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Confusing warm fuzzy feelings with love II!
January 13, 2000
9:19 pm
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kitten
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Vrj,

Yes, I thought you were in a push-pull relationship...and that it was causing you pain. This is my reason for asking why you haven't left.

I, too, feel a spiritual bond with my bf, one that goes beyond this physical plane. I also know that he feels the same. This one of the problems in our relationship. Because he has never experienced anything like this before, even with his ex, he is very scared. He wonders if it is only about physical desire. It is not! Yes, we share an intense communion when together...a fusion of flesh and soul! Yet, we also share a quiet companionship, satisfied with sitting silently next to one another watching late night movies. He is a proud man who has worked himself out of poverty into a position of education and respect. Along the way he developed tactics to block out the arrows of others hurt. For some he appears arrogant, pompous, and self-centered. I see the boy/man inside. I look past his personae and address him as a lover. He often says to me..."I've never done that before", or "no one has ever done that for me before". Nothing perverse, mind you, but something as simple as washing his hair for him, or pulling him outside late at night, in our bedclothes, to look at the stars. I bring him into the here and now and connect it to all those memories from childhood; those hopes and dreams. Here lies the crux of the problem. They were hopes and dreams. Can
he truly believe this is not just a dream? He has had two women leave him for other men--why wouldn't I? So, here we are...his fear of failure keeps him from making the final commitment--I keep waiting.

Tez,

My bf and I have been doing the dance of intimacy for two and a half years, as well. However, I have never chosen to walk away, nor have I ever gotten a court order against him. We go through blissful periods and then something happens within his former "family" that stirs up old pain and we separate. This time...we have decided to take one month away from the other...to think. I am usually the one who goes running back, but this time I am standing firm and taking the month. He has made an appearance (twice) at one of my favorite hangouts. We have two weeks to go. I want the commitment piece and believe it is coming. Is it possible relationships can be shaped according to that old axiom of my grandmother's: "everything in life worth having, you have to work hard for".

As for Old Albert...off stage I found him nasty and demanding, prone to temper and rudeness. So much for idol worship!!!

January 14, 2000
6:27 pm
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VRJ.
You said, "Does the structure need to be dismantled to get to true love ..." I suspect that in order to experience love - shared vulnerability - we need the illusion of our dependence for our existence on the physical body that the "structure" provides.

You said, "...Couldn't you recognize the association you are making with a parent and consciously decide to be objective and separate the fantasy from the real person?" Sadly, no. The recognition of which you speak is the cognitive brain recognising the responses of the emotional brain. When emotional memories are unconsciously stimulated, cognitions don't prevent the automatic, painful emotional recall. Understanding the process and the causes doesn't help much is diminishing the painful feelings.

Understanding alcoholism won't help an alcoholic to drink socially. It will only help the alcoholic avoid alcohol, places and situations wherein the stimulus to drink might be too powerful to resist. It is the same thing with emotional needs for avoiding abandonment within an addictive (toxic) relationship. One must avoid the sources of stimulation of these overpowering emotional responses.

Apart from physically damaging the amygdala with appropriately located lesions, I know of no way of actually erasing these infant emotional memories and their associated triggers. Such damage would remove the healthy emotional responses as well; Not a good solution. The best course of action is to bring about extinction of the response by avoidance of the stimulus for an extended period of some years.

The emotional yearnings experienced by the obsessive partner is often mistaken for 'love' for the other partner. Another person, who projected the same psychological image that matched the 'parental template' inside the addicted one more closely, would very quickly become the 'object' of the obsession.

January 14, 2000
6:42 pm
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VRJ.
In your next posting, you said, "Do you think I'm in a push-pull relationship from what I've said?"

I don't know. However, if you are continually breaking up, separating and making up and reuniting, then you are in a push-pull relationship. If you can't live with your partner and you can't live without him then this is a symptomatic of a push-pull relationship. If you are in constant fear of rejection by your partner and are constantly feeling pain as a result of his periodic emotional withdrawls then you are experiencing symptoms of emotional dependencies that indicate a toxic relationship.

Of course there are degrees of emotional dependency below which a relationship can function and above which the relationship will self-destruct. Where you are at in your relationship, I don't know.

When relationships are primarily based on friendship first and secondly on practical and healthy need fulfillment, they are on solid ground. The contrary is also true. What do you think is the basis of your relationship?

January 14, 2000
7:03 pm
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Kitten.

Best of luck with your reunification with your bf in a fortnight from now. I hope for your sake it is final and lasting. If your bf can deal with the the 'entrapment feelings' after making the commitment then it should work. On the other hand if not, well...

The push-pull game is often the result of infantile fears of entrapment in opposition with infantile fears of abandonment driving two quite contrary behaviours. The inner cognitive dissonance that results is very painful; two desired outcomes in conflict. Sometimes in toxic relationships, one partner has more emotional memories of one than the other and one predominates.

When there are dovetailing neuroses, with each in a different partner the attraction is great. If the dovetailing produces explosive emotional recalls in one partner or both then 'push' comes to 'shove'. Then the 'elastic band' expands providing a tremendous 'pull' and denial of the pain ensures reunification.

May the above NOT be applicable to your relationship. I wish you the very best for it. Time will tell..

January 14, 2000
8:16 pm
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Tez,

You said, " I suspect that in order to experience love - shared vulnerability - we need the illusion of our dependence for our existence on the physical body that the "structure" provides." Could you please explain more. I don't think I understand what you are trying to say.

Regarding push-pull relationships you said " . . . if you are continually breaking up, separating and making up and reuniting, then you are in a push-pull relationship. If you can't live with your partner and you can't live without him then this is a symptomatic of a push-pull relationship. If you are in constant fear of rejection by your partner and are constantly feeling pain as a result of his periodic emotional withdrawls then you are experiencing symptoms of emotional dependencies that indicate a toxic relationship.

