Cheers Sexy People,
It has been about six weeks since the big breakup. And surprisingly, even to myself, I am doing quite well. Don’t get me wrong – any big loss still hurts big-time. And losing an almost five-year relationship and someone that lived in and shared your home is a big shift in anyone’s reality. But at the same time, we all experience loss in one form or another. At the end of the day, it’s how we deal with loss that makes or breaks us.
At the age of 46, I’ve learned alot of lessons in how to be an effective and productive human, and how to love and live well. There is a time to cry in our soup, and there is a time to reflect, learn and move on. I’ve cried in my soup, shed many well-earned tears, had the “why me” moments – thankfully I never got to the “kick the cat” stage but anger was in there too for sure. But I’ve learned it is just not healthy to stay in that state and dwell on the negative and sad stuff that happens to us for long. Immerse yourself in it for a spell as we are human and should not repress our feelings, but then you have to go put your “big boy pants on,” pull your bootstraps up and get back to the business of LIVING, taking the lessons that you learned with you for a test drive.
One of the things that I have reflected on and have taken a nugget of wisdom from is this: One of my partners is quite emotionally mature (my husband) and one was not (my now ex-boyfriend). I always knew that and was not blind to that truth. My theory was that thankfully, I am polyamorous. So therefore, that gave me the freedom to enjoy my long-standing relationship with my husband, and then I could branch out from that stable place and date someone that was maybe a little bit more on the “boy” side of the fence than a “man”. And actually, mostly I found that quite charming, fun and a great distraction. And we had a helluva lot of fun, let me tell you. Being spontaneous and child-like can make for some wonderful memories, and are great qualities to have. But in the end, there was a refusal to grow, a refusal to own up to responsibilities and “own his stuff” including honoring our stated agreements that ultimately ruined the relationship – stopped it dead in its tracks.
My boundaries were crossed especially when I realized that my ex was PRETENDING to be learning from mishaps and be acting maturely to fool me into keeping the status quo – because that was EASIER than change or growth. Woah, that bullshit stops right now! – and just like that, the relationship was over. I indeed do miss him – or the man that I mostly thought he was minus the lying and pretending – but good riddance for having to put up with fakeness and lack of integrity. I’m working really hard over here to grow, to learn, to have healthy relationships, to shine, sing, laugh and dance. If someone who is in a relationship with me would rather stick their head in the sand to their problems (which then negatively affects his relationship with me), well homey, that shit ain’t gonna work for long and isn’t sustainable. I need a man – a real man – in ALL my relationships, not just my marriage. I am polyamorous, and I want ALL my relationships to be as healthy, happy and sustainable as possible, with people who are wiling to do the work, to own their shit, to be the person they were always meant to be, to have the capacity to cherish me and our relatonship the way I cherish them. I’m gonna wait for that and seek that out. I cherish good, quality love and connectedness. Knowing exactly who you are to the best of your ability is half the battle sometimes.
I found this freaking awesome article about “How To Spot an Emotional Grown-up.” It’s flipping incredible and everyone should read it, tuck it away in your purse or boxers and keep an eye out for cool peeps like this in your life. But to speed things along for you, here’s some of my favorite gems from the article (link to the full article here):
Being with someone emotionally immature creates unhappiness in the relationship, and leads to anger and a loss of respect for your partner that is draining for everyone.
Language can inflame or inspire, and mindful language is a gift.
Owning mistakes doesn’t make an emotional grown-up weak; it makes them trustworthy and safe, it diffuses conflict and allows people to move beyond blame toward real change.
Relationships are give and take, and a generosity of spirit is essential.
Emotional grown-ups take care of themselves as well as taking care of you. This means tending to their physical health—exercising, not using alcohol to self medicate or marijuana to escape, making healthy food choices, getting enough sleep—and also being attuned to their own emotional needs. Self-care is not selfish; it’s essential.
Trusting your partner is one key to feeling safe in a relationship. For emotional grown-ups, actions and words align.
Emotional grown-ups express their feelings without name-calling, blaming, shaming, or devaluing the other person. We all like to win, but when you love someone, staying connected is more important than being right. Recognizing that there is more than one way to be right leads to mutual respect—and an appreciation for your partner’s way of seeing things.
Emotional grown-ups can come into a room and say “There you are!” instead of “Here I am!” They may not be as flashy or colorful, but they are secure enough in themselves that they don’t need someone else to constantly prop them up. They both give and receive support.
Love is the reward for doing the work of transformation!
There is a link at the top of the article to another excellent read “When It’s All About Them: Being Involved with a Narcissist” if that is of any interest to mah peeps here.
Have any of you ever found yourself involved with an emotionally immature individual that you wish you could slap upside the head and scream “Grow up!” as loudly as you could? What nuggets of wisdom did you take from that experience? How have you handled relationships after that moving forward? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter, because you are a smart bunch of people with interesting stories and wisdom to share! Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too)
My open marriage tanked pretty quickly as the little annoying habits that my husband had that I could pass off as insecurities quickly became more full fledged narcissistic habits. Would that I could “Grow up!” would be indeed on my list of expectations, but I don’t want that responsibility any longer. He chooses his maturity, and lack thereof, he can choose a life without me, and he has.
Thanks for contributing to the conversation, Gloria. Amen, sister, I totally hear what you are saying! It sounds like you are in a better place now. Sometimes opening up a marriage I think can shine a spotlight on problems in a relationship. Then they either get fixed, or we find that maybe they can’t (sometimes due to one person’s refusal to grow). Have a great day!
WOW. Well….now I think I know what’s going on in MY triad. My husband’s girlfriend E ticks off every single box on this list. We joke to each other that it’s like living with a teenager – but it REALLY is like that and it’s exhausting and poisonous. I wonder (just out loud) if the need for constant propping up and affirmation does not make a poly lifestyle appealing to people with these issues. After all – there are MORE people to tell you you are great and they love you and you’re fabulous.. But, as the article points out – it is never going to be enough. Their desire for love and affirmation is endless. Thanks so much for this!!
That is an amazing article. Having left a narcissistic husband myself, I relate to a lot of those things, from the messy partner who didn’t care that I did almost all the cleaning to the self-absorbed man who needed to keep me around as his slave. It just doesn’t work. Thank you for sharing that. And glad to hear that you’re on your way to healing. Keep it up!!
I am thrilled that you loved the article so much. I did as well, and I added it to my “Articles” page on this site for easy reference for us all as well. I am sorry that your former husband was a narcissist. I definitely believe that my former boyfriend had at least some of the narcissistic qualities. The article was very eye-opening for me as well, and I think will help me spot those qualities in the future. Experience is what we get for having gotten it! And yes, I am healing well, partly with conversations with like-minded people like you. You rock!
One of the greatest challenges I’ve had is learning to set healthy boundaries which is what you’ve done with your ex-boyfriend. Props to you! Healthy boundaries = healthy relationships.
Love your blog, thanks for sharing with us.
Thank you, Ray! I really appreciate your kind and supportive words and cheering me on! It is not always easy to stand our ground and demand respect and honoring reasonable agreements. And we may incur a loss in doing so. But did we really have anything worth clawing after to begin with when someone treats us poorly? Thank you for coming along on the journey with me by reading and commenting on my blog. You are awesome! Have a great day!