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 abelian
Joined: 1/12/2008
Msg: 51
what does finding yourself meanPage 3 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)
``Finding yourself,'' means someone spent too much time in therapy or read too many self-help books to try to avoid making any mistakes instead of just living and making mistakes. They'll be searching forever.
 ronosaurus
Joined: 7/22/2007
Msg: 52
what does finding yourself mean
Posted: 10/17/2011 9:12:29 AM
@OP
"Finding oneself" can be viewed in terms of Maslow's Hierarchy/pyramid of needs, with the state of "self-actualization" at the top. You get to the top by fulfilling the needs "bottom up", starting with physiological needs. In order to reach a clear understanding of the top level of need (self-actualization) one must first not only achieve the previous needs, physiological, safety, love, and esteem, but master these needs. And that mastery takes time and effort.

Self-actualization
Esteem
Love/belonging
Safety
Physiological

See web site below for a more complete explanation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs


In pragmatic terms, your "X" will need to "find herself"
a) a job
b) a place to live)
And work her her own way up the hierarchy to Nirvana.
For your sake, I hope she has the capacity and determination to meet her own needs, otherwise she may need to "find herself"
c) a public source of welfare
d) a willing benefactor
e) a lawyer and judge who will legally tie you to that obligation.

Maslow's theory embodies needs that can be met by an individual and those that can only be met in concert with others.
Take note of Msg: 43, CynM
 A_Gent
Joined: 8/18/2011
Msg: 53
what does finding yourself mean
Posted: 10/17/2011 9:27:53 AM
People get married for all sorts of reasons, sometimes, it is for genuine love. Often, there is another agenda.

Carolann Msg: 22 may have given you the most concise and accurate answer. Many women get married and raise their children because that is what they felt they SHOULD do. Perhaps that is societal and family expectations, perhaps there is a biological drive to do so.

Carolann implies that somehow women are coerced into this pattern. ..giving up their youth, as it were. I think a good argument can be made that women at some level know what they are up to and are more in control of the situation than they care to admit to themselves and each other ... and the poor guys who get used along the way.

The pattern that fits is that your wife has fulfilled her plans of raising her children. Despite your best intentions and genuine efforts, your job is now redundant. Your wife wants to get on with the rest of her life. If it were an employment situation, you would likely get a reasonable severance. In the matrimony situation, it's often the opposite

Google the book "Women's Infidelity" by Michelle Langley. I'm not suggesting that your estranged wife has been physically unfaithful, yet she is not faithful to the marriage and you may find Langley's insights accurate.

That may not make things easier for you.... but understanding the pattern may help you make sense of it.
 VirtuallyLove
Joined: 9/8/2011
Msg: 54
what does finding yourself mean
Posted: 10/17/2011 9:46:38 AM
Hi, Gent. I checked out the book on Amazon. Holy shit! What in the world could make it worth $80 - 100??

Did you find her thesis to be persuasive? Do you think it's really as simple as "you've given me children and helped raise them so now you are unnecessary" ? What about all the couples who go on to have better and more fulfilling relationships later in life?

I have a feeling there's much more to this story than the OP has told us. Much more complicated than some hormonal urges or whatever as described by Michelle Langley.
 Maleman999
Joined: 2/14/2010
Msg: 55
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History
what does finding yourself mean
Posted: 10/17/2011 9:58:27 AM
If I was with a woman for a prolonged length of time and she suddenly felt an urge to go on a journey to find herself, I would tell her "Go ahead and go looking, trying to find yourself, but don't bother finding your way back". It will be a one way journey. If the relationship was relatively healthy all along, there would be no need to leave a spouse to find themselves-the other partner didn't disappear to find them self. The woman would have to decide if permanently burying X number of years in a marriage and her life is worth to go searching for herself. I never heard of a case of a woman leaving a long term spouse to go find herself. and end up living happily ever after when she finally found herself. The first place they need to look is in the mirror.
 Whisky_River
Joined: 9/12/2010
Msg: 56
what does finding yourself mean
Posted: 10/17/2011 12:28:50 PM
First of all...Sorry, this has happened ater 30 years of marriage..yes, hard to accept and get past.
We don't know what she meant by the phrase "finding herself" and maybe she doesn't either. This is not something that is spur of the moment for her...apparently, you said...she said...she's been thinking about it for 4 years...So, I hardly think that "another man" was the issue.

You could have been a good...kind...considerate...husband.
That may have been why she thought "long and hard" about her decesion.
The only thing I know is...You Can't make someone LOVE you!!
If it's no longer there for her....it's best she moves on.
Whether that entails another man or not...that'll be her choice.
I think it is more about being content with yourself!

