Originally Posted by JaneQSmythe
I'm sorry (in the sympathy, rather than empathy, sense) that you missed out on the parental love part of the equation - I feel that you are right, if you didn't get it when you needed it, it is unlikely that you will "find" a replacement at this date - this saddens me; that we can never make up for the insufficiency of others that should have been responsible for us - in our own lives, or in the lives of others. I see this regularly in my relationship with Dude, I can't replace the love that he never got from his bio-family. The fact that he is now part of MY "chosen-family" does not fully mitigate the fact that he was mistreated/rejected by the majority of his "bio-family" - I can only offer my chosen family (and my bio-family, which is pretty awesome) as a "next-best".
Now is finally the time to get back to this. It is a difficult subject to put into words... it is so deep inside.
The child I once was did not get everything it needed, that is a fact. Nothing can change that fact, it is part of my personal history and always will be. Then, there is something called “the inner child” in us - we carry it with us all the time. Now as an adult I myself can care for and love my inner child, and it is my responsibility to do that. No one else is able to really cure and fix things with my inner child, only I can do that.
I think we can take responsibility of our own lives and kind of make up for what we did not get as children. Nothing ever will fully mitigate the early experiences that we had, but we can grow as a person and be happy despite of it.
Then there is the adult love between romantic partners... I think both my partners are absolutely the best and most wonderful people on this earth. My partners love the adult me, and so they should. The love they pour to me makes it easier for me to love my inner child - and that is my job. Of course at times my partners do get a glimpse of my inner child, but really they cannot touch it. Still, what they have to offer is by no means “next-best” - it is exactly what I need at this moment.
Trying to say here that... JaneQ, you most likely are the very best for your partner, too.