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#57981 - 02/24/04 04:02 AM not the same person
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
dear My Boyfriend,

I know what you mean when you say you are not the same person you used to be. I know you are trying to start over and grow better and stronger. I know you are not saying that to try and get out of any responsibility for your past actions.

But I don't know what it means when you say this. The person you were had a lot of pain, a lot of bad memories, bad habits, but when I looked at you then, I saw someone I loved, someone worthy of being loved, and I see that same man today. Even now that I know everything that person did, I see him that way. You've changed a great deal, yes, but I love you for all the same reasons I loved you then. They're just a bit easier to see now.

And the man you were, the man you say you aren't anymore, loved me. What does that mean? Do you no longer love the person I used to be? Do you regret the decisions we've made so much? Or just your part in them? Does it change the way you think of me, that I stayed with someone you don't want to be anymore?

I'm trying hard to be what you need these days, but we both know that the person I was (and still am) is not great at being anything besides herself. I don't know how to write off who I was, who we were. I don't know if you want me to dismiss us the way you have. I don't know if you want me to change. I don't know if I want to. What I really wish you could do is look back and try to see the good in the person you used to be. Try to see how he's not so different from who you are today. Just more thoughtful, stronger, hopefully a little happier.

It has been hard sometimes to accept that you want me with you as you heal. Some of that has to do with years of living with the person you "used to be," but not all of it. Maybe I never thought that I would have this, or that I deserved it, even before I met you. Maybe I never thought enough of myself, that someone would really love me and trust me the way you have been lately. Or I've been afraid that I'll be no good for your healing, or for you once you've become someone different. If I've seemed unsure or standoffish lately, it's because it's taken some time for it to sink in. Thank you for wanting me with you as you do this. And thank you for giving me the confidence to trust your judgment about me.

love, SAR


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#57982 - 02/24/04 02:03 PM Re: not the same person
kolisha54 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
You know what this reminds me of? Sometimes when a person loses weight, for example, their partner is completely thrown off by the change - even if it IS all for the better.... The loss of the "familiar" can seem very threatening.

Also, in a 2-survivor relationship, once the person with the more obvious symptoms begins to heal, the 2nd partner then feels "safe" enough to confront their own vulnerabilities.

Heck - this is scary stuff!!!

Hugs!!!

_________________________
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now... when? --Hillel

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#57983 - 02/25/04 09:35 PM Re: not the same person
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Kolisha,

I had not thought about it this way before, but it makes a lot of sense to me:
Quote:
once the person with the more obvious symptoms begins to heal, the 2nd partner then feels "safe" enough to confront their own vulnerabilities.
My boyfriend and I are not "opposites" by any means, but we do tend to divide things (from household chores to more emotional tasks) into "his stuff" and "my stuff." We don't set out to do this; it just happens this way for us, we pick up on each other's weaker spots and help out, and notice the strong spots and stand back.

It's no secret between us, even since he's started dealing with things in a healthier way, that the "my stuff" list is longer than his, and includes a couple things that would do better on the "his stuff" list. As much as I'd like to see them go there, maybe I'm feeling a little insecure about what will happen when they do--both for me (what if he doesn't need me anymore), and for him (what if he's taking on too much).

I am actually starting to take personally this "I'm not that guy anymore" business though. I feel like saying "THAT GUY is the guy who liked me enough to move in with me and have two kids with me, are you not that guy anymore?"

I decided a long time ago that he's my friend and always will be, that his getting better and being happy should come before our relationship, and if letting go of his old self means letting go of me, then I'd rather see him happy and without me. It doesn't mean I want it to happen.


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#57984 - 02/25/04 11:28 PM Re: not the same person
kolisha54 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/02/03
Posts: 475
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Yeah - but but but....

"The New Guy" is the one who wakes up every single morning & CHOOSES to stay with the woman he loves & their 2 kids....

:p

_________________________
If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now... when? --Hillel

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#57985 - 02/26/04 06:08 PM Re: not the same person
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
SAR
Don't 'normal' people change as they go through life ?

I think they do. If the change is for the worse and makes the relationship intolerable then that's sad.
But is reacting to the change because it's 'diferent' the same thing ? I don't think so.

Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree ? forgive me if I am.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#57986 - 02/27/04 03:32 PM Re: not the same person
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
I'm not sure Dave, maybe we're on opposite sides of the same tree?... ;\)

Our relationship hasn't changed intolerably at all, in fact it's mostly been just the opposite.

I am just 1) cynical about anything that produces such rapid, visible change, and 2) not the most "normal" person myself. There is a lot of anxiety in all of this for me that he will "grow out" of our relationship. Unfounded, maybe, but still there.

It's also hard for me because he doesn't always explain these statements of change... all I get is "not the same person..." no how or why... it's like watching an interview with a politician :rolleyes: . I've found that he speaks up more when I keep quiet-- if he says something and then I jump in, he won't say anything else, but if he says something and I don't answer right away, he'll usually say more... so when he comes out with something I don't understand, and I bite my tongue waiting for clarification, and it doesn't come, it's doubly frustrating.

Externally, I haven't reacted much to a lot of the changes I see in him, except to notice them and tell him that I think he's doing well. Internally I'm kind of a mess about it. I've been doing a lot of thinking lately that I don't want to share with him... it's a new way for me to be, not wanting to share with him... I think my reasons for not wanting to share are good ones, but meanwhile I'm isolated and it's hard for me to work things out without him to bounce off of. And the isolation and confusion I'm feeling now must not be even a significant part of the not-sharing emotions that he's been living with for years... realizing that just makes me feel self-absorbed and no better...


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#57987 - 02/27/04 07:50 PM Re: not the same person
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
SAR
Quote:
I've been doing a lot of thinking lately that I don't want to share with him... it's a new way for me to be, not wanting to share with him... I think my reasons for not wanting to share are good ones, but meanwhile I'm isolated and it's hard for me to work things out without him to bounce off of.
At the moment both my wife and I have a pile of shit to deal with that's both seperate and far removed from my abuse. Linda has been betrayed by her younger brother in such a way that I find hard to comprehend.
I was his best man when he got married and he's been 'my younger brother' for over thirty years, but I doubt we'll talk again.

She won't talk to me in depth about what she feels, and I constantly feel that I should reach over the table an shake her until she talks. ( not literally ) But I also know that it's not an alternative, she has to tell me in her own time and way, which she does.

Just because I've suddenly become an open book I can't expect everyone around me to become the same.
So I can kind of understand the isolation you feel at not sharing all, and possibly of your boyfriend not sharing what you feel he should.
It's frustrating to feel that there is more to come, and even though you / he / me are willing to listen and accept someone elses feelings and fears I think that they are only valid when someone is safe and ready to reveal them.

Don't feel bad about it, when the time is right I'm sure it'll happen.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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