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June


Togetherness. Friday June 17, 2016

Mary's blog on 'Foul weather friends' and the man who 'just listened' when she was going through a terrible time set a train of thought on 'togetherness', to me, a situation when people 'coalesce' with no need for scoring off each other, waiting to get your word in without listening to the other person, and never, never bearing a grudge.

It can be a life-long marriage, but not necessarily – because marriage is made of many parts, and some of the happiest marriages I know are so because each party has personal interests, they come together and act as a team at glorious and disastrous moments, and survive.

I've been observing lots of couples of our age (over 80's) recently – and in houses I pass the TV is always on – are they living in companionable silence (real togetherness) or the only way they can stand each other?

Is it empathy? With human or animal. There has been a lot of reference to the importance of animals as an aid to depression – lots of cats sodden with tears – ours is most understanding. To me, perfection in 'togetherness' is the equine discipline of dressage – man and animal in perfect and beautiful accord.

We have Australian friends (we know that health, distance and money means we will never meet again) who knew, instinctively, when one wanted 'peace' whether it was for a nap, read a book, gaze at the view.

The art of not talking is a difficult one to acquire – I am terribly guilty. In the last year, we have had plenty of dramas. Our sons who were there at the time knew 'togetherness', just 'being there' reducing stress if they could, but making sure that I could deal with doctors, ambulances, paper work while the guests/family sat quietly, and re-assuring Mr G.

How do you define a relationship which 'works'?

The Gardener
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.


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Comments

Orangeblossom Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 6:58am

Thanks for your thoughts gardner. For me a relationship that works is one based on mutual trust & confidence, mutual respect, mutual understanding & mutual acceptance. The pillars are there for a growing, developing relationship.

Smudge Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 7:44am

I get so tried of all these blogs, they all talk partners, friends, family. What about those of us with no one to lean on. Having just moved and retired I am alone and struggling alone even though I have a daughter and new grandson I have no one to lean on because I am propping up my daughter not the other way round. I have been through some horrendous times before I moved and the move and all that that entailed has put even more strain in my inner strength and I have no where to turn to find help.

LillyPet Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 8:02am

I hear you Smudge. I felt very alone for a couple of years. It was the thing that kept my mood so low. First thing in the morning was the hardest. Going to sleep was hard too. I gave up trying to be content on my own. It just wasnt for me. As Lex once said, we all need people. You are making a fresh start. Moving is hard and it can take a long time to settle. When you do, you may find a way of changing things. It wont be easy especially when you're low, but I found that I had to persevere until I got what my whole being was telling me that I wanted and needed. Perhaps there us something you can shift in a positive way with your daughter to make it a little less draing on you? Just some thoughts. Keep letting us know how it's going Smudge. LPxx

Leah Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 8:46am

Smudge, Thanks for expressing your views thats what moodscope is allabout. You can turn to moodscope for a safe place to express your concerns. It sometimes feels like everyone has a partner but there are moodscopers who have written about being alone. Maybe you can write a blog about your struggles so we can all have a better understanding.I hope your garndson can bring some light into your life. Thanks again for your honesty. I look forward to reading more of your words. Leah xx

Tutti Frutti Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 8:21pm

Smudge Sorry you are feeling unsupported at the moment. I wonder if your daughter is just a bit absorbed with the new baby and hasn't realised how you are feeling. Could you say to her that you are struggling to always be in the supporting role and need some support from her sometimes? Love TF x (poss more later)

Hania Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 10:00pm

Yes please Smudge - if you're up to doing a blog post. Bette Davis said old age isnt for cissies but nor is loneliness. Warm thoughts x I wonder if you've seen Elefriends.org.uk - its a Mind website started by Stephen Fry I think [he's certainly involved]... It's very good for support and company - however you're feeling. I must warn you it has an elephant theme .. which may seem a bit silly at first but after all, don't most people like elephants? x

Smudge Sat, Jun 18th 2016 @ 6:57am

Thanks for replies. It's appreciated. I have felt like this for years as I have been alone for 6 years. Where I lived previously in a remote rural area, I was treated with suspicion by the local women when I became single. Since I have been here in a town that bit is better but I am knocking myself out trying to join things but it takes such ages to make friends. Everyone has their established groups. My daughter is struggling, a single mum of over 40, she also is doing her best and on little sleep for 6 months I can't expect her to fill my lonely gap. I plough on.