OK, we don't break up continuously, actually never anymore. He did three times at the early stages but I told him that was unacceptable and I wouldn't do it. I'd never done it before and wasn't about to start. If it was over, it was over. Since that, he hasn't tried it but he still does the withdrawal thing. I never withdraw and really am getting used to his withdrawals and actually enjoy myself (not at his expense, I just enjoy doing things by myself). I do think that he is used to a push-pull thing though from what I understand. He was married once 20 years ago. She physically left and came back 3 times. It is more of a secrecy/privacy thing in our relationship. He appears to withdraw when he wants to do something he thinks I might not like. Blames me for something and takes off. I think it's a fear that I might not like the real him, fear of dealing with issues, selfishness in not wanting to give up what he wants to do, etc. Basically fear and childishness. He takes his ball and goes home if I don't play the way he wants.
About 6 months ago, I did break up with him after I found out about something he did behind my back. I changed the locks on my house and went on holiday. As far as I was concerned it was over. But strangely I couldn't break the connection and did eventually let him back in. I have never done this before. With men it seems to me I usually have a light switch that once it gets turned off or the light burns out it is gone and can't be switched back on. I have even had men try to get back together but no way. With him it's like I couldn't turn it off, only dim it for a bit. And, when he does withdraw, I don't feel disunited. There is not a big unification for me when he comes back, it's just a continuation. I never get the feeling that I can't live with him. I always think I can. At the beginning I might have had the feeling I couldn't live without him but it felt more like 'what is this happening, why is he being so stupid. It was more confusion than anything.
The fear of rejection thing and pain you mentioned in your last sentence sounds the closest of any. But it's still more confusion. I know he loves me so I can't understand the fear, withdrawal response and perhaps I did take it as rejection at first. I think I'm mainly over that and, it's funny, back to where I started at the beginning of our relationship. At the beginning, I thought "this is me, like it or not". Then, for a time I tried to be what he wanted but realized that I would never be that person. Now I'm back to "Here I am and I am a good person". So it's the same but a bit softer I think. More confident, less rebellious. A lot of learning has gone on in between.

"When relationships are primarily based on friendship first and secondly on practical and healthy need fulfillment, they are on solid ground. The contrary is also true. What do you think is the basis of your relationship?"

That's a good question. I love him but I also like him. He definitely meets many of my needs. He projects a lot. He said that he is the man that God sent and has everything I want but he also has more , and it is the more that I am fighting. I think this is what 'he' is doing. He has his idea of his perfect woman which he says I am (if he could just get rid of the rough edges haha). I, on the other hand, genuinely like most things about him but feel there is some kind of 'thing' that I can't put my finger on 'lurking' in behind and disrupting everything. Fear, immaturity (Satan)? Don't know what it is but have realized I have to leave it up to a higher power. The problem I see now is that I have spent the past three years very confused which led me to read, learn, grow, change, find happiness to some degree while he spent the past three years waiting for me to change and to fix things. Now I can see me waiting three years for him to learn, grow, change, find happiness, etc. So I guess the fact that he does meet my needs for the most part, and me his, is good. And even though I don't think we have the friend thing right yet, I feel it and am willing to be patient. You know, in my prayer the last part was 'truly, purely, honestly and with a love like "God's"' and ' like it or not, I think that's what I got or at least what is coming. Something that makes us grow and learn, something that makes virtues out of flaws sometimes very painfully, something that is looking at the big picture and to the end result instead of short term happiness and gain. Yikes but yahoo too!

January 14, 2000
8:22 pm
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Hi again Tez,

I got this from your post on the other thread and liked it

"I can learn not to project irrational motives into others based on my emotional memory recall alone. For
quite often I find myself jousting with unconscious phantoms from my emotional past, whilst my 'perceived'
opponents look on with dismay at my irrationality in the light of the lack of a present threat. "

That is so cool. And exactly how it happens I think. I have a story to tell about it but it will have to wait. I haven't had dinner yet - and you're already having breakfast.

January 15, 2000
12:01 am
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kitten
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VRJ and Tez,

Whoa, VRJ, your third paragraph could be me...my bf does the same thing. When it comes time for him to do something he thinks I won't like, boom, he pulls back. He says it's his need to be single, Hah! It's his fear of me saying..."goodbye". His ex wife was always leaving, going off to do some thing or another. They never really had an intimate connection. Now that he has the connection... well, fear controls him. In many ways he is still a little boy, learning lessons of trust. See, a vast number of my close friends are men. We do things together...and we depend on one another for emotional support. He doesn't really believe men and women can be that close without a physical element. He has seen his wife run off with his best friend, so it is hard for him to accept my male friends. Combine that with his low self-esteem and well, there you go. He often says, "why would someone like you want to be with someone like me?" Why? Because I love him.

Fear of abandonment? Guess that's me. However, I have faced that my whole life. I have lost someone close to me every five years of my life. My mother when I was 20, my husband four years ago, and many others in between.
For me, when people leave, they die...
In the case of my husband...he took his own life. With his death he changed my life and the life of my children, forever! Not to be rude, but that spector of abandonment has been tossed on his bum! Sure, I don't wish to lose my bf, but it's because of the feeling of contentment I get when with him. A sense of peace.A happiness. Don't get me wrong,I am a warrior...I can take care of myself. My desire to love him is greater than my need for him!

What does this all mean? Well, I think it means he has the best chance at happiness with me!(and I with him) He loves me, that is for sure. My understanding of life has been learned over many years-this helps in my understanding of him. He is my anchor and I, his. When we float off in some new direction, we know the other is holding fast. This time apart is helping me see how strong I am...and how much I love him.
I, too, am like VRJ, when my switch goes off it is off. In this case it is merely on dim!

