Making the best of time
My boyfriend of two years broke (tried to?) up with me one week after our second child was born. We moved very quickly in our relationship during the first three months, and have slide a very steep and slippery slope ever since. Just when things started to get better after the birth of our first child, there I was pregnant with number 2.
I've spent most of our relationship complaining about not havingvmy needs met, particularly spending time alone with him and together as a family with our kids. Of course, the little I did get has withered to nothing the more I've complained.
He never used to respond with his qualms, rather simply state that I'm overreacting, he's here, and it'll all work out. I begged to differ that in order for it to work out, we needed to work on our relationship.
I don't even remember what I was complaining about when he finally opened up to me. He said he is miserable living with me, he feels nothing for me, he's leaving, that I'm miserable, depend too much on him for happiness, make him feel guilty about everything he does, that his kids come first - relationships are secondary, and that hes been waiting months to say all this as he wanted a healthy child.
It has now been two months since this conversation, and I have been doing my best to make changes in my demeanour and approach to him. I don't believe my motives were in vain, however I do recognize my approach was the downfall of our relationship. I have had to outbursts since, but he is still here. I see he is making inklings of change too. He still introduces me as his girlfriend.
Today, I tried to talk to him about what relationships mean to him, as I want to understand him and see what further changes I can make, and if I'm even willing to make them. In the conversation, he mentioned obligation, and that he is staying because he feels that I need him financially.
While I would struggle initially if he left me, it is nothing a few lifestyle changes wouldn't fix. He has no problem leaving his other kids mothers, (I'm the third) yet he is staying although he claims to be unhappy. I have not mentioned to him that I want to give us one more real try, though I'm certain he knows I want to keep our family together.
Is his staying a sign that he still wants it to work? Do I have the conversation or hope our individual growth will naturally progress the relationship? How do I maximize the value of his stay, knowing I'm not certain when or if he'll pack his bags and leave?
I might try something different.
When you have some time and space to yourself... about 30 minutes ....I want you to lay down and close your eyes.
Imagine yourself and your life.... on your own.
You wake up, you help the kids, you make breakfast..... Imagine the entire day morning to night. Imagine yourself independent, happy and in control. Going through all of the typical things that you do in your day.
Not thinking of or seeing your boyfriend.
Now wake up and ask yourself... if you are able to have that life right now. If you can be happy going about your day without him.
If the answer is yes. Then great.
Because right now you have the best of both worlds. You CAN still have your relationship. You just need to be less dependent on it.
The act of imagining your life without him...makes having him there a gift. Something special.
Just as a perspective to help you...How many army wife's are left at home, doctors with long hours, artists gone for weeks.. their wives are INDEPENDENT.FOCUSED. They have their own track, their own path.
He has described relationships to be OBLIGATION. And you see love as something magically more... its why you want to be with him so much.
If it were myself. I would write a letter. A letter that explained its time to get out of this PHASE. Into a new lifestyle. It IS just a phase that can be shortened by being proactive about CHANGE.
I would spend the first paragraph defining a relationship.
The second paragraph explaining what has HAPPENED. HOW DID WE GET HERE?
The third fourth fifth paragraph directing CHANGE what will happen with or without him. Because you want and need change in your life.
The first paragraph that defines what a relationship is... I would say how much more than an obligation relationships can be. That they are meant to be healing, support, love, to help our partner BE ALL THEY CAN BE. I would be dreamy... and express the dream day, the dream lifestyle, the long term dream. I would spend some time defining what a relationship is for myself.
The second paragraph HOW DID WE GET HERE? Well... you just had babies.. you have been in an emotional, physical ROLLER COASTER that hasn't stopped!!!!! I would go into the science of this... something that i am sure he will not dispute. I would not place any words that reflect blame... but it is important for husbands to understand this. Was he understanding and did he try to support these changes, was he patient, did he help you understand yourself? If yes.. then thank him for it, and explain that you are going to be more proactive about finding your balance again. Is all it is... is balance. And its 1 million percent understandable.