Tutti Frutti Sat, Jun 18th 2016 @ 9:40am

Smudge Just to say that I found what you said about your daughter gave me stuff to reflect on about me, my Mum and my sister. I sometimes feel angry with my sister for the extent she leans on (and seems to take advantage of) my Mum at the moment. But was I really any more considerate when my daughter was small? Perhaps I need to try to be more understanding of both of them. Remember we are here for you on Moodscope. Love TF x

Smudge Sat, Jun 18th 2016 @ 12:35pm

Thanks all. I don't need mental health websites luckily...I am slightly depressed yes but human company would sort that out. It's just how to keep going until I can make friends which takes years. I won't lean on my children, never have, I don't see that as their roll and I will not be like my mother. I have online friends but I just get tired of the assumption that everyone has real friends to lean on. We don't for whatever reason.

LillyPet Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 8:06am

Dear Gardener,
I too used to look at couples, especially older couples holding hands. For me it's as simple as that. Companionship.
Hugs to all LP xx

Hopeful One Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 8:40am

Hi Gardner- your blog set me thinking. I have never really spent much time thinking about it mainly because I did not need to. . There are of course many types of relationships but the one I know best is marriage. In his book Post Romantic Stress Disorder John Bradshaw describes the characteristics in relationship that 'work'from his experience of counselling some 700 couples. He calls them the 7 D's.and the healthy ones are: Disclosing one's feelings,declaring one's desires,discussing one's dislikes, divulging ,shame secrets'. The unhealthy ones behave as a cascade.: Denigrating attacks on one's partner 'if not stopped 'lead to ,devaluing and demeaning( shaming) which leads to Defensiveness when one party seeks distance and detachment leading to dissmell( dismissiveness) leading to isolation which leads to disgust( he/she makes me vomit) and despair when both partners feel caught up in a game with no end leading in Divorce.

Don't want to sound too grim so here is the laufg

To carry on with the Stella Awards which were discontinued in 2012

4th Place: Jerry Williams of Little Rock, Arkansas, was awarded $14,500 and medical expenses after being bitten on the buttocks by his next door neighbour's beagle. The beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. The award was less than sought because the jury felt the dog might have been just a little provoked at the time by Mr. Williams, who had climbed over the fence into the yard and was shooting it repeatedly with a pellet gun.

Jul Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 8:42am

Hello Gardener. What a thoughtful well written blog.The following quote is a favourite of mine. I discovered it very recently and it was said by a French poet, Maria Rilke.. "I hold this to be the highest tasks of a bond between two people: that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other"

Lexi Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 1:23pm

Love that quote Jul.

Leah Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 9:03am

Gardener,
What a delightful blog. So glad to see your name at the end of a blog again.
relationships of all kings ahve always puzzled me so am I still in the begginer's class! Sad but true. I will soak up your wisdom and that others.

Paul Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 9:13am

Hi Mrs Gardner
We have a give and take relationship I give everything, and my wife does all the taking.
I have a few customers that are over 80 one of them recently told me her and her husband are both OBE
I said really she said yes, over bloody eighty.
Made me laugh.

Paul

Norman Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 9:52am

Paul hi! reminds me of my divorce. We made a list of all our assets and liabilities and split them down the middle. She took the assets...

Norman Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 9:52am

Paul hi! reminds me of my divorce. We made a list of all our assets and liabilities and split them down the middle. She took the assets...

Lexi Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 1:25pm

Paul and Norman - made me laugh today. Thank you. As one about to go down the divorce aisle I will be needing all the laughs I can get:)

Lexi Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 1:25pm

Paul and Norman - made me laugh today. Thank you. As one about to go down the divorce aisle I will be needing all the laughs I can get:)

Mary Wednesday Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 9:34am

Gardener - how lovely to see your name at the end of the blog! You write so often in the comments it is wonderful to see you on the "front" of Moodscope. Paul - are you sure you are not my husband writing under an assumed name? In my marriage I am very sure it is I who takes constantly... Jul, what a brilliant quote - I shall remember that. For me it is really rather simple - honesty, kindness and conversation. In our house it is rare that the TV is on, we are usually talking - or working on our separate projects. To be honest, rather more of the latter these days. We must re-instigate "date night"

