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Patience, Communication, Acceptance, Overcoming – Finding Hope

Are you tired of hearing about our stories? I have given you glimpses into our journeys and relationship. Today I am feeling very thankful and grateful. As always, I write from my heart. Some of this may be repetitive from previous blogs, my apologies.... 

♥♥Today I am loving love, a place of peace ♥♥

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What a difference makes when you hang in there

We embarked on a friendship, moved on to more, developing an “undefined” relationship.  Continuously spending every spare moment with each other. This went on for a couple of months. Where would it lead us?

Neither intending on a romantic relationship in the beginning, merely someone to spend time with and talk to. Not realizing or knowing that after those months of sharing intimate details and very private thoughts, we would end up falling for each other.

Once I became ready for a relationship, thinking it was not possible with him, I contemplated dating others. I couldn’t see past being with someone else. I felt like I knew him; although I really didn't. On a regular basis we were spending so much time together. How would I fit another man into my life? He had become a constant for me. I longed to see him, I couldn't wait to touch him, I missed his smell when he was not around. Was he perfect? NO. He came with as many issues, as many as Vogue magazine. Full of emotional and abandonment issues.  Fully unpacked luggage, carrying it around for quite some time. His baggage appeared to run a little deeper, in a different manner. I would tease that he was emotionally unavailable, not realizing how deep those wounds were really running. My abandonment issues caused an independent, dissociative, wall building woman, never allowing any man that I was having "relations" with to do anything for me. In my head, I would owe them something, they would hold it over me, own me or control me somehow. Like I was a prostitute. I despised the thought that someone could be or was doing something for me just to hold it over my head or use it as a form of a payback for themselves. If you are not doing it from your heart, don't do it at all.

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Once we were steadily seeing each other, still as an “undefined” couple, mentally I became compelled to self-sabotage this relationship. I overly analyzed his past occurrences; I was obviously insecure about those based on previous discussions. I compared myself to his previous relationships. The lost child in me was in fight or flight mode. Additionally, I was being judgmental towards him. I didn't agree with his lifestyle prior to me. I didn't agree with his behaviors that were spewing over into our relationship. I also did not have a right to give him an ultimatum nor did I have a right to dictate who his friends were. Does that ever work out? In my past relationships, I never questioned anything, I should have. I decided because we were "undefined", I would try not to show emotions if I were upset with him talking about his exes too much. Figuring I wasn’t the one for him and he was still in love with them. I would hide my feelings to the point of shutting down when he mentioned still being friends with many. I spent my sessions talking to my psychologist about concerns. She encouraged honest and open communication and stop self sabotaging. My friends and some family knew I was seeing someone, they didn't agree with the relationship. My only supporter being my psychologist. She kept telling me to hold on, be patient, don't compare him to others, he isn't his past. Remember that we all come with a past, express my concerns. She knew in advance that he was good for me. My psychologist would always ask about us in every session (and still does). My assumptions were eating me alive and the more I found out, the more I doubted the relationship.

We did everything but talk about his feelings for me. This bothered me to the core. Where was this going?

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I recall when he received the keys to his house, the first thing he did was give me a key. Insisting on my comfort there. Leaving much of the decorating to me, not wanting me to leave. I was clueless as to what any of this meant.

Then came month four, Hidden is how I felt. Barely anyone knew about me nor our still “undefined” relationship. I considered on numerous occasions yet again, cutting the relationship off. I could not bring myself to do it.

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I would look at him and see hope, I saw someone that had hidden love in them, potential, someone that needed to be loved for who they really were and just needed to be themselves in many ways, accepted, much like I needed.

Every day he taught me something new, not just knowledge about politics, the world, history, but about myself. He wasn’t the social person I dreamt about; his schedule made that difficult. My small circle categorized him as being anti-social in fact. They encouraged and insisted on me to dating others. I could not rationalize nor explicate my feelings of love and also the frustration to them, without sounding happy yet irritated, even confused with the situation. That was such a struggle.

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I recall asking him at one point how he felt about me, his response, "I like you a lot". My thought, "wow, did he really just have the nerve to say that?". I should prepare myself to leave now. I am wasting my time. I have told you my feelings and you just like me a lot? I was on fire.

I had made the choice to be with him, to not date others (not saying he had not done the same).

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Devastation hits during the end of the fourth month we discovered he was dealing with a form of blood cancer, polycythemia vera. The illness did not sway my decision to stay with him. I knew in my heart, I loved him. I was not going anywhere. He had accepted my chronic illnesses. I wanted to help him, take this away from him, make his world better. I vowed to never miss a doctor’s appointment. I became very involved with his health. His illness would not be the demise of our relationship, his actions or lack there of would be. I was at least a good friend. I was a great caretaker, it is my nature.

Somewhere during this time period,  finally I worked up the courage to express my feelings and the hurt over his statement of "liking me a lot", holding nothing back, appearing just as a woman would appear, crazy! I clearly did not know where things stood. I don’t do subtle well. I can’t read between the lines. I mastered jumping to conclusions and assumptions. For months, I was the one openly discussing my feelings for him. I was saying "I love you", "I am in love with you", receiving absolutely zero reciprocation. Did he not recognize my commitment or did he not want a committed relationship? Maybe he just wanted a companion. That wasn't for me. I began to pull away some.

