2014-09-21 - 7:30 p.m.
Harville Hendrix wrote a book called "Getting The Love You Want". In that book, he explains the beginning phase of a relationship, the infatuation stage and goes on to talk about the next stage, which is when the conflict comes. The conflict is the part where you can play a role in your partner's healing. There is necessary work that has to be done and most people give up during that stage. Once the conflict begins, most people feel that their partner is traumatizing them or fighting too much when really, it's necessary work and only after you've successfully navigated this can you reach the deeper bonding and true acceptance.
Today, I saw Alanis Morrisette talking about this and she said that she spent years looking for someone and desperately hoping for someone who would be willing to go through the conflict and stick around to make it to the other side of that, but she had a hard time finding a man who was willing to do the hard part. She said that most people, especially in famous circles, bail as soon as the going gets tough. She finally found a man who was deep enough to hang in there.
This struck a nerve with me. I so wanted my last relationship to be... my last relationship. I wanted him to work with me and help me build the forever love that would keep us evolving and loving each other for the rest of our lives. I have been so bitterly disappointed that he couldn't give that to me. I had so much faith in him and it has taken me literally about 3 years to realize that my trust was misplaced. He could not hold true and I really shouldn't hold that against him. That was a lacking that he had and I couldn't have done anything to make him stay the course. Both parties have to want it.
I loved his face and his personality and his sweetness that he tries to hide. I loved the way we could talk about any crazy thing, accepting and understanding each other, without judgment. I felt like he was the one I'd always hoped for. It has been so hard to realize and accept that he's not that forever guy. He can't see past the conflict phase. He quits there.
When we met, I was damaged and depressed and didn't want anything to do with marriage. I liked our long distance relationship because I had an intense fear of constant togetherness ruining our friendship and happiness. He would come stay with me for 6 weeks and go home for a few weeks and then come back to me. It was perfection in my opinion, because there were little breaks and during the times apart, I missed him terribly. I also was dealing with a lot of fear and a tendency to want to hide and not lay myself completely open. This is a fear thing and I knew it needed to be dealt with but I thought we had the rest of our lives to work everything out. With our long distance relationship, I was always in a state of excitement to see him, or missing him terribly and looking forward to his return. I subconsciously chose a person who was as unavailable as me. We both wanted this intense love, but he didn't want to commit and do the things people do in conventional life. Mortgage, job, responsibilities, marriage.. and I didn't want to be together all the time and risk ruining our honeymoon-like blissful times together. This delayed the transition from infatuation to conflict and beyond. By the time we got into the struggle, he found it easier to give up rather than come together and work through it. I wish I had known then what I know now.
Maybe I should just be thankful for the good stuff and leave well enough alone. Maybe he was just in my life for a reason or a season. I have certainly grown spiritually - an immeasurable amount - from the pain I've been through with this guy. Letting go has been the hardest thing I've ever had to do.