Confessions Of A Recovering Stupid Male

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Overview

Do you want to experience a more loving, intimate life with the one you love? There is hope for couples who are struggling to keep their union together. The fine line between a mundane relationship and an extraordinary one depends on what you bring to it.

In Confessions of a Recovering Stupid Male, Mike Love shares the story of his own troubled journey, from being a self-centered, immature, and angry man to a more open, loving, and ...

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Confessions of a Recovering Stupid Male: Creating Loving Relationships That Will Last a Lifetime

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Overview

Do you want to experience a more loving, intimate life with the one you love? There is hope for couples who are struggling to keep their union together. The fine line between a mundane relationship and an extraordinary one depends on what you bring to it.

In Confessions of a Recovering Stupid Male, Mike Love shares the story of his own troubled journey, from being a self-centered, immature, and angry man to a more open, loving, and compassionate person.

Through his own struggles, Mike has transformed his ordeals into wisdom that he shares with men who are at that critical turning point in their lives and for the women who love them. This book offers hope and down-to-earth guidance for couples who desire a richer, more satisfying relationship, far beyond their wildest dreams.

It addresses important issues like men's anger and violence, midlife transitions, infidelity, love, sex, and intimacy. It also includes a survey of what women want from the men in their lives. Are you ready to open the door that's deep within your heart and rediscover the miraculous power of love? Then this is the book for you!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781452534619
  • Publisher: Balboa Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2011
  • Pages: 228
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Confessions OF A RECOVERING STUPID MALE

Creating Loving Relationships That Will Last a Lifetime
By MIKE LOVE

BALBOA PRESS

Copyright © 2011 Mike Love
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4525-3461-9


Chapter One

ONCE UPON A TIME – A LOVE STORY

It was the last Thursday in March 1984, the first week back from spring break and my last quarter before I graduated from Eastern Washington University. Mark, Sarah and I decided to go out to a popular bar where a new band was playing that we wanted to hear. Since all three of us didn't have any classes on Friday we decided to start the weekend early.

Mark and I had a class together, as well as working at a halfway house where I earned credits for a practicum and made a salary as well. Sarah was in a couple of other classes with me and we would often study together in the cafeteria for upcoming exams.

As Divine synchronicities occur, I introduced Mark to Sarah while we were studying one morning, and they instantly became an item and eventually got married. The Universe is full of beautiful surprises, and as I would soon find out, it would be a night full of synchronicities that would forever change the course of my life as well.

I met them at the bar early before the band started, so we could get a table near the dance floor, and bought the first pitcher of beer. I was in a particularly good space mentally; being in a happy, carefree spirit, which hadn't always been the case in times past.

That night I wasn't feeling desperate to find a woman to get into a relationship with, and feeling sorry for myself when she didn't materialize, as I often had before when I went out.

If I wanted to dance I could dance with Sarah, with Mark's blessing. And when they danced I watched people around the bar and on the dance floor. That can be a lot of fun! I'd view couples you could tell were well established in their relationships, doing the magic they made in their dance.

There was always the guy who would ask a girl he didn't know to dance, and either she accepted or declined. If she declined he would ask the next girl. If she accepted, they often looked uncomfortable with each other – no eye contact or magic in their dance.

When the song was over they would say a brief "thank you," and depart in opposite directions. There were couples, like Mark and Sarah, who were just starting out with one another; learning each other's rhythm; and the potential they created between them in their dance.

There seemed to be this "unspoken code" amongst unattached singles when it came to dancing; if you danced with someone you didn't know, you only danced to a fast-beat song, giving little or no eye contact. After the song both usually went back to their designated seats with a polite thank you.

But, above all (as etiquette would have it), one NEVER EVER asked a woman he didn't know to slow dance. Only those who were romantically involved had that honor. To violate that rule was the "ultimate" of unpardonable sins and instant rejection.

