Couple

I ceased to exist

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For more than 4 years, I live with an older man, divorced, and father of 2 children. When I met him, he was recovering with difficulty from a break that had shaken him. I immediately wanted to protect him, and give him a taste for life. As for me, I think I did not really know who I was: I was looking for myself, I was a little lost, and I needed landmarks. I threw myself into our relationship, metamorphosing myself to look like that "ideal woman" that I divined in her thoughts, so as to make her happy. I thought that the "sacrifices" I was doing were a proof of my love: to wear the clothes he loved, to take care of his children, to share his tastes, to be with him all the time ...

But, the problem I was expecting the same thing in return, that he give me back all these sacrifices, and that he "carries" me somehow, to help me flourish. I realized with the disappointments, my unfulfilled expectations, my lacks and my dissatisfactions, that I was wrong all along the line ... In fact: he had not asked me anything! At no time has he expressed the desire that I dress in such a way, or that I change my way of being and acting. It was I who decided to make all these sacrifices, and so I had nothing to demand in return.

Our relationship began to deteriorate. I did not know who I was, nor what I wanted, as if I realized that during those years, I had ceased to exist, to try to escape something: loneliness perhaps? Or a confrontation with myself? Faced with his misunderstanding, and this feeling of emptiness, I then "escaped" from my daily life, and I went out again. And my eyes began to meet those of other men ... until one evening, I let myself go into the arms of one of them. Then began a kind of infernal circle: a sort of "bulimia" of men, a thirst for looks, and hugs. There were stories of one evening (furtive exchange of tenderness), and others more painful ... At the same time, I had the impression to be reborn, and at the same time the feeling of losing my soul, and of betray everything I believed.

Then, I finally broke down and confessed to my companion that we could not go on like that, that I did not know who I was, or where I was going. We separated, but he came back some time later crying tears, and confessing to me that it was impossible for him to live without me. I am unable to hurt her, so I came back ... Today, I lost the little esteem I had for myself following my "wanderings", and I am unable to leave my companion , to reconstitute myself, so as not to hurt this man whom I love yet ... but with whom I suffocate.

I guess my story is not exceptional: that of a girl who wanted to love too soon, and who was waiting in the eyes of the other for a "mirror" effect, to blossom. It was a gross mistake: I now know that to be ready to love and to be loved, one has to be "oneself," and accept one's own loneliness, and be "one," and not to believe that someone is there to complete us. A love must be made of two separate entities. Otherwise, it is not love: it is giving oneself the illusion of love, when in reality, one clings to a life buoy, for fear of loneliness. And then, we expect something from the person. And you must not. This is the mistake I made, and that I will not reproduce. Love must be free. Totally.

I would be happy to know people who have experienced a similar situation, or who would have come to the same conclusions as me, or conversely ...

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