Letting Go to Love More Deeply

I cling.

I really do.

I love so deeply, and when my beloved is in pain, I will do whatever is necessary to help relieve that pain as quickly as possible, even if it means sacrificing some of myself. Even if it means taking blame when blame is not mine.

I know. Totally codependent. I’m working on it.

When I feel my beloved pull away, my first instinct is to move closer. To bridge that gap. Which, of course, makes him pull away further. My abandonment fears are triggered, and the anxiety mounts. I move in closer…he pulls away. Vicious circle.

It’s a thing.

In my current relationship, I’ve been practicing doing just the opposite. Although my first instinct it to move closer, and I usually do, it’s not too long before I see the only thing I can do is to take a step back. As much as it goes against who I am. Every. Single. Cell. in my body is screaming for me to move closer, to find that place of security and love that was there just a few moments ago. I don’t. 

I step back.

And it hurts me to step back. To feel like I’m abandoning my lover in his time of need, because that’s what it truly feels like to me. I want to be there for him. I want to stroke his temples and soothe his fears. I want to tell him it will be okay and our love will see us through. I want to console and kiss and hold him. Doing anything else makes me feel like I’m abandoning him, which is the absolute worse thing a person can do in a relationship, as far as I’m concerned.

But, in reality, I’m not abandoning him. I’m giving him space to breathe. To process. To remember the love for himself. To choose to be with me on his own.

It’s such a challenge for me, I can’t even express just how challenging. On top of that, when I need to be consoled after my fears are triggered, I must do that on my own. Learning to do that on my own. Slowly. Usually I turn to my husband or to friends, but I rarely turn to him. Because if I do, it just triggers his fears and we’re in the cycle all over again.

Have I mentioned? It’s a thing.

Relationships are work. Poly relationships are ever more work than monogamous ones, having to learn the love styles and triggers of several partners. Having to care for the hearts and feelings of several partners, and our partners’ partners (and in some cases former partners). It’s quite overwhelming.

And so I let go.

Just a little bit.

The little girl inside me who was abandoned forty years ago is screaming: You’re not good enough! He’s going to leave you! He’s going to find someone better, because it wouldn’t be all that hard after all! You’re just not enough! You are as worthless as you’ve always feared! You’re not special at all! You chase people away because of who you are! You always have, and you always will.

But I still let go.

Sometimes I cry, but I step back just the same because I know that stepping forward will only make it worse.

Stepping back is my only chance.

And, I find, that stepping back, despite the wailing child inside, gives me strength. I’m standing on my own again, no longer leaning into him. I know that if he doesn’t come back that it will hurt more than I care to think, but I will get through it. After all, I have a loving, supporting husband who’s greatest desire in this life is to take care of me and ensure my happiness. I have a community of loving people who would go out of their way for me, and I for them. And above all, I’m an incredibly strong woman. Stronger than most, I’d wager. I have nothing to fear.

I have nothing to fear.

Then, after a time, he comes back, more loving than before. We fall even deeper in love. We experience deeper joy and a deeper connection than before.  We laugh and make love and sing and plan our future. We dream and bask and dance.

We’re blissfully in love again.

For a time.

Until the fears are triggered again. Either his or mine. Doesn’t matter which. One always triggers the other.

Then he pulls away. Then I try not to follow. And I cry alone, hoping he will choose to walk next to me again when he emerges from his cave.

One day he might not return. One day, I might not.

I hope today is not that day.

Please, let it not be today.


~ by omgrey on February 16, 2012.

13 Responses to “Letting Go to Love More Deeply”

  1. Very nice to read!

  2. Honey~ we really do mirror each other~ ❤ to you! xoxo A/s

  3. A beautiful and honest post. And I can relate more than you know. Stepping back is the hardest thing to do. I struggle with it, It is painful but like you I do it, and the fears just rise their ugly head and taunt me. But I choose to ignore them, for I am stronger than my fear. Doesn’t make it any easier…lol

    Thank you for this post!!

  4. Often opposites attract. This makes for two people that process situations very differently. It would be easy if both were co-dependant. They would run to each other and hug and comfort. Or if they were both very independant they would be ok with the space, the time apart to think it out. I am co-dependant (but getting better) and my husband is independant. There were a couple of arguments in the early days where he just left. Out the door. No warning. No “I’ll be back”. Just out. Imagine the freak out I had.

    We had an incedent while I was in the USA and he was in the Uk. Having a fight on line sucks. I had crossed a line I should not have in our relationship and he said don’t bother coming back. I begged and pleaded to return. This went on for hours with him getting madder and more nasty in his replies…I finally stopped writing because he was so angry with me. I could do nothing to make it better except do what he wanted. Which was to leave him alone and not come back. I sent a couple of short chats to his closest mates asking them to check in with him as I was leaving and he needed them now for support. It broke my heart to write my final email to him saying I was letting him go and I hoped he would be happy again someday. I quit looking at the laptop. I went out and did normal things. When I came back the next day there was one last very verbal and angry mail and then many hours later an email posted that was much different. He missed me. He wanted to try again. He realized in the silence I had given him that once the anger had cooled he still loved me. Loved me more than his fear that I would hurt him again.
    We are married now and the waters are much smoother. We don’t fight like that at all anymore. Thank goodness.

  5. […] Letting Go to Love More Deeply (omgrey.wordpress.com) […]

  6. This touches me deeply as I can relate. Thank you for sharing.

    • I hope you have a more positive future than I did after writing it. That was the last time, I’m afraid. We split the following day. 😦

  7. […] Letting Go to Love More Deeply […]

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