I’m a man, early 30s, and still live at home to help my parents. I purchased a condo two years ago, which will be ready to live in this fall.
I have somewhat stable employment, yet I’m not content with my work life and personal life. I want to change a lot of issues about myself.
I’d like to have a good university education and maybe even still have a career as an educator.
I really hate my personal appearance and have self-esteem issues.
I never had a significant other. Heck, I never even had a real date.
One thing about myself that I really hate is that I’ve never even had sex. Other people my age have had sex with somebody or even with multiple partners.
I do like women, but always have a feeling that nothing will work and there’s a problem with the other person or myself.
I’m embarrassed about myself, and everyday I wish I were something much better than who I am.
I do speak regularly to a therapist. He tells me everything and anything in life is possible, and it’s up to me to know how to handle anything.
My therapy sessions are somewhat helpful, but I always have these negative feelings in me.
I don’t know what to do or how to handle anything about myself anymore.
What’s my problem? Why can I never change?
It’s hard for anyone, not just you, to change several areas of your life at once. Start with what seems do-able first, and you’ll find that even one step forward gives you the confidence and courage to take another step.
Your new condo is a positive factor… when you move there in the fall, it’s the beginning of independence.
On your own, you’ll need to get out sometimes with a friend or work-mate, or to an interest group where you meet like-minded others.
Whether it’s a film club, a volleyball team, or one of the meetup.com groups, it’s another step forward – including towards meeting someone to have a date, and eventually finding a relationship and sex partner.
Further education is an admirable goal, yet it takes time. While supporting yourself through your job, try an online course to see if that’s workable for you now.
If not, consider whether another job situation suits you better.
Keep up your therapy sessions, if they help you stay on track with building some confidence in your ability to tackle these positive “steps.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the man’s complaint that his wife wouldn’t curb her very frequent flatulence (April 3):
Reader #1 – “He states his wife lets off (gas) anywhere and everywhere, since they’ve been married.
“It’s a normal function of the body to expel gas, but it’s mostly a choice for an individual to not control when and where.
“If you cannot control it, then it’s time to seek medical help. There are many serious health conditions which, when caught early, can greatly affect one’s long-term health.
“If you can control it, but think it’s funny and okay to “let off” anywhere, there’s just as serious but a different issue going on.
“She has NO respect for her spouse. For two years, she hid her flatulence much more. This indicates that she’s well aware it’s not “acceptable” behaviour.
“To the wife: If you love your husband, get help. If you don't, be honest and let him go.
“To the husband: How much are either of you willing to compromise, accept, allow?”
Reader #2 – “One possibility is that his wife’s a congenital anosmic (Anosmia is the medical term for loss of the sense of smell).
“If so, it's possible that the concept of flatulence being smelly is totally foreign to her and very hard to imagine.
“As an anosmic myself, I often find it hard to picture what “smelling” people are talking about.
“Of course, the wife should care about her spouse's comfort - but if she’s actually unaware of how really uncomfortable she is making him, that could explain her behaviour.”
Reader #3 – “She’s probably eating too much grains… whole wheat and 12-grain breads and cereals, plus all the seeds she’s probably putting in her smoothies and other recipes.
“For some of us, it’s like turning on an internal whoopee cushion. I stopped eating grains and I’m a new man!
“Hope this helps, and saves their marriage!”
Tip of the day:
Personal change is less daunting if you approach one change at a time to gain confidence.