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Location: Wisconsin, United States

"There is a secret set within each of our hearts...It is simply the desire for life as it was meant to be... Seasons may pass until it surfaces again. And though it seems to taunt us, and may at times cause us great pain, we know when it returns that it is priceless. For if we could recover this desire, unearth it from beneath all other distractions, and embrace it as our deepest treasure, we would discover the secret of our existance." -John Eldredge, The Journey of Desire

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Infidelity and Other Growth

The last couple of days I have been people weary. Almost crabby. I resolved this yesterday by going to bed at 9:30 in the evening. I may well have an unexpected day off today and I've told no one - people tend to take up my time if they know I have it to give and I want to give some to myself to work through some of the things churning in my head and heart.

I have had a few interactions with Mr. Boyfriend in the last four days. They didn't upset me so much as aggravated me. He has not changed. He thinks he has - because our break-up is sticking and he views this as him keeping his boundaries solid. He just doesn't get it.

What I have realized is that I never had a problem with "other men". He did. He drew a box and I willingly tried to crawl into it out of fear of losing him. I needed him to validate that I was worthwhile and he could only do that for me if we were together. I don't need that so much anymore. I do it for myself, more and more. Now, when he throws accusations at me, it makes me feel angry and icky and I recognize that this is not good for me and turn away from it. I don't want that kind of stuff around me. I am enjoying peace.

The ex getting married made me face being alone. I'm still facing it, but I now recognize that five years from now I could still be unattached. It doesn't sound so bad anymore. I have friends, I have family and a life that isn't so terrible. I can be happy without a relationship. And being unattached is better than being in a destructive relationship. I just don't want the upheaval anymore.

Infidelity - She Speaks

Mr. Boyfriend cheated on me at the beginning of our relationship. The ex cheated on me repeatedly. Yesterday I realized this -without any real hurt. Just facts and a soft feeling of - I deserve better. I think both felt out of control when it occured. The ex made good - has been in counseling with the same bent as mine, and I have had some conversations about it with him recently. Mr. Boyfriend - I don't think he ever recovered from what he did.

His boundaries are so very rigid it implies a serious lack of trust in himself. I can't fix THAT. It's as if he wanted the woman he was with to make up for what he didn't feel within himself. I tried, as that is my own dysfunction. But I also failed because I'm a damn extrovert and couldn't shut myself up the way he wanted me to. But failing wasn't so bad. I got to know myself. Made friends despite that box I kept crawling in and out of. And finally being out of the box won over being in it.

He would interpret that as something about men - because that is his screwed up thinking. For me it's about myself. Not about a "relationship", but my ability to be who I am - and it was impossible to figure that out with the focus constantly on HIM. Every other week when he would break up with me I would have to focus on him totally - on his feelings. Ignoring my own. Violating myself by setting my own needs and emotions aside. He didn't make me do this. I did this because it's what I knew - it's what I grew up with.

He said something to me yesterday about me always being angry. By saying this, any anger I have is called invalid. I was able to recognize this. The ex did this too. I always felt that I was not allowed to get angry, to be upset about something he may have done. It was ok for THEM to get mad at me, but I was not allowed to have emotions that weren't happy or sad. I couldn't get mad. They couldn't handle how it made them feel. Again, this speaks about THEM, not me. During the course of a relationship one or the other will get mad. Not just one getting mad over and over again. But it will be mutual. Boundaries will be crossed, conflict may ensue and the end result might well be that the two people know each other better. But neither of them wanted to get to know me. They didn't want to hear about MY boundaries - they wanted to ignore them and focus on their own. This can't be anymore. It has to be MUTUAL respect.

Back to the Subject at Hand

I was thinking about infidelity and how I might react to it in the future. I don't know if I would react any different than I have in the past. Infidelity says something about the relationship and the person that did the deed. My response probably would be the same. What do you need that you aren't getting (doesn't mean I can give it to you, but I won't know unless you say something)? Who are you? What's been going on in your heart? The difference now would be that I wouldn't try to be everything to that person in order to "fix" it. But axing someone out becuase they've got garbage going on is not always the answer. People are valuable - as am I.

I have struggled with this some - feeling guilty because I tolerated it. I think this was more in response to Mr. Boyfriends obsession with it than my own feelings about it. I couldn't even GET to my feelings and opinions because I was so busy focusing on his. Again, this isn't his fault, it's mine. I did that. I focused on him in an unhealthy way and pushed myself under a rug.

Therapy is a good thing. Kim is emerging and she likes who she is.


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