Monday, November 15, 2010

Moving Forward is Scary Stuff

Relationships are a scary thing. My relationship history dictates that men leave. Throughout my life, they always have. As I've grown older, my fears eventually manifest in a way that pushes men out of my life inevitably perpetuating the the belief.

When I was 15, my parents divorced. As a teenage girl, I was given the choice to continue living with my mother and continue going to the same school I had always gone with the same friends OR I could live with my dad - which meant moving to Chicago - which meant a new school and all new friends. I'm sure you can imagine which choice I made.

Two days after Christmas, 2 weeks before my 16th birthday, my dad and my younger brother - who was my best friend - packed up a moving truck and left.  Life as I had known it was over. The two most important men in my life were gone. I was devastated.

Fortunately, I still had friends and school. While I made very self-destructive choices as a teenager, I was smart enough to never get caught or to ever get in to any real trouble. Then, the August after I graduated high school, my heart was once again torn out.  I remember the phone call clearly. The Minnesota State Fair had just begun that week. I was getting ready to meet a friend when the phone rang. My best friend Alan had been killed in a freak accident at work. That was it. He was gone.

Losing Al left an irreparable hole in my heart. While I have lost many more people, his death has always been the one that has affected me the most.  When I met my husband at the age of 19, Al's death was still a very raw and painful wound. My husband knew my struggles with my dad and brother leaving. He also knew how hard losing Alan was for me. Needless to say, his suicide when I was 23 didn't help my attachment issues. 

In the years since his death, I have dated several men. Two have asked me to marry them. I said yes to one. Sadly, that relationship ended before our walk down the aisle. Part of the reason was my fears, the other part was his irrational and insane family. We are still great friends, but losing that relationship also hurt.

I was recently made aware that this week marks the 1 year anniversary of my relationship with The Man. The road has definitely been bumpy and I have been less than a peach. My relationship sabotaging way has reared it's ugly head more than once. I recall on one occasion telling him that I wanted to break up, to which he responded, "No you don't. You're just scared." He was right and he continues to be each time I panic.

We've decided that when his lease ends in February, he will move into my home and we will live together.  With the exception of the 5 male roommates I had in college, my husband is the only man I've ever lived with. While I think this is a good step, I'm scared as hell. I've never let my guard down enough to allow a man 100% full access 24/7. While cohabitation goes outside of my Christian value system, I know that I am not emotionally prepared to take the step to marriage. 

I don't view cohabitation as the "easy way out", I just know myself well enough to know that extra step will send me on a self-sabotaging rampage. So I'm taking it one baby-step at a time.

Still, there are many things about living together that scare the bejeezus out of me. For instance, am I really up to sharing my bed every night? And how do we decide whose stuff we will keep and whose stuff will be redistributed? Where do couples that live together go to get away from each other? Do I need to leave the comfort of my own home to get some breathing room? How do you share housework? I don't want to have unreasonable expectations, but does living together mean that I may soon have someone to fold and put away laundry for me? And speaking of laundry, where the heck is he going to put his clothes? My closet and dresser are F-U-L-L. Do I need to purge?

image via Google Images
 As you can see, while seemingly superficial, I have plenty of worries and concerns. Trust me when I say, these things are just the very tippy top of the iceberg. Just last night, we got into an "I have to hang up, I can't have this conversation with you anymore" argument about money. The he-has-it-and-I-don't-so-why-won't-I-just-let-him-pay-for-stuff-I-can't-afford kind of fight. Fortunately, we still have several months to work on some of these things. In the meantime, I will be working on opening myself up to solutions that are outside of my comfort zone and being more flexible and less set in my ways....


Sherri said...

I hope it all works out for you. It could be a good thing. If he is moving into your home, then you won't have to worry about not having a place since it's your house. Maybe some of the issues that are worrying you will work themselves out and not really be issues at all. Good Luck
Take care of you

Life Without Pink said...

Oh wow, how touching is this story. I am so sorry you had to deal with all of this in your life. Living with the opposite sex can be challenging at times and I have only ever lived with my hubby..Luckily he is use to my OCD ways and we kind of balance each other out. I hope it works out for you, just take one day at a time. Good luck :)

Evonne said...

Moving in with someone can be a scary thing. He sounds like a patient man and I hope this works out.

Just remember, baby steps.

MommyLovesStilettos said...