Seems you have not got over it yet!! Just by your posting and your profile.
Please...take the time to accept the circumstances....quit the blaming...and move on.
Just will not be productive to keep dwelling on the past.
Also...I as anyone dating you....Don't want to hear it!
Good luck!!
 VirtuallyLove
Joined: 9/8/2011
Msg: 57
what does finding yourself mean
Posted: 10/17/2011 1:18:33 PM

Whisky: First of all...Sorry, this has happened ater 30 years of marriage..yes, hard to accept and get past.
We don't know what she meant by the phrase "finding herself" and maybe she doesn't either. This is not something that is spur of the moment for her...apparently, you said...she said...she's been thinking about it for 4 years...So, I hardly think that "another man" was the issue.

You could have been a good...kind...considerate...husband.
That may have been why she thought "long and hard" about her decesion.
The only thing I know is...You Can't make someone LOVE you!!
If it's no longer there for her....it's best she moves on.
Whether that entails another man or not...that'll be her choice.
I think it is more about being content with yourself!


I agree all of us who've been hurt in a relationship ought to "move on," but certain circumstances, particularly those described by the OP, can make that much harder. It's much harder to move on when the reasons for your breakup are murky. His wife could've made it much easier for him - and in my opinion, this is the decent, humane thing to do - by speaking from her heart and telling him exactly what she was feeling and why she'd reached this point.

Of course, it's possible that the OP made that highly difficult for her. But everything being equal (given no abuse was involved), I think anyone wanting to break up from such a serious relationship does owe their partner the courtesy of an honest and heartfelt explanation.
 A_Gent
Joined: 8/18/2011
Msg: 58
what does finding yourself mean
Posted: 10/17/2011 1:22:16 PM
Re: VirtuallyLove on 10/17/2011 1238 PM

I suggest that you review Langley's website womansinfidelity dot com for a comprehensive overview of her thesis.

(there is nothing to suggest that the OP's wife is involved in an extramarital affair ... perhaps to her credit she did not use her affections for another man to justify leaving her husband. I am suggesting that the pattern Langley describes, could however explain the situation as to why, after an apparent happy marriage with a decent guy who treated her well, she just ups and leaves.... )

Including...

Women's relationships today follow
a very predictable pattern:

They push men for commitment

They get what they want

They lose interest in sex

They become attracted to someone else

They start cheating

They become angry and resentful

They begin telling their partners that they need time apart

They blame their partners for their behavior...and eventually, after making themselves and everyone around them miserable for an indefinite, but usually, long period of time, they end their relationships or marriages.

Makes a lot of sense out of the situation.

And ya.. it is pricey at $39 for the e-book.
 Whisky_River
Joined: 9/12/2010
Msg: 59
what does finding yourself mean
Posted: 10/17/2011 1:54:28 PM
It's much harder to move on when reasons for your breakup are murky

True...But he really wasn't blind sided...he knew there was something wrong.
I think some people don't understand there are people that aren't good communicaters or know how to articulate their feelings or thoughts.
Maybe...she is afraid to...or maybe she truthfully can't give him no acceptable reason...other than she just isn't happy!!!...we don't know.
I do have to say...I have met very few people in my life after a break-up who will take any responsibility in it.
They tell people what an azz he was or b1tch she was.....I didn't see it coming.
I love the Maya Angelou saying of.."People may forget what you did...people may forgive what you say....but they will never forget how you made them feel"
 VirtuallyLove
Joined: 9/8/2011
Msg: 60
what does finding yourself mean
Posted: 10/17/2011 2:57:45 PM

WHISKY: True...But he really wasn't blind sided...he knew there was something wrong.
I think some people don't understand there are people that aren't good communicaters or know how to articulate their feelings or thoughts.
Maybe...she is afraid to...or maybe she truthfully can't give him no acceptable reason...other than she just isn't happy!!!...we don't know.
I do have to say...I have met very few people in my life after a break-up who will take any responsibility in it.
They tell people what an azz he was or b1tch she was.....I didn't see it coming.
I love the Maya Angelou saying of.."People may forget what you did...people may forgive what you say....but they will never forget how you made them feel"


I'm sure he definitely won't forget how this made him feel!! It's something I've heard women say fairly often - my ex-SO said it, too - but feelings, while always valid, do not always reflect reality. Maybe this isn't what Maya meant, but my interpretation is something like this: "You were wrong because you made me feel bad." And that has been my sense of what women mean when they say it (again, not sure if that's always the case). But if that's the measure of right and wrong, then my ex-SO (and probably most women in breakups) was very wrong indeed! But that could be another thread altogether...hmmm....

I missed the part about his not being blind-sided. It is hard to imagine that she could've kept her feelings completely secret from him, though that is a common complaint that men make - "I never saw it coming!" I think women tend to way overestimate how attuned men are (hence the fairly commonplace expectation of mind-reading on their part).


You make a good point, I think, about not everyone being good communicators. Those who aren't may not feel they can express themselves adequately and thus may not even make a real effort to do so. And then they may feel they'll be punished for speaking their mind - yet another reason for not making the effort.

