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Archive for August, 2011

It’s been a couple days since the last email from Adam where he said that he thought we should just be friends too. So now I’m trying to figure out what’s really going on inside of me. I want to get to that place where I can give of my whole self to Adam. Without fear.

After a divorce you tend to put up a fence around you. At first this fence is made out of bricks with barb wire around the top. No one can get in. Your friends and family have a special door and they come in and love and support you. They pick up the pieces and help you rebuild your confidence. They work hard to bring joy back into your life, to distract you from the sadness you feel inside and give you hope for the future.

 But you can’t let someone new in there yet. You can’t trust someone the same way again, you can’t love the same way again. You can’t see how you can let someone that close to you ever again.

 Then time passes and the fence becomes a wooden one, where you now allow new people to peek inside. You let them see certain parts of your heart and you interact with them in a way that is safe. You, inside the protection of your fence and them, from a good distance away. It’s fun and exciting and you start enjoying the feeling of being close with someone again.

 Then time passes and now you know that to move forward in your relationship you have to take down that fence completely. But can you? That means that you are opening up yourself to be vulnerable again. To be hurt. To lose everything. To change what has now become normal in your safe little fenced in space. Emotions and memories flood in of all the pain your felt the last time it was down. All the reasons why you had to build that brick fence in the first place come back to haunt you. You start to doubt your decisions again. You don’t want to make the same mistakes, so you rack your brain to come up with every reason why this is a bad idea.

 And before you know it you’ve convinced yourself to leave the fence up and actually maybe reinforce it a bit. You need to protect your heart at all costs. And now you are inside that safe place again. There’s still hurt and your heart aches but you know its less than last time and hope it will go away.

 And there you are, safe again. But alone again. You wonder what could have been if that fence came down. Who knows? No matter how much you analyzed all the reasons why leaving the fence up was a good idea. What you’ll never know is what could have been if you took it down. What you would learn about yourself. What you’d learn about life. The joys it could bring. The challenges you could overcome. The proud moments and the scary ones. The life that could of been.

I’m letting my past dictate my future. I’m letting my fears win over my hope. I’m letting a guy who broke my heart and tore my life apart, keep me from a man who wants to give me his heart and build a new life with me.

 And now I lay crying in a room that I shed so many tears in before. Not crying for the reasons I built that fence in the first place, but crying because I don’t know how to take it down.

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How do you deal with doubt in a relationship? You could talk it out and express how you feel and hope through discussion with your partner that you’ll be able to figure it out. But who wants to hear that the person you love has doubt? How can you remain close to the other person after hearing those things?

Adam and I have been struggling with this the last few weeks. We don’t want to get hurt while we are still figuring things out, so we started to distance ourselves from each other which didn’t feel good either. So this is what happened:

 Mon, 15 Aug 2011  9:57AM

I know you have a busy day today.

But I just wanted to send you a quick note to say that even though we totally haven’t resolved the stuff we talked about on Friday, I think this weekend was exactly what we have to keep doing. Both of us have things that make us worry or uncomfortable sometimes, but the root of those worries come from needing to build more trust and confidence in each other and feel secure in the relationship. And that can’t be built by us pulling away and becoming distant from each other, it actually works in the opposite! There are a lot of things in our pasts that kept us apart and probably didn’t make us good for each other, but somehow through it all we did end up together and what matter most is what we build from this point forward.

I love you a lot Adam,   Eve

Monday, August 15, 2011 6:24 PM
Hi Eve!
 
Thanks for this email.  I really appreciate that we didn’t just gloss over this issue after having a nice weekend together, it’s still something we should both think about.    I agree, if we become distant with each other our closeness and feeling of trust in the other person might just fade away; that would be really sad.  I guess that regardless of where things might end up in a month or 6 months or years from now, we share a bond and love each other and want to care for each other.  Maybe I should just allow myself to feel thankful for that without worries or expectations.  If I think that way, it might make it easier for me to simulateneously be close to you as I contemplate what is the next step for us.  It might make it easier for me as you contemplate what is the next step for us. 
 
I want to give you the opportunity to judge for yourself whether or not you think I’m a good fit for you.  Likewise I need that opportunity.  Sometimes people get so attached to the intimacy they experience with a person, that they are afraid to do that.  It’s hard to contemplate not being able to be close with you.  At first I thought it would be a good idea to step back and give you more space.  Also, I was feeling uncomfortable and I found it hard to (more…)

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“We live in the shelter of each other.”— Celtic saying

 One of the relationship books that we are reading is Hold Me Tight, and the main premise of the book is that the most important part in a relationship is having a feeling of security.  The books says: “When we feel generally secure, that is, we are comfortable with closeness and confident about depending on loved ones, we are better at seeking support — and better at giving it.”

 I think about my relationship with Adam, and the times that I feel distant or unsure about our relationship are the times where my feelings of being safe and secure in the relationship are threatened. And it’s amazing how the smallest of things can make you worry or feel vulnerable. It doesn’t have to be a massive fight, or some big action that they did to hurt you. In most cases it’s the small subtleties, which your partner is probably not even aware of, that to you can have the biggest impact on your ability to feel secure.

 In my case, Adam’s past has always made me feel uneasy. It’s a combination of things, that I know over time will hopefully go away. But as we’re still in the stages of building our relationship, it’s easy for them to weigh on my mind and make me apprehensive. Before me, Adam had a very long term relationship with his ex-wife that spanned most of his time in highschool and university. So when I think about his past, I know that most of those memories included her and it makes me feel like the 1 year that I’ve had in a relationship with him is inferior to the over 12 years that he spent with her. And it’s not because I think he’s going to get back with her or that I think that he still has feeling for her. But I think it’s because I want to feel like our relationship is the most important part of his life, and in reality his previous relationship has been a bigger part of his life to date.  It’s hard to think about that fact that most of his memories and experiences involve her being by his side, instead of me.

 Also, in my previous marriage I made a very bad judgment call on the character of my ex-husband, (more…)

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Adam and I are similar in many ways. We met playing Ultimate Frisbee, which is something we continue to enjoy together today. We both like to think big, analyze situations, build and create things and we both share a very similar sense of humour so we are always laughing.

But lately as we start talking more about our pasts and what we want in the future we are finding some differences. What’s hard to tell is how much we should worry about these. Both our previous marraiges failed because we didn’t take some serious differences into account. So now we are looking at them under a very strong microscope. Would we have worried so much about these things without our past experiences? Probably not. Is is a good thing to examine a relationship and make sure it’s right for you. Probably. But the line between the differences that are OK and the differences that are a recipe for disaster can be something hard to find.

I came across this really great blog post that helped me a little with my thoughts around this subject, so I thought I would share it:

How the Differences in Your Relationships Can be gifts

…With these monumental differences laid out in front of us, we had every reason in the world to say our goodbyes and move on. But it was in our decision to stick together that we learned far more about who we were as individuals than we would have had we found carbon copies of ourselves…. Read Full blog post on Tiny Buddha site.

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