4 years into our relationship the fire of desire we once had began to fade. All of me feared that we were meant to love each other up until that point, and then let go.
Nelson is the embodiment of masculine love I craved, reliable, stable, and loved me unconditionally. He’s everything to me, he nudges me into the direction of my dreams, he supports me in all the way you’d want to be supported! But I started to feel like something was missing. I wanted to feel passion of love. The kind you see in fairytales of movies.. the kisses between Patrick and David on Schitts Creek kinda love. Kiss in the snow, dance to no music, touch my face and kiss me hard kind of love.
Valentine’s Day, the one day full of corny love- would come and go, with no acknowledgement. I wanted.. flowers, that soothing sexual music, romantic candles and passion kinda day... more than just on Valentine’s Day.
Then I met Iris. Iris and her husband have been married for 32 years and I’ve never seen a more romantic couple so in love. She would tell me things he’s done and my heart would ache. Then our society’s chains of female sexuality, and the shame of pursuing pleasure, weighed on me heavily.
am I a bad partner?
Do these fantasies it mean something is wrong with me? With us?
Is our relationship ruined?!
I read 101 relationship books and try to fix it before he found out I was struggling. The more I researched the more I felt scared-nothing talked about this feeling. Wanting to run and hide, pause our relationship until I found a way to fix it. At the most inconvenient time: How I was feeling came fleeing out of my fingertips as I messaged him with tears streaming down my face. I knew this was it. This is where we were ending and it hurt.. and I felt myself ripping out his heart.
I remembered a note I wrote to myself, a contract. In that contract I did not make a promise to have a comfortable life, I promised and made a commitment that I would live a life of my true self.
So, it was time to stop being comfortable and start being honest. I told him everything I felt was missing between us. I spoke honestly, directly and passionately. This was new for me, I didn’t avoid it by doing dishes, or faking a fb post... or going shopping, I went for it, head on.
He didn’t run away, he didn’t build a wall, get defensive or shut down- he invited me in and asked me to help teach him what I needed. That, how he grew up, the people around him.. they don’t do what I need, and this was new for him. This scared me, because I wanted so much more, but I needed him.
What I learned is, even though our relationship didn’t die, and it felt like it was .. it was because a chapter of it did. The honeymoon chapter. The first relationship chapter is over, and we were about to start a second one together.
That’s what happened when I met avoidance, walked through it, and allowed it to transform us. It can be hard and heartbreaking. When what we are thinking, feeling, or experiencing is too uncomfortable, the only way we might know how to deal with it is to avoid it. If it’s too painful, we might try to escape it or fix it, or think it will go away on its own, or lessen in severity. Avoidance involved doing something, like working harder so you don’t have to feel uncomfortable feelings, not putting yourself out there so you don’t have to face rejection.
The trick is to see our avoidance and anxiety as a signal to act. An opportunity to choose what is true over what is comfortable.