If you want a stable relationship, buy a horse

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Post by Opwindvogel on Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:27 pm

Two months ago, I came home after a night out with my friends. Most of my girlfriend's stuff were gone. This was quite a surprise. I was sad a few days, then I kind of recovered.

We were together for five-six years, it was my first decent relationship. In the beginning I already noticed she was quite eh special. She used to be anorectic (and still is to a certain extent; when she eats she always has to insert the calories etc directly into some kind of software because otherwise she won't eat; but it was manageable), before me she had a violent boyfriend, her mother threw her out of the house a couple of times because well her mother was downright crazy (never met the woman, but she was apparently manic-depressive), she didn't have a known father.... .

During our relationship I also discovered that she was afraid of the dark (if it went dark and I wasn't there to assist her she got panic attacks), and had a thing with spirits. This was quite tiresome for me, but I managed, somebody had to help her. She also was a bit jealous, which was not very convenient for me. I'm conventionally good-looking, I daresay that most girls find me attractive. This had quite annoying side-effects. In my time as a law-student, most of my classmates were girls, every time I accidentally caught the eye of another girl she became very angry with me. This led to me, always looking out of the window or at the ground during classes (I really do not like conflicts with people I care about, with other people I don't have this problem), not very convenient. The most memorable incident was when some girl I found very attractive (absolute stunner; I had told my ex this during our friendship period), placed herself next to me during classes when there were plenty of empty seats. Let's just say she had clear intentions. I talked to her a bit, accidentally made her laugh (I just made conversation really- I wasn't trying anything funny). My ex kicked me under the desk and when we got home she threw a cooking pot towards me (which didn't hit me - fortunately she didn't have a good aim).

I think all these things are the reason that I got over her quite quickly.

At the moment my problem is that she's trying to punish me or something. Why? I wouldn't know really. I think rationality doesn't have anything to do with it. For instance, now she has a hernia. She tells me that is my fault. How can that even be possible? I told her, I think the reason for that is that you practice ballet on quite a high level. She keeps persisting, yeah well...
The problem is I can't tell her to leave me alone.

I bought a horse in the time that we were together. I have absolutely no regrets, I dearly love my horse and during this time I discovered I'm very good with horses. My horse shares a pasture with her horses. Herd dynamics are very important for horses so I agreed with her that we would share the care of all the horses. This was not a very smart decision. She kind of uses the horses, to annoy me. For instance: there are five horses (she has four), by some absurd logic I have to pay half of everything - I told her okay since I wanted peace and quiet. We also have a sort of custody agreement (I perform the care on day x etc...); she doesn't really follow through which is irritating to say the least since I work full time and good care takes up a lot of time.. As a response to this behaviour I told her, I'm going to move my horse. She told me that if I do that, she's going to euthanize some of the other horses because she doesn't have enough time and money to take care of them by herself. As a result I'm at a standstill, since I also care a lot for the other horses.

Also the week before she left, she wanted to borrow 2400 €. I didn't know why because honestly I couldn't see any reason why she needed that because she never had any expenditures since she always had my bank cards. Anyway I said okay. Well now, I have the problem that she says that she can't repay me. I agreed a repayment plan with her that stretches out 6 years into the future. According to me this illustrates that I'm quite reasonable, she says otherwise.

She never responds my messages. My messages are of a practical nature, mostly about the horses. She sends me messages that I'm supposed to help her move into her new apartment. She says that I owe her that much. I beg to differ.

This situation is beginning to make me quite depressed. I would appreciate it, if she let me be. Unfortunately at the moment she has too much leverage, which she gladly uses. In exchange for peace and quiet I would gladly let her keep the money, the only thing I really care about are the horses. I also don't quite understand how I got into this situation in the first place. There are thousands of available girls and I had to pick the unstable one (which I have always loved, and still love in a certain non romantic way- I just wish she would leave me alone), which I thought was fixable at the time. I'm also quite ashamed about the whole situation so I can't exactly tell my real life friends.

