Author Topic: Heist on Something....  (Read 6626 times)

Hopalong

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #135 on: January 08, 2018, 01:50:53 PM »
You guys are SO spot on.

Tupp, it does get tiring (and when I'm looking for an excuse to bolt, being in charge of the brakes is a very appealing one). But read on for better news....

Amber, yessss. (Hellloooo, dear B, I Have a Life). Good to ponder how you understood that Mike's history (oops, wrong wife) naturally (and not maliciously) bled into life with you. And so impressive and helpful to see how you took it. Not personally. Not with grievance. (He was so lucky in you. You know how to love.)

The good news: We just had a marathon phone call to unpack and work through this tension about his invite for the seven days, and not the long weekend agreed to. It was remarkable (for me, given my history). He had an offer for the place and the date had changed but there was a whole history of family timeshare and scheduling and stuff, and he hadn't meant it as a demand (though yes, he did want it), but it was now the only date available. He may have preferred we swoonily go for it but DID accept me saying, nope. I wanna long weekend first.

Lighter, I calmly stuck to my boundary about it and he wound up telling me that in spite of his grim-reaper fears, etc., he is likely to live a long time (genetically) and he actually knows I'm right. (To take it slowly and build layer by layer.)

It was probably the longest conversation we've had so far and it was really good. We shared truthful stories (him about his wife and their memories) and me about a baaaaaaad experience of a premature-week-at-the-beach I'd had years ago.

I came away from it grateful that I have today off (so I could devote that much time to listening and talking with him) and also...glad he got the flu so a long phone chat was all we could do.

It was surprisingly great. We got to the point of talking about sex and rapacious Neanderthals. Even got into cultural stuff, such as old Bill Cosby hysterical routines with so much imaginative empathy for adolescent male sexuality...and the irony of how he missed empathy for half the species.

The upshot is that I felt much much closer to him, and happy when we hung up.

He said he'd had two realizations about me:
--I'm much much smarter than he'd assumed (I know...yarrggghhh, alert the media, smart woman)
--I'm a lot tougher emotionally than he'd realized (I said "Tough love" and he said, "I know. I don't always like it but I know it's good.")

I'm rather stunned but it turned out that this first "fight" (translate: email weirdness including incorrect assumptions on both sides) brought us closer. A lot. He really does listen and "work" to communicate through. That's a new experience for me.

love and mush,
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Twoapenny

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #136 on: January 08, 2018, 01:59:58 PM »
Aw, Hops, that does all sound good.  Yes, the talking is the key, isn't it, and like you say, good in a way that he has the flu so on the phone is the only way it can be done!  Often easier than face to face.  And yes, he's realised you're smart :)  And this, I think, can be a problem that many experience (and kind of goes back to something I said a few posts back about how conditioned both sexes are to focus on appearance) - I do think a lot of guys have been so conditioned socially to think that getting a woman boils down to telling her she's pretty, paying for a nice dinner and wearing clean shoes that some are genuinely surprised to find one that thinks and speaks as well :)  Lol.  I'm glad you've had a good talk and yes, it is all getting to know you stuff.  I'm glad the talk was a good one :) xx

lighter

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #137 on: January 08, 2018, 03:33:46 PM »
Gee Hops.... that conversation sounded..... really productive.  I'm glad.

What I noticed about it, aside from the fact that it seemed to go rather well, is your relief it was over the phone.  I keep waiting for him to be good enough, long enough, that you long for his company.

 If he could just stand down, and create space.... just let the space BE without taking it all up... you'd be able to close that distance yourself, in your own time, and way.  I know I say this and say it, but it's what I SEE when I look at your situation.  It's what I want you to have.  I want you to have everything you want, and be very comfortable in that space. 

You're still able to hope for an equal relationship with a man who may treat you like a human being.  He may very well be the kindest, most helpful, loving man who does too much on this earth.  He may appreciate your heart, body and soul.... figure out how wonderful it can be to have someone like you sharing his journey.  I keep hoping. 

I know this, once you start making excuses it's a very slippery slope to being miserable. 
IME, of course.

Don't make any excuses for him.   Remain calm, and expect to be treated as well as you treat him.  Nothing to get upset about, just a discussion here and there, right?

