In the last year, I have been examining people and their motivations, including my own. It hasn’t been any easy process, but I’ve felt that I have needed to get more nuanced in the details of human behavior. I want to understand where things have gone wrong in my own relationships, and what I could do to not fall into that trap again.
Here are some things I have learned:
I have a hard time letting go. I love hard and try hard. I miss you a lot longer than I should. Long after you show that you don’t deserve me. Long after you walk away and replace me. I’m working on this, but I’m not really sure how to stop caring about someone.
Your ego got in the way of a successful relationship. I really just want to be treated well; with love and respect. It shouldn’t be that hard. I don’t want to be subjected to your narcissism, or your contempt. I don’t want to have my boundaries belittled or trampled. I don’t want to be raged at when I offer a suggestion or advice that you don’t agree with. I’m not questioning your masculinity (although if this threatens you this much maybe I am); rather I just think a partnership includes a two way dialogue and input.
I want a man who acts like a man. I don’t want to have to make all your appointments for you, or remind you 4,743 times to pick up something from the store before you actually get it. I don’t want to have to worry about whether you filed your taxes or paid your bills or if you ever put money into savings. I want you to take care of your shit, and do your share of taking care of the shared shit. I want to let go of the reins sometimes, and leave things in your capable hands.
I want to be surprised sometimes. I want a man who plans the weekend getaway, who gets the groceries for camping, who takes care of the arrangements so I don’t have to. That’s been a rare thing in my life. Too rare.
I need to trust. That’s been the hardest part of this journey of mine; the disintegration of my ability to trust. When your words don’t match your actions. When you caused my tears yet you do nothing to try to make them better. Trust issues are the death by a thousand cuts. I sometimes wonder if I will ever trust a man again.
I want to hear the truth. And I want to hear the apology when it’s needed too. I don’t accept you turning it back around on me and blaming me for your behavior. I’m certainly not perfect, but I do apologize when I have been wrong or hurtful.
My therapist said that the best deceivers can keep up the facade for about six months. That’s probably about right. It’s so discouraging to think that by the time you even start to see someone for what they are, you may have wasted a half a year. I don’t have a half a year to waste every time. Every half a year I waste is a smattering of gray hairs and worry lines.
We always want to believe that the one who went away… still longs for us. But chances are they don’t. You may cross their mind in a season of unease. Hard times always make us reflect. But when they’re engrossed in a career, family, life in general, they aren’t thinking about the person they left. Remember this when you find yourself wasting precious time on the ones who walked away. They walked away. — Alfa Holden
I’ll keep trying to get better at letting go. It’s sad that of all the skills I thought I would need to know, this one is the one I need most.