The Confines of Love
“Tis the hardest part of life,’ he said, ‘to be half of something and yet remain whole.’ –Edward Berry, “The Widow’s War”
I read a lot; to the detriment of my housework. As I read, certain lines or passages in a book often catch my eye, and I will mark that page with a separate book mark so I can go back later and write it down.
The line above jumped off the page at me yesterday, and for good reason. It is an issue I struggle with regarding relationships. I think in the 80’s they started calling it codependence, and people started writing a lot of books about it in the early 90’s. I used to own many of them. I even read a lot of them, but it didn’t stop me from “being codependent”. I continued to lose myself within the confines of a relationship.
I suppose using the term “confines” almost makes a relationship sound like jail, and for some people it can be. For me it often is. It is a jail I make for myself. Sometimes the walls are put up quickly, almost right from the beginning, but other times the walls are built over an extended period of time. Quickly, if I am in a bad spot and not feeling confident and my self-esteem is poor, over time if I go into it being my typical, head-strong self knowing I won’t accept anything less than a man who wants me for being me, until the worry about whether he will continue to love me like I am, sets in.
Is it possible to remain to whole when you’re half of something? Can one remain the same person within a relationship that they are without a relationship? In a sense I think it’s impossible to be the same person alone, as when you are in a committed relationship. When it comes down to it, we are all altered by our interactions with other people, whether within a relationship, or just in passing. Allowances have to be made in order to be a “couple”. Decisions are made as a team, as opposed to being left to an individual. You have to consider another person’s thoughts and feelings, or else the relationship is one-sided, and really not a relationship at all.
In my head, the only way to not lose “me”, within “we”, is to choose a partner who is accepting of me and the person I am, and for me to stay true to myself. I can’t hide who I am, I have to be comfortable with who I am, and allow a man to see the real me and all the light and dark that is me. I have never been in a relationship where this has occurred, so I doubt it really exists. I read other people’s blogs though, and think that maybe it does, or at least it seems to. Real or imagined, I know it’s what I want; to be in that kind of relationship where I can just be me and be loved without judgement, or stipulation.
How about you? Do you think it exists? Have you experienced it?
I totally agree with you.
Oh hell! A man who agrees with me?? This is one for the record books! hahaha Thanks for reading!! 🙂
LOL, your welcome.
Digging deep, very perceptive.
I am quite good about writing about love, just not very good at actually doing it. Wait, let me rephrase that—good at loving, not good at the relationship thing. 🙂
Half a loaf is better than no loaf 🙂
Guess it depends what type of loaf! lol
What you’re looking for does exist.
It sounds like you have accepted yourself for who and what you are. I commend you on that because it’s a hard place for most people to get to. The key is finding someone else who excepts who and what they are.
I agree! Thanks for reading and commenting!
I think it’s a *Western Flaw* — the way that we view relationships. This is just my personal opinion when I say this, but I believe that 1+1 = 2 not 1+1 = 1. Does that make sense? People seem to sacrifice the self for the sake of appeasing someone that they are involved with. It never, ever, ever works. At least not for me. Read *Osho*. I think you’d dig it if you’re not already familiar with him. The guy’s philosophy is timeless, and true.
I would guess it’s not just a western flaw, as I think many cultures dictate women follow the ideas/beliefs of their men. I totally agree with what you’re saying though—but why do I/we do this? I have a very strong personality, like you couldn’t tell! lol But, I become a fool in a relationship!
I have never read Osho, but thanks for the hint. Love reading new stuff and getting new perspectives. Thanks so much for reading and commenting Adam!
I feel like I am 100% authentically me. That said, yes interaction changes our reactions but it doesn’t change us anymore than a job or a where we live, and grow up.
We are all always changing and evolving. That is a good thing. If we truly sacrifice who we are in our soul for a relationship, that is when things are bad.
Totally agree Becca. I just don’t think I’ve ever been in a relationship where a guy has totally accepted me. It seems like it always gets to a point where I start changing little by little to appease them on some level. And you are quite correct in saying that that is when things start to go bad. I saw that in my marriage. I felt suffocated because I wasn’t being true to myself. Once I was out of it, it was like I was free!
Thanks so much for reading and commenting!!
That said, don’t change who you are. I find the more I am me and don’t change for people, the more I feel loved and accepted. It is weird and backward to our nature. The older I get the more I just say, you don’t like me too bad so sad. It seems the more I am like that the more people want to attach to me. I don’t know why but man people used to treat me like crap. Now I feel loved and appreciated. You’re a smart kind person. Screw people that don’t appreciate that.
I don’t mince words, and it’s quite freeing. At my age I don’t have time for the bullshit. I figure if you want to be my friend, then you better be able for me to tell you like I see it. I wouldn’t expect any less from friends in return. It really is one of the things I have loved about aging. Around 35 I really started coming into my own and being more comfortable with who I was. Being in the abusive relationship kind of got me off track. I am trying really hard to gain back that ground, and some days are better than others. Thanks for your kind words. 🙂
Anytime love. I don’t know your age but I am sorry you were in that situation. I was severely abused as a child in many ways. I say we all grow stronger. I want my kids to like themselves as grown people and never accept less than they deserve while also showing compassion and kindness to others. Therefore, that is how I try to live. You’re a sweet woman. I am sure you are the same.
I am a hot 43!! 🙂 Yes, I tell my son all the time, that I want him to be a strong man, but also a kind one. You seem to be a very confident woman, and I love to be associated with smart, confident women!!
That is a wonderful age. I am 34 myself. I have one gal and one guy. They are best friends. I love how they are best friends. They stand up for each other even though they adore me. If I get mad at one, they will be a solid front. I don’t yell or hit, so I love that. It is just pure love. They have confidence. I know you are going for that too. Love is amazing. Teaching our children strength is paramount.
You are young!! At 34 I had been divorced a couple of years and had a 2 year old I was raising primarily on my own. I was living with my mother! Which wasn’t all bad, because my son had lots of love.
Yes, I think teaching our children to be strong, independent and responsible are the some of the best things we can do for them. Unfortunately my son doesn’t get to experience having a brother or a sister. He does now have step-siblings since his dad got remarried, and that’s a whole different thing. 🙂