I do wish he'd just give you space so you could feel you're in your wheelhouse.  I really want that for you.

Lighter


sKePTiKal

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #138 on: January 08, 2018, 05:11:12 PM »
Hey Lighter... he can't give that to Hops; she has to claim it on her own. Then, it becomes part of the foundation of and for the relationship to bloom when he says - oh, OK - and doesn't resent it.

I've been watching Holly & Matt navigate some things together. Holly realized awhile ago that she gave up a boundary with him, over what is really HER space. She's been trying to find a way to reclaim it without automatically pushing his defensiveness button. Meanwhile, he's also asking for some things too. I talk to BOTH of them pretty openly.

One thing that I think has just become a big symbol of how things are changing is the birthday party and how Matt & I conspired with some ideas... and just how much work Matt did to make it happen. He was the anchor keeping the preps, the food production, and people's well-being tethered in having a great time. That was huge gift of the kind of thing she truly appreciates.

Other big things going on with them too. So a work in progress and she's learning to kind of go with the flow for a bit.
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Hopalong

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #139 on: January 08, 2018, 11:25:00 PM »
You guys are amazing.
Thanks, Tupp for the cheer, it is really good to hear that you heard the happy note.

Lighter, you're totally right about how critical it is that he learn to let me breathe. Respect the space I require in order to relax and expand. Become very comfortable with having requirements.

But to Amber's point, her opening is exactly what my T told me today. I speak up, I require what I require and learn to matter-of-factly say: Yes, no, that works for me, or that won't work for me. Iow, I have to give (and re-give) myself permission to be consistently and comfortably assertive. Rather than hope he donates it.

Then, there's no real threat (even though I've done such a great imitation of a panicking, dissolving ice cube lately). T is always trying to model matter-of-fact adult couple communication for me. Today, with talk with B, I realized...maybe I can do this better than I thought I could.

I still have some fear. I think I'd have it with any man until time and testing show me I'm truly in a safe place. But, B and I together went a long way today. A big piece for me was sticking to my guns about our trip plan (despite his disappointment), listening a lot to his memories and associations with the place (not my cuppa tea but it won't kill me to go there with him sometime), respecting them, and still for this particular decision, detangling that (his past) from our present (planning instead the short trip we'd agreed to as a first step). He accepted it without resentment, but it had helped so much that I'd talked it over with T this morning. (It was he who suggested, ask him what Hilton Head is about for him, listen to his story...). T said, the point is the process, it's the process of communication that matters most. Finding out if you can do that together well.

Still dunno about long-term but this was an encouraging step. I think it's the first time I've sensed that we really might be able to build something based on respect and commitment to working through conflict. Lord knows it's only one test but it was heartening to feel that we passed it.

My job is to work on the fear, so I don't remain so scared of enmeshment and/or conflict that I slip into yielding too much (though compromise matters) or going rigid. And I do think we have a loooooong way to go and many differences and preferences to sort out. It's a huge prospect but if we find we can enjoy it maybe it'll work.

Next on my own agenda is sharing with him some fears I have about what personality issues might be like for us if we settled into a long-term situation. Maybe I can just tell him: I worry about the mix of a poet with ADD who tends to NOT be tidy or on point a lot, and an engineer who thinks in spreadsheets (his personality was actually a business strength...a partner told him B drove him crazy with his methodical planning and always looking a year out, but said "Because you do that, I know it's why our company succeeded.")

I guess we'll have to talk about how a relationship is and is not like a company. Not my favorite metaphor, ugh. Maybe I can ask him to think of me as the loopy creative graphics person in the marketing department...? And how trying to "manage" me (which I think might be a reflex) won't work. I mean, vigorously won't work. I hope he'll get it.

Early days. Concern remain but less fear. More hope. Hoping I remain rational while maybe opening a little bit more to romance.

love
Hops
« Last Edit: January 08, 2018, 11:41:53 PM by Hopalong »
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Twoapenny

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #140 on: January 09, 2018, 02:12:53 AM »
Hops, I think being able to communicate is always going to be the key, I think we all hear that and understand it (in all aspects of our lives).  And yep, being able to talk and work through sticky patches is more important than never having sticky patches.  He might welcome the change of not having to constantly plan and organise (and maybe you'll get close enough for him to organise your paperwork!  He can be your inhouse Tup :)  lol).