This whole experience makes me quite hesitant in trying to pursue a new relationship, I really don't want to go through something similar again. I also dread the process of finding a new one, in college it's child's play; you are put together with lots of people your age with some similar interests. After which you spot a match, talk to her, make her laugh, swoon her (I always found a strategic very mild touch on one of the wrists quite effective -usually makes them blush), case closed.

Now I'm 25, I work very long hours and mainly hang out with my nerdy friends. There are nerdy/geeky girls. The problem is, they aren't really my type since to me it would feel like I'm having a relationship with one of my male friends. As a consequence I will have to expand my horizons. I'm thinking about vegetarian cooking lessons, because well I'm practically a vegetarian and I find vegetarian girls very attractive (my personal theory: they are very conscious about food so they take good care of their bodies and most are caring since well they don't eat meat because they have a problem with killing other live forms).  

Anyhow at the moment I'm quite stuck and can't do anything, I just wanted to vent some of my frustration and disappointment.

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Post by fakely mctest on Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:03 am

Hmm. So I'm not sure if you are also seeking practical advice as well?

I'm not going to label your relationship for you, though I will say that some of your ex-girlfriend's behavior is pretty textbook abusive (controlling who you associate with, throwing a pot, whatever was going on with the money). If I were in your position I would find a therapist to discuss and untangle some of this stuff. You guys were together for a long time and I think it's going to take some time to right your thinking when it comes to relationships because your last one sounds fairly traumatic. It sounds like you're universalizing your experience in this relationship onto possible future relationships and a therapist can help you avoid that pattern, because that sort of thinking (while totally understandable) is going to make you miserable and it will make dating more difficult in addition to being unfair to any future partners.

You're definitely going to have to draw some boundaries with your ex and be prepared to enforce them. This may mean having a serious conversation about the horses and their care. It sounds like you're fairly conflict-averse, but you really need to do this for your own sake and for your horse's, who depends on both of you for its care. I think if your ex can't manage to keep to an agreed-upon schedule, then you should very seriously consider stabling your horse elsewhere.

Typically in a situation like this I would advise cutting all ties with the person (blocking their number, blocking them on social media) but the horse situation makes it a little different. Perhaps you could consider blocking her on all but one means of communication and then saying that, if she needs to discuss anything relating to the horses she can contact you via X means.

Definitely take the vegetarian cooking class if you want to! Keeping yourself busy after work is a great way to get past that initial post-breakup hump. As a vegetarian, I want to push back a bit against your idea of veg women though. They come in all shapes and sizes, some are animal rights types, some not so much. Some are super caring and some are jerks, just like every other segment of the population.

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Post by reboot on Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:43 am

I agree with fakely onal points. Mybex was abusive and I had to draw some firm boundaries on contact. It was really hard and I am not even a conflict averse person, but with him the pattern was that I do everything possible not to set him off and it was a hard pattern to break.

After he divorced me, I gave him two ways to contact me: my lawyer and snail mail to my work. You might want to consider using snail mail too. If it is urgent they can overnight or courier a letter. It removes the instant gratification of getting a rise out of you
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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:58 pm

Short form thoughts: Start figuring out where you want to move your horse. If she can't afford to keep all four of hers, surely she'd rather sell one or two (which would cover the half you're paying) than euthanize them. You might even offer to take them off her hands in exchange for what she owes you, which is a better deal than paying to have them put down. Note: I have NO IDEA if that's a ridiculously good price or an insaney high one but you get the idea. Resolve the emotional blackmail with the horses anyway you can then nuke the whole thing from orbit.

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Post by Opwindvogel on Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:38 pm