The third paragraph CHANGES. I would explain what I am going to do for ME. If its a doctor prescribed vitamin support regime, a work out routine, projects that i am going to be focused on, experiences i want to have, responsibilities outlined.... and if your here to help out... if your here to enjoy me... thats nice. Either way... its time to get back on track. I understand and support myself in knowing everything i have had to go through having children... and you are right...the sooner i get back to me... the sooner i will have control over everything that needs to be done.... the sooner i can get back to the things i want to do...and ENJOY MYSELF. WHO I AM. WHAT I DO FOR ME. WHAT I WANT FOR MY CHILDREN.
If you feel pressured writing out a letter... and letters can make us go on and on and on getting lost in details loosing focus... you could just create 3 pieces of paper. Papers that you will be developing long after you have shared them...because they are your plan. Your path.
At the top or the center of one piece of paper write in bold.RELATIONSHIPS - Much more than obligation.
At the top of another piece of paper write in bold. HOW DID WE GET HERE?
At the top of the third piece of paper write in bold. CHANGES.
Now just collect your thoughts randomly all over each of these pieces of paper. When you have a thought, add it. There is nothing to organize, its organized by paper. Collect all the thoughts related to the topic. Random. Lists of points.
When you are ready... give it to him to read on his own... don't wait for a response.. just get back to your own path. When he comes to you.. listen.
Keep a draft for yourself... because.. you will need to review it daily... to help you move forward... to stay on your track.
We all have our own tracks. Your boyfriend has his. You have yours. Hopefully they meet up once in a while... but if they don't.. you will be further along with yours. Your track is full of what you are doing with your day, and what you are focused on.
This letter has your attention.. and if you are proactive about it... the things you do like writing the letter will have your attention. It will feel good.
When you are done this letter, what will have your attention NEXT? It is up to each of us to fill our lives up... with one project after another after another.
You are a new mother. You have so much planning to do!! Organizing. Things you want to do, like scrap booking, photography, collecting resources, designing, recipes.... there are endless ways to create your world and the world for your children. Plans to be made for the next 20 years!! The more organizing and planning you do... the more that you will be able to do... cool things, fun things, smart things..etc.
You are going to be a teacher. Start making books that outline each year what kinds of things to teach them and how, what kinds of activites to do. Go to the library or go online and learn about child development, craft ideas. You literally get to design your world.
The more you have planned and under control..... the more FUN you will have... and be able to engage in what you are doing.
Imagine a wedding that has been planned. Now imagine just winging it. LOL. And that's just a wedding!!!
You are the wedding planner of your life...your LIVES.
You have entirely more control than you think you do. You just cant control HIM. You have to control yourself... and the environment that he finds inviting...because YOU are happy...you are engaged and busy doing what you are doing...and he wants to be a part of it.
Do everything FOR you. You will glow. Love will grow back towards you... if not with him... another. Because you are HAPPY.
Just as another thought....I LOVE CHANGE... and to me... something that promotes change... is rearranging my house!! The day that I give my boyfriend the letter I will have spent the entire day... totally changing the house... so it seemed like we were in a new space. A different place. It just helps promote CHANGE. Again, don't wait for his reaction.. just move on to your lists of things to dream and do!!
I would also smudge the house with SAGE. It is used by Native people... to balance the energy in the air and furniture.
I would change my routine a little as well... add more healing things to it, like soothing music in my day, more baths, schedule time for writing letters, a time to read through recipes and collect them... etc. Its your world.... create it. I got lots of blank binders..categorized them...and I fill them up with all kinds of things in my day!! They hold the theory and support... to what I practice..what I live.
I hope that you find this helpful. CELEBRATE LIFE. You deserve to!! 2 babies!!!
LIFE IS MAGNIFICENT.
I used the metaphor of a wedding.... but imagine going on a trip without a map!! Design your map to be a WONDERLAND. A KINGDOM.
Another AWESOME metaphor I'm just reminded of...
YOU are the film director/producer.... of the movie of your lives.