Originally Posted by InfinitePossibility
Whathappened, your relationship with your boyfriend sounds like it's been and is very helpful to you.
So - I wonder. Do you know what would help you to feel like a priority and can your partner do that? Or is it something you can only get from somebody who doesn't have another partner? Or is it unclear to you just now?
Many things are very unclear to me right now. I enjoy his company, we talk about ideas and life, and yes, he has done a great deal of good in my life, and I believe I've done good in his. I think we're good for each other.
For better or worse, I think I am
a priority in his heart
. He'd gladly spend 4 or 5 nights a week with me (we were in the past, but I cut back to 2 for my own emotional protection.) But I also believe that relationships should naturally progress. And I think among my big fears is not what I feel now,
but what I will
feel as ours does.
There's something to be said for being able to enjoy the present (my time with him has helped me with that), but I think it needs to be well-balanced with not blindly walking down a pretty road that is quite likely going to end in someone falling off a cliff, and I guess that's where I am right now--trying to figure out where that balance is with him.
Originally Posted by nycindie
That is not true. Your needs do come first to YOU.
Thank you, Cindie (btw, are you NYC Indie, or NY Cindie? or both?
) for your post. It's given me a lot to think about.
I have thought a lot about this, and the many posts here touching on being our own primaries, of having full and active lives such that we don't need a partner. I think there's a lot of truth to this, and in fact I do have a full and active life (children, work, activities I persue with a passion, my faith). I felt no need whatsoever for a boyfriend and was quite happy coming home to my gloriously empty bed.
But this situation has called me to think more deeply on human nature and relationships, why we have them, what their purpose is. My conclusion (at least in part, at least so far) is that the point
of a relationship is that we have someone to help carry our burdens, as we help carry theirs. The point is that you no longer have to be the only one to whom your needs are a priority. There is strength and healing in simply knowing you matter that much to someone.
To me, I feel something lacking when I carry the weight of my life entirely on my own shoulders and his contribution is taking me out for dinner and drinks twice a week. To me, this is not a full relationship because he wants only part of my life. To me, a full, real
relationship embraces the whole person, their whole lives; it helps carry the burdens, does not merely want to contribute to the party times.
I will add, as it's probably a factor in why I stay: I believe he would
help me with these burdens in a heartbeat. In fact, he has
done a number of small repair jobs I've brought him (half a dozen small household items). He's come over once and done some minor home repairs. I don't ask for more because I'm wary of using him, or even giving the appearance of using him, and wary of becoming dependent on him. I don't want him ever to think I'm using him, which tells me something about my own care for him and his well-being. Yet, I think in the natural course of a relationship, one comes to want
to do these things for the one they love.
On the flip side, he doesn't offer. In part, I think after 9 months, it's only beginning to sink in for him what my life is really like, outside of the weekly group from which we know one another, and our time in a bubble together (mine and his).
When we do a true accounting of our lives, it can be an eye-opener to realize that we, also, don't have any (or much) more time and energy to devote to the relationship than our partner with the other partner(s) does! So, why do we let ourselves get upset when he or she can't give us what we don't really have time for?
Definitely. This is one of the things that has frustrated me about my own processing. I don't have time for more, anyway, so what does it matter. Yet I think there's a real difference between time being called away by inanimate things (activities, for instance--not sure inanimate is the right word) and by another person. It comes back to that human need to know we have someone walking by our side, who cares for us above all else, that we're not entirely alone in this world.