Thank you for the kind responses,


Well I can't really label the relationship myself. She is kind of an extreme person. When she's happy, she's very happy (at those moments the relationship was heavenly), when she's angry she's very angry (not so pleasant). She always told me she is driven by passion. I always told her that the dark side was very strong within her (which I find an attractive feature in mild forms - cf. Bastilla). Even though she's making my life kind of miserable at the moment I can't be angry with her since she has lots of problems. I'm just a bit disappointed that I couldn't help her solve her problems. To be frank; if she would have told me in advance that she was leaving I would still have borrowed her the money (and even help her move) since she has a very shitty job. I do not take pleasure in her situation, during the entire relationship she was my princess and was treated accordingly. She now lives in a crappy one room apartment with next to no furniture. The reason why I want the money back is that she lied to me, hadn't she done that I would have let her keep it - god knows she needs it. She left because she couldn't cope with the fact that I need lots of alone time (during the alone time I still was available to assist in crises mind you); otherwise I'm not able to function - I get very tired and I become irritable (in my case I shut down then). The last two years of the relationship, I was getting less and less alone time which made me very quiet; I tried getting my alone time by sleeping 4 hours a night but that wasn't quite a magical solution. During this time I still did special things for her; surprise dates (eg. I bought her an attire, got it delivered, with date and hour- yes I steal my ideas from books), surprise weekends, recreating ballet studios, ... The main problem was, two years ago I started working. As a result my free time dropped dramatically. She never really adjusted, she was never well suited for the boring normal live- I always called her a moon girl. I'm sorry that I couldn't solve this accordingly, but I did my utmost. This is the reason that I'm quite at peace with the situation, well I still listen to Brel with an alarmingly high frequency but some fallout is to be expected:p. The only thing I desire is normal behaviour and peace and quiet now. I do not want to resurrect the relationship, since she broke my trust, I only want normal behaviour and that she might find some kind of solution for her problems (heaven knows I've tried and failed).

My conflict-adversity is actually quite peculiar. I only have this in romantic relationships. In other relationships not so much. I actually make a living out of preventing, causing and resolving conflict. The conflict-adversity, in a romantic setting, only starts when I actually truly love someone (which takes quite a long time). I think this is a remnant of my childhood, which I basically spent seeing my parents argue:p. I will try to solve this for future relationships since it can't be exactly easy to figure out what I'm thinking (mind you if asked very patiently I can perfectly explain myself, its only when she started screaming that I shut-down completely).

The horse situation is not solved very easily. The problem is I live in a very urbanized country, free space is extremely scarce here so finding alternative housing on the short term is very difficult. I already started looking (as a backup plan), it's a nightmare. In the meantime, I'll just have to endure and hope that she comes to her senses somewhat, even though I know that isn't going to happen.

Hence it's not exactly possible to cut all ties, yet. I already tried to buy the other horses from her, she doesn't want this (side note: it wouldn't be a very good price :p since all the other horses minus one, are all older then 24- they spend their days as big dogs basically- now and then I play some Parelli games with them, give them treats and I tend their hooves).

I've already started to prepare myself for the vegetarian cooking lessons. I can cook fairly decent, but I don't want to look stupid during classes. (Side note: Today I used the book River Cottage: Veg Every Day, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall - delicious, fast recipes highly recommended). One of other the reasons I'm targeting vegetarian girls is that I don't eat certain things which aren't exactly ethical (cf. foie gras ...). I don't have a problem with other people eating them, I don't lecture people or things like that, but it seems much easier if you share the same lookout. The other reason I mainly eat vegetarian is that it's more healthy when done right, the perks of having lived together with someone with a food disorder (I read tons and tons of books about food to help her deal with her situation).



Off topic but useful information: In the process of trying to find a new pasture for my horse I joined a local equestrian forum. My general question made it somewhat possible to guess my gender (blue symbol next to my name). Immediately the topic, and my pm box, got flooded with girls/women. It turns out that men are an endangered species in those kinds of circles (the forum I joined; more then 97 percent women). I did some research on the site, you actually have men who make topics like "Allow me to introduce myself: a new guy on forumname". Most of those topics easily get twenty pages, filled with lots of (desperate) women who make all kinds of proposals. So if anyone is looking for an extra place to meet women: join equestrian forums (it may help if you learn a thing or two about horses, but even that isn't exactly required). On the particular forum I joined you have a huge diversity in horse-loving girls; you have aspiring models, artists, nerdy girls, competitive riders .... well basically every possible type of girl. If you visit the real life meetings you can most definitely start a conversation with an attractive girl with the words: save a horse ride a cowboy (or alternatively "Hi my name is ..."; but that would be kind of boring).

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Post by The Wisp on Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:15 am

Sorry you're going through all this, that sounds terrible Sad

I have no advice but...