January 15, 2000
9:15 am
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Tez, My example: When I have a traumatic event in my life, my bf withdraws/runs, for no apparent reason that I can see. Last year there was a sudden reorg at work and I had to find a new job quickly or leave. When I found out about it I was quite upset. He listened that evening then withdrew for over a week with only a message on my answering machine saying 'I can't help you. You have to do this yourself.' I did find another job but that is not my idea of support. Then, just this weekend, we were supposed to work on some things in my house. On Wednesday, a woman who was a good friend of mine passed away. The funeral is today (Saturday) 2 hours away. He had suggested I find a ride because my jeep is not exactly good to take out of town or perhaps my mom was going because she knew her as well. I checked for a ride but couldn't get a hold of anyone Thursday and my mother was not planning to go. I had also heard that there might be bad weather so was thinking perhaps I might not go so I tried to get a hold of him at noon but couldn't thinking if he hadn't made other plans we could still work on the house.. Thursday night I was telling him all of this and all of a sudden he gets crazy. He said it annoyed him that I was just throwing out ideas and didn't have plans. I thought that was what I was doing. Telling him what I knew so far and what the possibilities were. He said I had told him I was definitely going when what I had said was I would like to go. I asked if he had made other plans and he said no but he was planning to. It was him who had said I absolutely shouldn't take the jeep. Now he was saying just to throw some oil in it and go. He said "I don't care how you get there, get a guy to pick you up, you make good money, rent a car " and then 'Go with Jeff for all I care'. Jeff is the guy I saw before him and who he has a big fear of (for no reason and who doesn't know this woman at all). He went on to say 'Do what you want. You will anyway. I've decided not to give suggestions anymore because you do what you want anyway'. Then he said that he wouldn't talk to me until Sunday. This is Thursday night. I'm not leaving until Saturday morning and coming back that afternoon.
Does that sound like what you were talking about? - jousting with unconscious phantoms from his emotional past, whilst his 'perceived' opponents look on with dismay at his irrationality in the light of the lack of a present threat.
Now, I am suspicious because he said he didn't have other plans but I tried to call him at work yesterday (Friday) and he didn't work that day which he never told me. His roommate told me he didn't come home last night. He mentioned the other day that maybe he would buy a house so he could get his things out of storage. Now I'm thinking that he already has and hasn't come out and told me yet. Who knows. It wouldn't surprise me. It's bizarre but I guess there's not much I can do.
But back to the point. If I knew he needed a ride my immediate reaction would be to offer to drive him or give him my car. And I certainly wouldn't get upset about anything he said while upset about a friend dieing.
As an aside, his grandmother died last fall. He acted normal and didn't tell me about it for over a week until I happened to read it in the paper.
I'm thinking that the reason I have been so confused with the things he does is that he is doing exactly what you said, reacting to something from his emotional past that has no basis in fact or in present reality. Good thing God has decided to teach me patience.
By the way, I did eventually find a ride but today the roads are slippery so I decided not to go, unecessary to have 4 hours of white knuckles and Sr. Eveline (the lady who died) would understand. And I made alternate plans just in case. I am going to a Catholic mass (she's a nun) at 7 pm tonight in the city at a church where there is a priest who knew her well so I'm sure she will be mentioned and I found out that for a small donation I can get a mass said for her and a card to send the other sisters so they know when it is being done. And, from 10:30 to 11:30 today (when the funeral is) I will focus on her. I handled everything and I am content.

January 15, 2000
1:36 pm
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Oh, and Tez, one of the things old Albert said is...there is no reason why an alcoholic can't learn to drink in a social situation. He believes the underlying problem can be resolved enough to allow an occasional drink. If so, then this theory can be adapted to relationships.

January 16, 2000
7:23 pm
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VRJ.
In the beginning of your posting on the 14-Jan-00 you asked, "Could you please explain more." Well… we were discussing transcending the physical body. When you used the word "structure" as applicable to the brain. In your proposition about dismantling the "structure" of our programmed, scripted thinking in order to love, I presumed that you were referring to the ‘ego’. It is my belief that the ‘ego’ is an illusion of being separated from all of creation. It is the direct result of the sense organs telling me that there is a border between ‘me’ and the universe. The apparent neediness of the body and its obvious degeneration with time heightens the belief about my vulnerability.

The belief that I am this body is the basis for all my insecurities and feelings of vulnerability. One major aspect of love, in my opinion, is my sharing of this mutual vulnerability with another; that is sharing in another’s joy sorrow, pleasure, pain and suffering as well as sharing my own. Another aspect of love is from our extremely limited and subjective perspective, wanting what is in the mutual best interests of self and others. Both of these aspects rely on the illusion that we are dependent for our existence on our bodies. Transcending this illusion and seeing that all is One, implies both transcending this concept that I am a ‘duality’; namely, a body and a soul and realising that we are manifestations of an eternal being that has taken on human form in order to know all human experiences including ‘human love’. I believe that JC knew this and tried to give this message to the world. He was crucified for his trouble. Of course the message has been severely butchered by translations, additions, omissions and interpretations throughout the centuries.

About your relationship:
You said, " … I know he loves me so I can’t understand the fear, withdrawal response … feel there is some kind of ‘thing’ that I can’t put my finger on ‘lurking’ in behind and disrupting everything." It seems to me that at times your bf feels overpowered by his fear of once again being controlled by a woman just as he was controlled by his mother, as a small child, whilst undergoing the individuation process. His withdrawals may be his way of seizing control of his life therein alleviating his fear.

You further said, ""… He said it annoyed him that I was just throwing out ideas and didn’t have plans … When I have a traumatic event in my life, my bf withdraws/runs, for no apparent reason that I can see" It seems that like most men, he feels obligated s to find solutions to his ‘woman’s’ problems. He seems to be ‘rationalising’ and transferring the ‘blame’ for his own perceptions of his inadequacy to solve your problems. He seems to resent being in the bind of his own emotional past. He fears losing you (mommy) back to Jeff as he lost mom all those years ago because of his inadequacy to please her and make things right for her. So he ‘hates’ his mom (you), rejects her (‘Go with Jeff for all I care’) and punishes her by running away from her ‘til Sunday’; jousting with phantoms from the past.

You said, "His room mate told me he didn’t come home last night." Hmmm - Has he a spare ‘mom’ in the wings in case his preferred ‘mom’ abandons him again? Or was this staying out all night intended as another kicking for ‘mom’ by conveying this hidden message of "I’ve might have other mom’s if you don’t want me".? It smacks of an inner childhood issues based power struggle within the bf to me, VRJ. What do you think?

January 16, 2000
7:28 pm
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Kitten.

You quote your bf as often saying, "why would someone like you want to be with someone like me?" then you answered his question by saying "Why? Because I love him."
You go on to say, "Don’t get me wrong, I am a warrior...I can take care of myself."

Have you built that fortress around yourself of good, strong, solid stuff? Have you mounted the field guns and rocket launchers all in place on the parapets? You don’t need the protection of a man, but… you will lower the draw bridge and let your bf in to your safe haven because your "desire to love him is greater than my need for him!"?

The reason that I am sensing this scenario, is probably because I am only to familiar with my own ‘defence emplacements’ and am probably ‘projecting’. 🙂 Having presented that caveat, I am questioning the accuracy of my impression of your view of yourself in your relationship with the rest of the world and your bf. How accurate is my perception?

Would you like to share exactly what is it about bf that you love?

January 16, 2000
11:42 pm
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Tez,

where to start? First let me give you some background info. Forty. Military brat. Three children. One learning disabled. Husband who committed suicide. Degree in Television Production, Culinary-Chef Arts, English/Professional Writing and working on my Masters in counseling. Lived in Europe as a child. Had my own business(before the death of my husband). Hard worker. Enjoys the good things in life. Enough?

What do I love about my bf? His smile. His sensuous mouth. His intelligence. His creativity. His ambition. And the way I feel when I am with him! Comfortable. Warm. Loved.
Beautiful. Shall I continue?