I had just turned 29 a couple of months earlier and by 1984 I was the oldest guy I knew who had remained single. I had friends who had been married in their late teens or early twenties and later divorced, but none who had stayed single for this long.

I dated quite a bit in my twenties and had been in three serious relationships, but ended up getting hurt in the end. It was the case of, I was either attracted to a woman who wasn't attracted to me, or vice versa.

During my last two and a half years in college I played the field and just dated women who I wouldn't fall for. I felt confident with a woman with whom I could be a friend. My problem had always been that if I felt the least bit attracted to her I melted like putty, feeling terrified that I would get hurt again.

So I kept my walls up to be safe. Yet, deep down, I wanted to love and be loved like we all do, yet I was caught up in my own insecurities and didn't know what to do about it.

As the night went on I found myself thinking about my life and where I was going from here. As I watched Mark and Sarah slowly dancing to the music, I started to reflect, "I'm twenty-nine years old now. In eleven years I will be 40. What if I'm still single and I don't have anybody?"

In that moment I foresaw myself at forty; seeing that I was even more desperate and depressed than I had been in my twenties, and sinking fast!

I then fast-forwarded forty years later to when I was 80. I saw myself looking back on my life, shaking my head with tears in my eyes, wondering why I had wasted all those years being immobilized by my moods and fears, when I could have been living a fulfilling life with what I had, and making something constructive out of it.

I suddenly felt energized and in a deep state of bliss. I was feeling light and powerful! I sensed a heavy weight being lifted off my shoulders and became aware of the Universe opening up like a combination to a vault, sharing its treasures with me.

The message was clear – be the best you can be with what you have and don't worry about the rest! At that point I was in total rapture! I felt liberated and at one with myself and my Source! It was a state of being I wanted to bathe in, not wanting to leave! Like warm, beautiful sunlight renewing my whole spirit and ...

I was immediately brought back to find someone tapping my shoulder, and a woman's voice asking, "Hi, would you like to dance?" It was like I was in Heaven and being forced back into my body. I felt cheated. I wanted to experience so much more of this ecstasy that was so new to me!

I looked up and saw a young, attractive brunette with the most mesmerizing blue eyes I had ever seen, with a beautiful smile to match them. The next thing I knew we were dancing.

In the midst of our dance I kept looking at her and thought, she seemed so familiar to me. Where had I seen her before? I knew I had met her once before, but I didn't know when or where. As we danced she kept gazing at me and smiling. "This isn't part of the code," I thought.

When the song ended I said my customary thank you and was ready to head back to my seat. But then she asked if I wanted to dance again. I was surprised. What about the code? I was wondering if someone had put something in my beer and I was hallucinating. It was incredible! So were her beautiful blue eyes that touched the depth of my soul.

We danced through three more songs when the band announced they were going to do a slow number. I was about to walk her back to her table when she asked if I wanted to slow dance. I was stunned. She was crossing over into the ultimate sin of the code, breaking every rule that I had come to learn and accept.

She wasn't just an average woman, there was something special about her, and I wanted to get to know this lady better! We continued to dance until the bar closed down for the night. By then Mark and Sarah had left and I saw that her table was two tables back from mine. I introduced myself and she said her name was Shelley.

I found out that we had indeed met before. In the early fall of 1980 I had contracted a job to clean an old, abandoned building that had once been an unwed mothers home. The organization that owned the property wanted to sell it, but the place had sat vacant for two years and was in need of a major cleanup, inside and out.

Mount St. Helens had spewed ash all over the region earlier that year. On my way over to the site I would stop at this fast food restaurant and grab a couple of burgers, fries and soda to go. Shelley had been one of the waitresses there and I found her friendly and very attractive.

One day I asked her if I could take her out sometime, for dinner and a movie, but was turned down, saying she had a boyfriend. I didn't pursue it any further after that, but I continued to stop by and see her, grabbing lunch and heading to the old building. Once the job was completed, I went on to do another project in a different part of town, never seeing her again. That is, until that night.

