Letting Go to Love More Deeply
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.
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~ by omgrey on February 16, 2012.
Posted in Romance & Relationships
Tags: author, broken heart, fear, grief, honesty, intimacy, love, non-monogamy, o.m. grey, olivia grey, open, open marriage, passion, polyamory, relationship advice, relationships, romance, sex