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Author Topic: My Story It's My Life 1

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My Story It's My Life 1
#10: July 20, 2020, 11:21:06 PM
Hi gMan,

I really enjoy reading your latest adventures.    It touches something within, maybe because dating is one of those things that I've been processing/thinking  internally for some time. What seemed like valid approach some 20+yrs back simply does not apply anymore.  I'm a different person, I know more, adult women are different etc.  The whole game is just different, and if I would try to enter the game like 20yr old I'd be bruised and hurt in no time. 

So here's my 5cents worth of dating advice you never asked (and possible coming from source who doesn't know as much as he thinks he knows, LOL.  But you'll be the judge of that)....   

At airsoft a lady immediately approached the desk and asked me if she knew me. She thought she knew me from highschool and asked me my name and so on. ...I think she just found something fun for her and her son to do for the day and figured she'd flirt a bit too. I called it and no I don't want any of it.

Many gals flirt just for fun....  Which  makes women so hard to understand for us guys - because most of us men don't flirt for fun (heck, most of us don't flirt at all, LOL).

But maybe flipping the attitude helps.... if you are always assuming women to be genuinely interested everytime they flirt, you are having an expectation.  And if there's one thing everyone should have learned here, it is that expectations about other people are bad.  You miss the ball at least half the time.

So what if you just reverse the whole thing -  assume  they might be "flirting for fun"  or "flirting for real" or "you are just misreading the whole thing",  and let it build up from there.  Either way, flirting is just fllirting, nothing more than pre-check to see if you are the kind of person to get to know on any level.


It's become obvious to me, how much people just use me. How the yoda thing fits into it is, xw is just trying to keep OM happy because he's got money and she wants it. That made me sad a bit, because I know she probably doesn't treat him like she did me. She treated me the way she did because I was nice and she knew I"d put up with it.  :-\

Big part of relationships is based on mutual win-win.  You do/give something, she does/gives something in return.  It's the trade that does make relationships not just work but "emotionally fun".  It creates tension, spark, the pull. 

Say she asks you look at her car.. in return you ask for her to bake your favorite cupcakes you love or something of equal investment
She asks if you can pass her the ketchup, and you ask her to sing a bit of "ketchup song" (even small thing go value for value)
etc etc.  turn those occasions into flirty banter or whatever...     

If looking back....   I sure as hell can say that this is one "red flag" I missed out.   On some point the trade stopped. I just gave, gave, gave but received nothing in return.  I likely should have realized to start "dating" STBXW again but like so many persons in love (and stuck in rut) I likely just kept on giving and occasionally begrunted when she no longer played the game...  instead I should have gone back to "dating mode".  Instead of giving things, make her jump some hoola-hoops in fun way (relationships are "hard work" this way)... but lesson learned, not repeating the same mistake again.   Not even with her ;)

 
I also need to learn the "type" of person I'm a good match for and will have the most success with. It's just tough.. getting divorced at 40 and realizing you never had a clue about dating and all of the required social interactions.

Don't feel sorry for yourself.  I think it's the same for all of us in this age group.... I sure as hell can say that just re-thinking what dating was alike, and putting it into current knowledge base and context.... I really did not have a clue about dating apart of knowing precisely what I wanted from a girl.   And STBXW was 10/10 gem back then (then just some $h!te called life happened)....   And it is one of those reasons I am (re-)thinking about the whole dating thing.   Regardless of if I continue to stand or move on into new relationship,  I'm gonna have to learn to date in age appropiate way.   Because it is one of those skills I will need no matter what, and it makes me better - just for myself.   

I think it like this....  in order for me to get the kind of woman I want (or any males I want to become friends with),  I must 
a) know who I am  (so I know what matches me and how to market who I am),   and 
b) know the kind of woman I want  (looks, behaviour, characteristics, anything you'd want from a person you will spend your life with) and 
c) be pretty much the kind of person I want to attract (the opposites attract may be true for hurt people, but I think in healthy relationships it's the other way around - people who are similar enough attract each other.  It's all about aligning to values, beliefs goals,  lifestyle, all things external etc.)