I walked her back to her table and she introduced me to her girlfriend. As we started out the door I asked her if I could call her sometime and go out for coffee. She replied that she didn't give out her number to guys she didn't know.

My heart dropped. But she continued, "I work in a deli at a supermarket on the north side," and told me the evenings she worked, and to come and visit her there. I told her I would and we left.

A couple of nights later I drove up to the supermarket and found the deli section where she said she worked. It was not quite 7:30, according to my watch; a night she said she was working. I noticed a woman at the cash register but I didn't see Shelley anywhere. So I decided to wait. Maybe she was on a break. After waiting more than a half hour I still hadn't seen her.

It began to dawn on me that maybe she had given me a line and didn't really work there at all. It wouldn't have been the first time a woman had done that, and I felt disappointed. Why couldn't she have told me the truth and say that she didn't want to go out with me? I could deal with being turned down easier than having been lied to.

I walked back to my car, unlocked the door and got in. I started it up but just sat there, listening to the music on the radio. Maybe she did work there and called in sick. Maybe she changed shifts with someone else. Maybe she just lied about it. I had to know.

I turned off the engine and walked back in to find out for myself. I walked up to the woman on duty and asked if Shelley worked there. The lady said that Shelley was working in the back smashing boxes. She got on the intercom, and called her up front. With a sigh of relief I wondered, why did I allow my insecurities run away with me?

Within a minute Shelley came up to the deli and appeared happy to see me. We talked for a few minutes and met later at a restaurant for coffee to get to know each other. This would be the first of several coffee dates where we met at the same restaurant after she got off work.

As we became more acquainted and feeling comfortable with each other, we started going out dancing, to movies, dinners and visiting friends. During this time I was living with a couple who had two kids.

I had known them for years, and helped out by allowing me to move in with them for cheap rent while I attended college. Shelley lived with three roommates in a two-story rented house. We took turns sleeping over at each other's house, spending our mornings together.

We attended two weddings that spring, Mark and Sarah's, and another friend named B.J., whom I hung out with in college. B.J. and I would frequent bars that played live music, especially on ladies night, to find love. One night B.J. did find his love – Susan, who eventually tamed and married him.

I was happy for B.J. but at the same time, saddened by the loss of no longer getting together like we once did. He was now trading in the single life to settle down. I was finding myself with fewer single friends to hang out with.

As for me, I wasn't ready for marriage. Feeling vulnerable and committing the rest of my life to one woman, I wasn't ready for that. Besides, there were so many more beautiful women out there to meet! I didn't want to give that up just yet.

When it came to my education, I wanted to wait a year after graduation and go on for my Master's degree, possibly my doctorate, even. Most of all, I didn't want to get hurt again.

Shelley, on the other hand, was enjoying these special occasions. She had her camera, taking pictures as if she were a close relative. What was even more disturbing, she had that "look" in her eyes – marriage, babies and the white picket fence. And it was really freaking me out! When she gazed at me the way she did, I told her, "Get that look out of your eyes; I'm not ready to get married!"

Besides, I started dating a college friend named Ashley during this time. We dated on a purely platonic level with no sex involved. But she was fun to be around, just to hang out, with no hassles and no expectations.

During my time in college there were taverns and bars I liked to frequent around campus. But my two favorite places to go were the Bulldog and a small shack of a tavern up the street called the EZ Loader. All my friends knew I was a regular customer at the Bulldog, as many of us would get together there.

But not a soul knew I went to the EZ Loader, not even my closest friends. It was a quiet, small establishment I patronized when I wanted to be alone. During these times I desired my privacy to contemplate in my beer. I would get into these moods every once in awhile. But it seemed to happen more frequently as graduation drew near.

One particular night I was in such a mood and I went there to think things through. What was I going to do when I got out of college? The half-way house I had been working at was closing down and I needed to find another job in my field of study, counseling.