I think the fear is very natural and very normal and I think you're managing it admirably.  Fear of being alone, fear of being with someone, fear of being with the wrong person - so many possibilities!  But you're negotiating those choppy waters and making it look easy so more power to your elbow :)

I'm happy to read that post; it sounds like that talk has put you both in a better place to hear what the other is saying (or it may be more accurate to say B has caught up with you a little ;) ) xx

lighter

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #141 on: January 09, 2018, 09:35:42 AM »
Hey Lighter... he can't give that to Hops; she has to claim it on her own. Then, it becomes part of the foundation of and for the relationship to bloom when he says - oh, OK - and doesn't resent it.

Amber:

I think B has to give it, so Hops can claim it.  Of all things.... that's one of the foundation blocks.  It can't be wrestled away, or imagined, ime.

I've encountered men who pretend to give it, sans resentment, but then I found both men did so with a " bitch will pay" mentality they forged in the open, where I could see it.  I'm good at pretending.  I also attract PD men who lack respect for anyone, along with kind, healing spirits.  They're mixed in, and so I share the obvious sign posts with Hops.

I know my only true regret, in relationships, is failure to honor myself and my intuition.  I can say that I have good instincts, and boundaries.  The failures were about enforcing my boundaries, and they crumbled inch by inch.  Small increments, really.

Nice men, once they understand if they can understand, don't make a life out of......making a bitch pay for attempting to honor herself, ime.  They step up, and honor alongside us.  I've seen that with my own eyes, so I know it's real.

There are sign posts if we're able to see and accept them, ime.  For me, some of those signs are still on fire.  They color my views.... I think that's clear.  There's also signs in moonlight, and sunshine.  The hard to discern are presented on moonlit nights, but on fire just the same.  I'm going cross-eyed with comparisons, so moving on.

Sometimes there is no respectful acceptance of a woman's boundaries or her right to have them, even if there's a bit of talk about it. 

Sometimes there is the charade of acceptance.....scary.

 Sometimes there is confusion, misunderstanding, then finally growth and honor when all seemed lost, ime.

Whatever happens, clarity is a good thing as we strive for balance and strike our bargains.

The saying....
We pays our monies, and takes our chances....:: nodding::

I think that's all I have to say about that.
Finally.
Lighter




Hopalong

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #142 on: January 09, 2018, 11:51:17 AM »
Thanks, Tupp. If B and I break up, I'll send you a plane ticket to come help me get organized!

And Lighter, thank you.
I don't completely follow the idea that he has to give it so I can claim it, as opposed to me claiming it from the get go so his permission isn't a factor....BUT. I still hear you, and respect (and need) your vibrating radar about boundary blunders, small or large. They've been there and must be dealt with.

It's how I imagine you being a martial artist -- vigilant, and with a very high-frequency awareness of threats. Even subtle ones, and that's what I appreciate so much about your commentary. Please don't withhold your insights even as I get excited when it goes well. Optimism balanced with caution...I need both to assemble the big picture. So far I'm working with puzzle pieces and the darker ones you move into view are essential truths too, as much as the rainbow sky. I don't hear paranoia, I hear experience.

Of course, we/I hope that over time B's decency and honor win out over his other traits. So far, I'm sensing habits of being "large and in charge." Some typical reflexes for someone entrenched in the kinds of climates he's lived in. However, I'm also hearing lately a lot of reflection, more insight than I'd expected, including some regret over how driven he was during his working life (regarding his wife).

In this most recent conversation, anyway, I really did not sense manipulation. He seemed to have a yearning to not just pour out feelings but also have effortful, two-way, respectful communication. He listens. And a theme that runs alongside my own habit of fear, is feeling respected by him.

That is an unusual and encouraging experience, as I've normally been attracted to brilliant but cynical men who'd see my soft side and compassion as things to exploit. B seems instead to see me as someone with goodness at the core, and he wants to be more tuned in to that in himself, I believe. (Careful, Hops, lest you make it up. Still, I think I'm receiving that signal.)