When I say I am a warrior...I mean that in almost a literal sense. From early on I was taught by my parents that if need be, I would have to pick up the gun and continue fighting. As a mother of a daughter who is retarded...if I didn't have that in me she would not be as educated as she is. She would be drooling in a corner somewhere. I do not give up easily. I am the terrier with a bone. I refuse to give up!

I do not need my bf...I want him in my life. He does not make me whole..I am whole. He is like the warm sun on my back...a favorite poem...a cherished song known to my lips. When we are together we move in tandem--like dance partners...

Does that make sense? So, you ask, if it is so blissful, why does he run?
Because this is unfamiliar territory for him. He has never resolved his mommy issues...she is cold and distant
Nothing is ever good enough for her. She never hugged and kissed him without a reason. Open affection and touch did not exist growing up. And that is the kind of woman he married. She was from a good family, but never touched him. He was never good enough.
Then there is me. Whoa!!! I come into the room and all the lights shine. I smile, laugh, reach out, touch, cry, love, tremble. All the emotions of every past life cross my face in a second. All of this directed towards him! The intimacy is so intense...it is spirtual and earthy at the same time... Too much! Too scary! So he runs. And comes back...

Why is it that my situation seems like it won't have a happy ending, but VRJ's will(as long as she can wait)? Do you not trust my intensity?
Do you think it will burn out? This is me! I am this way about everything.
I have many bruises on my legs from rushing at life, falling, and getting back up to rush some more.

Sorry to ramble...I will stop now. I do believe in passion. It colors all I do. It's why I write, cook, and raise my children to look at everything around them...Enough, I'm starting to sound like a nut case.

Let me know what you think!

January 16, 2000
11:50 pm
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Tez,

ps...

My defenses aren't directed towards people usually. I am open to those who cross my path. I am a warrior when it comes to day to day life. The act of physical survival. When it comes to people...I am black and white. If my gut tells me to be open I am, if not, I'm not. That comes from travelling around the world as a child. Had to size up people pretty fast. Although a friend of mine told me I wear my heart on my sleeve. My response was..."so?"

January 17, 2000
3:55 pm
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Kitten.

What do I think? Well... I am very cognisant of how much I don't know about you and how much of myself I project into my interpretation of the meaning in your writings. Having said that, I can see that in a relationship, your strong stance towards life would tend to threaten some men and provoke fear. How they respond to that fear would vary. Some would tend to become agressive, others would tend to withdraw.

It seems to me that we all have learnt to deal with life in ways that seem to us to work. Often times however, we unknowingly, contribute to the difficulties in our interactions with others. We then - as a means of protecting our own egos - attribute the cause to our partners. I am reluctant to imply that this is the case in your situation. However, I suspect that it is something in your behaviour that is probably triggering the recall of your bf's pain from past childhood emotional experiences. Do you think this is so? If so, what do you think that behaviour could be?

I further think that for any relationship to work well, good communication of feelings in a non-threatening environment with a spirit of cooperation towards the nurturing of both 'inner children', is a prerequisite. This way the recall of pain from the past is minimised. I am in no way implying the need for repression of surfaced emotional memories;on the contrary. But, once an emotional memory has been faced and its origins understood, avoidance of triggers and and increasing our trigger threshold is advisable for the maintenance of harmony in a relationship. Both informed self-monitoring and self-nurture ensures this trigger avoidance and threshold modification respectively.

Is it possible for you and your bf to have such open communications?

PS... I wish you 'Yanks' (a term of endearment) could spell properly 🙂 - you write behavior instead of behaviour, color instead of colour, mom instead of mum, thru instead of through, tonite instead of tonight, 🙂 And... some of your words and phrases have very 'naughty' meanings over here 'down under'.

January 17, 2000
6:17 pm
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Tez,

Yes, I think we are both open to a discussion of our feelings. But he, perhaps a littles less so than I. He is well educated(PhD), but from a very poor background. He lived in an area of town that could be described as a ghetto. His mother was not the most loving or tidiest of mothers, but she was very adament about her Catholic religion. My bf went to Catholic school his whole life. There he learned the fine art of repression.
And guilt. As he grew he began to set unreasonable demands on himself. His work became the symbol of his success as a man. Sacrifice was part of his life...lived apart from his wife for awhile so he could attend school, etc.
Yet, he also escaped into the "party" world often: drugs, alcohol, nightclubs...Here he felt part of the group--a man.

Now comes me! Protestant...where your character was judged by how nice you were to your fellow man. How, no matter what, the smile never left your face. I was told everything I did reflected back on my father's career. Therefore, I was a very nice girl. In my home we always had enough.
I never went hungry. I had nice clothes and a nice education. As a young child I lived in France, vacationed in Italy and Germany. Knew people of power. Guess I was spoiled.
Then soon after the death of my mother at 20, I married a man who seemed to be so exciting...so raw. He came from the wrong side of the tracks. Uneducated, but charming. He liked to drink. Often he would leave me alone for days at a time. When I became pregnant, he further distanced himself. Because I was taught to keep my mouth shut and smile, no one ever knew what my life was really like. Put up a good front. I often went without food or heat or shoes. I lived a life that was totally foreign to me. And I grew. I learned. I became street smart. Strong. Yet, there was still a part of me that dreamed the poet's dream. As I learned to survive I began to believe I had the right to be happy and secure. I became my husband's mother. I fixed whatever mistakes my husband made in order to have a stable life--to provide for my children. Went so far as to having my tubes tied. Two of my children were mistakes(a terrible phrase) and my husband would not have surgery done on himself. Even though I wanted to maintain my fertility, I knew I could not bring any more of his children into the world.

What does any of this have to do with my bf? He is afraid of my power.When I set my mind to something I don't give up. Yes, to use an American expression, I can be a "ball buster". My father taught me not to fear any man. And I don't. But I'm not some kind of female Arnold Schwartzenegger...not at all. I am a very loving, sensuous woman. And when I am with my bf, I feel soft, delicate and protected. Safe. He can take care of me. Now he just has to believe that himself. He is afraid of abandonment. Pure and simple. His father was abusive and alcoholic, often leaving the family for days at a time. My bf was not very big (even now he is on the short side) and often struggled to defend himself against local patrons at the bar his father worked at and from the neighborhood toughs. He did learn his ticket out was education. He moved out and on, but to this day his mother still treats him like she did when he was a little boy.

What do I project? I'm not sure. It might be my independence that scares him. Or my passion. Or my male friends. Or the comfort level I present in new situations. He once told me that when he goes into a room to meet new people or has to do a presentation he becomes one of his favorite actors and plays a scene. That way "he" will not fail. I, on the other hand open my heart, drawing people to me like a mother draws her children to her breast. I guess that can be pretty scary.

