I work with a man that has a girl friend that is in the hospital for alcohol and some other possible related things. My coworker is being very kind to the woman – to his credit. He is a good man in most ways. Does not drink and has raised 4 kids mostly by himself. He was married to a woman that was… “toxic”. Or the relationship was poisonous. I saw him go through a lot of pain with her. He went through so much pain with 1 woman and then got into a relationship with another woman that makes his life miserable. I see how it affects him at work every day. There is a pattern here of choosing women that make his life miserable. A choice. He chooses to be miserable with misery makers. I hope he grows-up some day and finds someone to create a happy healthy peaceful relationship with. THAT will take some growing-up.
I spent most of my youth and adult years getting involved with people that made my life miserable. A few times I made THEIR lives miserable. I remember those times. I don’t make excuses. Ok 2: Alcohol and drugs. Good excuses. I was making myself miserable with substance abuse then bringing that to a relationship.
A few times I was just naive and stupid. I tried to save a woman that did not want to be saved from how she was and I got burned BAD. Others… TOTAL INCOMPATIBILITY. Oh except for the sex. THAT was VERY compatible! My marriage started good then turned into a nightmare of deceptions. Short short story: Russian that wanted to stay in the USA married me to stay here then ended it with an affair with her one true love from Russia. Long ago. I laugh about it now. I seemed to choose relationships with “KICK ME” signs on them. A lot of it was desperation I think. Low self confidence. Also running on erroneous assumptions about what a loving relationship is. Wow are we in the west programmed with some stupid stuff. After some time off I realized what is a HEALTHY relationship and … found one. Healthy. Mutually loving and nurturing. Non abusive. No substance abuse. No raging angry crap. No jealousy. Bravo!
Before my mom died, I told her I quit drinking and other such stupidity (for me). “You finally grew-up, Scott” she said. That has stuck with me. Mom’s greatest lesson in being proud of me.
The lesson was: You have grown-up when you stop hurting yourself and others. When you learn to love yourself and others. Often unconditionally. You have grown-up when you stop being extremely stupid about life and relationships.
I used-to think or assume that special intimate relationships were painful and that was part of life. Yeah part of life is pain but Relationships with lovers need to be… “LOVING” not trying to ruin and hurt each other. Years ago I realized how sick it was when someone would tell me about how MISERABLE they were in a marriage or other relationship and then add with passion: “BUT I LOVE THEM!” Ummmm ok that is “love” to you? I realized it was not love: It was a sickness. I realized most people have no idea what “love” and “loving” is and are. When we finally learn, it’s like realizing WISDOM.
The greatest wisdom in life is perhaps to learn how to love. To give it in so many ways in so many situations to so many people and living things.
Over 18 months ago I encountered a woman on a dating site. International. She is Chinese living in Denmark. I was CAUTIOUSLY attracted to her because of a rather severe or antagonistic look about her. “Cheeky” perhaps. Feisty? I was cautious with her. Took us a while finally have a talk on Skype face to face. Our first or second talk was mildly strained. I was joking a lot. She kept putting her hand to her face and I was sweating thinking “oh am I BOMBING!” I finally asked her why she kept putting her hand to cover her face. She gave me a rare smile and told me it was because she was laughing at my jokes! How I talked. She grew-up with very stern parents. Do not smile or laugh around them. Yeah I think they never went to a party they did not drain the life out of. To make a long long story shorter, we continued. We wrestled with time and each other’s personalities. We TESTED each other. For example, her ex husband was an abusive son of a bitch. Was I? I DO have a temper at times. I always know I sound like an idiot when I explode or get testy. That showed a few times. FORTUNATELY I backed off and we TALKED THINGS OUT. Ended up laughing about it most of the time. Things almost ended last October when she was going to fly here. She did not. Not sure what happened. She called me crying with some story. I was raging angry. I had sent her money. All gone. Big thing about online long distance is people being stupid and sending money. I was ridiculed for it by my coworkers once I told them about it. I had done that in the past – sent people money to help them. Ouch! IDIOT! With THIS lady… I calmed down. Her tears were REAL. I know she was just SCARED of coming over here. Understandable. We continued and maybe odd so some, that incident made us stronger. I showed a forgiving nature. I had thought she was a bit cold and realized, no she is not. Different cultures. Couple months passed and she said she was going to come here. Try again. Ok so why did not not fly to see her? TOTAL HORROR OF FLYING! And travel. She was experienced. THIS time, I said ok I will pay you back when you GET HERE. I told her where the house key was. Take a cab. I did not trust her. Time came for her to come here, I tracked her flight. I cleaned the house and got things prepped for a guest. No sex stuff just guest stuff. Make a woman comfortable and feel safe. Waiting for her flight on a Sunday night my phone rings. Cabbie with a Pakistani accent. He was about a half mile from where I lived no idea where I was. I got the idea where he was and went for a walk to find him. On icy streets. Sure enough there he was with my FRIEND in back. SHE paid him. I carried her luggage up the road laughing and talking all the way. I had a big beard back in February. I looked wild. I wondered if my Friend would like me. Found out later she was ready to go to a hotel if I did not like her. It was cool. (Smiling). I gave her my bedroom and I slept on an air mattress. She ate what SHE wanted to and had freedom. We had ONE argument. About DISHES! It was a test. HOW do we argue face to face? We found COMPROMISE and she attacked me beating my shoulder as I collapsed laughing then she did. A TEST of sorts passed. Other things? She said she liked to drink. I told her drink whatever and as much as she wanted. She drank 1 bottle of beer a night. Scott does not drink. She is not a boozer. After a couple days hanging out we went driving to see the area. It was fun. She trusted me. When she got back to Europe I found out how BRAVE she was. How much COURAGE it took to come here, a woman ALONE. Her ex had been a “beater” as I call them. He liked to hit. You get it. I did not go into it. Thing is, Scott could have been a lying monster. Violent and abusive. She hit me and I laughed and hugged her. Nope! Not violent.
The reason I showed this very private side of my life is that it shows MATURITY. 2 people have grown. Both know it is better to live alone than to be miserable with a miserable person. OURS is a relationship of mutual NURTURING. I am learning with it, too. Practicing being good. Practicing all the GOOD I have learned. Practicing all I have learned not about being a good “lover” but about being a GOOD LOVING PERSON. My friend I feel is the same way. It is a positively evolving relationship. Something we ALL need to do in relationships. To create positive loving relationships and not hey let’s go get miserable and destroy each other and ourselves relationships.
These days I am working on the loving relationships thing with family and what few friends I feel I have. I reject the toxic people because I just do not need or want that. I got HERE and I will meet you HERE when you grow the fuck up and quit shitting all over yourself and others. I see one coworker struggling with that: Jim That Says “FUCK” all the time. Every other word is THAT word. We had a talk about that recently. He surprised me by saying he is trying to change his fucking vocabulary. He is also has a new girl friend but it seems all he does is COMPLAIN. Ouch. I recall relationships like that in MY past. Gripe gripe gripe. If all you do is complain get out or change things. So many don’t GET it.
One of my great joys these days is finding HAPPY COUPLES. Sure they have their bad days but hey THEY GET ALONG! They coexist in peace and have some good times and LOVE EACH OTHER IN MANY WAYS. I see them and love them for it. It shows they had to work on THEMSELVES to get to that happy place with another. It takes a lot of work. The relationships grew and they with it and in doing so yeah they “grew-up”.
I know some couples that found that magic when young. I used-to envy them for it. Now I look at my emotional travels and grin about it: It’s been a helluva journey, but I made it.
(“Scott, You’ve finally grown up” said my mom so long ago. Thanks for seeing it when nobody else did.)