Researching Personal Problems on the Internet

Whenever I have a problem in my life I turn to friends, and when that fails I turn to the internet. The kinds of problems I’m talking about are things like “I had a falling out with my dad, and instead of having blown over by the weekend, it’s still an issue 3 months later”, or “I can’t stop arguing with her. She’s wrong, but it doesn’t really matter, but I can’t stop myself from arguing about it” or “I only ever seem to leave the house to reprehensible things these days”.

Talking to friends is a great help. Sometimes I just need to know that I’m not going through a particularly weird thing, and sometimes I just need to know that my emotions are justified—or at the very least, understandable. Sometimes the advice is useful, but more often not. But sometimes you don’t want to discuss it with a friend; maybe it means bad-mouthing someone you don’t want to bad mouth, or perhaps you just don’t want it to turn into a competition.

You rarely want to go to a friend and share your problem with them to get a response like “that’s like this time when I was a kid; me and granddad were in the garden digging up his vegetable patch when all of a sudden the family dog ran out and my granddad accidentally dug right through the dog’s head. He accidentally cut the dog’s head off. Right in front of me. I cried for weeks. Grandma thought he’d done it on purpose and they argued a lot before they eventually got a divorce… granddad told me on his deathbed that he blamed me for the divorce because I didn’t stick up for him… yeah, your story is totally like that”. So, to avoid getting stories like that, you go to the internet.

On the internet you can almost always find solace. Someone else is going through what you’re going through. Some else has already gotten over it. The internet is a great place to go if you want your big issue to be broken down into smaller pieces so you can find the problem properly. Last time I had a problem that I went to the internet over, instead of a friend, it was the sexlessness of my relationship. We had so many mutual friends that I didn’t want to share her personal stuff with people… and that’s why I normally went to the internet for relationship stuff.

I can’t find the blogs I found way back then, but I’ve found this one which is very similar. It is about bedroom buzz-kills. I noticed I was guilty of some of this stuff, and that was precipitating the sexlessness. So I worked on them. I also found sites like this one and this one, and they are advice on how to spice-up and encourage sex. I tried following the advice there too. Basically, on this one issue, I really tried to get my house in order.

But there was a downside to doing this. Yes, I managed to find issues in what I did. But I also saw problems with the way she was behaving. And because I’d bothered to get my house in order, I felt she should make an effort too. The information was allowing me to blame someone. And that’s not healthy. Suddenly I was able to think “you’re watching TV in bed, this is why we never have sex”, or “if you turned your phone off you’d have more time for me!” I didn’t go to the internet so that I could find a way to blame her, and it’s a habit I need to break.

When you go to the internet for advice, remember that is not the end of the task; you need to know how to use that information!

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