As for your Yanks comment...I have tried very hard to spell things accordingly. I used to spell things like theatre, colour, etc...but after losing one too many points on papers, I learned to spell the "American" way.
And, I'm not really a true American. I feel more at home in France and with my friends of Italian descent...find it hard to be puritanical and uptight like most
'mericans. By the way, what are the nasty statements. I don't remember saying anything about Jonnies?

January 17, 2000
6:30 pm
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Oh, Tez, here is another piece to the puzzle...I talked to a friend today who is a therapist...he has met my bf. He said one of the problems my bf has, other then narcissistic behavior disorder is a strong need for control. Combine this with his wife leaving him and wham...the stage is set for..."I will never let that happen to me again!"

January 17, 2000
8:37 pm
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Hi Tez,

About my bf, I think you might be right about the fear of his mother and fear of being controlled. I really know very little about her other than she drinks, a little or a lot I don't know and she once told him he was a bad father. That's when he quit speaking to her.. He doesn't speak to her or about her now but that's telling me something isn't it. And I don't know whether or not she was controlling but from the way he needs to control everything we can probably make a good guess.

You said, "It seems that like most men, he feels obligated to find solutions to his 'woman's' problems. He seems to be 'rationalising' and transferring the 'blame' for his own perceptions of his inadequacy to solve your problems. He seems to resent being in the bind of his own emotional past. He fears losing you (mommy) back to Jeff as he lost mom all those years ago because of his inadequacy to please her and make things right for her. So he 'hates' his mom (you), rejects her ('Go with Jeff for all I care') and punishes her by running away from her 'til Sunday'; jousting with phantoms from the past."

Thanks for the interpretation. Yes, I believe he knows that he should have offered his car to me and felt guilt because he didn't. And there is some kind of fear of illness and death as well. So he had to find something to blame on me so he could withdraw and feel justified. And the 'feeling inadequate' part is right on. I've mentioned to him that I think he has low self esteem but he rejects that, outwardly at least. And he won't take responsibility for his fear that I'll go back to Jeff or whoever. He won't admit the immaturity and irrationality of it. And I have often told him that he is punishing me and withdrawing his love as a form of control but of course to no avail. Your explanation also explains my confusion. I have tried to make sense out of his actions, for a while I accepted responsibility, until I finally let the truth shine that I'm not stupid or bad, and if I can't make sense of it then maybe it really is nonsense - nonsense to me anyway. To him it is probably safe and justified.

No, I don't think he has another 'mom' at least in a physical sense. He has his renters in his residences that he owns who are friends and some other women friends that he won't introduce me to. So those are his surrogates. But I don't think it is sexual. And, considering how closed mouthed he is about everything, I'm sure they are a poor substitute for an intimate relationship. I have to admit though, that sometimes it does make me feel somewhat betrayed. On the other hand, I discuss more here than he probably does anywhere.

I don't have much of an update other than I think he went away somewhere for the weekend. When I got home from work tonight he was here shovelling my snow. I have decided to try not to go with my initial feelings and automatic reactions (which in this case were some anger and a bit of sadness) so I just talked to him for a few minutes and didn't ask anything about the weekend. He had to go home because he had his work vehicle. He left without a hug but I just said to have a nice evening and smiled. I did not invite him back. He will be wondering what is going on but I want to be sure I know what I want to say and do from a calm viewpoint.

He is such a big baby, so immature and self absorbed. I know I can't convince him of this without him getting defensive and irrational. The best I can do is try to plant small seeds when he is in one of his open, intimate and listening moods and pray that his intelligence and sensitivity work together with his love for me and his higher power to bring him to some awareness and openness to change. You know, I have a psych degree but it wasn't until these conversations with you that I have really become open to the inner child stuff and emotional programming in childhood. I read it and knew it but I don't think I really believed it. Somehow you have got it to make sense to me and even convinced me that it is the logical explanation.

So, he really really wants me but he is really really scared of me. I guess it's up to him to exorcise his demons to get to what he wants. He's fighting the oneness. He's fighting the 'mom' in himself, sort of a useless endeavour.

Back to the discussion: You talk of the ego as "an illusion of being separated from all of creation. It is the direct result of the sense organs telling me that there is a border between 'me' and the universe. If that is the case, my ego is getting smaller and smaller.

You talk about human love and how it is expressed as focussing on a belief that we are dependent for our existence on our bodies. "Transcending this illusion and seeing that all is One" how would love be expressed? Or would it just be?

And, if we realise that we are not here because of 'this body' but maybe it is here because of 'us' for us to only use it to 'experience', that puts a whole new twist on things doesn't it? On the one hand it could bring a calmness, an acceptance of how things are. But, perhaps the ego is a helper that keeps interrupting this calmness, and for a purpose. If we just calmly accepted life and what it throws at us, we wouldn't really get the chance to experience the full spectrum of experiences, emotions, etc. So, eventually we will get back to total oneness. But while we're here perhaps it is best to just try to look after the body as well as we can, accept what we get, but not with an attitude of satisfaction, more of an attitude of excitement and anticipation. ???

- Valli

January 20, 2000
6:40 pm
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Kitten.

Talking about your bf, you said, "… He is afraid of my power…" I suspect and intuit that he, like VRJ’s bf, as a very young child during his individuation from his mother all those years ago, was afraid of his mother’s restraining, and constraining power. When confronted with what appears to him to be female dominance, he probably experiences recall of those emotions of fear. He probably, as a little child, withdrew from his mother just as he automatically does from you today. I think the good news is that you have a window of opportunity to test the above proposition and confirm or deny its validity. If it is valid you will have at your disposal the knowledge of how to effectively deal with any future ‘withdrawal’ reoccurrence.

It has been a mind boggling breakthrough for me in realizing that much of my troublesome emotions and probably my desirable ones as well are recall from emotional memory of past childhood experiences. I’ve also learnt (the hard way) that such emotional recalls often directly activate my emotional arousal systems prior to cognitive input to working memory. Because of both the much slower processing of cognitions and the dissociation of infant emotional memories from contextual memory of the events causing the infant emotional experience, our working memory seeks ‘fabricated’ cognitive input in order to explain the unpleasant ‘feelings’. I believe that this is where ‘misunderstandings’ and ‘irrational’ rationalizations originate. In relationships this has a toxic effect.

