Saturday, August 12, 2006

Time and Ghosts

Here's a challenge I've been wrestling with. I think it really sucks that "Time" is the only thing that can heal certain wounds.
Trying to get a relationship going with a wonderful man. The deeper and closer we get, the more we have to deal with "Ghosts". You know...the ghosts of his ex's and my ex's. Here's one instance...
He wanted to go somewhere this morning; I didn't. So he asked when we were leaving and I started to cry. Because in the past, I haven't been allowed to say "No, I don't want to" without fear of calling down wrath upon myself. And I really didn't want to disappoint him. He was shocked. He held me for awhile, trying to reassure me that it was perfectly ok if I wanted to stay home and rest. I still felt guilty for not doing what he wanted to do...but it was so wonderful to catch up on my sleep. He let me sleep till almost noon! WOW!
And...we've been spending more and more time together. So, naturally, we've had a couple of disagreements. He's scared to death that I'm going to change; that I will stop touching him, stop loving him, gradually allow our relationship to detiorate now that "I have what I want" (namely, him). I try to tell him with words that I have a "track record" of long-lasting relationships...even when those relationships weren't the best. My last marriage lasted 15 years and we were together for 17 years. And it wasn't ME that ended the relationship. If my ex wasn't in prison, I'm sure we'd still be together.
But the thing is...he can tell me he loves me and will for always. I can promise him I won't change; that I will always be there for him, will always hold him and find him just as attractive as I do today. But they are just WORDS...Promises, true, but still just WORDS. Only time will prove out what we say to eachother. And while we wait...the fear keeps rearing it's ugly head.
It's frustrating, you know! I wish I could go into this new, wonderful relationship without all the "baggage"; the bad memories, the "training" (you know, things I learned the hard way not to do or I would get yelled at), the wondering...
We are SO good together now. We make a great team, my warrior and I. I think the lesson I am learning here is that relationships take work. I've never really WORKED at a relationship before. Just kinda treated it like, "Well, if you don't like it, I will change the situation to avoid conflict as much as possible"...not really TALKING things out or working together to solve problems. Just did it myself. Now that I know how a healthy relationship is SUPPOSED to go, it will take some getting used to.
In fact, that's one thing I really appreciate about my guy. He sets me down when we come to a rough spot and he makes me face what the problem is. He doesn't let me just stick my head in the sand and pretend nothing's happening. I really need that. And I think it makes me respect him. Actually, alot of things he says and does make me respect him. He stands for what he believes in, he is honorable, he cares for me and the kids like we were his own. That's another thing about our relationship that is new to me...being able to RESPECT my partner. Don't you think that's important in a relationship? And it seems silly to me now that I have been in such long-standing relationships WITHOUT even the slightest vestige of respect. That's pretty sad, actually.
Another thing I like about him is that he allows me to feel like I am needed and appreciated. He always tells me how wonderful I am, how beautiful, how crazy he is about me, how smart I am, how he needs me to help him get his life together. I'm not vain enough to think that a man in his late 40's could not get along JUST FINE without me. But it still feels good to hear it. And I hope he never stops saying it...
I don't know if I have mentioned this book before in any of my other blogs, but "The Five Love Languages" is an excellent reference to help you learn how your partner (and other people in your life) receive love. My guy's language is "physical touch". He needs to be touched to feel like he is loved. I can handle that! If all I have to do is hold him to keep him seems like such a simple thing to do for someone you love. My love language is "acts of service"...nothing makes me feel loved like coming home from work to a clean kitchen and dinner waiting in the fridge. And he KNOWS this...just instinctively, he knows what makes me feel happy. He does it so well...and he does it for me.
I think we've got a REALLY good thing started here and I want to keep it going always. We just have to exorcise these "ghosts"...banish these fears...push through the "learning time" until we get to the trust. I wonder how long it will take...I'd really like to just jump over all this hard stuff and settle right in to the future, rather than having to deal with the past.
But I don't suppose that would be best. Dealing with the past, for both of us, is a necessary evil. For only in facing it, can we conquer it and become stronger for it.

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