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?