Jul Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 3:02pm

Mary. How are you? I might be tioally wrong and dreamt it, but I thought I read that you had been in hopsital overnight last week? Jul xx

The Gardener Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 9:37am

I can't do 'replies' always lose them, and so many to reply to. Paul, first time I heard OBE was from a friend in South Africa. Thinking he'd been honoured by her Majesty I sent a congratulatory e-mail! Jul, love the quote, so apt, and so hard to achieve. HO, the joke! then Smudge. By the blog you may see me as surrounded by loving people. This a.m I had never felt so lonely. Dread illness for me because Mr G would have to go in to a home, temporarily or permanently, and we do not have the money. I have a very painful back - dealing with in every way I know. Mr G has been particularly foul, because my attention is diverted by pain, and he now demands 150% of my attention. Eventually, I yelled at him to 'get out of my sight' - so he took his stick and walked down to the church - first effort solo for weeks. My rage got him to do something, and I HATE rows. I've angered you, Smudge - you see me as self-righteous. Good. Be angry - see my name, and you might say 'not that preaching woman again'. And, you've let that anger out on Moodscope - where lots of lovely people will reply to you. So, they are not in your kitchen, but they, we, are all there - to pick up the pieces of battered lives, and I defy anybody not to enjoy HO's jokes.

Leah Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 11:07am

Gardener, Like your comments. I don't see you as self righteous its just you write in a confident and no nonsense way.I think you would make a great preacher as your sermons would never be dull!!

Tutti Frutti Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 9:44am

Dear Gardener
Thanks for the blog. I'm not in great shape to say anything sensible or coherent about relationships right now as I just had to have a blood test which I am a bit phobic about. However I did find ithe blog interesting, it calmed me down a bit while I was waiting and I have found reading everyone's comments over a coffee and chocolate brownie a helpful way to calm down afterwards. I am sure I will have set some of you lovely sensitive people worrying now so let me reassure you that the problem they are investigating is nothing too serious and I am about to go to work where I will be forced to think hard about something else. (Given my phobia please try not to mention blood tests or needles in any replies. And apologies to anyone with a similar phobia who has found reading this upsetting.)
Thanks all. Love TF x

Tutti Frutti Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 9:45am

Dear Gardener
Thanks for the blog. I'm not in great shape to say anything sensible or coherent about relationships right now as I just had to have a blood test which I am a bit phobic about. However I did find ithe blog interesting, it calmed me down a bit while I was waiting and I have found reading everyone's comments over a coffee and chocolate brownie a helpful way to calm down afterwards. I am sure I will have set some of you lovely sensitive people worrying now so let me reassure you that the problem they are investigating is nothing too serious and I am about to go to work where I will be forced to think hard about something else. (Given my phobia please try not to mention blood tests or needles in any replies. And apologies to anyone with a similar phobia who has found reading this upsetting.)
Thanks all. Love TF x

LillyPet Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 11:19pm

My thoughts are with you TF and I hooe it all works out ok. LPxx

Jul Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 9:46am

What a touching comment to us all Gardener. Thank you. Is Mr G back from the church yet? Did you detect any change in his mood when he returned? It would be such a big step if he chose to walk to the church each morning (without you having to shout at him) I hate rows too. xx

The Gardener Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 10:01am

HO - have you ever met the book 'Games People Play' should be re-issued - Eric de Bono was it?

Hopeful One Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 10:28am

Hi Gardener- thank you for mentioning me in dispatches. I will feel chuffed if my attempts at humour do actually make a little difference to your day. You are in a very difficult situation and I can feel for you as I have been there . I was perhaps fortunate that by the time I reached the end of my tether looking after my wife she needed 24 hr nursing care in a EMI Unit so the NHS picks up the tab. I get a feeling that Mr G is not at that stage. Have you had him assessed for nursing care though ? . Most people who become long term carers for Alzheimers last for about 3 years on average a nurse told me . I had lasted for 7 . If you are anywhere near 7 think about yourself otherwise , and I don't want to sound dramatic but , it could claim you. No I have not read that book so I will put it on my list. You're are doing a great job believe me .

Leah Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 11:00am

Gardener, The author is Eric Berne, I did have a copy in my shop but I sold it.You were thinking of Edward de bono author of thinking hat books and many others- from your local bookshop!!

