Day 141 - Further Thoughts About Relationshiping...
Part of what hit me this weekend about my single status, was my thought that even with the relationship that I describe as the “best one ever” or “the love of my life” I realized this past weekend that he wasn’t there. He wasn’t committed. He was only half in. I know that we loved each other. That was not the problem. He had some issues that prevented him from more fully engaging. But that was not the problem, the problem, as I see it very clearly now, was that I didn’t see it. In fact, refused to see it.
We had a great, romantic, loving relationship for the first six months. He was everything that I wanted a guy to be: loving, listened to me, the sex was amazing, we were connected, we thought about each other all the time, he brought me flowers, he got me little gifts, tiny tokens that told me I was on his mind, we took long walks together, we lay for hours in bed on Sunday mornings, talking, drinking coffee and doing other stuff...
It seemed perfect, and it was, right up until it wasn’t. Up until that time, we were both in, in equal measure. Then at the six month mark, one morning he just freaked out. Literally got up out of bed, told me that he couldn’t do this and left. I was a mess. I couldn’t figure out what happened. Everything was going so well...what the fuck just happened?
I won’t go into all the machinations but I was hurt and angry. He was sad and sorry. His sudden departure had to do with my son and his issues. We decided to go to therapy. We went once. We then tried to make it work. However, he showed me his manner for dealing with hard stuff: literally get out of bed, and leave. He told me who he was but I refused to believe him. I naively thought that love would prevail. I was a love idiot.
What I know now, that I didn’t know then, was that I was making a huge mistake. Up until that moment of his sudden and painful departure, I was holding my own. I was being honest with him and myself. I was not capitulating. I was telling him what I wanted and what I expected. I was being real. Then I got scared. I became terrified of being left again. And that pretty much changed everything. What it did was created a dynamic where I allowed him back into my life so that he could leave me again and again and again. Oh, there were a couple of times that I left him, but really we just played out the same scenario over and over.
Bear with me here, I am not going to do a deep dive on Lane...but this is important to my more recent revelation...
I stayed and put up with a great deal of bullshit all because I was afraid of him leaving again. This compete short circuited what I should have been thinking about which was why in the fuck was I willing to date someone who would treat me like that???
Ok, here is the revelation...
I have always dated people who treated me like that.
And this was the thing that caused my chest to heave, and hurt...
This is what hit me right between the eyes on the hike.
I think that I am so evolved but really I have no clue what I am doing in relationships with men. And THIS would be why I started the Mansbatical and it would also be why I failed the Mansbatical's intended initial purpose...not dating for a year.
It is very painful to realize that at 50 fucking years old, I haven’t a clue what I am doing in the dating department. I have gained some ground but failed to ask myself whether the ground that I have gained is any good...
All of this leaves me with this pathetic empowered feeling...like I am grateful to see all of this but it hurts to look at it. Kind of like looking into the sun, it feels warm and the light is friendly but as you turn and face it head on, it hurts your eyes and the heat seems a little overwhelming. So I am struggling with the urge to turn away.
I am unsure what to do now. I am taking a few minutes or days or perhaps weeks to just let this new reality sit. Has my own desperation to be loved and selected been the thing that has prevented me from ever having a loving and committed relationship that is affirming and supportive?
Can I do it differently?
Am I willing to really look at my part?
I mean I am but it feels pretty scary and hurtful to dive deeper at this end of the pool. I am afraid. I am worried of what I will find and what I won’t.
Seems like I have some acceptance work to do right here - here at this place where I am feeling my most broken and scared. I have to find the acceptance to realize that the way that I have done relationships, all of them, has required that I submit to some pretty shitty stuff. Subscribing more to the love is hard idea rather than the love is uplifting idea.
I have to say that I do not want to be here. I want to take action. Claim not dating, claim dating, do something other than sit with this notion that at 50 the whole of my dating life has brought me to a place where I see with stark clarity my own contribution to my reality. Me.
God, I so wish it was them. It was easier to live in my skin if men were the problem.
I know, I know, this is good news. If I am not the problem, then there is no solution. I get it. But fuck! It is hard sometimes to always being the problem. Sometimes I feel like I have done so much fucking work on me, that I become tired. Spent. Exhausted. Completely worn out on the subject.
But I know that that is where my work is. Me. Always. Continuously and forever. A partner not the prize for my life’s work on myself instead the proving ground of my growth.
So here I am. All these relationship loose ends neatly tied now. I see my part. I see what I accepted and turned into a love story. I see the ways in which my own dysfunction created more and more dysfunction. I am willing to stop. I am willing to change. I am just not sure what to do now.
So just for today, I will sit with this and not do anything with it. No bold proclamations. No steps for change. No decisions of any kind. Today I am just going to be with all the brokenness. I am just going to let it ride. I am going to live the life that I have today. Here. Now. I am going to enjoy the hell out of this beautiful Sunday and allow myself the pleasure of the moment. I am going to be grateful for the beautiful disaster that it my life.