Recently, about three weeks ago, only one duckling survived from a batch of 11 eggs. It is very instructional for me to watch the analogy of what we all went through as infants being replayed in front of my eyes. The mother duck forages for food without much concern for her duckling, who is driven by biological imperatives to stick very close to ‘mom’. Often during the meelee of fighting for her share of the food supplies, ‘mom’ duck is separated from junior. Well… baby duckling squawk in sheer terror ‘til mom and it are reunited. If the reunification didn’t occur for some time and there was a frequent reoccurrence of these partings, what powerful emotional memories of abandonment would have been laid down. Would the baby duckling then learn ‘instinctually’ to ‘sulk’ and ‘withdraw’ to a place of ‘surrogate’ safety as an alternate means of survival? As a fully grown duck would such a learned response be reenacted every time he was rejected and/or attacked by a female with whom he is trying to mate? Or would his fear be vented as aggression now that he has the power to hit back at ‘mom’ for leaving him that he didn’t have as a duckling.

When seen from the perspective of being driven by infant emotional recall, a lot of irrational human male and female behavior can be clearly understood. This is not implying subservience from either sex, but rather a triumph of cognition over inappropriate emotions, independent of which partner, the male or the female, is actually playing out the part of the nurturing, caring mother and protective, loving, logical father.

About your bf, you said, "he becomes one of his favorite actors and plays a scene. That way "he" will not fail…" He will not fail because no matter what, the audience won’t see the ‘real him’. That way they will never see the cause of his feeling of worthlessness that resides within him as a core emotional memory. His PHD is probably one of many bulwarks, shells behind which this terrifying emotional memory is hidden away and held at bay. The tragedy is that in times of crisis, he has to run away from you in case you see that he is ‘really worthless’ as he emotionally believes (not cognitively). He believes the emotional lie told to him by his mother and father by their body language, tone of voice, lack of time spent with him, criticisms, and all of the continual disempowering content of their interactions with him in his childhood.

Thanks for your insightful response. I read it carefully and learnt much from it. I am riddled with emotional memories of the battles between a vindictive protestant mother (orange) and an insane Irish catholic father (green). It was a re-enactment on a daily basis of the ‘troubles’ in Ireland. I always learn something about myself by looking into the mirrors of every posting.

January 20, 2000
6:41 pm
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VRJ.

Phew it is hot here. It is officially 95 degrees F. The local shop measures the temperature at 102 degrees F. I am finding it hard to focus on this posting.

You said, "I don't have much of an update other than I think he went away somewhere for the weekend. When I got home from work tonight he was here shovelling my snow." This is his ‘pull’; he is trying to ‘buy’ you back by his snow shovelling tap dancing. ( I would sure love to be rolling in snow right now.)

You also said, "He left without a hug but I just said to have a nice evening and smiled." His infant anxious/ambivalent attachment to his mother as an infant is showing. : - ) Remember all that infant attachment style stuff from Bowlby, Ainsworth, Main et. al. ? : -) Your not responding the way he expected so your getting a gentle prod.

You said, "…You know, I have a psych degree but it wasn't until these conversations with you that I have really become open to the inner child stuff and emotional programming in childhood. I read it and knew it but I don't think I really believed it." Likewise, in my case too. I graduated with a Psych major from the best university in our state and wonder and marvel at how little real teaching went on. It was like having a whole lot of research just thrown at me. Lucky for me I had done a lot of living and had ‘coat hangers’ to hang on to what I wanted to keep. It is one thing to superficially and cognitively understand something. It is quite another to live it by recognizing the nature of emotions as they come. I learn a lot from empathizing with the feelings of others as I share in exploring their past with them, in the context of their present emotional experiences. Life is the real teacher isn’t it.

You said, "He's fighting the 'mom' in himself, sort of a useless endeavour. " Yes, this is the tragedy. He can never win until he sees where its all really coming from. Can you ‘nurture’ your bf’s ‘little child’ in subtle ways when seeking his assistance with meeting the demands of some situation? Imagine a 2-3 year old little boy who is terrified of losing your motherly love and at the same time, is frightened of failing you. Imagine also that he feels overpowered by you and wants to explore the world, making his own decisions, without your interference. (push-pull) Now, if you were asking this 2-3 year old son of yours to do something that he believed was beyond his level of confidence to adequately complete, yet was not, how would you approach him in your endeavor to help him to help you? What would be your priorities in being loving towards this ‘little son’?
Quoting me, you said, . "… ‘Transcending this illusion and seeing that all is One’ how would love be expressed? Or would it just be?" One component of love which I will call ‘nurturing or sustaining’ love is based on a sharing of mutual vulnerability. A starving mother will share her food with a needy child. How much money does a billionaire have to give away before the gift is an act of ‘nurturing’ love? How much vulnerability can such a billionaire share? How much vulnerability can a down and out drug addict share? Mother Teresa gave her all. Who is in the better position to share their vulnerability with others? Remember the story of the rich man and the eye of the needle?

If the universal ‘God’ is all knowing and all powerful how much vulnerability can such a God share? Zilsch! How much would such a God have to give to share mutual vulnerability? Wow!! Such a God would have to forfeit his God head in some way! If such a God were to deliberately isolate pockets of His own consciousness into needy self-conscious bodies in total ignorance of their absolute invulnerability, then how much vulnerability could such entities share with each other? The answer is ‘lots’. Nurturing love has as a prerequisite some degree of vulnerability; a sharing of precious ‘life’ giving resources for the ‘survival’ of the loved one as well as the self. All is love; yet there are different components to love. The real love that we speak of within sexual relationships is primarily creative and nurturing love. The symbiotic craving of your bf’s demanding ‘inner child’, being ‘survival’ based, provides you with an opportunity for ‘nurturing’ love. This in not implying indulging him. You also have ‘nurture’ needs that he has the potential to satisfy. Humanity’s weaknesses are Love’s potential .

As to the last paragraph of your posting of the 17-Jan, all I can say is… YESSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!

January 21, 2000
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Tez,

Yes,I understand the correlation between "mom" and me. She was very controlling and distant. He could never win her aproval. And as the oldest of his siblings, so much more was expected of him. He always retreated into his own little world to protect himself. Because I am a bit intense and at the same time mothering, he is very confused. He tells me how wonderful and giving I am, but I don't think he truly understands it. For him, power is only a part of distance, not nurturing. I am an oxymoron. At least to him. Nurturing women are not strong...they are supposed to be soft, gentle, and invisible. Am I going in circles? Are you saying that I do something that precipitates his withdrawal? Maybe it is my demands or my implied demands? How do I go about seeing my actions before it is too late? And how do I adjust without changing my personality? I do not think that it is a matter of one person or the other changing, but rather each adapting--taking in the other's differences and making them work. I.e...say my bf HAS to floss his teeth every night before bed...if I want him to be in an intimate frame of mind I might view this as rejection. The child in me would want him to change this habit to please me. The adult, on the other hand, would merely think of this habit as a good one; he is preserving his teeth and using proper hygiene! So, it's not the behavior that needs to be changed, it's the attitude towards the behavior. I see this as one of the major blocks to good relationships: everyone seems to think there is only one solution.