And then when you know what you want from woman, the flirting and dating is basically all about throwing "tests" to see how well that other person matches your wants.  A non-smoker?  It's easy to test just by looking at her for some time, and you'll definitely know by the time you get close...   A non-drinker?  Bit harder, but at least you can eliminate anyone drunk at the moment....  Have yourself a list of the essentials, and work from easiest to check to "harder to check" (as you really don't want to invest too much in time for getting to know person who turns out to be say a smoker).....   Women do "test" us men if we are compatible, the same way us men should "test" woman if they are compatible (but I think a lot of men don't take this as mindfully, omit the tests and  go from relationship to relationship until finding something that feels good enough)....   And how do you know if woman you like is compatible?   By knowing yourself: who you are and what you want.   You can't blame the other person for being who they are, you can only look at yourself from picking a person that was "bad" match (but hey , we all make mistakes and we learn from them- that is what flirting and dating is to large extends, a school to make mistakes so we could find the person that matches us well )

Just my 5 cents worth,

Alvin.
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« Last Edit: July 21, 2020, 12:26:19 AM by AlvinTheMaker »
Together - 20½ Years, Married 19 Years
Me: 43, W: 41 (Acts 20-25) - a low energy live-in wallower
BD ("I don't love you"): Feb 2019, 
BD2 ("I don't want to fix this marriage."... D filed May 2020
Kids (at time of BD): G19,G18,G14,G12,S5

*** Every person on the planet is like you - a human being, most likely doing the best they can. Some are just more in control of themself than others ***
*** There are things you control and things you can't control, but what you can control is your attitude towards things you can't control. ***
*** You're not going to master the rest of your life in one day. So relax. Master the present day. Then just keep doing that every day. ***
*** Without trust fear is the only possibility. Place your trust in your own wings. ***

C
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It's My Life 1
#11: July 22, 2020, 05:57:47 AM
Gman,

I love hearing your updates. I am excited to hear about you taking steps and exploring all the different facets of yourself wether that’s musically or decorating your house or playing airsoft.

The more you come to know yourself the more firm you will become on the life you want to live and your own personal boundaries that protect that life.

I want to talk about a “nice guy” and tell you what for me as a woman bothers me about a nice guy.
A nice guy is passive. A nice guy tries to figure out what I want and be that for me....instead of being who he is with confidence and treating me as an equal who is looking for a partner who suits my life and lifestyle and goals. A nice guys goal is the relationship....he has an unhealthy need for a relationship and therefore will present as malleable on things that shouldn’t be compromised to obtain a relationship.  Nice guys tend to be highly sensitive to rejection, instead of knowing that while someon may be nice....it doesn’t necessarily mean they are a good match. Often nice guys are attempting to control an outcome by being “nice.” Many times the nice guy doesn’t claim any strong opinions or boundaries so that he can appear “nice” and avoid any potential conflict. This creates a perception that there isn’t much substance behind the nice guy exterior.

When we were created we were made entirely whole. We don’t require another person to complete us. We have every single thing we need inside of us to fully realize our potential, abilities and to care for, nurture and love ourselves. You complete you, I complete me. Other people are just a bonus not a necessity.

I think as a kid with add from a bad family....I was hypersensitive to rejection to feeling unwanted, different, unworthy or unloveable. Inner child work and acceptance for me have been life changing.
If I love me.....I can never be unloved. And it satisfies the desire for love so completely and utterly that I have no need for love from other people....it becomes just a bonus. If I accept me for who I am...totally...not when I accomplish or do or become xyz...but who I am right here right now.....than other people’s inability to see my worth becomes a statement about that persons ability to see....not wether or not I have worth.

As I become more myself and more confident with showing those hidden parts of myself that I hadn’t accepted or loved before I notice 2 things.
A) the red flaggers become more judgmental and quicker to reject me.
B) my life is slowly filling with green flaggers

I attract the kind of person that I am. So a complete person who requires nothing from other people and can just appreciate others for who they are and whatever role they play in my life attracts other people who act and feel similarly.

