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Washing Machine

Washing Machine
19.03.2020

Recently I interviewed a wonderful man. He was celebrating his 60th anniversary and I wonder about the story of his life. Developmental psychology is something we participate in during our whole life, and the only way to learn anything about that is to question and observe people who already passed the stages you are just starting to. 

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One of the most popular theories in developmental psychology today is Erik Erikson’s theory. Being under influence of Freud’s idea about the power of libido energy in context of formation of personality, Erikson kinda prolonged Freud’s theory. He self-reflected his own long life and observed other people from the day of their birth till old age. The result of this observation was Erikson's 8 stages of psychosocial development. I will definitely come back to the theory later in my blog, but for this particular post I want to mention the 8th stage, that is called Wisdom

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This stage usually starts after 60-65, and characterized by analyzing of the life’s achievements. As a result of this analyze person comes either to ego integrity, either to despair. We look back through our whole life and try to understand what did we do and why. And then we see what do we have now and if this things are in line with our values. If yes, then we feel that our life wasn’t live in vain, we are proud of what we managed to accomplish: build a career, make a big happy family, conquer the world etc depending on personal’s values. Then we feel contentment and something Erikson named “Ego integrity”. If the result doesn’t satisfy us, we feel desperate: because of understanding that you don’t have any other chance to start everything from beginning anymore and that... dude, you fucked it up.

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I noticed that the man I was interviewing is turning into this stage. He was analyzing a lot of what kind of mistakes and good decisions he made and remembering the brightest events in his life. Even though he’s happy now and absolutely satisfied with the life he has, there was one thing that happened to him long time ago in the beginning of his adults life and still affects him. I want to share this story with you because I know he would be happy if someone could learn out of his case.

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It happened in the 80s in Norway. He was a young farmer boy, just started his career and tried to build a family life with a beautiful girl. They lived together and tried to equip their place to make life cosy and happy. The boy was completely in love, trust and hope for the best future for them. He knew his lady was dreaming about washing machine, that at those time was more luxurious then common thing, and he worked hard to buy it to her. Finally it happened. He got extra reward at work, ordered the washing machine immediately and full of happiness dialed their home number (no mobiles in 80’s yet) to tell his love the news. “-Hello!”-some man’s voice answered on the other end of the wire. "-Hello. Who are you? Where’s Susanne?" " -Ha, it’s you. I just fucked your girlfriend.-said the voice and disconnected…

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 I can’t even imagine what did he feel at that moment. Anger, jealousy, disappointment, desperation, betrayal… Probably a cocktail of the worst emotions we can have. He was broken. His heart was bleeding. But he behaved himself as gentleman. With no drama, he delivered and settled the washing machine, packed his things and left Susanne. 

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Even thou our psychological protective mechanisms normally intend to clean bad memories out of our minds, some things settle there forever. This case happened almost forty years ago, but still today he can’t forget it and can’t forgive. Just for fun or because she couldn’t control her libido, the girl destroyed trust the young man had, and he was never able to fix it. He have to fight with paranoidal thoughts till the rest of his life in all relationships with people. He realize that you can’t judge everyone by mistake someone did, but once we burned, we check every cup before we make a sip. Every day this man have to fight with his memory and imagination, when he goes for work and leaves his current woman alone. Every fucking day he drives away this voice in the receiver “I just fucked your girlfriend…” and tries not to become a jealous tyrant during 4 decades. Just because one day one girl wasn’t able to say “No” to her desires.

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I’m telling you this story because I want you to understand how important to take care of feelings of others, especially those whom we share with some periods of our life or even the whole life. Just a stupid mistake: extra glass of wine, dick-thinking, uncontrolled desires, - can ruin someone’s life forever. Feel the responsibility and if you have a need for adventure, do it in that way your beloved will never find it out and never be hurt. Use professional service and don’t leave traces. Don’t repeat “washing machine” case.