Even to myself, I do come across as a lot tougher emotionally than I used to be. Since my experiences with my boss, mother, brother and daughter, I am pretty unsentimental these days.  I speak more often and more openly about my thoughts about the culture.

I didn't feel patronized but appreciated, respected. It was pleasing to see that he didn't seem fixated on winning or being "right." I honestly felt he was enjoying my mind, feeling stimulated by my thinking. Anyway, it was nice to feel respected and recognized as a thinker....

Thanks again to you both, I appreciate your inputs so profoundly.

love,
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #143 on: January 09, 2018, 02:54:48 PM »
Lighter, is it possible you and I are talking about 2 different things? Or different aspects of the same thing? I feel kinda dense, but I didn't really understand your POV and couldn't make it connect to what I thought I was talking about...

claiming the space to be a separate individual with their own life, who is engaging in relationship with someone who has THEIR own life. Those lives may have some aspects in common, but undoubtedly will also be different. Maybe I can't understand, because of my long history of believing that enmeshment = all relationships. It was my "normal" relationship and while I saw that other people had a different arrangement... it wasn't how Amber did "love" relationships.

Until I actually claimed my own life - to be me, by myself... separate - within my marriage to Mike. He didn't "give" me the space to do that, I just took it - in other words, claimed it. And no, he didn't like it very much. He liked being the center of my attention, 24/7/365. If I went out for an afternoon (even to do yard work), I got the "I missed you; I was lonely... and he wouldn't "do for himself" either. It seemed he was loathe and perhaps incapable of going anywhere by himself or to develop guy friendships to engage in activities; I had to be with him.

And when I did agree to stay with him, invariably he fell asleep on the couch. Even before he was sick.

Larry, ex#2... would force me to do things on my own from time to time. And he definitely was the opposite of needing that kind of attention... to the point where I felt alone in company with him. And yet - if I did attempt to "have my own life"... that wasn't permitted either. He was all about control.

So, I kind of pin-balled between extremes and was pretty confused until learning that it would be healthy to have my own friends to do things with... my own interests that I didn't necessarily engage in with Mike... and things I needed to do for myself. And it wasn't selfish to want that; have that. It didn't mean I didn't love him... but I was done with the enmeshment-style of relationship. I mighta overdone it some... but only by HIS standards.

Going on year 3 alone now... I have enough distance (emotionally) to see one reason I haven't actively been seeking another relationship is because I'm still learning to have my own life, take care of own emotional needs in a healthy way... and it is just plain easier without another person's wants/needs to consider. I guarantee if I do start getting involved with someone I'm going to be flailing, second-guessing, and over-analyzing too. And I do believe I'm more afraid of experiencing THAT, than I am of being lured into a relationship by deception or manipulation or dishonesty on the guy's part.

OK, I've probably just confused you more... your turn: try to unconfuse me about what you were saying.
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Hopalong

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #144 on: January 10, 2018, 11:51:43 AM »
This is just rambling around in the space inside your dialogues, and happy they're happening. Me, still talking.

Glad you wrote all that, Amber. It makes so much sense that your chosen solitude is also curative for an enmeshment pattern. (BTW, I think B and Mike have real dependency in common and that'll be as big a challenge for me as it was for you...)

I think I'm scared of being controlled or dominated (but much less since that call). I have huge reflexive push-back and in fact am over-defensive. I was telling my T how hypersensitive I am to feeling pressure of any kind whatsoever (we're talking near-oppositional feelings...). Tried to come up with an image and got this:

I remember some glam events when I was younger. All purtied up. And a man escorting me wherever, would often place his hand at the small of my back as we entered a room. I got up and pantomimed for T, you know, that "gentleman escorts lady" gesture...? Then I said, imagine that you're wearing heels, walking carefully in a long dress. Then imagine that he slightly pushes you forward. His hand isn't just resting at your back, he's pushing a little, steering a little. We could call it "guiding" but that wouldn't be true to resistant-oppositional-near-paranoid me, who now thinks of that gesture with a huge desire to throw off the hand entirely. And kick him with my steel-toed fancy flats. (A grownup woman could just say calmly, I'm more comfortable walking on my own...or something like that.)