In fact the more precise I become in who I am and acting out of my true self and heart of course the more specific a partner would need to be to add to that or to “fit” my life. And I am deserving of nothing less than that.

There are 7 billion people on this planet and every single one has a differing opinion on how I should act and what I should do...but I am the only one who has to feel the emotions of doing and acting in ways that aren’t true to me. Therefore the only opinion I’m choosing to care about is mine. I can validate myself....I don’t need or expect that from other people. And I am no less valid if someone doesn’t validate me.

For what it’s worth...that’s my insight on it. If it helps feel free to use it... if not you know what to do.

You got this

Courage
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EA discovered 3/31/2019
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“God allows us to feel the frailty of human love so we’ll appreciate the strength of his.” C.S. Lewis

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#12: July 22, 2020, 09:33:31 AM
Couraged, thank you so much for your thoughts. I agree with all of that and honestly, that's where I think I'm heading. It has just taken me a hot minute (or several) to clam down, relax, breathe, let go of the anxiety and like you were saying, just accept who I am and be who I am without pause or conditions.

When I spoke of being seen as a "nice guy", I meant to say, a kind person. I could see myself being pushed into the nice guy role in the past yes, but that goes back to the point I wanted to clarify. As I mentioned, women are often attracted to me because I'm either cute and or kind. I just read a really good article last night that framed things in a new way for me. The person that wrote the article talked about how we often and subconsciously project ourselves, wants, needs and desires onto the other person. I think that where people get into trouble is either because those projections match or the compliment each other.

It made sense to me, because it was one of the few or only articles I had seen that said it wasn't my fault, for whatever reason these women are attracted to me. I tend to blame myself a lot because I don't fit into a mold and trying to figure out who is my "type" is very difficult. I think a lot of women either want or they think they are attracted to a guy who seems to be the boss. Forgive me if I can't find the right term, but the traditional man who runs things. He makes all the decisions, he changes the oil, provides entertainment on the weekends and the lady more or less just shows up and comes along.

It just seems like always, women who have been with guys like that and have been hurt by them, are attracted to me because I'm calm, patient and I'm aware of other people's feelings. Going back to that projection thing, what most of them project onto me is neediness, in that they want me to be nice to them and they show very little interest in me as a person and my own needs. Well it makes sense, they were married to a guy who didn't care about theirs the entirety of their marriage, so they're looking for someone to overcompensate for the imbalance. For a long time, I've had a problem because it's been so hard for me to figure out "my type" and I still don't know what that is. So I feel like I never have the success in a relationship that I want and someone comes along with this projection of "I need to have you" and I go along with it and get pressed into the nice guy role, out of loneliness and sadness. And then on the other hand, I have been out with women I could have really liked, but they were just too unstable until it didn't work out and that just reinforces my sense of constant rejection.

Going full circle, the one thing I have never done is just be me and stood up for myself until I am treated the way I want to be. Yeah, that's definitely worth giving a shot now. Not doing it has only ever made me unhappy, so why not start now? Over the last few months I've had enough validating experiences to give me enough, umm positive emotional capital to move forward on my own, without training wheels, I suppose! Haha ..

The other thing too is when you're pushed into being the nice guy, there isn't room for you. When I was married, I never had the ability to exert any of my own control over the house. Now that I'm doing it and I'm seeing that I'm being successful in it, it's empowering me to trust my own inner voice.

I still think it's going to take a while to start seeing green flags. The reds are definitely not in my field of view anymore and this time around, I don't think I'm going to be minding the wait so much until I start (learning) to see green ones.
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#13: July 22, 2020, 09:42:29 AM
Yes! Yes! Yes!!!

I love it so much!

I am doing a happy dance in my living room for you right now!

