One problem is enough in a relationship…. Just one problem, if it’s big enough can create a lot of havoc. One problem, on top of another and another and another, on top of each person’s personal baggage that hangs around their neck like an anchor, is trouble. Good grief, just when I think we are starting some smooth(er) sailing (and I’m eating that snack called denial), trouble pops up. I’m not sure if there is anything more difficult when one issue between Brad and I encompasses all those piles of problems AND all our own hot button issues. But that is what we have been facing. And it’s been very very emotionally taxing on both of us.
So anyway, I have to say that Brad has been really great. Patient, loving, persevering, open…. these are not qualities that I associate with him in times of turmoil. Especially when I shut down. Sometimes I feel like I have to, because it’s just so hard to tolerate all that is coming up inside. I’m not sure that I could make it in domestic discipline. Most of the time it was fine, there were things that I didn’t want to do. Minor things, like get off the computer early or make sure this or that was done. But then there were things I didn’t want to do, that involved my body, or interfered with my sense of being a whole person. Sometimes there are things that happen that feel so wrong you can’t ignore them or explain them away. I don’t think that is how it’s meant to be. It’s been a process of learning to trust my own sense of what is going on with me, and to also trust myself to hear what other’s have to say and trust my judgement there too. I can’t live in the land of self doubt as much as I have in the past. There were things that we fumbled with over and over. I think we were both trying, trying to just get by any way we could and stay intact. It’s hard to know sometimes what is the best when one person’s gut is telling them one thing and the other is the opposite. All that said, I am really proud of Brad, he is truly looking for a win/win for us and I am totally on board with that. He asked me the other day to write down for him what it was about our conversation that made for such a positive outcome. Here it is….* First, the fact that you are willing to work with me to find a win/win solution instead of settling for a win/lose, or worse, a lose/lose. And since you are willing to be more open it helps me to be more open. Getting things out in the open was nice. You being calm helped a lot. You being nice, helped a lot. Not feeling trapped and helpless, well, that’s the clincher, I felt like I could breathe again. I literally felt the weight come off my chest and it opened up my heart to feel love for you again.*
It’s a tricky line to walk. This person’s feelings, that person’s feelings, should you give begrudgingly if you can’t willingly? Should you risk waiting until you feel like you know the answer? What happens in the meantime? What do you do when you just don’t know what to do? Thankfully, I think we will be able to work around these. I know I am being vague, I want to let you know what’s going on, without sharing too much, but I think we will be ok. If we make it through this I think we will have more true intimacy than we’ve ever had before, I can already feel it.