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Thread: Lopsided relationships?

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    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Lopsided relationships?

    As of late I have noticed some acquaintances have seemed to have found love & happiness in some rather lopsided relationships. And as I observe them I wonder...
    -Are they sustainable?
    -Does one of them have an ulterior motive?
    -Is entering into a very lopsided relationship an act of desperation?

    Here are a couple of the more illustrative scenarios:
    P (the guy) and C (the gal)--
    P has a PHD in chemistry (and a BS and two masters' degrees) and has a really good, high paying job working in the chemical/pharmaceutical industry. He speaks two languages fluently and is an Army veteran. He has his own very nice apartment, a really fancy car, is well-traveled, no kids, never married before, and is 38. His girlfriend C (my acquaintance) has just a high school diploma. She works as an administrative assistant at a college here in town. She makes perhaps $30k a year. She is currently enrolled in community college and is 32 years old. She has considerable debt and very bad credit.
    Both P and C are of average looks.
    But P and C seem to really adore each other -- they give each other little surprises, they go on real dates, they spend most of their free time together, and they are both quite happy with their physical intimacy.

    J & S --
    S is my friend from back in college who I still keep in touch with. She is a successful immigration attorney in TX. She has her own place that is nicely furnished with all the creature comforts. She has a nice car, two dogs she spoils, and a great circle of friends. She is 37. J is a Mexican immigrant (undocumented/no papers). He works as a waiter. He does not have a car. He has only a few suitcases worth of stuff. They informally live together and according to S, J cooks (and well!) and he cleans the apartment. He also takes good care of her dogs. He works steadily and is enrolled to start community college. S will be paying his tuition for the most part. She says the physical intimacy is great and she is emotionally fulfilled, as J makes her feel "pretty and special." S is plus-size. J is muscular and lean.

    Thoughts?
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    As of late I have noticed some acquaintances have seemed to have found love & happiness in some rather lopsided relationships. And as I observe them I wonder...
    -Are they sustainable?
    -Does one of them have an ulterior motive?
    -Is entering into a very lopsided relationship an act of desperation?
    My idea of hell is marrying someone just like me.

    I was just talking to my son about this last night and I told him that marrying someone exactly like you is like two people standing on the same end of a seesaw. You need balance. You gain insight from each other's differences.

    I am college grad, high-earning in pharmaceutical industry, very moderate habits, quite introverted, and bleeding-heart liberal
    DH is a high school grad, worked in video production but doesn't work at all now, has "extreme" habits like smoking and drinking, very extroverted, and wears a "Make America Great Again" hat.
    Our marriage has been sustainable for 40 years.
    No ulterior motives other than to continue to have fun in each others' company

    "Lopsided" is the wrong word. I would call it "balanced"
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    My idea of hell is marrying someone just like me.

    I was just talking to my son about this last night and I told him that marrying someone exactly like you is like two people standing on the same end of a seesaw. You need balance. You gain insight from each other's differences.

    I am college grad, high-earning in pharmaceutical industry, very moderate habits, quite introverted, and bleeding-heart liberal
    DH is a high school grad, worked in video production but doesn't work at all now, has "extreme" habits like smoking and drinking, very extroverted, and wears a "Make America Great Again" hat.
    Our marriage has been sustainable for 40 years.
    No ulterior motives other than to continue to have fun in each others' company

    "Lopsided" is the wrong word. I would call it "balanced"
    Note. But what you call balanced I think would be a nightmare of perpetual disagreement!
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ultralight View Post
    Note. But what you call balanced I think would be a nightmare of perpetual disagreement!
    True, you do have to pick your battles sometimes, but I like Kahlil Gibran's image of "the pillars of the temple stand apart and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow"--so, disagree if you must, but give each other space to do their thing and then MYOB.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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    My impression of what your assessment is:

    ”I consider the following relationships lopsided because one person brings far more of the things I consider valuable to the table than the other person does.”

    True? That is all about you and nothing about them.

    here is what makes a relationship work:
    person A values set X in a partner
    person B values set Y in a partner
    the intersection of sets Xand Y can be the empty set, or they can be identical. The important thing is that person B brings enough of set X to satisfy person A, and person A brings enough of set Y to satisfy person B.

    it is important that you come to understand that, so that if a beautiful, successful, atheist, woman of color without stuff or kids ever shows interest in you, you can accept that you might actually be what she is looking for. Because currently, I predict you would shoot yourself in the foot.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ultralight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken lady View Post
    I predict you would shoot yourself in the foot.
    Elaborate.
    I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand." -- Rodney Dangerfield

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    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    It interests me that your comparisons are being made largely on the basis of "stuff" (or not having it) and not on what the partners see in each other (admittedly, much less visible/knowable). Could it be that, for them, what the partner brings to the relationship and how they fill their soul matters more than how much they make or whether they live in a nice neighborhood? Granted, inferences can be made from the backgrounds and personality attributes that make those incomes and possessions (im)possible. But much less of what makes a relationship sustainable is easily seen from outside (and without deeper knowledge about the partners).

    Tie this to your other post in this thread: famous minimalists are both partnered with non-minimalists. There must be something to those relationships that goes beyond what either partner owns or does not own.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

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    Many times you have commented on not having a lot to offer based on not having things to offer that you would want. I think that if you found yourself in a position of being able to date your dream woman (or a close approximation) you would not trust the relationship due to feeling it was “lopsided” and believing that she either must have some ulterior motive or would come to her senses. Not trusting the relationship generally leads to holding back from it and exhibiting behaviors that cause it to end. (It doesn’t feel like he’s committed to this, maybe he’s not really into me, he talks about the money aspect a lot, maybe i’m Just a sugar momma, I should find someone who cares about ME...)

  9. #9
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    The first couple, P and C, sound like a traditional couple from Ozzie and Harriet times. If they want to have children, the wifes earning potential isnt of much value since they may do the stay at home mom thing.

    The second couple sounds more modern in this real world, reality of it is difficult to nurture two power career people in a relationship. High earning career jobs are not so plentiful that two can often get them. And maintaining duo high profile careers is hard on a marriage. I would really wonder, though, about her status as an attorney and harboring this guy who is breaking laws, surely that could affect her law license? Perhpas it is very low risk.

    A young woman we know who is an orthopedic surgeon pulling down $350,000 annual salary just married a well educated but low paid guy who works in the nonprofit world. He may make $35,000 or there abouts.
    She wants to have children, and he will be a good father and will stay home with the kids.

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    The 38yo woman who was renting the house we bought here had a PhD and teaches at the prestigious private college nearby. Her live in boyfriend was a 50yo waiter and had a recent felony conviction for domestic violence with a lengthy probation. Now that was one relationship we always wondered about as it seems it would jeopardize her moving up in the academic world.

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