😃
Courage
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EA discovered 3/31/2019
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EA ongoing? 🤷‍♀️ (Who knows?)
“God allows us to feel the frailty of human love so we’ll appreciate the strength of his.” C.S. Lewis

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#14: July 27, 2020, 05:33:39 PM
I knew this would happen, if I changed the title of my thread, I'd forget and I'd be lost looking around the forum for it!  ;D

Alvin, I didn't overlook your advice. responding  to you got lost in the shuffle, so to speak. I agree with you.. dating should be about equals and them ore I'm learning not listen to my baggage, I'm finding it's easier and easier to make sense of things. I'll say it again, I think all of the self help stuff likes to make you feel inadequate because it sells.

Like one point i kept reading is to "cast a big net" and go out with people you normally wouldn't and other things like that. Nobody really advocates for figuring out what you want in a relationship. It's like if you can do that, you're being picky and not being "open minded". It's like they're shaming you without even knowing you, because you must be going after the wrong "types" and blah blah..

Anyway, I decided I know want and if dating rock climbing, emotionally unavailable women who are closet alcoholics isn't working for me, I ain't gonna do it, no matter what what an article tries to tell me about being open minded. Really what I want to do is the same stuff I was doing before: family activities, walking around target, doing nature stuff.. I want to date someone with who we can put our kids together and go play lazer tag. I didn't want to quit do that stuff until xw took it away from me. So I want to keep doing it, but with someone who treats me a heck of a lot nicer..  :P

Anyway.. it's been a long day. I can't handle not being on a routine. I try, but I don't really get any kind of energy until later and then I'm up until midnight and even though I get enough sleep, I never feel rested enough when I'm up for my meeting. I had a training today and I need to be in the office the rest of the week to take care of some classroom stuff. So I am going to try to go to bed early but I want to keep this short so I can get a move on, so two small updates!!

I just paid of my credit cards!!! Speaks for itself.. a huge accomplishment!!

And I stood up to xw!!  ;D She had been pestering me about having S order so stuff online and she'd pay for it with a amazon gift card she got from work. She kept asking if I or him had accounts and I said yes. The other day, she was mad though because he didn't have prime for the free shipping and she said "that's why I asked  ::)" and I said, no you only asked if we had accounts, not a prime account because you wanted free shipping. And then suddenly her mood got a lot happier and she said "what, are you not a mind reader? lol". I said not today, because my crystal ball was in the shop. lol facepalm

But anyway, as I'm not letting my own FOO baggage frame things in a certain way anymore, I've been noticing that S doesn't know how to communicate his needs. It's the same thing XW does and I don't know if it's genetics or something she passed onto him through her parenting, but he's a lot more passive than she is. XW just gets mad you don't know what she wants, like all the times we argued about the dishes and other things. To her, it was just something I was doing to her, because I never did them how she wanted and to me, I was just being shamed and blamed, like my mom always did.  So again, she was mad at me and I put it back on her. I gave her the information she asked for, not that she wanted. She didn't tell me what she wanted, not my fault.

Going back to dating, I ended up reading an article about how to deal with people that talk too much. it was mainly how to approach your friends and people you work with. I made another decision that wasn't info I needed for dating. On a first date, I have no investment in the person and I'm not going to "force" the conversation or date to go a certain way. I really believe that people will show you who they are pretty quickly and just to take them at face value and not even think that you can change them. I'm not going into a date fighting to be treated equally. I want it given up front willingly and not later, if it ever happens. I may date someone and down the road, they may find out I have an annoying habit (or they may) and that can be worked on or around. But I want to be treated the way I deserve, up front and now.

I think maybe some people in here said it and so did my mom, that some couples are just like that, with one kinda quiet person and other more talkative and that's ok, but I really want to be able to have a conversation with someone, that's important to me and it's another thing I liked about xw, was how much we talked. These ladies I've been out with just didn't care if I had anything to say or not.. So .. no more of them. They're not good enough for me and it's not something that happened "because of me" either, so I'm not going to waste time trying to change me or the situation.
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#15: July 27, 2020, 11:36:12 PM
Hi gMan,

And no worries with late reply. Oftentimes I learn something of myself when looking situations of others and trying to give some support.