Nothing gracious about the inner reflex (and btw, this isn't even a situation, just an illustration) but I don't WANT to be "guided, steered" or especially "pushed" -- even subtly. I don't feel cosseted with such gestures, I feel diminished to "lady" (not strong woman with two feet) and, sorta, "trophy" not person. So even at this age I'm still navigating my rejection of all thaaaaat old stuff, while wanting genuinely to be grateful and kind and respectful of the good intentions that could accompany the gestures too. (You guessed it, B opens car doors. While I shiver, waiting...since I move faster than he does, I get there first. It's silly but I ain't fighting it.)

Believe me, neither of my two husbands could be bothered to do anything traditionally gentlemanly or let's call it basically considerate even apart from the feminist lens, so in fact, if I look at it that way, it could sometimes feel pleasant. Sounds like a reasonable thing, if I could try reasonable.... :lol:

Anyhow, I digress. What is really mattering to me, before B and I even try entering his kind of penultimate social soirees sometime maybe, which I imagine wouldn't even be that frequent...is in the now, he's been listening. Truly listening. And being respectful. I can't explain how reassuring that long conversation was the other day.

Although I have pathetic physical radar and dulled bodily intuition (thank you Lighter for the inspiration to pay more attention to this---remind me more!)...I do have pretty strong recognition of voice, the breath, rhythms, and words used in conversation. It may come from decades of poetry. I heard sincerity, effort and serious intent to do it well in B on the phone that day. Not a con.

Dunno why I'm falling on the floor so thrilled about that piece, except that it's a huge contrast to what I've experienced in relationships before.

(I think the reason being on the phone helped was: 1) He's goofily distracted and too swoony when I'm there --for now, it'll wear off-- for me to concentrate hard on verbal content; 2) When I need to talk about something I feel defensive or urgent about, maybe due to my ADD, I am less distracted on the phone. The phone concentrates what's happening into my ear and mind; in-person can overwhelm me if something feels very important or emotional. Huh. I never thought about it that way before, the possibly-ADD piece. But it's making sense now that I type it....(yup, took the meds this morning, hence typetypetypetype....)

I digress, ramble and interrupt. Eager to listen to y'all, carry on...

Oh wait. I forgot to tell y'all something. It's pretty self-explanatorily obvious and not a deal breaker. Not even creepy. But you'll get a better sense of where he is and what he's still processing as a not-quite-two-years widower after 46 years....
On our third meeting he asked me if I'd be interested in any of his wife's clothing--I think for two reasons: 1) the subconscious message which truly is fairly oblivious and 2) I think he's sensitive to me being relatively low-income and he's very frugal and concrete. And intends to be kind. To be gracious I accepted a nice corduroy shirt but her colors are generally not good for me and I don't want her stuff. Anyway, here it is two months later and the other day he asked again because he's ready to move it all out (and the practical piece--he goes, some of these things are lovely and still have the tags--meaning new). What's different is that this time I said, "You know B., I'll be honest. I would feel uncomfortable wearing your wife's clothing in your presence." And he immediately said, "Oh. Of course." (I thought I heard a forehead smack, not literally, but his tone was like that.) And the next day he just said he'd bagged it all up and taken it to donate. Sounded relieved.

So weird and unaware as it was, the moment he "got it" he did something appropriate about it. I wasn't creeped out. He's just a pretty transparent guy, I'm thinking. And that thought is making him feel better to me.

love
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #145 on: January 10, 2018, 01:10:51 PM »
LOL.... the hand on back illustration...
Yes, I see the Hops-reaction and how naturally it would arise. I know I've had those thoughts/feelings too. But many guys of this generation were raised with those kinds of gentlemanly manners. It was considered a sign of respect - until that respect was seen as covering up some less-positive attitudes toward women. Like opening doors, too. While I'm sure the connection arose from someone's actual experience - it was applied so broadly to all men, all the time - that it's considered a given now, that the gesture automatically MEANS the mysoginistic attitude is present. That's kind of unfair to my way of thinking.

I figure it's just a guy doing what he was taught was polite until I have reason to believe otherwise.

Yeah, I'd be creeped out dressing in his wife's clothes too. But I think you got that pegged just right.

