Hi! I'm still a nice guy..
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hi! I'm still a nice guy..

Hey,

It's been a while since I've posted here. I've always been lurking around for the last few months though, always once every 3-5 weeks (always when my 'down' mood hits me again). But lately, I've been on this board a few times a week. As time passes, I grow ever more confused, empty; hence this post.

Initially, a couple of months ago I first came here and started a thread about my situation (Hi! I'm a nice guy..): sexless marriage, not feeling loved/desired, lack of intimacy. Basically I was told by the very helping and loving people on this board (and finally by myself) to 'man up'. And so I did.

Whenever the wife asked me to do something, I did it, I took care of whatever, and I still do. I started going to the gym with my brother and his macho male friends 4 to 6 times a week, and I still do (it's showing, and I'm digging it). I made it my case to be on top of sh*t.
I never really did 'understand' the whole Alpha male thing though; I GET the concept, but to me, in my scenario and my personality, it feels as I would always have to put up a show, be a certain persona. At this (at being 'manly', maybe 'macho' in some ways) I obviously started failing, since I never believed in it from the start. But that's okay I guess, since I'm feeling better not pretending anyway and I have a feeling the wife doesn't really care either way..

The reason why I'm back (this board's success-rate is partially calculated by the number that DON'T come back, right? ) is because I feel I'm not going anywhere. I feel weird because all of my 'solutions' in becoming a 'man' seem to superficial ('looking good', being a 'man'')

Obviously, I'm 'doing it' wrong. Sure, I'll be the first to admit that. The thing is though, I AM going places. I feel better about ME, I look better and get complimented about it by other females (while my wife is standing right next to me (wtf?)), I get **** done.
Except our relationship problems, which in the end is the only thing I really care about fixing. There is still the lack of intimacy, there is still barely any sex, I'm losing faith here and I feel I'm giving up.

On our first anniversary a 6 weeks back I got her flowers and took her out and gave her an awesome day. That night, she said 'I think we really, really need to go to bed, hon' and she initiated sex for the first time since I don't even know when. And for me, it was kind of awkward. I felt incredibily incapable inside but we had great sex nonetheless. I couldn't help feeling afterwards that I somehow got 'rewarded' though for giving her a nice day, and I'm not after rewards. I'm after a loving, respecting, compromising relationship/marriage.

Lately I sense a vibe in the air that sh*t get's sweeped under the rug and that's it WAAAAY too obvious, and that she's aware of it too, but we're both too chickensh*t to deal with it. Living in a very liberal country (holland), there's sex on TV a lot in one way or another, and I can sense her feeling awkward about it, obviously cause of the situation we're in.

A month back, the resentment kicked back in with a vengeance. And since then I stopped caring somehow, I felt like 'f*ck it, then I won't have sex for the rest of my life, all the other things in my life are pretty awesome'. I stopped initiating sex months and months back anyway because I knew I was going to get turned down, now I refuse to initiate because I'm stubborn (even if she does think I look good, as she said a couple of times), resentful and feel I don't give a f*ck anymore. I almost feel like 'I'm not having sex, but at least YOU'RE not having sex either' (and can say this for a fact btw, affairs on her part are not going on). This has led me to feel like I'm just a shell walking around, hollow inside, but ONLY AT TIMES WHEN I'M AROUND HER and she's starting to notice. I'm just so confused, I don't know what 'making an effort' means (to me) anymore.

All I want is for us to succeed, failure is not an option. I still believe that we can make it through this. We've been through so much together, we came from nothing and are actually moving to the other side of the world together in a few months on our own strenght! Almost everything is great about us, we click in every possible way, we're like a well oiled-machine, we're a super-team. We 'just' have this huge elephant in the room.

Again, I'm not looking for options like walking out. We're in this together, this is the woman I want to spend the rest of my life with, even if it were to remain sexless, I would probably do it. But I sense she's not happy about the situation either.

-"then talk about it!"..

If only it were that easy for me to. When it comes to talking about feelings, problems, I came a long way, but I'm still very 'male' in that aspect. I feel awkward about it, I feel she's going to take what I say completely the wrong way; words never seem to come out right and portray what I mean. Also the timing, it never feels the 'right time' to bring something up. We never ever actually sat down and had like an official meeting stating the problems and I feel that this issue actually asks for exactly that.

