Not so very long ago I found myself involved in two relationships back-to-back. Both are puzzling to me and I find that after four marriages followed by 13 years single, they made absolutely no sense. Yet the four marriages did not "make sense" either.
So, upon reflection, I began my search for self-knowledge and to learn the answer to the question, "Am I addicted to romantic love?"
It was not pretty nor am I proud of it. I have also been diagnosed as uni-polar, thereby enabling me (officially!) to wallow in depression and high degrees of anxiety. However, in the interest of mental health (I am in my second year of Recovery from alcohol addiction) I present the following summary for possible self-growth and sharing. Ultimately my hope is that I will accept my journey with the quest to better myself and leave behind the need to be involved romantically.
The first of the two was a younger professional, brilliant, and kind. I pressured him to say he loved me. He did not. Added to that, he wanted to keep our relationship a secret. We never went public. I became a burden to him with numerous health concerns. Two years later it was over. Truly over.
Moments after this relationship ended, another love appeared - perhaps as a rebound.
The second of the two was minutely older, from another religion and culture, was also brilliant, a professional, and deeply kind. While I did not place any pressure on him, it was the opposite dynamic. He was relentless in asking for my love, my buy-in to the relationship, and my presence in his life. Oddly and refreshingly, he worshipped his deceased partner. He placed her highest on his pyramid of adoration.
At first it was a lovely change from the divorced males I'd been around who complained constantly about their former spouses. This was new to me and I loved it. I loved that he had loved his partner of many years and wakened each day to her memories, while ending each day with them as well. Their home remains a shrine to her life.
Soon after the initial months, I realized I could not bring myself to be intimate with him in the their home. It was not working for me. I tried to keep our relations totally at my lake cottage. It then became important to be honest with him. I did this. He understood. Or, he tried to understand.
Unfortunately his worshipping of her above all entities and things was troublesome for my heart. I was the invader. That combined with a generalized lack of safety and the sense that my voice was not important lead me to review the union.
It ended with him making the final call. This worked for me since I could not bear the thought of hurting him in this way. And so, I leaned in, learned, extrapolated, and left. Oh, and neither of us enjoyed the other's cooking skills. Aaaack...
Am I a better person for having known both of these individuals? Absolutely. Yet I recognize my needs were not healthy. I walk on.
I am still learning - at the tender age of 67.
A Moodscope member.