I have ten more days until I will be able to sit down with the bf...it is getting to be a bit nerve wracking. As an aside...he told me on the break up day that he could stay away from me for the entire month. Well, for the past three days he has shown up at the coffee shop where I get my morning coffee. There is no reason for him to be there--he has a coffee shop within walking distance of his office. And, I have also found out, he was there every day last week. I never showed because of other things I had to take care of. We talked briefly today...his face was one huge smile. Perhaps he is concerned about why I haven't thrown myself at his feet and begged for his return! Maybe he is also worried he pushed "mom" a bit too far?

When I read the part about your parents, I'm afraid I had to smile. We as children, never seem to think of our parents as lovers. As sexual beings. Your parents probably thrived on an intense, passionate interaction. These verbal battles were a continuation of the caveman domination of his woman. Their religion was present before the marriage, so I can only assume their battles could be considered a form of "intelligence" foreplay. They were fighting, but in this struggle they were unified--they had to play it out until one of them won(which would never happen and therefore they would always be together in battle). You have to remember the opposite of love is not hate, but rather apathy. And, too, you were not aware of what went on behind closed doors!

Passion can be a very scary thing to the passionless...and two people who are both passionate can be twice as scary. In the case of my bf I see that. He has always been the passionate one...the intense one...now there are two of us and the heat can get pretty steamy.

By the way, I shoveled snow today. Lots and lots of cold, wet, snow. I had on my fur hat and coat(fake) which kept me nice and warm, but the flakes nonetheless managed to creep in around my collar. And my eyelashes froze together. I was a pretty sight, indeed. No, I'd rather be in the heat. After all, I was born in the tropics and am better suited to humid conditions. I love the sun...the hotter the better!

And as one last thing...I see my bf's weakness's and love him both in spite of them and because of them. Could it be that is why he picked someone like me, who is not Irish and therefor not like his parents, to rescue him from himself? Does he think subconsciously that I will, as a mother, know what to do for him, but he pulls back when he feels like he might get lost in that love? Okay, I'm going off on a funny limb here...it's time for bed(too tired to think straight!) Till later...

January 21, 2000
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Kitten.

From my perspective and experiences with self and others, you are 'right on' in almost everything that you say. The sad exception is in regard to my parents.

My mother really did hate my father and that was the only passion in her in his regard. On her death bed, my mother with the last once of her energy, glared at my father and pulled her hand away from his as he tried to hold it. They never slept in the same room for the last thirty years of their marriage. Mum confided in my sisters telling them that she hated sex and wouldn't let dad near her. I guess that the conception of us siblings were the rare exceptions. I think that it was only my father's crazy catholic religious beliefs about marriage and my mother's fears of 'going it' on her own, that kept the marriage together. In those days only wicked people were divorced.

You asked, "Are you saying that I do something that precipitates his withdrawal?" Yes. However, this not to imply any fault in you. You are probably unaware of the exact behaviour that triggers his emotions.

And, you said, "How do I go about seeing my actions before it is too late?" Wow, now that is a question and a half. To do that, you need to thoroughly understand the 'needs' in both yourself and your bf that are driving the complex interactions within your relationship; and their origins as well. That is no mean task. To short circuit the amount of work and time involved in doing this, most couples seek the help of a good family therapists.

You said, "I do not think that it is a matter of one person or the other changing, but rather each adapting... " I totally agree. It takes many years for any permanent and significant change in our pyschological 'scripts' and beliefs to occur. However, adaption can start immediately. Insights can start this process towards realisations and behaviour change. My only caveat here is what I said earlier. If the 'button pushing' provokes extremely painful emotional memory recall from childhood, then the drive to get immediate relief may make inappropriate behaviour unavoidable. If such behaviour in turn provokes similar extreme pain in the other partner then 'BLAM'!

What we have in any relationship is a 'force of attraction' being opposed by a 'force of repulsion'. Both these 'forces' or drives are emotional in nature and are largely the result of 'needs' driven emotional memories from childhood. If the magnitudes of both 'forces' are large, well...

Where does love fit in to all this? Well that's another matter.

You said, "So, it's not the behavior that needs to be changed, it's the attitude towards the behavior." Yes... And because of that attitudinal change, your emotional arousal of fear and anger will diminish and you will change your behaviour; and thus his as well. Attitude changes come with understanding the 'non-personal' nature of these troublesome emotional memories and their triggers. Your bf's war is not with you but with that 'phantom mom' that resides in his childhood emotional memories and which he 'transfers' into you. His emotional 'little boy' doesn't realise that you are not mom; at the same time, his'adult self' is desperately trying to find a way to appease his 'little boy' without realising it! Rationalisations go on in your bf's head all the time to ensure his irrational behaviour is 'glossed' over. Otherwise internal 'cognitive dissonance' in him would drive your bf to a therapist or some other helping professional.

And, you said, "Maybe he is also worried he pushed "mom" a bit too far? " I think so. He is behaving like a' little boy' peeking around the corner after a fight with mom to see if she is looking for him, worrying about him and caring about him. 🙂

And, "Could it be that is why he picked someone like me, who is not Irish and therefor not like his parents, to rescue him from himself? Does he think subconsciously that I will, as a mother, know what to do for him, but he pulls back when he feels like he might get lost in that love?" - Could be; but most people seem to pick partners that project a psychological 'frozen' image of their parents from their childhood in order to 'change them'. The Objective is to fill the insatiable 'emotional deprivation' within. But one thing is for sure in my mind; your bf is trying to 'win mom's love' by showing 'her' how much 'she' will miss him when he's gone and at the same time keep the 'strings to her apron' well and truly attached. Of course the problematic emotional memories and their triggers are far more complex than this simple statement would imply. It is a push-pull game that your bf is playing. It will continue until one of you calls it quits or both of you together make a firm commitment to calling a halt to it and seeking to learn a lot more about what triggers each other's emotionally interacting 'little boy and girl'. What do you think wil be the answer to stopping this game?