Basically, this post can be summed up in I just don't know anymore, I feel I'm giving up..

I need help..
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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With that empty feeling inside you have inside you I reckon you’ve emotionally disconnected from your wife. I say that because that’s what happened to me after 40 odd years with my wife. As far as my wife is concerned I’m empty inside, I no longer get that fabulous feeling in my stomach when I think of her or look at a photo of her. I got an email from her the other day and it was just like it was an email from say a work colleague about work, no emotional connection whatsoever.


I think you’ve probably been very hurt by your wife’s constant rejection of your loving advances and slowly but surely you’ve been turning yourself off so you no longer feel for her anymore and therefore don’t get hurt by anymore rejections.

I’ve become very interested in Adult Attachment (it’s worth researching) and Attachment Trauma. As men we are linked to our wives in many many ways. We are bonded financially, through our home, our children, our love, our history and plans, extended family, friends etc. etc. This bonding (or Adult Attachment) is immensely strong and because as a man we give many things for our wives we do expect things in return. And one of those in a healthy marriage is sex, fidelity is another. We become traumatised when our conscious or subconscious expectations are not met and we feel immensely betrayed. The trauma can be instant as say walking into a bedroom and finding a wife in bed with another man or it can take place over many years.


I’ve also become interested in embitterment and sure enough an attachment trauma leads to embitterment. Which is your resentment. And resentment is passive anger and dislike for the person we resent. In essence you are married to and living with a woman you do not like and one that you are angry with. And as you are planning a future with her you will have a right bucketful of mixed emotions. In essence you love and hate your wife and all at the same time. That is no recipe for success, for a happy and healthy marriage.

All the above has nothing to do with being Alpha in the sense of being the biggest and strongest etc. It is though about being spiritual and wise because that is what you will need to come out of your embittered state and probably for that you will need a guide to show you the way. If you cannot come out of your embittered state then the future of your life is not good if you stay with your wife.

Last edited by AFEH; 12-15-2011 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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But if you do do the work to come out of your embittered state and you stay with your wife, then you will become embittered again for exactly the same reason as the problem will not have gone away.

So you have your own answer. In that you say you will stay as to whether you have sex with your wife or not. So there you have it, your future mapped out for you and part of that is that you wont have any sex and you will be bitter and resentful about it!

Now that is most definitely NOT Alpha. Fortune favours the brave and all that but you are “settling” for second best and a life without sex! No way would I stay with a woman who abused me by withholding sex from me.

In fact it may be that your wife is just as embittered about you as you are about her!
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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You answered the "nice guy" part of your post with your own response. You say you think you're feeling like you're putting up a front being "macho" but you are proud of your new body and feeling good about your life and even other people (your wife and women strangers) are noticing. DUDE THAT'S THE CHANGE.

You don't have to be Captain D*ckhead to be attractive to your wife. You know what you wanted to accomplish, you started your journey full-steam, and you're getting sh*t done. That's the Alpha you're looking for. And it did pay off, because your wife is even telling you how she notices the attraction now. As well as the other areas of your life you feel in control of and are doing well. Don't think you have to be someone you're not, be proud of what you're doing.

As far as the sexlessness goes, when I read your post you seem to have answered your own question. You know what the problem is, rugsweeping and lack of communication, yet you lack the humility or courage (or maybe both?) to bring it up. Screw your ego, tell your wife how you feel. If it's too hard to do it with words, write a letter. Hell if you're lazy like me, just show her your post here. It's raw unfiltered emotion, that's probably what your relationship needs right now.

I had a very similar problem in my marriage in that I bottled my feelings to "protect" my wife. It had the exact opposite reaction, she thought I was a robot that didn't care about anything and it drove a wedge between us.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that just being real with her about how you feel and what you want might light a giant fire in her panties. It's a worth a shot at least, if you don't do anything, you're going to be resentful for the rest of your life...or divorced....
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hi! I'm still a nice guy..

Until or unless you get to the place where you distinctly feel that failure IS an option ... and one that becomes more viable the less she tries ... then nothing much is going to change.

You want to hang onto her. Your resentment will continue to grow the more you harbor feelings of 'hanging on' while she just goes about her business.

I'm all for saving relationships that are worth saving.

One of the bigger lessons you stand to learn from the 'Man Up' journey, is being open to recognizing a relationship that can't or shouldn't be saved.