I went through this last year. I was terrified to move in with my boyfriend. I had a history of men leaving (but not before beating the shit out of me first!) and it made me sick to think about going through it again. I moved in with my bf in Feb and it has turned out to be the best thing for me and my kids. It's hard to do something that's so scary but he sounds like a good guy and maybe this is what you need to do to get you past the destructive bullshit. I know it helped me. *HUGS* Hang in there!

Liz said...

I'm so sorry for your history of losses involving the men in your life. I can't even imagine what that would be like. I do wish you lots of luck and happiness with your next step in this relationship.

Diane said...

I was single for almost 5 years after my husband died and that was enough time for me to get used to going it alone. It was a huge step getting married and having someone around all the time but it does make life so much easier having a devoted partner by your side.
Good Luck to you with this big step and cogratulations for having the courage to take it!

Kim of Mo Betta said...

wow, I can't imagine dealing with that kind of loss. I hope everything works out for you. It sounds like you have a good man who is willing to be patient and work for you. If he wasn't committed he would have hit the road as soon as things got "tough". Don't forget that you DESERVE to be happy, sometimes we just have to let ourselves be!

June said...

It's a big step K. Pray hard and do what you feel is the "right" thing to do.
My thoughts are with you on this one.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I am so sorry for all the things that have happened to you in your past. Those are big hurdles to get over but you can do it! Don't sweat the small stuff. I am keeping you in my prayers. I do know some of what you are feeling.
Step back from each situation and think about it for a day. It is easy to react quickly because of the fears but usually if you give it a chance to roll around in your heart and mind it won't be so overwhelming as it seemed to be.

Shell said...

What a big step for you! Breathe, girl.

Anonymous said...

Oh girl, I had no idea about your husbands suicide. I'm so sorry.
I'm so sorry for everything you've gone through. While this is a big step he does sound like a great guy and just trust in him. Like Shell said, take a deep breath. We're all here for you. xoxo

Jamie Council said...

Perhaps you shloud write an extensive list of all the things that make you nervous about the move on strips of paper, put them in a jar, and you and The Man pull on out once a week (or more depending on how many there are) to discuss. I'm sure your fears can easily be calmed by a man as understanding as he seems.

And as for the purging question...why no?! Purging is good for the soul. ;)

Good luck and remember we are all here for you.

Mimi N said...

First of all, I missed you not being at 77kids today! *frowny face*

2nd-ly I think I'm having a panic attack for you and for me! Maybe it's an anxiety attack. I mean, I'm literally having one!

Maybe it's because I'm concerned for the Christian perspective of living with someone before you're married. We share the same beliefs so that's probably part of it.

The other part is, having been separated, and now on the road to divorce, I can't even begin to imagine making this next step. Men have left me all my life as well starting with my dad when I was 6. It's been that way ever since.

I also made extremely poor choices starting in jr. hi and lasting until my early 20s. While some things have changed, many have not. I'm afraid that if I get into a relationship again it will turn out the same because apparently I don't make good choices. Then again, I don't want to spend the rest of my life alone. Sigh... so many roads to choose!

Blessings on you and what's to come! =)


The Drama Mama said...

My heart was aching for you, then congratulating you on taking this very brave step. It's really hard to let go, but many times, it's very worth it, and I think from the sound of your posts about him, he's fully prepared to take on you and all your fears. You will figure it out and it won't always be smooth sailing but, it will always be worth it.

Lots of love.

Losing Brownies said...

Your story is so heart wrenching. I'm so sorry for your loss and your struggles. Best of luck with cohabitation. If I hadn't of lived with Gadget Guy, I don't know if we would have gotten married. I was so afraid of the idea until I was use to him and made a home with him. I hope the move goes well!

Babes Mami said...

One baby step at a time! Good luck!

Dawn said...

Wow. I'm so ready to be where you are at. To be with a guy that I could POTENTIALLY be with.

It sounds like you have a good start... and a great guy holding on when you want to pull away.
The material stuff will work out. Don't stress. But yes, you will have to clean out at least PART of the closet for him :)

Good luck!

Danielle said...

I have the same issues and I run EVERY man off with my sabatoging ways. I would love to find someone that loves me enough to stick it out!

mCat said...

I certainly don't think they are superficial.
I know that if I lost my husband now, and me 44 years old - I would be thinking long and hard about letting another man in. But that's just me

adrienzgirl said...

Get over yourself already! You know I love you, I do, but in order to truly love and be loved you have to take the leap of faith. It might end, it might end badly, but you'll never know unless you try. You already know the downside. Been there, done that. What you haven't experienced is the other side. That's what I want for you. Don't make me come up there and whip you!!!

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