I keep coming to write this and then just can't find the words. Having another go this morning.
So - my old love's confusion and problems appear to have been from a urine infection. He has had a course of antibiotics and is now much better. Infections are so awful for the elderly, I think.
I feel much more stable. I think that the past couple of years have been harder on me than I had realised. Most of the bad stuff hasn't been happening to me and so I didn't think it could be affecting me that much. But, my dad was very ill with dementia for a few years before he died early this year - it completely changed him from a happy, cheerful man into somebody frightened and often aggressive.
During some of those years I was caring for a dog who also suffered from an illness (her's was an autoimmune thing) that caused her to behave aggressively sometimes - luckily for me her aggression was always directed at my other dogs and not at me. But still, caring for her was emotionally draining and very upsetting. She eventually died of her illness.
I miss my dad every day - he and I were very close. And I miss my dog every day - she was such a sweetheart and it was horrible to see the way her illness changed her.
But still, what I'm going through now is grieving and although it's often sad, I find that it is possible to go through it. As I do, I'm feeling better. More like myself.
Much less clingy with my SO. I feel relaxed, at ease and secure in his love right now.
We did have some painful discussions a few months ago where we both felt that it might be better to do the work to go back to being friends. At the time, it felt like being partners was just too much work.
My SO was/is under lots of stress and was doing what, it seems, is a pattern for him. He was asking me to be there to support him but was offering very little love and support in return. I'm lucky - I have friends who have known him for a long time too. They tell me that this is a pattern of his. He has a tendency to just not be available to friends when they need him. In the past he has lost those close to him because of this. Or if they aren't lost, they tend to be less close to him than he wants them to be.
He and I discussed this tendency of his. We talked about the work it would be to change it. I talked about how I wasn't willing to remain in a partner type relationship with him unless it did change - but that we could be friends if he didn't feel up to putting the work in.
Since then things have been better. He is making clear, visible progress. When he slips and I point it out, he will discuss it with me and we are able to get past it. So - for the moment, things are good.
For me, I feel so much like my old self that I have no real attachment to the outcome. I would very much like for my SO and I to be together for a long long time as partners. But, if it were to turn out that wasn't to be, I'd be sad but okay.
I have lots of friends around me and I love being single so I would be fine.
Things are much better now. I'm more relaxed and I think that is helping with the work that my SO is doing.
Life feels good right now.