I was also pressed to find a new place to live, as I wasn't going to live with my married friends indefinitely. My thoughts were also occupied with the dilemma about my relationship with Shelley. I liked her, but I didn't love her.

I felt like things were going way too fast and I didn't want to be committed when I wasn't ready. On the other hand, I enjoyed the admiration of my friends who appeared envious that I was dating a woman who was a "10" and who also had a great personality! She was my trophy girl that proved I was a man, and demonstrated that a beautiful woman could desire me. I wasn't a loser!

I ordered a pitcher of beer and was working on my second glass when the phone rang. I hadn't noticed it until the bartender yelled out my name, stating I have a call. What? I couldn't believe it! Nobody knew I was here, who could it possibly be? I stayed silent.

Fifteen seconds later the bartender asked me, "Is your name Mike Love?" Frustrated, I said, "No, I'm not!" The bartender responded, "Well, there's some chick on the phone who described what you look like and you fit the description, so would you please talk to her?" So much for being anonymous ...

I answered the phone and it was Shelley, wanting to know what I was up to. She asked why I didn't come to the phone when the bartender called my name. "How did you know I was here?" I asked. She said that I must have told her, how else would she know?

I finished my conversation with her and went back to my seat. I knew I had never mentioned this place to her and felt an uneasiness that perhaps I was being stalked. Visions of the movie, Play Misty for Me, with Clint Eastwood, fueled my uneasiness even more. I finished my pitcher and went home.

A few days later I saw Shelley and she said that she and her cousin were going to take a two week vacation to visit her sister in Northern California. They planned on taking their time driving down, staying in motels along the way. She was looking forward to their forthcoming trip.

I told her that sounds great and to have a good time, but warned her to be careful. Two young women driving alone, especially staying in cheap motels could be targets. She said that I didn't have anything to worry about, they would be fine.

She left about the time I graduated. I celebrated my graduation by going out and drinking with some friends who had also graduated. I felt free, and best of all, I didn't have Ms. 'Tag-a-long' with me all the time! I could finally have some space!

I was still bothered by the incident at the tavern and decided that, for the time being, I didn't want to date anyone. Ashley and I parted company at that point, and I was enjoying my freedom.

The first week went well. I wasn't thinking about Shelley at all and I was enjoying some time off before I went job hunting in the next week or so.

But at the beginning of the second week I began to miss her, wondering if she was okay. "I hope nothing has happened to her," I thought. Why hasn't she called or sent a postcard or something? What if she's gotten over me? Or worse, maybe she met someone new in California and has decided to stay.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Confessions OF A RECOVERING STUPID MALE by MIKE LOVE Copyright © 2011 by Mike Love. Excerpted by permission of BALBOA PRESS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments....................vii
Foreword by Shelley Love....................xi
Introduction....................xv
Chapter 1. Once Upon a Time – A Love Story....................1
Chapter 2. The Dark Side of Men....................25
Chapter 3. Anger, Violence and Men....................42
Chapter 4. The Mid-Life Crazies....................62
Chapter 5. Coping with Infidelity....................80
Chapter 6. What Women Really Want in a Relationship....................103
Chapter 7. The Art of Loving and the Desire for Sacred Sex....................125
Chapter 8. 12 Steps to Becoming a Recovering Stupid Male....................142
Chapter 9. The Emerging of an Enlightened Male....................163
Chapter 10. The Greater Challenge Ahead of Us (All You Need Is Love!)....................184
Recommended Reading....................201
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  • Posted February 27, 2013

    Real Book About Real Relationships Mike Love shares his insight

    Real Book About Real Relationships

    Mike Love shares his insights, experiences, and knowledge about the ups and downs of relationships for his readers. The book addresses important issues like men’s anger and violence, midlife transitions, infidelity, love, sex, and intimacy and is a perfect read for couples. Although the information is intended for men, women can gain insight and work with their partner on issues within the relationships.

    Highly recommended read on relationship and issue that arise in relationships.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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