Re, "I think all of the self help stuff likes to make you feel inadequate because it sells."... I think it is more of a chicken Vs egg syndrome.  If you did not feel inadequate you would not look for self-help, and because you learn of alternative new approaches you will feel discomfort and inadequate.  Just like life it is a wheel where you can constantly grow and constantly feel inadequate as you keep spinning in challenges that are partially out of your control. Possibly the most important question is why do you feel inadequate? Because it is something you can control (not the kind of advice dating gurus would give, LOL).

If it's the fact you cannot find a good dating match.... If you are being you, being the lighthouse (best version of you)... Then IMHO it is not about you.... Sometimes it is just so hard to find persons who match who we are.  Those once in blue moon moments are gonna be rare, especially the more unique/special we are (and the better we know ourselves). For example even with broad net of non-smoker, non-drinker, physically attractive, and mentally okey you are likely eliminating over half the single woman/guys out there. And when you get to likes to detailed stuff (say likes to cosplay) you are at at very low odds. I remember a Edinburgh mathematician who actually turned his frustrated dating into formula, it was something like 16 suitable women (married included) in haystack  of city size of Edinburgh. So looking for good match is indeed searching a needle in haystack....The fact we found our partners. We were incredibly lucky once, nothing prevents a second chance but it is not gonna be easy because the pool is not just different but also significantly smaller.

The odds of you meeting someone special... I think 3/4 divorced people remarry on some point of life. The thing you really have no much control ( except dating a lot) is the timing. So have patience and have fun. This is gonna be a long journey.

Alvin.
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Together - 20½ Years, Married 19 Years
Me: 43, W: 41 (Acts 20-25) - a low energy live-in wallower
BD ("I don't love you"): Feb 2019, 
BD2 ("I don't want to fix this marriage."... D filed May 2020
Kids (at time of BD): G19,G18,G14,G12,S5

*** Every person on the planet is like you - a human being, most likely doing the best they can. Some are just more in control of themself than others ***
*** There are things you control and things you can't control, but what you can control is your attitude towards things you can't control. ***
*** You're not going to master the rest of your life in one day. So relax. Master the present day. Then just keep doing that every day. ***
*** Without trust fear is the only possibility. Place your trust in your own wings. ***

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It's My Life 1
#16: July 28, 2020, 01:47:19 AM
Oh my, gman, look at you.....you are getting your mojo at speed now  :) :)
Yes, a thousand times yes to everything you wrote.
There is no need for you to be anything other than you. And being more you will help you find the kind of person who is nicely comfortable with being them and enjoying you  :) a chatty, laser quest, hiking type with a kind heart sounds just the ticket....and the open minded bit is that as you say they may come with some fun extras like cake making or skydiving instead of pick me dancing red flags!

I must admit I don't agree with Alvin. The stats might be right for all I know, but I'm not sure that is how life works. When you're really ready, nice humans tend to show up in surprising ways imho...and there are lots of nice imperfect humans out there just like there are here on HS  :).....and you are one of them  :)
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#17: July 28, 2020, 10:05:43 AM
Alvin, I prefer to search on quoroa and read real people's experiences and advice. I find it to be a much more humanistic approach. The articles I read are pretty much in the "if you're not happy, it's because you ______" format. I do admit that I have felt inadequate and I have blamed myself plenty and that's part of the issue, but it's also you're not sitting in front of a therapist and it's not personalized advice either. My complaint though it they do tend to blame you and I've read questions written to therapists and the therapist almost always says "it's not you". So it's easy to get confused in all of the conflicting advice. So I've just decided to trust my gut here.

Quote
If it's the fact you cannot find a good dating match.... If you are being you, being the lighthouse (best version of you)... Then IMHO it is not about you.... Sometimes it is just so hard to find persons who match who we are.