And I have the same issue talking to someone in person - even the phone is still a bit of an issue - so digital/writing still is the best way for me to express myself. It's like too much sensory input at one time to remember what I'm trying to say and how.
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Hopalong

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #146 on: January 10, 2018, 01:28:06 PM »
I don't think it's a "given" really, or at least not among my friends. Most, if they refer to those old-school courtesies, choose to accept them as well-meaning, courtly gestures. To some, they feel sweet. Most women I know anyway (feminists all, but man-haters none at all).

I just find them particularly symbolic in ways that trigger me, so I gotta deal with my trigger mechanism. It's tiring, you know, figuring out balance in "don't sweat the small stuff, it's all small stuff" that would lead me straight to dissolving capitulation with things I actually believe erode my dignity... and having a peaceful life and not living in a defensive posture.

That balance. Mine is clearly out of whack but the thinking is conscious and nearly constant.

This relationship may have been plopped in my path to soothe some of those primal female hurts and calm the reflexive female anger at being dominated. Or (lordy hope not) to bring it all up one more time, with me not knowing confidently where to draw the line.

Some Lighterisms in my cookies that are helping:
Beware turning my No into a Yes
Remain calm.

I am excitable. Dammit.

love
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Hopalong

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #147 on: January 12, 2018, 10:48:03 AM »
Well B is over his flu and we're meeting in town tonight for the 3 Billboards movie, which I'm really looking forward to. Tomorrow, he's watching the game and I'll go to his place for the evening once it ends. I'm looking forward to it. He's snuggly and I think calmer now (since The Talk). We'll see!

I sense that he is less comfortable with driving at night and more physically cautious in the world. I don't mean athletically -- he golfs and plays raquetball and hikes and I have to flog myself to get moving. He is much fitter than I am but does have some vision issues, so maybe that's it. Kind of makes me think that his urgency could be about settling in for the long hard chapter with a woman at his side...because he really does sense more than I do the edge of the scythe.

I can't fault him for that because with 70 a couple years off, two does sound safer than one. What the very-elders go through, that I see all the time at work, is brutal as combat. The fight to navigate the world upright as possible, endure body breakdowns, maintain what control you can. To have an ally and/or advocate who loves you would sure make it easier. Two out of my three have signed up for the new building...which opens in April and includes assisted living (they're now in "independent" and for these two, it's unsafe) plus a memory unit, which I know they dread.

My least-favorite lady, who's got that Npower going for her delusions...needs to be there. Yesterday she lost her phone and I finally found it in a kitchen drawer. But her devoted son is very on top of things, coming to town almost twice a month, going to critical doctor visits, etc. I don't think she's long for this world...she has one kidney and it's failing and infected right now. Part of what her dementia causes is self-neglect. Simple things she needs to do (like elevate her feet and legs for 15 minutes/hr) she skips over because she's so powerfully driven not to miss one single bridge game or opportunity to be with others, because conversation and attention drive her so powerfully. She really is Nish, so I'm seeing what it's like at 90.... I worry about her still.

Hmmm. Another big B-thought is rising so I'll do a different post since it's a different thing.

xo
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Hopalong

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #148 on: January 19, 2018, 01:32:31 PM »
Thought I'd share this summary I sent a friend who wrote to ask how it's going:



B and I are still in it, and finding it sometimes hard.
Again, in my psyche, we've only been an exclusive/real couple
since the start of December. For me, the relationship's momentum has
been a bit overwhelming, because I've been single since 1995.
B has been single under two years. And was monogamous
for 40+ years. We have radically different histories.

I have been in many more relationships and have wrestled
with being alone (and mostly managed it) for decades. He is
frantic to nail everything down and that goes against every
scrap of inner wisdom I have. Two divorces and the romantic
delusions that got me married have made me approach love
very, very differently. He is still, understandably, more like a
young man who believes that plunging in will relieve his
existential anxiety and that forcing the pace is a solution.

So. He gets frustrated over any mis-steps in communication
and I retreat from any pressure or guilting. The way I see it,
time is expansive, he and I are both healthy so desperation
about looming death is not a good reason to leap before we
really know each other, have contemplated how we'll manage
our differences realistically, and crucially, have truly considered
compatibility issues that will long outlast honeymoon feelings.
Should we keep on going, at some point I will require serious
premarital counseling. And I am confident he'll agree to it.