I was going out more, hanging out a little bit with some old friends, trying to get my mind off of this "lack of relationship". I knew where I wanted it to go, was it not getting there fast enough for me? I was wrong to do things I did in many ways. I was rude at times when he was nice. He encouraged me to go out, I told him who I was going with, I told him not to encourage it. I even stayed out a couple of nights. This was absolutely disrespectful, unacceptable, and irresponsible on my part. If the situation were reversed, I would not forgive it. I simply would walk out. I can admit to my faults. I know it was wrong. He didn't hold it over my head; therefore, again I didn't feel like he cared. This fueled my fire more. I can have a wild side, I despise it. It is destructive, impulsive, and reckless.

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Then one day he said it, he loved me. Soon after he began showing it. From day one of our  friendship, every conversation started with "how was your day?" or "how was your night?", "what are you doing today?".

This was a different feeling, there was a difference in his actions. Those questions never ceased, he was truly invested in  wanting to know how I felt, he cared about my health, he cared about how much sleep I was getting, what I was eating properly, the amount of my activity, my stress levels, my overall well- being, people taking advantage of my time and willingness to help.

He predicted my flares before I could. He identified signs of my fatigue on days I was pushing through. We spend all free time together and honestly never bore of one another, YES, we ask each other. We are both free to have our own time, that is a given. We enjoy each others company.

 

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We have talked about a future together. I can’t imagine a future with another. This relationship began at a slow pace and continues to slowly evolve. Many issues and concerns, I will still admit too. Including overcoming some of his past decisions, those are my issues, not his.

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In a recent blog, I wrote about some things that were unsettling to me. What occurred after tolerating the behaviors related to those topics, came a vast amount of communication. Each time I believe I have let them go, there is a mention of an ex. The thoughts and frustrations come flashing back, they are embedded in my head. Each time, they become less and less irritating.

The things I love about him:

I love his snoring when we can sleep in the bed together, it soothes me. I love his smell, I love his breathing, I love how he constantly moves his feet when he is lying down, I love how he always wants to debate (not argue), I laugh it off, it is comical. His lack of understanding as to how intelligent he is. I love that he allows me to try to take care of him, while believing I haven’t a clue as to care for myself. I love that he tolerates my OCD, he laughs at me. He tolerated my paths of taking the long way around everything, because it alleviates my anxiety, it does increase his. I love that he accepts my chaotic mind and thoughts, when he just wants me to relax and be at peace. I love that he understands me or tries and sometimes pretends. I love our communication. We talk things through and work things out. I love that he wants to be a partner. I love that he is tolerant, I love that he is willing to compromises. I love that he loves me. He must by accepting my illnesses, my idiosyncrasies, my Google obsession, short lived hobbies, my attempts at cooking new things and ruining them, my budgeting attempts and lack there of, my emotions from time to time, my being "wanty" and needy for affection. I give him credit for growing throughout this year. He knows my wants and needs. He is becoming more affectionate, more attentive, geez, he pays attention to things I do not even think he is paying attention to now, other things that I may really need him to pay attention to (such as picking where we are going to eat or what we are having for dinner), not so much. He is trying, he is willing to try, he is willing to meet my needs as I am willing to meet his. This is a huge step for us both, to know what it truly feels like to be in a partnership.

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Our conversations are hilarious. He makes me laugh so hard. We talk about and think about the dumbest things. If you heard some of them, you would literally believe we were in sane. We are both 90% home bodies, socially selective, kind of opinionated, outspoken, yet reserved, a little conscientious of how others may perceive us, it works. It's our world. A world we made.

Look at the blessings gained compared to my worries! I have would have lost so much by jumping the fence during my time of skepticism. What if I would have left him for another man? That other man could have even more baggage and may not be as tolerable, patient, understanding, caring, or willing to compromise, communicate, be a true partner.

I am so glad that I continue to listen to my heart and my psychologist. I am glad I have this relationship. It feels healthy. It feels like no other. We can sit and do absolutely nothing and I am content with that. I am happy just to make him happy and he reciprocates. I have my future needs and wants. Who knows where this will lead? For now, I am just looking at our growth over a 14-month period it has it grown. He puts me first. He is not the same man that I worked with in 2010 that appeared angry and irritated, he is not the same man that I saw at that bar in 2013 who was a complete ass, he is not the same man that I began “hanging” out with in October of 2018. He is thoughtful, he is caring, he is in tune with my emotions. He is my best friend, my lover, my partner, my safe haven, my sounding board, my reasoning, my balance, my hope, my love. He is one of the easiest people I have ever lived with in my life. He is easy to be around. Our relationship is not perfect, it is growing. We are watering our garden so to speak.

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So many times, we give up on love and go through life thinking that our past relationship failures should determine every relationship we come across. We think every person is the same. We become jaded, angry, insecure, skeptical, question motives. Often never taking a chance to try again, if you see hope, that is really all you need to see. The first time I talked to him, the first time I looked at him, never even thinking about a relationship with him, I saw hope. Little did I know, that hope, would bring me to this point! On the days that I thought about giving up, I also thought about what I would be giving up. I thought about what I could not live without.

So many say the first year is the "honeymoon stage"! NOT....

This first year we have faced misunderstandings, health issues on both sides, my insecurities, involvement and opinions from others, some ups and downs. We did that during those first 6-7 months. I think the "honeymoon stage" is simply bull.

I do live in my own world, openly admitting to it. I also live in reality now. In order to build and maintain a healthy relationship, both parties have to be willing to move forward together, understanding that they must accept changes as they come, whether it be in circumstances or in each other. It is simply two imperfect people learning to love each other the perfect way!

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In my opinion, boyfriend/ girlfriend or marriage, if you are going to have that type of love and bond, nothing should change the building bricks. build a solid foundation, if both partners are on the same page the rest of the chapters will be written throughout time....

Don't be afraid to love after you have been hurt.

Love is above all things the best healer

 

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