I Wanted to Help Him- NO, You Wanted to Change Him
I have to admit lately I have been blessed with the presence of people in my life who have done their very best to soothe the bitter passions left over by my most recent breakup. Some of these extraordinary people have been amazing men who, not moved my personal interest (and I know this for a fact), have been expressing their natural concern for my circumstances in the effort to cheer me up in this time of sorrow. This hub wants to thank these men and let them know that, from the bottom of my heart, I am grateful for their virtual company and assistance. You are the reason I still believe in the existence of goodhearted men and in the chance of endless love.
Last night I had a fabulous time over dinner with one of these extraordinary men who have enlightened me in this journey to emotional reconstruction. We spent hours talking about life, goals, relationships, plans, and expectations. It was delightful. At some point we started to converse about my last boyfriend, the guy who blatantly and carelessly put the cherry on top of my cake of hurtful experiences. “It looks like you know what went wrong, yet you can’t get over it. What’s up with you and emotionally broken people?”- He asked. I laughed heartily, with gusto. “I don’t know”-I responded- “I want to save them all”. “You’re not trying to save them; you’re trying to change them”- He added. “No way, no, no, really, I wanted to help him get over his losses; I wanted to be there for him”- I readily responded back. Mr. P (we’ll give him this subtle nickname for the purpose of this hub) looked at me straight in the eyes, this time with a more serious approach, yet with an amused smile on his face and stated, “No, you were trying to change him”.
And there it was, the mistake that I had purposely been trying to avoid since my last flop in my longest relationship with the man that changed my whole approach to difficult relationships (or so I thought); it was still there despite all my efforts to avoid it at all costs. Or was it? See, when it comes to the way men and women analyze and interpret certain notions, like help in this instance, I am confident in my belief that there is literally an entire ocean of difference and misunderstandings involved in the process. To me, being there for this person to make him realize that he could trust me, that I wasn’t going to judge his previous life experiences, and that I wanted to share my life with him, in the good and the bad times, meant helping him. That, of course, involved modifying certain behaviors that directly doom the chances for a successful relationship, such as the lack of proper communication and the automatic distrust for people’s good intentions. To Mr. P, instead, my attitude was obviously aimed at changing the character of the man I so deeply adored; the point being that if this guy wasn’t able to communicate properly and didn’t trust my good intentions on his own, then I was trying to force attributes onto him that didn’t belong to his persona to begin with, therefore I was trying to change him.
How could that be? Frankly, I really liked this person. I liked his confidence (even though I am truly convinced by now that it’s just a façade to hide deeply rooted insecurities that never leave the back of his mind); I liked his charisma; I liked the way he was capable of caring for me; I liked the way he had voluntarily been there for me in my times of need; I liked the small things…The way he smiles; the way he is passionate about future plans, and how his passion showed whenever we talked about his hopes and dreams; the way he is firm in his decisions, though he lacks the capability to “absorb the heat” when things don’t go as planned; I liked the way he…Now that I think about it, now that I am actually spending time to go through his qualities, I realize I just liked the way he is a “bad boy”, a manly man, the kind of man who could pick me up and push me around, and stand up to me when necessary, but at the same time hold me warmly, love me passionately, and make me feel special. In the words of one of my dearest friends and most affectionate readers: “I want a bad boy who is going to be good to me”.
Memories are now too murky and the lights are too dim to remember exactly what made me feel on top of the world when I shared my days with this man. As time goes by, the positive memories are slowly being replaced by the disappointment for his lack of integrity and maturity, and the notion that he just didn’t love me; he said that he loved me; he promised me he loved me, but then he didn’t follow through. As a matter of fact, he didn’t even care for me enough to be honest to me and come clean about his feelings…If I look at him from this crude perspective then, yes, I wanted to change him; I wanted him to be something he is not, though I thought that’s who he was, or was he?
I’ll conclude this hub with one of Nirvana’s most famous lines, in the hope that I will finally realize one day if I were trying to change this man’s character or I was trying to mold it into my own existence, if there is a plausible difference in the end.
“Come as you are, as you were, as I WANT YOU TO BE”…
© 2010 Roberta S