I do agree with this. I've "complained" before that I don't fit into a box. I do think that makes it hard to find a good match or partner. At least because at this point, with all of the "types" you get on dating apps and maybe in real life, it's hard to find family orientated people. I want to have that in common with someone and values and goals. The rest is negotiable, so I am being pretty open minded, but the issue for me is my type is kind of in the minority and it's just harder to look for.

I'm not saying a never married runner type couldn't be a good match, I just don't think it's a high probability since that's another "type" and from my dating experiences so far, I don't find it too compatible with my own. But, I could find a woman with kids that's more of a match for me, who is also someone who runs, yes. I just think it's about priorities and values. One of the last people I went out with was a runner mom with kids, but she also fell into the alcoholic social type and I find that more often than not. No judgement, but it's not a good match for me.

So, in summary, I'm looking for values and priorities first in my type and everything else is to be considered after that, one way or the other.  I think where I live though and also considering I have an 18 year old, it's harder to find divorced women that are family orientated with kids. My son is too old for play groups and he just graduated, so no picking up moms at PTA meetings. I may have to look at churches and church groups and things. I don't know yet as I don't even know what's up anymore since the hold lockdown thing though and or how comfortable I'd be looking for groups and stuff right now anyway. But we'll never say never and leave it at that.

Treasur, thanks! I often get like this. I stumble and then I make up my mind and I move ahead full speed! As I was just saying to Alvin, I want to have values ad priorities in common and I'm open minded about the rest. That part is what can make life interesting. What makes me happy in life is my family and helping people and I want to be with someone that shares those feelings. I think that kind of stuff with last a lifetime.

I'm not big on trying to get it down to stats or anything either. You know, a few months right before I met xw, I had broken up with a girlfriend and I decided I was going to be single until I got the hang of it and then along came xw. Although we know how that ended up, I do think people just show up when they're supposed to.

I don't expect perfect at all  ;D i know they're out there and I think it's a combination of putting myself out there and also sort of tuning in my radar to be able to find them. And thank you!! You are one of them too!! Being here has taught me that good, kind people do exist. But I think it takes a lot of personal growth to be able to see them for who they are too. And to feel worthy of them as well.
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#18: July 28, 2020, 07:47:36 PM
You know, gman, my experience is ore like Treasur's. When I'm not looking or over thinking "what I want", people just show up. Then I have to decide if this person fits my lack of box that has boundaries.  And it's the boundaries that are they key for me. Mr Flirty at work was a Godsend to me, because he was interesting and entertaining and taught me a lot. But  he was also taken, so for me no chance of any kind of romantic entanglement and I learned so  much about my own personal boundaries.  It was especially interesting when he'd do some kind of "raised in a barn" move and I had no idea how I should react. Totally clueless because I'd never had it happen to me in all my years.  I learned how to draw whatever line in the sand and once I did, he never crossed that line again.

So IMO, it's OK to know what you will and will not accept, know a generalized kind of person you like, but don't limit yourself or overthink any of it. Desperate searching is no good either. If it's a date, it's an adventure. If it's a party, it's an experience, if it's a chance meeting in a shop or on the street (or the allotment for some folks ), it's an opportunity.

Enjoy life and let it unfold. What a ride!
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#19: July 29, 2020, 06:42:36 PM
Quote
So IMO, it's OK to know what you will and will not accept, know a generalized kind of person you like, but don't limit yourself or overthink any of it. Desperate searching is no good either. If it's a date, it's an adventure. If it's a party, it's an experience, if it's a chance meeting in a shop or on the street (or the allotment for some folks ), it's an opportunity.

Well.. OR, I'm thinking like you too. Even though a lot of the dating I did triggered some deep anxiety and other issues, I learned a lot of new boundaries like you were saying. I know enough now, to know that if possible, I'd like to be part of a family again. But, if not and if then, I do want to be cared for, treated with respect, made to feel wanted and validated. Everything else i'm open to, in varying quantities and whatever package that may come in.
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