I have now been into therapy for quite a while and was thinking to write how that has changed my relationship. Me and my boyfriend have had loads of problems over the years and I think many of them came from both of us engaging in healing during this time. I am not proud to say that one of the reasons I started liking my boyfriend was because he helped me feel lovable. I had a habit of making other people responsible for my feelings. So there was my boyfriend admiring me, giving me compliments and showering me with attention. I don’t think I had much appreciation to his attentiveness in the beginning, more likely I took for granted. Even worse, I treated him as if he owed me all this, as if I had a right to demand such things from him.
We started off with push and pull relationship. I guess neither of us could take the amount of intimacy that the real relationship would have required. Our relationship was intense, to say the least- lots of fights, lots of making up. I would rate it as pretty dysfunctional.
At this point I was not aware of all the problematic behaviors I brought to the relationship. I thought I was, since my boyfriend ended up accusing me quite a bit for our problems. Instead I felt extremely victimized and, to a degree, played the part of martyrdom. In my mind I was always the one who had to go to therapy and fix my problems whereas he got away with his behavior. Our fights would almost always escalate to the point where I started crying and felt bad about myself. The way my boyfriend perceived the situation was that I was trying to make him responsible for yet another feeling of mine and hence he had to sometimes quite violently defend his ground. Naturally, he had his interests to defend as well- he was extremely scared of someone controlling him and hence me accusing him of, for instance flirting, felt to him as if I was violating his freedom. Ultimately both of us engaged in problematic behavior.
Now our push and pull dynamic has definitely gone better. I can stand loneliness better and he has made some real attempts to be more responsive. So in a way we have moved closer to each other in our healing process. We have also both made an effort to understand what is behind our patterns, in his case, it is a lot of shame and fear of being engulfed and in my case, it is a lot of feeling of not being cared for, not having anyone to trust. I am pretty sure that unless he had made some significant changes in his behavior we would not be together at this point. I still do not know however what the future brings. There have been so many frustrating moments where I have just wanted to walk away, where no solution has seemed good enough. Frankly, I think it is difficult for the relationship to take such amount of changing. On the other hand, when other couples talk about routine and things becoming boring after several years, then usually we have no idea what they mean. All kinds of negative words could be used to characterize our relationship, but boring is definitely not one of them.