If you choose to stay in your marriage and can successfully conduct your life to your satisfaction ... then so be it. Nothing wrong with that.

But ... if you just continue to grow more frustrated and she is making little to no effort to salvage the trajectory of the relationship, then remaining is little more than self-sabotage.

It isn't going to get better, because it CAN'T get better ... not with a partner that simply won't try.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deejo View Post
But ... if you just continue to grow more frustrated and she is making little to no effort to salvage the trajectory of the relationship, then remaining is little more than self-sabotage.

It isn't going to get better, because it CAN'T get better ... not with a partner that simply won't try.
I agree with the advice in general. But in this case, he loves the girl, he likes the relationship, there's just this one problem. And admittedly, he hasn't brought it up (it's possible she doesn't even know what's going on). I wouldn't ditch the relationship till he at least makes it explicitly clear what's bugging him.

The fear of communication on this topic is robbing him of the chance for his wife to meet his needs. I mean if he tells her what's up, and after some time (weeks/months) he gets no results, then he should decide if he can live with the situation.

He hasn't even brought it up yet, though. It's a problem that will carry through to his next relationships until he addresses it. Might as well start now.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It’s a generality that people do not change until they are looking down the abyss.

They generally only ever get to see the abyss when their partner has had enough and really is ready to file for divorce, has filed for divorce or has just walked away from their marriage. And of course if they choose to change by that time it is far too late and their opportunity has gone never to return.

In OP’s case, he is still giving his wife what she wants without getting what he wants in return. So he is never going to get what he wants. It may be that she is totally incapable of giving him what he needs let alone what he wants. But he’s never going to find out if she is or not the way he is going about it. The only way he’ll uncover what she’s all about, if she is capable or not, if she wants to or not is to hand her divorce papers.

But he’s never going to do that plus he is investing even more in his wife by moving to another country. That wont change the dynamics between them one little bit and they’ll take the exact same problems with them. It’s best thought of them both taking invisible back-packs with them. In those back-packs are all their bitterness and resentment from the past ready to pop out at any moment no matter where they are in the world. So he’ll feel exact same as he is today no matter where he is in the future.

Last edited by AFEH; 12-15-2011 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFEH View Post
It’s a generality that people do not change until they are looking down the abyss.

They generally only ever get to see the abyss when their partner has had enough and really is ready to file for divorce, has filed for divorce or has just walked away from their marriage. And of course if they chose to change by that time it is far too late and their opportunity has gone never to return.

In OP’s case, he is still giving his wife what she wants without getting what he wants in return. So he is never going to get what he wants. It may be that she is totally incapable of giving him what he needs let alone what he wants. But he’s never going to find out if she is or not the way he is going about it. The only way he’ll uncover what she’s all about, if she is capable or not, if she wants to or not is to hand her divorce papers.

But he’s never going to do that plus he is investing even more in his wife by moving to another country. That wont change the dynamics between them one little bit and they’ll take the exact same problems with them. It’s best thought of them both taking invisible back-packs with them. In those back-packs are all their bitterness and resentment from the past ready to pop out at any moment no matter where they are in the world. So he’ll feel exact same as he is today no matter where he is in the future.
Maybe I'm just optimistic about relationship turnarounds, but I don't think it always requires the actual divorce papers to incite a change. I'm more of the style of escalation of issues. Something like:

1. Up front talk / simple communication
2. Long talk / scheduled time to discuss
3. Written Letter
4. Counseling on said issue
5. Ultimatum
6. Separation w/ defined parameters for reconciliation
7. Divorce

Some people are going to change after a simple talk, some people won't change even after the divorce. But I think it is insulting to assume your partner cares so little about you that they wouldn't put forth any effort but for divorce papers being sent to them, when you haven't given them the courtesy to even tell them there's a problem. Especially when otherwise the relationship is solid.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Maybe I'm just optimistic about relationship turnarounds, but I don't think it always requires the actual divorce papers to incite a change. I'm more of the style of escalation of issues. Something like:

1. Up front talk / simple communication
2. Long talk / scheduled time to discuss
3. Written Letter
4. Counseling on said issue
5. Ultimatum
6. Separation w/ defined parameters for reconciliation
7. Divorce

Some people are going to change after a simple talk, some people won't change even after the divorce. But I think it is insulting to assume your partner cares so little about you that they wouldn't put forth any effort but for divorce papers being sent to them, when you haven't given them the courtesy to even tell them there's a problem. Especially when otherwise the relationship is solid.
That’s part of the beauty of TAM, the different advice offered by different people based on their differing life experiences and thoughts. I came out of a marriage relationship of 42 years in which I never wanted for sex, my wife never said no, never rejected me.

