Originally Posted by TooMuch
I've been thinking about this but I don't think I've had a guy love me since 1994. Like truly, truly LOVE ME. It's been over 20 years. I had one boyfriend for 9 years but as soon as he became a millionaire we broke up within 6 months and he left me with nothing. Now I look back I think this guy was just using me, not paying rent, etc. Then the others coming after him just the same. Using me for a place to stay, free rent, sex. Whatever. ...
You're brave for sharing this of yourself.
And you're not alone.
I know exactly where you've been in reading your story while I can relate in my own.
I had a few guys tell me I was too nice, in the course of our relationship.
They'd whine about how they'd been treated badly by their ex-lady and on and on. And I'd strive to show them they were worth more than that and they'd love it.
They'd say the obligatory things, do the obligatory stuff in return, as if we had a great mutual relationship and then...they'd break up with me and go back to the woman they griped about.
So I guess being too nice was too much and their sense of self worth dictated they deserved to be kicked in the nuts.
I couldn't figure it out.
Long years later, I married and found I projected onto the man who was then my boyfriend, the fears I had that he'd be a repeat of the guys before.
One day he said, "I'm not them!" So obvious and yet so sobering. I imagined those others who were jerks and at that moment probably didn't remember the name of this woman, who still saw them in any serious relationship she entered into. Who waited for the new man to turn into their old tricks. What power I gave them, when they'd been long gone for years.
Sure the first cut is the deepest. That pain of heartbreak, feeling used, etc...
But to let it carry on with you and repeat it over and over or expect it to repeat itself over and over on the new guy, is masochism. It told me I didn't feel I deserved better than to think I was only worth being treated their way. While writing off the new man in my life, and his characteristics, because I needed to see them in him and as such, failed to appreciate the real man who was nothing of the sort.
So one day I did this ritual. I imagined those few guys and the pain they brought me, standing there in front of me in the living room. I recalled what each had done and how they'd broke my heart. And then, as I imagined they were looking at me, I said quite simply; I release your power to hurt me anymore. I know I don't matter to you, you don't even remember me and I'm not carrying your behavior another step.
And then I wiped my shoulders, as if I was collecting cobwebs in my hands and I imagined that was all the weight of those emotions and projections I'd carried all those years, long after the first impact had came and went. And then, without looking, I took my hands opened them and imagined throwing all that dead weight into the wall behind me. Into the past, where it belonged. Freeing myself of that clingy residue of yesterday that no longer matters.
And though it may sound corny, I swear it felt like pounds lifted off my shoulders then. I didn't look back at that wall. I fully visualized what I'd thrown hitting it's white paint and going on through down a tunnel and into the light that burnt it up as age old refuse no longer useful.
I walked into the kitchen and made myself a cup of Celestial Season's Mood Mender tea and to this day I've never had those emotions, those guys poor treatment of me, return to darken my present day.
Then I had a challenge. I met a guy, who was an acquaintance ultimately of course, who challenged me to see how far I'd come from who I use to be back then. The nurturer, the comforter. The one who says, ohhh no that's not true, here let me make you feel better than you who know yourself so well, know you deserve to feel.
Maya Angelou once said, if someone tells you who they are believe them.
I once dated a guy who kept saying he was no good.I disagreed.
Turns out, he was right.
In any event, that guy I met I saw as a lesson. Someone who I could relate to to see how far I'd come from being that old me. I thought I'd grown past so many things. I learned I didn't. I learned though that I'd at least been discriminating and was now more the observer of my and their behavior, when they'd try to manipulate me because they were masters at reading those they thought they could work.
So at least my experience taught me that. And just when I was on the cusp of asking myself, what did I do that made him do this...?
Like I would do when a guy would break up with me in the past. That inner self defeating dialog that goes something like; I can't understand it. What did I say? Should I have...What did I do wrong?
And I learned the answer was and always has been, nothing! I'm not responsible for his choices. Who he is is who he chooses to show me. I can't make him do anything. He makes the decision and acts on it. I'm living me, he's living him.
Two people who come together are individuals who've come to be who they are long before that first hello. Their quirks, their attitude, their insecurities, everything.
When they get together the challenge to make it a relationship, if that feels like what it is or could be, is to take those two personalities and make a fit. A give and take.
Couples very often think when they unite they have to become one. I am yours you are mine. What's mine is yours what's yours is mine. We have to think the same, feel the same, or at least act to make the other happy.
And that's wrong. When you lose or compromise who you are, so as to be with someone else, you're not in a real relationship. You're acting, so as not to be alone.
What helped me to realize when I was falling into that old trap of, "what did I say that made him..." "Why isn't he calling like he promised? What did I do..." With that guy acquaintance I mentioned, I found a book that saved me repeating that same old pattern. By chance at the library, when I wasn't even looking.
The way every great relationship in my life came about, coincidentally. ;)
"The Complete Idiot's Guide To Coping With Difficult People."
It pegged him to a tee. And while it also helped me realize my emotional patterns that repeated themselves around men, and why, it helped me stop being the victim of my own behaviors. Blaming others for what I chose to do.
As for love, I hear when you find true love you'll know it. That person will be like your second self. You won't be able to live without them and yet you'll feel able to live stronger as yourself with or without their company.
I have come to believe love is a myth. If love is all there is, then with everything else that's going on out there that's the antonym of it, something needs to get a clue.
None the less, I've learned a lot living through everything I've survived.
It's like I tell my friends, when they get blue. You are not those things you've done.
Rather, you are the living testament to the wisdom gleaned from all that you've survived.
Ain't we all.