a life together first, and that I am not saying it is them that I am going to be necessarily be serious with, but to not waste his time or mine, to be clear from the start. I feel I haven't been and dating 1 person after another after another, has simply led to fun going out and nothing else which is not all I am after. I want a man who is just as eager if not more to also build a family now, after knowing me. I have heard of more than one occasion where 2 people that had enough experiences and knew what they wanted, were engaged in 2/3 months of spending lots of time together in different situations & getting to know each other well. They are happily married to this day, where as I know others who have been together for a long time and split and never got married, so I don't think there is a timeline, but I want to know why I feel in such a stuck place, and in a rut and every time a prospect doesn't work out, the pain of the disappointment and the time ticking away, gets harder.

Please help this is very unbearable and it has taken over my whole life, I want a way to be at peace while still being able to open to this partner but I feel I am missing something because I am not finding him or doing something wrong or not being in the right environments? how do you attract a marriage minded man? I need to add I do meditate and that has given me some relief but also a push towards finding deep answers to my dilemma which I haven't been able to do on my own. I also do not want anyone religious that I am completely against. I want someone who is NOT after strict dogmatic beliefs diving him and then me from other groups of people, but someone who believes in universal spirituality and unity of human beings not divided up by labeled religions. I say that so you don't send me to church; I am at peace with my spiritual beliefs which is why I haven't given up, it is however the methods and understanding and clarity/skills I want to understand that attract a marriage minded male and a happy marriage/life long relationships. I know there are no guarantees but I would rather try than feel numb and stuck and down about it all the time by the sidelines watching everyone else's life (although I have at least a half dozen great ladies in the same shoes that maybe some of whom I feel have given up with their attitude). My attitude is there are great men out there looking for the same thing, and that if you do the right thing, it should come easy? so I am doing something wrong, help please!!!

Penny Bell Says...

Penny Bell P. Bell
Master of Counselling, Grad Dip Counselling, Adv. Dip. Counselling & Family Therapy, M. College of Clinical Counsellors ACA, M. College of Supervisors ACA, Reg. Supervisor CCAA.

Turning 40 for a single woman with no children can be both terrifying and heartbreaking as it heralds the imminent close of a reproductive life.  There is often a history of trying and failing to fall or stay pregnant, and broken relationships, so there can also be a profound sense of failure that accompanies the transition from fertility to peri menopause.  This can cause a feeling of panic – “I’ve only a few years left and I have to find the right mate” is the mantra that sets it off and keeps it going – and in that panic, a stuckness, like the one you describe, develops.

Over the past couple of decades there has been a trend toward increased childlessness and delayed childbearing – for example, in 1975 10.5% of women between 35 and 39 were childless, but this rose in 2000 to 20% (U.S. Census Bureau, 2006).  Because of this there have been more studies of the psychological implications of childlessness.  Surprisingly, recent studies suggest that parents of minor children are more distressed than those who are childless, and parents of adult children have similar levels of distress as their childless counterparts.  So psychological well-being, it seems, does not depend on being a parent!

Bearing that in mind, and with your biological clock ticking away, this may be a good time to explore for yourself what it is you are wanting from marriage and family for yourself.  What is it that you imagine will satisfy and bring positive change to your life through finding this special man and bearing children?  You say your family of origin was chaotic and enmeshed (it sounds as if Mum was unable to draw distinctions between what belonged to her and what was the property of other family members – she had boundary issues), and this type of family system can affect your sense of self – who you are as distinct from who everyone else is.  Sometimes we can try to fix that family of origin with a new family – well, fix the damage, the fallout, what has happened to ourselves as a result – through the formation of a new family.  To do this, we tend to unconsciously choose partners who are like members of our family of origin.  For example, if I could never feel as if my father noticed I was around, I might choose someone equally as neglectful (although I may perceive him at the outset as vague or preoccupied), in order to change him and in my own psyche, my dad, so that the small child part of me can finally say “I know Daddy notices me”.  In psychology, this is called “repetition compulsion”.  The trouble with this is we end up in that same neglectful relationship, hitting our heads up against a brick wall trying to change the unchangeable and fix the unfixable.

If this is what has been going on with you (please correct me if I am wrong), then it might be a good idea to begin examining what type of man you are attracted to and what it is about him that you find intriguing.  If it turns out that it is something you experienced as a negative in your family of origin, then you can know for yourself that you are in this repetition compulsion pattern.  To come unstuck, make a list for yourself of all the attributes you would really like a partner to have – would he be kind, gentle but strong, have integrity, be stable, open, honest, etc?  Prime yourself so that red flags go up if this is not the case, or if you are seeing some disguised form of the family of origin issues.  Then you will be in a better place to find the man who will do the right thing by you.

And to gain a better sense of self – for example, to find a greater independence from Mum and her ideas of what is right or wrong for you – some work with a therapist could be very helpful.  As you become more comfortable in your own skin, with more of an ability to trust your own perceptions and decisions, you will be more able to discern who is right or wrong for you in the field of relationships.


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Page last updated Feb 05, 2013

Penny Bell - Master of Counselling, Grad Dip Counselling, Adv. Dip. Counselling & Family Therapy, M. College of Clinical Counsellors ACA, M. College of Supervisors ACA, Reg. Supervisor CCAA.
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