In the process of trying to find a new pasture for my horse I joined a local equestrian forum. My general question made it somewhat possible to guess my gender (blue symbol next to my name). Immediately the topic, and my pm box, got flooded with girls/women. It turns out that men are an endangered species in those kinds of circles (the forum I joined; more then 97 percent women). I did some research on the site, you actually have men who make topics like "Allow me to introduce myself: a new guy on forumname". Most of those topics easily get twenty pages, filled with lots of (desperate) women who make all kinds of proposals. So if anyone is looking for an extra place to meet women: join equestrian forums (it may help if you learn a thing or two about horses, but even that isn't exactly required). On the particular forum I joined you have a huge diversity in horse-loving girls; you have aspiring models, artists, nerdy girls, competitive riders .... well basically every possible type of girl. If you visit the real life meetings you can most definitely start a conversation with an attractive girl with the words: save a horse ride a cowboy (or alternatively "Hi my name is ..."; but that would be kind of boring).

I find this to be amusing. I usually hear much more about the gender-reversed scenario: a woman entering a space devoted to a topic that is overwhelmingly male getting swamped with attention.
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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:43 am

Hmm, horseback riding is good exercise, right? Is there somewhere I can. . .like. . .check out a loaner horse? Wink wink nudge nudg

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Post by eselle28 on Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:54 am

I'm sorry you're going through all this. It sounds like a very stressful situation. I think it's very wise of you to look for ways to relocate your horse and to try to find new outlets for your time and emotional energy - that can help with recovery from a difficult relationship and a breakup.

When it comes to her horses, I would suggest that you alert any animal rescue groups in your area to her situation. I do not think that you should continue to involve yourself directly with her horses after you've found another place for yours, however. Threatening the life of an animal you care about is a highly abusive behavior that's used to control abuse victims and prevent them from leaving, and I think some of those dynamics are at play here as well. I think she's using this as a tactic to control you, and I think that unfortunately, you need to first take care of yourself and your own horse, which probably means keeping as far away from your ex as you can.
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Post by eselle28 on Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:55 am

Gentleman Johnny wrote:Hmm, horseback riding is good exercise, right? Is there somewhere I can. . .like. . .check out a loaner horse? Wink wink nudge nudg

I'm not really a horse person, but I'm pretty sure most riding schools offer lessons to people who don't own horses using some owned by the school. Both owning and renting (yes, you can rent a horse) are pretty expensive endeavors, and I don't know if many people would pick up the hobby if they had those kinds of start up costs.


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Post by reboot on Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:56 am

eselle28 wrote:I'm sorry you're going through all this. It sounds like a very stressful situation. I think it's very wise of you to look for ways to relocate your horse and to try to find new outlets for your time and emotional energy - that can help with recovery from a difficult relationship and a breakup.

When it comes to her horses, I would suggest that you alert any animal rescue groups in your area to her situation. I do not think that you should continue to involve yourself directly with her horses after you've found another place for yours, however. Threatening the life of an animal you care about is a highly abusive behavior that's used to control abuse victims and prevent them from leaving, and I think some of those dynamics are at play here as well. I think she's using this as a tactic to control you, and I think that unfortunately, you need to first take care of yourself and your own horse, which probably means keeping as far away from your ex as you can.

Truth! If you need help, PM me your location. I am pretty connected with the animal rescue community
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Post by Barretts_Salt on Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:00 am

Gentleman Johnny wrote:Hmm, horseback riding is good exercise, right? Is there somewhere I can. . .like. . .check out a loaner horse? Wink wink nudge nudg

Just in case you're serious rather than channeling Groucho, the stable I worked at a while back would supply the horses for lessons, if needed.

