This is in reference to my blog entry http://goshthisdivorce.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/sit-wait-contemplate/.
I’d like to stress that all of these are written from my point of view, but I would never ask someone to do something for me I wouldn’t do for them. I am a communicator, I do compromise, I work through bumps and don’t give up, and I do unconditionally support people – sometimes setting aside my own issues for the greater good. Everything on my list that I’m looking for in a mate, I feel I posses and bring to the table myself. I’m far from perfect in any of them, but I am willing to work and grow in all of these areas with the right person.
It’s odd that I would reach #4 on my list now, because it is oh so relevant. To recap, here is the #4 quality I am looking for in my next spouse:
- Support, even when you’re not feeling it. Being able to decide who needs the love and support more and giving them that, even when you’re dealing with issues of your own.
My life growing up was simple. It was easy. I used to often look back and think about what a charmed life I really did have. My family loved me unconditionally, they supported me unconditionally, and they trusted me. Then, just over three years ago, I found out that all that stuff I thought was unconditional, was actually tied to the fact that I had always done what they wanted and what was expected of me.
What I found is that, while they loved me unconditionally because I was their daughter/sister/niece/granddaughter, that doesn’t always translate into respecting me for me – that’s just loving me for a bloodline connection. I found out the hard way that their “unconditional support” was only true in endeavors that they understood. They, aside from my mom, didn’t have a true trust of my character or believe that I would always do the right thing. For that, and all the issues that have come up since then surrounding my divorce and some of their manipulative actions behind it, I will be forever scarred. The way my family reacted hurt much more than my divorce ever did.
Support. I need someone who understands me so deeply, so completely, that they will be able to give me unconditional support. Not support after they know my whole life story or supporting a situation after they know all the details…but support because they understand what a good person I am, what an honest and genuine person I am, and that because of that, I will always do the thing I think it right and just. In return, I promise that I will love them just the same and give them the same unconditional support and trust that they deserve.
I’m totally not saying that if they support me and then think I’m doing wrong, they can’t have a say in it – rather they should never look at me and assume I’m taking a wrong path, like my family did and still somewhat continue to do. It’s more of a “do no harm” when it comes to things.
I also need someone who can prioritize. Everyone needs support in a variety of areas. Myself, I need someone to support me when I have a rough day at work or feel overloaded, I need someone to support me when I’m falling behind at home, and I definitely need someone to support me when I’m dealing with EX and co-parenting. In the scheme of things though, it’s that last one that always trumps everything else. That situation (when issues arise) is my number one stressor that makes me feel the most alone. Typically, when co-parenting issues come up, it pushes my mental limits to the edge and I worry. That worry for my children flows into every other aspect – making work more stressful and home life more difficult to focus on and I fall behind. I need someone who can recognize that and help me get myself back on track.
I’ve already mentioned that my dear, longtime friend PLM is amazing at this, but I also have to say that my other dear friend, HLJ is pretty amazing at it as well. She has called me from time to time with something on her mind that is just eating her up, but as soon as she hears my kids are being messed with, she drops it and helps me out. In turn, I am able to focus and help her through her issue as well. It’s a great balance of give and take – something that I’ve found, so far, women seem to be better than men with.
There are so many times where I’ve been able to prioritize my own issues and feelings as being less important that someone’s – and do it happily for the greater good. However in my relationships, it has occasionally been to my own self destruction that I’ve done that. I’ve worried about an issue that pops up and affects both myself and The Boyfriend, but I’ve set my own feelings aside and focused on him. Unfortunately, I think I’ve taken this a little far and, in the past, my feelings haven’t been considered enough. I haven’t put them out there on a topic or issue between the two of us and rather focused on “fixing” him, without expecting him to work on or for him to take some responsibility in fixing the issue. I’m slowly working on correcting that, but it takes time and understanding…which is where the rare but painful issue comes in. I will tell him that something is really important to me, he will say he gets it, then he will do the complete opposite. (Please take note that I said this is rare, but it does come up.)
For example – Facebook. Facebook is a great way to keep up with friends, but it can also lead to some really inappropriate things being commented/messaged/etc. Because of issues in the past, The Boyfriend and I have a deal – no Facebook after we speak at night (usually past 10pm or if we don’t speak, 10pm is the general time). A few weeks ago, I mentioned to him again that for my comfort level, especially based off of things that have happened in the past in other relationships and with him, I still needed that so I could rest well at night. This is a pretty good compromise for both of us, considering at one point he had offered to remove himself from Facebook completely (which I told him wasn’t necessary, but only because I know it’s a way for him to keep contact with his overseas friends) – so asking for both of us to stay off it late at night shouldn’t be a big deal, because it’s fair. I mentioned it because I had noticed he had started going back on and it was really affecting me – mentally. At the time, he seemed totally fine with it (staying off after 10pm)…but then a few days later was back into the pattern. He blamed it on boredom, which I can understand, but it’s such a simple thing I’m asking him to do that I’m not only doing the same (so it’s fair), it just helps me sleep at night, for a multitude of past and present reasons I won’t go into. So, I asked him again to stop and he said he would.
I’m hoping he will support that need, but considering the recent history, I’m nervous he won’t. Every time we’ve made a compromise and it’s fallen through, it’s taken a bit of my self confidence away. Granted, that’s on me partially – I shouldn’t give anyone that kind of power over me. However, I am more vulnerable with him because in a majority of areas, he does support me, he will compromise with me, so when he doesn’t it simply shakes me to the core.
In relationships, we’re not always going to understand why the other person needs us to support or do something to support them. We can’t really understand unless we’ve been through everything they’ve gone through – either the stuff they’ve gone through with you and maybe you don’t realize how much you’ve hurt them or the stuff they’ve gone through before you. The important thing is being able to realize that what they ask or need in support, if coming from a genuinely honest and true person, they have their reasons and need you to help in whatever capacity you can – even if it seems silly or you don’t understand. If they are good, their reasons aren’t nefarious, and they are a fair compromise – sometimes you just need to do it.