Alice Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 10:11am

Togetherness. A sore point for me too. HO has described perfectly the downward spiral that led to my aloneness - ending in the big D. I do feel shame when I look at that and the way I treated someone I once loved. Now - I yearn for that togetherness and hope that it would be mutual, kind and joyous. But without joy there would be no point. Meanwhile I remind myself that I have the perfect selfish life being able to do exactly what I want when I want, so long as I am happy to do it on my own! I do indeed feel as if I arrived in "Wonderland" this crazy world of mine.

The Gardener Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 10:11am

Have to keep going back to replies - will never keep up - I've never mastered keeping a 'thread' going, either. Dummy, me. Mr G is back - lost his stick - find it - I am gathering strength. At respite, and from counsellors, they try to make him use 'building blocks' (last visiting son did too) to work back to where he last used his stick (fact that he's wandering round without it looking for it must tell one something) he'd put it down to put a coat on. Now in a serious sulk, (Mr G, that is)better than being yelled at. Rage combined with these lovely replies are helping my back! Tutti Frutti, sympathise - I will go into a decline for days before a routine dentist. My pa never went, petrified, good job he had good teeth.

The Gardener Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 11:10am

Being selfish taking up space - just had such sad news - but it underlines today's theme. Desk full of correspondence - ex-neighbours - moved here in year 2000 out 18 months later. A super gay couple of men, terrific party givers. They'd been together for 25 years - very different professional lives. Their flair for interior decorating, table laying and entertaining was great. We gathered our town was not welcoming to gays, and they moved to a very sophisticated town. No news for a while, phoned, one of them has died, acute kidney failure. The other nursed him assiduously - even when he could no longer swallow. The man who died, hugely diverting, kept his spirit to the last. We all had a terrific rapport, talking for hours (and downing champagne) whenever we met.

Leah Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 11:25am

That is sad but glad you have lovely memories.

The Gardener Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 11:16am

Thanks HO - I think today's joke the best of a series which crease me up! I am in year 3 - got loads of help, Mr G nowhere near a home. It's his perpetual misery and self-pity - I ought to be stronger - but when I think of the guy (his name was Guy) mentioned above I then feel bitter - no mileage there

Lexi Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 1:39pm

Hi Gardener - so lovely to see and read your post today. My marriage has come to an end but ironically the togetherness I sought with him has finally come, just not in the traditional marriage sense. We are closer now even though we live apart. We take care of each other better now - our definition of marriage is friendship and caring for our daughter. I am beginning the journey to see how I can take care of myself on my own and it is scary and wonderful at the same time. I am lonely and the thought of dating makes my toes curl but I have faith that this is the journey I am meant to take and I know I will not end up alone forever. I know that our separation and divorce is not common - Paul and Norman I can hear you say "Just wait!" :) so I am thankful that at the very least I chose to marry a man who was wonderful to divorce, as bizarre as that sounds. So for me togetherness takes many different forms. And to Smudge - hang on. Just hang on. Have faith. We are here for you. I found so much comfort in this community when I was at my darkest hour. xo

The Gardener Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 3:20pm

Hello Lexi - sorry about the break-up - glad it's amicable. Being 'Agony Aunt' here. Sit back, take time, don't panic. My sons were always breaking up with girl friends - panic set in at that age - seemed to think the source would dry up! Same with job loss - panic understandable - mortgage, school fees - but jumping into something unsuitable not the answer. Being alone is not a disaster - some people find being independent and managing their own life very bearable after shock of a major rupture. Our oldest friends live a life of hell - he is manipulative and getting selfish and nasty - she is petrified of being alone - leaving him for a few days might bring him to his senses - he'd never throw her out (which she fears) because it would cost him a fortune, and nobody would find his glasses (not a joke, goes on all day). Stand back, look at life - as you say, making a life for your daughter is paramount. Good luck - hope all comes right.

Sheena Fri, Jun 17th 2016 @ 4:05pm

Wow The G that is a BIG question :) A relationship works when there is mutal tolerance and respect. The best relationship is the one where each party is happy in their own skin and also both parties enjoy the other person being themselves, whatever that is at any given time. I agree with your blog regarding communication and understanding and think you expressed it all very well. Sheena x

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