Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Diggin' up bones...

I'm diggin up bones, I'm diggin up bones
Exhuming things that's better left alone
I'm resurrecting memories of a love that's dead and gone
Yeah tonight I'm sittin alone diggin up bones
Lyrics to 'Diggin Up Bones' by Randy Travis


Relationships.

Every person has things they want, ideas that they envision for the perfect relationship.

Wants, needs, desires.

Well what happens then the wants, needs and desires of one person in a relationship don't quite match up with those of the other?

Every person is different. Each person has their own type of 'love language'.

Some are very affectionate, showering their significant other with hugs and kisses before they leave for the day and when they come in from work. Others are ok with a 'see you later babe' and aren't overly big on the touchy feely stuff.

Some feel that saying 'I love you' is an automatic ending for every phone call. Others, not so much, feeling that 'well they know I love them, I've told them before, why do I need to say it over and over?'.

Some think it's important to do 'little things to show I care', like picking up a smiley face cookie on the way home, just because you know it will bring a smile to your loved one's face. Or sending a text just to say "Hey, I was thinking about you, how's your day". Others feel that those things shouldn't really be needed if the other person really knows you love them.

I am the first in all of those scenarios.
Matthew is the second.

It's not that he doesn't show his affection. He does. If I'm on the computer, or cooking he'll come up behind me and rub my shoulders, or tuck my hair behind my ear and kiss my head. When we're cuddling, watching a movie he'll squeeze my arm or hand. He does kiss me when he leaves and when he comes in, eventually.

So why do I still feel like something is missing? I do love him with all of my heart and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he loves me, but sometimes.. it just doesn't feel like that is enough.

Diggin' up bones....

I've only ever been in one real relationship. My ex-fiance and I were together for three years and our relationship was dysfunctional at best. Yes there were some bad times, really bad times, but the good times.. when they were good, they were so so very good. Great even.
Lazeras was very affectionate. All. the. time. He was a master at manipulation of every kind; mental, emotional, physical. He loved for me to take care of him as well as care for him. He loved the attention I gave him and knew that giving attention in return was the best way to keep that happening. He knew I was vulnerable and naive and longing to be loved, so he loved me - the way he wanted to and knew that I had no way of knowing it wasn't the right way to love, the way I deserved to be loved.

And yet I find myself making comparisons.

People who have been in multiple relationships have experiences to use as a 'gauge' for what works, what doesn't, what they do and don't like, what they expect from a relationship. I have one. And as far as model examples, it's definitely not one that should be used to compare. But it's all I have. And so I compare.

I find myself thinking, well Lazeras did this so why doesn't Matthew. Lazeras loved me so he acted like such and such, but Matthew doesn't do that so maybe he doesn't love me as much? Even though I KNOW that Lazeras' 'love' wasn't healthy, or normal by any means. Even though I KNOW Matthew loves and respects me in a way no one ever has. I compare.

I find myself feeling un-needed because he can go half the day without texting me. It doesn't matter that I know he's busy at work and isn't supposed to text. I find myself feeling un-wanted because he doesn't linger on the phone at night, even though I know he's exhausted and needs to get to bed. I find myself feeling un-loved because he doesn't verbally say 'come sit next to me' when we're getting ready to watch a movie. Even though he's told me - unless I say otherwise, of course I want you next to me.

I've had an emotionally passionate relationship and while at times it was absolute bliss, it was a text-book example of everything a healthy stable relationship isn't. So now that I am in a healthy, loving, stable, positive relationship why do I find myself feeling like it's not enough?

Is passion something that has to be in a relationship for it to work? Now don't get to thinking I'm talking about sex. There is definitely no lack of passion in our sex life - when we have it. I say that but our work schedules really do make it a bit difficult to fit in all the lovin' I'd like to be having and sometimes fun simply must be sacrificed for the health benefits of sleep. Moving on...

So anyway.. I find myself at a crux. How can I stop comparing this man that loves me and the way he loves me to the only other romantic 'love' I've known? Is there really something missing or is it just me? Should I be happy with the way things are or admit that if it was 'right' then I wouldn't feel like I needed more.

My ex-fiance was my world. When we broke up I literally thought I was going to die. I felt like I was dying without him. I wanted to die without him. With Matthew, if anything were ever to happen and we weren't in each other's lives anymore I would be devastated.. but I know that eventually I would be OK. And I know that is definitely the more healthy view of the two, but I can't help but want to feel like he'd be lost without me.

No one should ever become so much to you that you'd be unable to cope if they were to leave. It's just not healthy. In all of the self-improvement work I've been doing one point that is focal in every book I've read is that we must learn to be completely happy, healthy and whole within ourselves. We need to get to a place where we can say "I love ME, I'm happy being ME and only ME". I don't need another person to complete me, I don't need someone else's love or approval to be OK with myself. So I know in my mind that the way things are between us... is for all intents and purposes healthy. Yet my heart longs for more...