MG ♥

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Guest
Hello Monica! Thank you for you take up this topic. I was also in this situation many years ago, not exactly the same but I thinking about that situation a lot. It’s very important to discuss such things it can help so many people who has the same problems!
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Guest
Uncertainty can be a big part of life, and have many faces. Since this man is happy and satisfied with what he has achieved, he probably has been able to pursue his dreams and goals despite the uncertainty he felt. That might be a good strategy to avoid despair, when arriving maturity.
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Guest
Trust no one
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Monica
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Guest wrote:
Hello Monica! Thank you for you take up this topic. I was also in this situation many years ago, not exactly the same but I thinking about that situation a lot. It’s very important to discuss such things it can help so many people who has the same problems!
I agree, absolutely. We still have a chance to learn other's mistakes as well.
And those who were or are in similar situation can feel they are not alone in such trouble.
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Monica
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Guest wrote:
Uncertainty can be a big part of life, and have many faces. Since this man is happy and satisfied with what he has achieved, he probably has been able to pursue his dreams and goals despite the uncertainty he felt. That might be a good strategy to avoid despair, when arriving maturity.
That's true, but he still keeps the memory. Maybe because even after so many years he can't forgive. The person who betrayed or himself because he let someone betray him.
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Monica
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Guest wrote:
Trust no one
Life can be quite boring then
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Herr007
Hehe, he was just dumped by his girlfriend in a really shit way...that should really tell him something about taking a good look in the mirror.
It hurts ofc, but the real life lesson to be learned is to pay MORE attention to your girlfriend, than he did at that time :)
Going around and not trusting anyone anymore, just shows he didn't understand why he was dumped...as he thought he dumped her, which is not really the case :)
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Monica
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Herr007 wrote:
Hehe, he was just dumped by his girlfriend in a really shit way...that should really tell him something about taking a good look in the mirror.
It hurts ofc, but the real life lesson to be learned is to pay MORE attention to your girlfriend, than he did at that time  
Going around and not trusting anyone anymore, just shows he didn't understand why he was dumped...as he thought he dumped her, which is not really the case  
Interesting point of view. I didn't tell it in the story, but the girl tried to get the man back, was hunting him in the city for a long time later etc. I suppose sometimes people just make  stupid incorrigible mistakes because we don't realize possible effects. Especially in young age. I can just hope that some of us will be able to learn it on other's experience.
I understand what kind of relationships you mention, don't think it was that case. But of course, no one of us was there when it happened to judge  :)  
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Pizza guy
This is an interesting story. I don’t mean this as a judgement, but an open question. Do you believe the fault was getting caught, or the act itself?
advising people to cheat with professionals indicates the former.
Does that mean cheating is ok if you do not get caught? Or does it mean that it is not cheating if it is with a professional receiving a pay for a service?
I understand that doing it with a professional you trust reduces the risk of the partner finding out. Thereby reducing the risk of the partner being hurt.
However, it could still lead to a feeling of guilt for the person performing the act. Thereby, the person might behave differently towards their partner. In turn this could lead to hurting the partner.
Like I said, this was not meant to be judgmental, but rather a question of curiosity.
p.s. I love reading your blog.
Kind regards a big fan of all your work.  
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Monica
Pizza guy, actually, you raise eternal questions :D . In my personal opinion, I vote for honesty in relationships: otherwise I don't see the point to build them at all. Of course, I would prefer my partner never betray me if we agreed  about marital fidelity. But at the same time I understand, that shit can happen: too much wine on the party, feel lonely in long business trip etc.  I understand as well that people have different attitudes about sexual life: some of us just can't be monogamic, it's against their nature. If I would do something like that I would tell my man and let him to decide. If my man would do that, I would prefer him to tell me, so I could look at the situation and decide: can I forgive him and leave further in happiness, or not.
Unfortunately we used to think emotionally more then rationally: once we are in love we used to think this is forever. A year later we start to realize: maybe not. Three years later we understand: definitely not, but we still act by inertia. Five years later we think it's too late to change something because of the kids and loan for the house, and it's already impossible to discuss with your spouse sexual adventures. This is the most often scheme.
Tacking into account all this facts, I make a conclusion: adultery is neither good nor bad, it's just a fact. Something that can happen. And then our responsibility is at least to try to make it the least painful  way.  
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