OPs wife is totally capable of performing the sex act. She isn’t and there will be a reason for it. It’s causing the guy grief which is totally natural and he’s already gone through a process of change which has worked in some respects but hasn’t worked as far as sex with his wife is concerned.

Of course he needs to find out why his wife isn’t giving him sex. And of course he should go right ahead and ask her. I have absolutely no expectation that he’ll get an honest answer as his wife is probably as passive aggressive (it’s what embittered and resentful people are) as he is. So she’ll be withholding sex in order to punish and hurt him for his “crimes” from the past. And she’ll keep her reasons a secret. She has victimised him and is persecuting him and it doesn’t matter as to whether he’s Alpha squared, Beta, sings and dances or whatever she will still continue to punish him because it has become a way of life for her and she will not change as has been proven. Unless of course she’s standing over that precipice when there is at least a chance she may change. But she’ll only change if she VALUES HIM enough to keep him by her side. It’s far better to find that out BEFORE he moves to a new country. Believe me I know.



They should both do the work to rid themselves of their embitterment. But it’d be a pointless total waste of time because he is prepared to put up with a sexless marriage and will just get embittered again.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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AFEH,

Allow me to say that what you have writen in this tread is excellent.

I very much enjoyed reading it.
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:52 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Thank you AFEH for your insight, you have a very clear way of putting things in perspective.

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Of course he needs to find out why his wife isn’t giving him sex. And of course he should go right ahead and ask her. I have absolutely no expectation that he’ll get an honest answer as his wife is probably as passive aggressive (it’s what embittered and resentful people are) as he is. So she’ll be withholding sex in order to punish and hurt him for his “crimes” from the past. And she’ll keep her reasons a secret.
This is my feeling exactly. I think that plain ASKING her what the deal is would 'catch her off-guard'; she'd be surprised by my question and probably not answer it honestly. Big chance there has been resentment/bitterness on her part, but I have a feeling that we're both kind of letting go of it BUT we don't know how to move on from here, how to 'meet' eachother again.
She is a talker. But like me, not so much about our relationship. Somehow when I have brought this issue up in the past (couple of years ago) it always ended up in tears and promises (empty ones in retrospect). I probably did not bring up the issue that tactical either though. I have a feeling she's up for letting go of the past and starting fresh. The thing is, I just have no idea how (and when??) to bring it up in a calm, 'adult' way. I feel that writing a letter about it makes it seems like I'm *****ing out on the 'talk', and while I AM a little hessitant about it, I DO want to face this head on. I'm just scared she might take my words and completely misinterpret them for simply wanting ass when it's really the intimacy I miss. When I see people on here posting about how that person and his/her SO are making lists of their needs, 'demands' if you will, I'm completely amazed and I hope I'll hit that point in the near future too.

We both got older (and wiser hopefully), we finished grad school which was a huge stress on the both of us and now we're pretty much just preparing (in a relaxing, organized way) for the move in a couple of months. I have no illusions about being able to 'run away' from my problems. We've been working towards this move for almost 2 years and has nothing to do with our relationship and it's baggage per se.

I just know what we are capable of, I am not ready to let this go untill I have tried EVERYTHING I could and I basically get a huge, fat NO from her. I want to fight for this, there's a huge heart in this little chest, but there hasn't been a backbone to back it up untill hopefully soon . I'm perfectly willing to go see a MC but I have a feeling it doesn't really have to come to that (yet).

If she is, which I do NOT believe, actually totally cool with the state we're in now, I know for a fact that within 6 months we will be seperated, regardless of what I said before I really have no intentions of being my wife's roommate indefenitely. If she has absolutely no desire of meeting me in the middle or whatsoever, to me that's basically saying I'm not in love with you, I don't love you and all we had doesn't mean jack to me anymore, and that to me holds no reason for me to stay with her.
This 'manning up' thing gave me back the feeling that I have to live this life for ME first, we only live once (consciously ), so that's the philosophy I'm sticking with.