So what do you do?

Do you take the good and be grateful for it and try to let the little stuff not matter so much, or do you say we'd be better off friends because I want more from the man in my life and you're just not giving it to me?

Is the more I want really important? Does it matter that much to feel like a priority? Should I really want him to feel that way? Should I really feel that way about him? Or is love really only a deep binding friendship with a few romantic moments sprinkled in?

I wish I knew the answers....

4 People who coughed on a furball:

Anonymous said...

Okay, okay, okay. First of all, you have a man that has stood by your side through your issues and has encouraged you and been there for you and loves you FOR you. (I know, too many 'you's'). Secondly, men are not women. They do not have that mushy, gushy feely thing women have. They are capable of loving and showing their love, but most men's ability to show their love like we'd like them to is just not going to happen. If this man is willing to stand by you, love you, care for you and be your best friend on top of it all, then you've hit the jackpot. I've been in several relationships and I see where you are coming from with the comparing an unhealthy one to a healthy one. It sounds like you kindof like the "bad boy" guys even though you want the "good guy". It 's difficult to leave the bad boy behind, but the bad boy will never settle down and usually shatter your self-esteem. You have to decide if you are ready to settle down with the good guy. Relationships start off all lovey dovey, hot and heavy and as you become more comfortable with that person, those things slowly become less and less and you find yourself getting frustrated with him leaving the toilet seat up, etc. That comes with every "healty" relationship. The passion wears off and it becomes a close relationship of two people who love each other (whether said or not) that are companions, friends, lovers...(the sex does get less and less with time, that's normal!). The test of a true relationship is the ability to remain close, communication and respect for each other. If you're looking for passion and touchy feely all the time, then you're not ready for this man. You need to back away and find yourself before you run him off with your insecurities (which will happen eventually). Embrace his love no matter how he shows it. Embrace his friendship and any time that you spend with him. When you are not with him, don't worry about him texting or whatever. Find YOUR time and find YOURSELF. Join a gym, a bookclub, anything. Get your own life outside of him. Don't worry about passion not being there 24/7 or romantic moments that tv has ruined us women on. Most men are not like that. Some are, but they are becoming extinct I believe! Enjoy him! Love him! Let him know you love him but don't suffocate him with it or it could make him feel cornered. You are a beautiful person and can have a beautiful relationship with him. Just let yourself go and enjoy life. Life's too short to let these great moments pass you by (I know, cheesy sounding but true). Dodge tells us to "Grab life by the horns" and Nike say "Just Do It!" and McDonald's says "I'm lovin' it!". You get the idea (I hope). Let go of those 'why won't he text me, why won't he talk to me longer, etc.' thoughts now and go love your man!

Mollie said...

Aww I so wish you hadn't commented anonymously so I could know who I'm thanking but thank you for such a great comment =)

And just for FYI we did talk and I am realizing that the 'little things' that I'm feeling like are 'big things' may just not be so big after all..

Jane Wonder said...

Wow, I agree to some degree. Finding yourself and being whole on your own is huge. You know that.

But to discount men as not having strong romantic feelings is just..... wrong. Every man is different just as every woman is and no good will come of lumping people together like that.

Here's the bottom line: you need to find compromise. Talk to him. Maybe you have to let go of getting upset when he doesn't text. But maybe he has to remember to call you over to cuddle with him in front of the TV. You each can make tiny changes that don't really cost you anything but improve the health of the whole. However, you both have to be willing to compromise and be open.

Of course, if both of you are not willing to compromise and be open, then your relationship is not going to work anyway. No relationship can without those things.

Clever Elsie said...

I suspect you've worked this out by now, but I remember having similar feelings when I first dated after my own relationship with an abusive man. Abusers are often as romantic as they are cruel--they're intense people because they feed off that drama and tension. I could be wrong, but, in my experience, healthier men tend to be less romantically over the top. Their love is about actually practicing kindness, gentleness, compassion, sincerity, generosity...not a pretense of these things glossed over with bells and whistles. However, for those of us women who are used to the bells and whistles, it feels like a loss when we no longer get them.

I see that you're a believer in God. I wonder if you've ever read Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge? It's an excellent book about what drives women in relationships. One of its main points is that women have a deep craving for love that we try to satisfy in romantic relationships but that men can never totally satisfy it because it's a need to be loved by the Creator. I think that whenever we as women experience this inexplicable yearning to be loved even when we know that our partners love us and are doing their best, it's a good idea to bring that yearning to God and ask him to fill it. I know this helps me quite a bit, but I have to be persistent in asking!