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Relationships: Fight or Flight?
Not Your Normal Reaction...
This isn't about coming to a point in a relationship where there has been a catastrophic event; betrayal of trust, cheating, lying, your partner has tried to kill you or one of you has landed on the other side of prison bars. Nothing so drastic to justify to the "outsiders" that there is a major flaw in the relationship where it is obvious that you can go screaming from the highest mountaintop and rally your posse of hundreds to stand beside you and give you the strength of steel you need to get through a major life change.
No, this is a quiet internal natural disaster that signals every waking neuron in your mind and body that you are not where you should be. This life that you are living has suddenly taken a turn that you aren't comfortable with. You talk with your significant other, you cry yourself to sleep, you try to come up with resolutions that would work. You are simply getting closer and closer to becoming someone who is not your authentic self and you have two choices. Suppress that part of you and learn to adapt and be happy, that's the fight response - and you have to go into counseling and keep this trauma to yourself because you can't take this out on anyone else in this life. The second decision is to leave, and with what you have left of what was YOU in the WE relationship, you rebuild.This happened to me A Lot in the past. In fact, I can count on one hand, the relationships in which it did not happen.
Lady Lillith - Dante
Time for Me
Why must women/men always feel they need to be in some kind of love relationship to define where they are in life? Does it define their worth? Does it make them feel they are needed? Does it have to do with self-esteem or lack of it?
I don't have the answer. What if we purposely were NOT in a relationship and took time out to "find ourselves". Okay, I admit, its a cheesy phrase people used to use - but really - I don't think most adults from about 30-70 have ever taken time - within or without a relationship - to define what is uniquely them. This generation was still from the old school of emotional dependency, most of them still defining their worth through how much they were needed by others (spouse, children, parents, siblings, etc.)... never taking time to explore avenues of their soul without guilt for taking time away from the relationship or resentment from their partner for attempting it. All misunderstandings of course. And it does seem to be a phenomenon prevalent to the United States, mostly middle class.
What if we took that emotional break and decided we weren't going to re-engage in any relationships until we figure out what it is that we really want out of life; whether its to pursue a dream, a trip, a hobby, change careers, seek an adventure, learn new skills, or decide to make big changes to our life and mindset? What if radical changes were in order to be happy in our lives? How many people in our lives would support our decisions to follow our dreams, ambitions, and soul purpose when we honestly took that look at ourselves? What does it say about them? Have we perpetuated that, passed it on to others, encouraged it? How many of our partners would be willing to take that journey of self-discovery with us or how many would fear change even if it meant staying in place would mean stagnancy?
Do you feel sometimes that people are not "getting" you, or not "seeing" you? Do you sometimes think that people have known you for so long that you've become invisible and that they just think they know what you are going to say - if you say something completely different, they either don't hear it and go on as if you had said what they were thinking or if you did respond differently, thought you were kidding or had been drinking or something?
I think this is sad, as I have seen reflections of it in my own life. And I've never been the predictable type really. I've never really been settled, although I am dependable and loyal.
I've been thinking about this quote a lot lately (refer to my hub "Finally Understanding" and all this is clearer, I think)
“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise, we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.” ~Thomas Merton
I really think that this is a major problem of mine. So I need to get a good understanding of who I am, what I want and where I'm going when I am alone. The one good thing is that I know that when I'm alone, I'm not lonely. I'm not dependent on anyone else to tell me what to do or fill up my time. I know how to make every moment count and I don't have to nor do I want to be told what to do. I don't need anyone to tell me what's important in life, I know my priorities - why do I let go of them or why do they take a back seat to everyone else's lives and goals when I am in a relationship? Why do I care more about the other person and their schedule and their happiness than my own? I need to change that by first understanding why I do that.
I have been reading and re-reading this for a week. I haven't told you how much I would love to be in a loving relationship with a partner of like-minded values.
I know this is a different point of view from most. I wanted to write a summary about how this eventually can lead to a solid, healthy relationship with love and openness. I want to say that eventually someone will come along who really "sees" you as you do them, and understands you in the way you understand them - like no one else can. But I haven't gotten that far yet.
I would love to hear from all of you who have found that love of a lifetime. What do you do when you get to that point when you feel you are losing yourself and how do you balance your needs and those of your partner? Is this an issue for everyone?
Thanks so much for reading and for your comments!