It's all nearly pure speculation here, but if I had to guess I would guess that she did not feel that she would be heard - that she did not feel safe to express how she was feeling those last few years. And about the "feelings" thing, I'm not denying that they often serve as good guideposts for what's happening in a relationship. The problem is that sometimes they can be based on misinterpretation or projection. For instance, the jealous woman who has bad feelings because she imagines her husband is having an affair (when he isn't; I know personally of one case where this happened).
 ZachariahTicer
Joined: 9/22/2010
Msg: 61
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what does finding yourself mean
Posted: 10/17/2011 3:43:06 PM

``Finding yourself,'' means someone spent too much time in therapy or read too many self-help books to try to avoid making any mistakes instead of just living and making mistakes. They'll be searching forever.


Well when I said it I meant it in that Maslow sense and not a chicken soup for the soul kinda way. I was caught up in my head with destructive thought patterns which lead to self-esteem issues. I felt lost so 'finding oneself' was a perfect phrase to encapsulate the feeling.

I agree these words are very pop-culture and probably encompass a plethora of meanings. The concept was a legitimate one to Buddha and Maslow and Ghandi and such. Buddha broke things off with his wife and family and then started his path to self-discovery. I think sometimes people who have not climbed that Maslow ladder realize they are in a co-dependent instead of co-independent relationship and need to cut the ties in order to figure their shit out. Was the case for me anyways, and I guess the Buddha too :)
 smua
Joined: 4/20/2010
Msg: 62
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what does finding yourself mean
Posted: 10/17/2011 3:48:54 PM
It means I am very unhappy and I need to change something. I don't know exactly what, but I can not and will not continue to be this unhappy without trying to change it.
 DudeistPriest
Joined: 3/30/2009
Msg: 63
what does finding yourself mean
Posted: 10/17/2011 7:49:31 PM
It means goodbye. For what ever reason, she is done with you and is moving on. She is going to re-invent herself and her life and you don't fit the new picture. No explaination, just the way some people are. Been there, done that, felt your pain,twice.
 Archangel_07
Joined: 6/21/2010
Msg: 64
what does finding yourself mean
Posted: 10/17/2011 8:06:07 PM
exactly what smu said. One thing is for sure, she's not happy and she might leave you to find out what might or will make her happy once she finds that out.
 verygreeneyez
Joined: 3/15/2006
Msg: 65
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what does finding yourself mean
Posted: 10/17/2011 8:15:26 PM

what does finding yourself mean

It means, to me, that I am in a period of evolution and that I am taking time to become more emotionally, spiritually, physically grounded. I went through a serious "finding myself" after my son died. I had to re-learn life, love, loss and all things in between and that? I had to do alone. I go on journeys-of-self often and for those in my life? I'm certain it can be a bit trouble. I can be distant, quiet, distracted and sometimes even out and out reclusive when this needs to happen. What I've learned over the many years of being an "evolover"??? You need to have romantic relationships with other "evolvers". Otherwise? Someone is going to feel all sorts of left out and abandoned. And strangely? That's not at all the objective ~ the objective is the opposite. To become closer to those you love/care about. But most people simply can't understand that distance of heart/mind can be a good thing when it's distance used for grounding and personal growth. JMO
 Becoming_Me
Joined: 1/4/2007
Msg: 66
what does finding yourself mean
Posted: 10/17/2011 8:16:55 PM
As I do not know her I cannot give you a detailed answer the only thing I might think is that she does not know who she is, she is not happy with herself and what she is doing with her life, and honestly you cannot be happy with anyone else until you can be happy with yourself. If this is the case I find it sad that it took her 30 years or more to voice her dissatisfaction with her life and who she was in it. But also it not anything you did most likely, and you probably couldn’t have done anything different that would have made her stay. Again I do not know her but other people I’ve talked to who’ve said they need to find themselves me included. Lived a life that was laid out and planed and expected for them, then one day realized that they did not know who they were and what they wanted.
 DoubleParked
Joined: 10/22/2008
Msg: 67
what does finding yourself mean
Posted: 10/17/2011 8:21:19 PM
Sometimes after thirty years people decide they want different things. One can be perfectly content with the 'status quo' and the other may be 'chomping at the bit' to have new experiences.

Lots of women define their lives by the 'others' in their lives, rather than by their own wishes and desires. It is the accepted pattern.

Finding ones self is the desire to figure out how to live on one's own terms, rather than terms that a spouse/parents/society has laid out. Not to imply that said spouse was bad or anything of the sort.

Sometimes people just need to get away to hear themselves think their own thoughts and decide their own fate. It is possible once she has some time to figure out life on her own terms, that you might get together again, although you will both be different people. In a better way.