January 21, 2000
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Because I am a "war" veteran, complete with many scars, I will not turn tail and leave. I will, when the time comes to raise the white flag, offer counseling. If this relationship did not have the potential to be something great, I would admit defeat and move on. However, it looks like this is the "one" for both of us. I have to trust my gut!
more to follow...

January 21, 2000
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Tez,

then again, maybe you are right. Maybe I should just walk away...I will be alone(as I am now)for the rest of my life...so I might as well divest myself of desire. He won't go into therapy...or face his demons. If he won't do that, then he does not love me enough to want to make things work. Gee, I thought I had this all figured out! I truly thought this was a test--to see if I could wait and not run off with someone in the interim(like his wife). Then, if I stayed, I would gain his loyalty. I thought, because he is a Scorpio(like me) that he had to be sure before he made the committment. Guess I was wrong...because what you say makes sense. He and I will never be together...at least not in marriage.
Uhm...I will have to be the big girl and move on. Yes, yes, you are right. Another loss for me--this time someone I thought of as my soulmate.
?????

January 22, 2000
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Hey Tez, it's 30 below here! Meet you halfway!

". It is one thing to superficially and cognitively understand something. It
is quite another to live it by recognizing the nature of emotions as they come."

That is so true. That is one thing I really marvel at in my bf. He has this ability to look ahead and see what is going to happen. Also, he can use intelligence and common sense to figure things out on his own. I have to have things pounded into me. He hasn't picked up on the child stuff yet I don't think. He recognizes we push each other's buttons and that most of our problems aren't really about us but he hasn't figured it all out yet.

'Transcending this illusion and seeing that all is One' how would love be expressed?"

If all is one then showing love to oneself would be a place to start, and then showing love to a significant other would follow with love to all being the aim, learning to love in all situations, with a parent, a child, a significant other, a friend, a stranger, etc. Learning to love the trials and difficulties as a means to 'love' our oneness, to give 'him?' that which only we can give him. Speaking particularly of a significant other, it would involve again loving yourself and your experiences for the 'one' first, then understanding of the other as a part of the 'one' as well and helping however you can their search to find love in the midst of confusing experiences and past pains.

. "Can you 'nurture' your bf's 'little child' in subtle ways"
I don't want to use the same manipulating tactics he does but I guess I could try to help him to understand exactly what it is I need from him by figuring out exactly what it is I do need. So far I've come up with respect, safety, openness and honesty.
I guess I could support him and subtlely compliment him when he responds in a loving way and try to avoid letting my buttons get pushed by recognizing they are there. Recognizing and accepting the emotional responses but use reasoning and maturity to sort through their validity in a specific situation and their usefulness for getting through it.
We had a wild one the other day. He said some things that made me feel invalidated, unimportant, controlled, and I responded with rebellion (childhood response to mom), which in turn caused him to feel unaccepted and attacked (my interpretation). Of course he retreated into anger and avoidance of me. I handled it by writing him (writing allows me to control my thinking out loud and just put down my final analysis) that I understood how he would feel attacked and like I didn't like anything about him but assured him that I did indeed like him and wasn't trying to attack, only defend and that I just needed to feel like my opinion was important enough to listen to and not just be dismissed. I said that I do respect his ideas and his ability to reason and most often go with his ideas but just need to know that my opinions are respected. That seemed to work. Later we talked about how I was brought up in an atmosphere where it was encouraged to question and debate which got us on to how he thinks I was brought up in a dysfunctional home (the debating not the questioning) but he admitted he was too. His mother used to have to go pick his dad up from the bar on Friday nights, when, in his words, he should have been at home with his family. At least he's thinking past experience now.

And I don't remember the needle story, I think I've heard it though.

You said, "If the universal 'God' is all knowing and all powerful how much vulnerability can such a God share? Zilsch! How much would such a God have to give to share mutual vulnerability? Wow!! Such a God would have to forfeit his God head in some way!"

Sort of like sending your son (himself) to earth in human form. Haha sorry I had to do it. Hit me!

"Nurturing love has as a prerequisite some degree of vulnerability; a sharing of precious 'life' giving resources for the 'survival' the loved one as well as the self. All is love; yet there are different components to love. The real love that we speak of within sexual relationships is primarily creative and nurturing love. The symbiotic craving of your bf's demanding 'inner child', being 'survival' based, provides you with an opportunity for 'nurturing' . This in not implying indulging him. You also have 'nurture' needs that he has the potential to satisfy."

From what I can tell he must feel that his survival is based on: looking after me. So from me he would need recognition that he is doing so. And perhaps some guidelines as to how to do it. Another fear, maybe related to the first, is that he won't be able to do it. He is so concerned about other men, so afraid of their intentions, of my desires. He has lost women to other men before (not looked after them well enough???) - a girlfriend to a married lover behind his back, a girlfriend who slept with his brother (that's betrayal!) and maybe somehow his mother (in his mind anyway). So my independence probably scares him. We are going to do some work on my house this weekend so I am going to let him do it exactly as he wants and thank him profusely (it won't really be hard because I certainly don't know anything about it) and I am supposed to pick up some things at the lumber store but have asked him to come with me to ensure I get the correct things. Even though I think I could probably get the things, it is a small price to pay to give him a feeling of being needed.

" Humanity's weaknesses are Love's potential " I like that. It's a great way to look at it other than looking at them as obstacles to be overcome. They really are great opportunities and wow what an opportunity my God has given me.

Here's a question for you. How do you explain a 'woman's intuition', or do you believe in it? Or a mother's intuition?

January 22, 2000
4:44 pm
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Kitten.

You said, " Maybe I should just walk away...I will be alone(as I am now)for the rest of my life...so I might as well divest myself of desire." About 13 years ago, after coming out of a sick relationship wherein I had found and lost Ms Right, my one and only 'soulmate', I said exactly that. I foresaw that I would spend the rest of my life in a one roomed unit, in a men's boarding house. It's natural to think that way. But... how wrong could I have been. I soon was in a relationship that has lasted 12 years to-date. However, I picked my present lady very carefully. I made sure that there was no starry eyed, ecstacy involved. I looked very carefully at her qualities, her likes and dislikes. There was enough physical attraction to make the bedroom activities work. No more mother/father substitutes for me though. My lost 'soulmate' has all but faded into becoming an non-entity; thank God.

Whichever way your relationship goes, it will be a great window of opportunity for gaining insights into yourself and human behaviour. I understand that right now such a statement doesn't help much with your pain. Who knows, bf might already be in therapy and come back asking you to participate. Wouldn't that be great, eh!

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