But here's the good news. We have bumped into some mild
conflict and are tiptoeing into some contrasting worldviews that,
in the age of Trump, are difficult to dismiss. Yet every time we
do talk it through, I have been rewarded by feeling respected
and see that he will make a huge effort to listen and understand.
I am eager to do the same for him. What I'm not entirely yet
sure about (and this is okay with me, to not yet know) is whether
these intense conversations are motivated by his desperation
to "seal the deal" (anxiety) or a real desire to learn and grow.

He does challenge my habits of independence because I am
not used to someone expecting (almost demanding) gestures or
time that I have owed no one for a long time. I'm not quite there in
terms of putting him first. That too, is okay for now. I do work, I do
write, I do have other activities I care about. And while he is very
important to me, so are my own interests. This appears
difficult for him to assimilate at times.

The thing I intend to observe and learn more about with some
more time (a bit over six weeks is not very long) is whether B
carries some anger issues under the gentle, courteous surface.
He's mentioned "fighting" with his wife but changed the subject
when I asked how those fights played out. She was alcoholic
and he told me once, with a near-tortured affect, that he had
thought he may have "driven her to it." I don't think that's true
but it does hint at volatility and/or misery between them.

Why does it matter? I have ZERO tolerance (regardless of what
others might have) for being yelled or raged at. Period. The first
time would be the last time. This is my nature, my experience, and
my self-knowledge. I would walk out the next day regardless. So it's
very important to me to explore whether there can be assurances
about that, since conflict is inevitable in any relationship. He does
(beneath the charm) have what a woman I met in a church group
once would call a "forcing energy." Toward me, anyway. And of
course, politically, I sense some of his views are very hard. His
forceful approach to moving us forward might be part of a personality
that was for years in charge of sales for a growing company. But
in fact he is a shy introvert, and I think very dependent on his partner
for comfort. So dependent that he may be petulant when not being
frequently soothed. Not sure yet but I'm sensing that.

He's socially naive and talks about others in stereotypes, which
I find nearly unendurable. Because "Indians" are pushy and don't
wait their turn with shopkeepers and that means arrogance, he's
"always had a bad opinion" of "them". So his laborious description
of how he's found one Indian neighbor to be a nice woman and it's a
huge revelation to him...made me want to tear my hair out. My deep
sense of social justice and apparently much much wider experience
with people from different cultures are in big contrast. The thing is,
though his baby steps are delightful (in perhaps getting past right-wing
stereotypes) it demands very arduous patience from me. It's hard
because I'm an impatient person with those who are slow to catch
on to humanity. B thinks and speaks and reads very slowly and
I am quick (too quick, often), verbally and mentally. I am not saying
I'm smarter than he is, I'm just faster. And twitchy with impatience
plus ADD. I worry conversely, about how my disorganization will
meet his perfectionism. These are real, appropriate concerns.
It's a big growth challenge for me to learn to slow down and be
gentle, reassuring, and ... just be better at it. I'm not more virtuous
or morally superior but I have left-wing views held passionately.

NONE of this is to say B is abusive or not a good person. But
these are real energies that, along with my own complexities and
baggage, will take real time to make our way through. I am still
optimistic but I'm not soaring. I feel calm, and within my senses,
and have no urge to bolt. It's actually surprising to feel that after
early panics, I am feeling like a grounded, adult woman who does
know who she is. And I do like having someone in my life who is
really digging in, trying hard to forge something real. I'm grateful.

B is interesting, worthwhile, and attractive to me. The process
is draining but rewarding. We're looking forward to taking a long
weekend together for more time to talk. That will be so helpful.
And his so-far-ongoing willingness to keep working at it is great.
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: Heist on Something....
« Reply #149 on: January 19, 2018, 05:18:57 PM »
Amazingly perceptive analysis Hops. I'm glad you're feeling grounded now, and you seem to be refining just what your hopes and expectations are now, too. And waiting to see if can meet them.

It all sounds good.

Stereotypes are SUCH a disabling thing to forging relationships, and because I think everyone (even those trying very hard to NOT do this) still do to one degree or another... we have to figure out just how much "slack" to cut others and ourselves. And find ways to communicate that. That's probably a whole topic in/of itself.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.