I know this sounds weird but don't take it personally. It doesn't mean she never loved you.It just means she finally decided she needed to figure out how to love herself.
 WalksOnWater2
Joined: 5/19/2009
Msg: 68
what does finding yourself mean
Posted: 11/20/2011 11:16:12 PM
If by age 30 you still haven't "found yourself", you can safely assume that you probably were never there to begin with. That's a cheap excuse, comparable to the standard issue "it's not you, it's me" and other similar hogwash.

OP, your wife is going through middle age crisis and after 30 years of marriage she decided that there must be more out there,much of which she didn't get to have a bite of.
It will not take her too long to -eventually- figure out that the grass is only as green as your lawn care abilities allow it to be.

Having said that, we don't know what your limitations and imperfections are, and what part of your behaviors have affected her decision, but these things do not happen overnight, there must have been signs you missed along the way. Women are as weird as men, sometimes weirder.

I wish you good luck and speedy recovery.


 free4all131220
Joined: 10/28/2011
Msg: 69
what does finding yourself mean
Posted: 11/21/2011 7:34:20 AM
your situation sounds a lot like what mne was, everything seemed ok, then all of a sudden she needs to find herself, inmy case what it meant was that someone else has already found her(but it wasn't herself).

let me ask you this;

does your wife have a friend/sister/cousin/acquaintence that is,lets say, promiscuous? if so has your wife been spending an increasing amount of time with this woman? if so then I think I know the answer. The other chick has managed to convince your wife that she isn't happy. The last thing a promiscuous woman wants to see is a happily married woman, and will do anything they can to destroy it.
 distinct_purpose
Joined: 12/16/2008
Msg: 70
what does finding yourself mean
Posted: 11/21/2011 7:49:19 AM
Could be that she feels that she has been defined in terms of the relationship for so long that she doesn't know who she is in terms of her individuality and feels she must end the relationship in order to "find herself" .

Or could be as simple as she wants out and she has no excuse so this is the one she chose?
 peppermint petunias
Joined: 9/2/2009
Msg: 71
what does finding yourself mean
Posted: 11/21/2011 8:03:21 AM

WHAT DOES FINDING YOURSELF MEAN

Sometimes
It means after 30 years of being a wife and mother after probably JUST being a daughter she wants to find out whats out there other than Sat night at the movies and BBQ on Sunday.

Sometimes it just means she is done with you.

Maybe she has been told or made to feel that she is missing something.
Maybe she just never was free to do what she wanted.
Maybe she has felt under appreciated or neglected in some way.

Have you encouraged her hobbies and passions?
Do you have good sex and often?. Big question there.

I can't tell you for sure.
Usually they want to do things a spouse would not approve of, because if you feel "lost" ..it has nothing to do with the other person in most cases and surely you would support her in "finding" herself.

I think she is not lost, just wants to take a ride on the wild side after all that "NORMAL" for 30 years.

As shutter said most of us get that "finding yourself"..out of the way before having kids or getting married.



Guess she didn't come back. Old thread. oops
 trplfire39
Joined: 11/1/2011
Msg: 72
what does finding yourself mean
Posted: 11/21/2011 8:16:06 AM
A_Gent, msg 59...are you against women or what? We don't know the circumstances behind the break up of a 30 year marriage. She may also have been the executer of the marriage and would like to see him participate, she may also have seen herself as the supporter and needs support now instead. I think the author of this thread needs to look at himself before he puts the blame on his wife.
 trplfire39
Joined: 11/1/2011
Msg: 73
what does finding yourself mean
Posted: 11/21/2011 8:19:58 AM
VirtualyLove, msg 61

He was not blindsided, comon, he knew there was a problem for 4 years! that's a long time to ignore issues and hope they go away.
 Maleman999
Joined: 2/14/2010
Msg: 74
view profile
History
what does finding yourself mean
Posted: 11/21/2011 9:25:43 AM
What it often means is someone wants to go back in time and relive their high school days and experience things they missed out on in their teen years and correct stupid mistakes that teens make. They don't realized there is no time machine to wipe out the present and project them into the past. They are looking for a fairy tale fantasy where they can change past mistakes that they think will make them happy in adulthood.

I've seen it happen a couple of times and finding themselves never makes them any happier than before. Sometimes they try to relive the past by having new lovers, but after the initial excitement and high school type of infatuation, they end up realizing that didn't make them any happier after all, so the never ending journey continues in the search of la la land where everyone is happy and carefree. I have no use for someone who would leave a committed relationship and family in search of a psychotic fantasy.
 free4all131220
Joined: 10/28/2011
Msg: 75
what does finding yourself mean
Posted: 11/21/2011 7:13:21 PM

He was not blindsided, comon, he knew there was a problem for 4 years! that's a long time to ignore issues and hope they go away.


sure he may have known there was a problem 4 years earlier, but unless she tells him what the problem is he has no choice but to assume everything will work out.
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