And frequently there were opportunities to do exactly that -- lease a horse -- or even half of a horse, where you would have, oh, a visitation schedule or time share, as it were:)

And ISTR that you live in or near Reno?  I would think there must be some stables or even a dude ranch (Ha!  I didn't think how dude ranch would sound, these days -- but I'm sure you know what I mean:) nearby.
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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:17 pm

I live near Vegas. Reno is farther away than LA. It was mostly a joke but I did look into it out of curiosity last night because I'm between exercise activities (haven't checked out the new parkour gym yet). Private lessons are pretty expensive. Group lessons aren't bad compared to my other fitness interests like parkour, aerial silks etc. but I'd have to find two other people to go with. It definitely strikes me as a more interesting hobby than, say, going on long motorcycle rides but from the financial and time side, something where I probably wouldn't fall into it unless I knew someone with two horses who didn't mind teaching a newb as a fun weekend activity for two.
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Post by Opwindvogel on Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:39 pm

Thanks guys.

About horsecare: Thanks for the kind offer Reboot, but I'll try to manage. Also I think I live a bit too far away:p

Concerning the equine community female magnet syndrome:

I asked a female friend, who's active on that forum, about this. It appears to be a thing, she illustrated it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-3e0EkvIEM. Apparently they already tried remedying the situation. A few years ago there was some kind of April Fool's Day thing. They worked together with an all male technology-forum and created some kind of dating site, that existed for a few days. As a girl you received matches with technology nerds, and vice versa. It even had direct chat etc. , so it was quit thorough (the page of the service still remains: http://goo.gl/Nl7OXL - be sure to read the funny descriptions). At the end of the day though, the service didn't solve the problem. So most women are still single, and complaining about it.

I don't know if it's a global phenomenon, that women find men with horses attractive (its kind of a thing here though; observe: http://goo.gl/wmJ0uT - if there was a way to combine that with vampires you would be unstoppable Vampire Diaries/True Blood meets horses). I imagine if you're a woman, living in Texas, you just go "meh:p". The funny thing is, according to my friend, most guys on the forum are gay. The straight man introduction topics always have an interesting structure, questions all around, culminating in the inevitable "Can we see a picture?". I've heard that most pictures are hilarious. There seem to be two styles: cute or hard man. The first category poses with a foal or something similar (something that makes women go: aaaaaaaaaw). For instance, if I were to try this I would go for my horse sleeping on my lap; which incidentally isn't without danger since my horse is the most clumsy animal I have ever laid eyes on. I guess they want to show their caring side. The other category poses with a stallion or something similar. They want to show their William Wallace potential. Anyway I think when you try the horse forum (or another one), you shall truly experience the abundance mentality :p Women everywhere and they are out to get you.

A word of warning though, horses take up a lot of time; much more then let's say a dog. If you rent a pasture or own a piece of land, it's rather relatively inexpensive to keep them (apart from the vet; you can do most things yourself; things like hoof-care you can learn to do yourself which saves a lot of money once you've bought your equipment). The big plus for me is they help relax (I guess that's the reason why they use them for therapy purposes), when you're with a horse your thoughts tend to stop (which incidentally is very good for people like me, cause I'm always in overdrive). The majority of horse types, with this I mean character types, mirror your behaviour so if you're behaving insecure or creepy you can't do anything with them. Well you can but it won't end well :p So it's a good exercise in getting to know yourself.

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Post by reboot on Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:15 pm

Just let me know, my network is global Smile

And cosign what you say about horses. I knew a lot of ranch kids in HS and any minute they were not taking care of the animals, they were thinking about what they had to do next to care for the animals
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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:53 pm

Opwindvogel wrote: The big plus for me is they help relax (I guess that's the reason why they use them for therapy purposes), when you're with a horse your thoughts tend to stop (which incidentally is very good for people like me, cause I'm always in overdrive). The majority of horse types, with this I mean character types, mirror your behaviour so if you're behaving insecure or creepy you can't do anything with them. Well you can but it won't end well :p So it's a good exercise in getting to know yourself.

That's a way better selling point to catch my interest with than "lots of women", honestly. On the other hand, if those lots of women are willing to teach a newb. . . Laughing
Owning my own isn't going to be in the cards for a while. Thinking nothing of the expense, I just don't have the time a living creature that can't come in the house deserves. On the other hand, my project truck is big enough to haul a horse in once I get it (the truck) back in good order.

On the real subject, if there's anything else I can do, let me know. You're in a shitty situation and right now the best thing to do is get out of it as completely and quickly as possible.

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