Also COguy, I want to thank you for your positivity. You're pretty much describing how I feel about my situation. Basically, I am a positive, go-getter guy, but lately just not a few days every month. I'm just get down about this situation that I obviously helped create, if not most of it and I don't really have anyone to vent to.

All of you, thanks again so much! You have ways to make me view things from another perspectives which I need so much.
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:08 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Couples typically go into marriages with pretty crappy conflict resolutions skills. Time passes by and even after multiple conflicts the resolution skills don’t improve whatsoever instead they become far worse because there’s a whole back log of unresolved conflicts brought into each new one.

You have a very big unresolved conflict, it is very important for you to resolve it yet you haven’t a clue how to go about it. You may want to take yourselves along to something like Alpha Marriage Course | Emmanuel Methodist Church. Forget about the Alpha in the title, it has no relationship to the alpha spoken about here. Take a look at the modules on the agenda: Building Strong Foundations; The Art of Communication; Resolving Conflicts; The Power of Forgiveness; Parents and In-Laws; Good Sex; Love in Action. It’s got everything and more that you need between the two of you.

I haven't attended such a course my self but I’ve spoken to a couple who run them. They are in their early sixties (loads of experience) and told me that individual problems are never discussed. Rather the course communicates the structure and dynamics of a healthy and successful marriage.

I do think you are mistaken in thinking you do not need MC. And I think that because you have proven you just do not have the skills to make your marriage work in the way you want it to.
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:42 AM   #13 (permalink)
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You're right, but I don't see it as 'negative' as you do since I know our dynamics. I have a feeling we can get through this, I just have to figure out a way to bring this issue up (and not just bring it up, also decide what would make it better for my part).

Bringing it up and having a 'satisfying' (without the drama!) talk about it a is really just the next hurdle now. I'm still, obviously, struggling with that but I hope soon I'll muster up the 'courage' to sit her down and talk to her about it.
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:58 AM   #14 (permalink)
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You're right, but I don't see it as 'negative' as you do since I know our dynamics. I have a feeling we can get through this, I just have to figure out a way to bring this issue up (and not just bring it up, also decide what would make it better for my part).

Bringing it up and having a 'satisfying' (without the drama!) talk about it a is really just the next hurdle now. I'm still, obviously, struggling with that but I hope soon I'll muster up the 'courage' to sit her down and talk to her about it.

Well I'll give a big second to AFEH on the MC front. That's exactly what MCs are good at, letting you share what's on your mind in a non-threatening way. The MC is going to mediate for you so that you can really get your message across while she works to make sure the bitterness and resentment don't get in the way. There's probably also stuff that's bugging your wife that she is having a hard time with.

MC could be the best investment you'll ever make in your marriage.

As for "the talk", I'm a big proponent of written letters. It allows you to put some real thought in expressing what you want, in a completely non-threatening way. In this specific subject, in your specific case, I wouldn't make any demands or requests because it's a very touchy subject and you haven't even let her know your feelings yet. I'd stick with stuff like how you desire to be intimate with her, to share a bond, how you feel like something is missing, and that how sex would make you feel closer. Reassure her that you're happy with the marriage and really excited about the future. Invite her to discuss it with you and that you want to talk openly and respectfully and without getting defensive.

Then I'd give her some time (around 2 weeks or so) to digest it and see if she responds on her own. If she doesn't, then you can look at escalating it, as it would indicate she won't do it on her own. I think in your case, you could be really surprised at the dialogue that comes from just opening up a little bit and inviting her to discuss it.

BUT, I can promise nothing will happen if you don't sack up and take the first step.
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:00 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
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You're right, but I don't see it as 'negative' as you do since I know our dynamics. I have a feeling we can get through this, I just have to figure out a way to bring this issue up (and not just bring it up, also decide what would make it better for my part).

Bringing it up and having a 'satisfying' (without the drama!) talk about it a is really just the next hurdle now. I'm still, obviously, struggling with that but I hope soon I'll muster up the 'courage' to sit her down and talk to her about it.
Take a look at The Four Stages of Competence. As far as I can tell you are an Unconscious Incompetent in these areas of your marriage (1) The Art of Communication, (2) Resolving Conflicts (3) The Power of Forgiveness and (4) Good Sex.

The above are all the very foundations of what a good and happy marriage is about. Yet you say you don’t need an intervention by way of any form of counselling. That’s truly amazing!
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