Growth (This One’s Personal)

I’d rather spend every day with you and your issues, and working on them and making you whole again, than spend a day without you……

 

This week is the 4th anniversary of the first time that Lissa and I first spent time together.  I’d known Lissa online, and from one of the NJ BBW Bash events that she attended.  We’d chatted here and there during the year or so prior.

After my second marriage started to dissolve before my eyes after almost 8 years, I got myself into therapy, for several reasons.  The first was to better cope with my marriage ending.  The second, was to get my own emotional state in order.  After the breakup, I got myself involved with someone who also had emotional issues, and didn’t want a serious relationship.  I tried to force it on her, rather than realizing what she was capable/incapable of, and the 7-8 months of push-pull had left both of us emotionally exhausted.  I’d felt like it was a cycle that I’d continue to repeat if I didn’t do something about it.

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In the midst of all this, Lissa began to talk with me about visiting.  I was about to take a break from social media right around that time.  I’d just come off the April NJ Bash.  I’d even written a blog about how I needed a break in order to “get my smile back”.  This was on the heels of not only the ending of the relationship I tried to have after my marriage, but also the beginning of the end of my affiliation with the NJ BBW Bash, after accusations had been made about my reasons for involvement by people who attended the events.

Lissa understood that, and I took a hiatus.  I continued my therapy, read a lot, and prayed.  I knew that I was the only person responsible for changing the things that I needed to change to move forward, regardless of whether I chose to be alone, or in a relationship.

Fast forward about 2 months, and I reached out to Lissa, and suggested mid June as a time to meet.  It was right around Fathers Day Weekend.  I would have been a fool to think that I was “cured” of my issues in 2 months, but after discussion with my therapist, we’d agreed that it would be an acceptable thing to do, as long as both of us (Lissa and I) understood that this was a casual date, one that would last several days, with no obligations for either of us.  Lissa had agreed to it, and hey, we both had nothing to lose.

We had a fantastic week together, and after she left, I wondered if if was solely because there was no pressure to move it forward.  She returned to Iowa, but moved to Ohio shortly thereafter.

We talked a lot, both online and on the phone, after she left.  I could see things beginning to move forward,  I knew that IF I was going to again get into a relationship, I’d need to be prepared to cover my end.  By August of 2010, we talked virtually every day.

Then by the end of August, I found myself in the hospital, with a bilateral pulmonary embolism, and blood clots in my legs.  When I told her where I was, she along with a friend, jumped in the car & made the drive to NJ.  They stayed at my place while I was hospitalized.  Upon my release, she went back to Ohio.  One of the things that I’d learned from the previous relationship was that at some point the distance between people should close if the relationship has any chance of moving forward (the last woman was from Canada).  It was during that time that the ex from Canada reached out to Lissa to “warn” her about me.  She said I was nothing but drama, and that my ex wife had “ruined me”, and that Lissa should run away as fast as she could from me….

It wasn’t long thereafter that Lissa told me that she was offered a job in Conshohocken, PA and wanted to take it, so we could spend some time together.  My divorce was not final (in NJ, you need to be separated for 18 months to get a “no fault” divorce), and I didn’t want to confuse my son about why someone was living with me so quickly after my marriage breakup.  Lissa understood, and she moved to Gibbstown, NJ, about 30 minutes from where I lived.  I have to say that as hard as I was working on me, her understanding of where I was emotionally made this relationship even more valuable, since few others took that into consideration.

Actually, Lissa moved in once my divorce was final, and she and her daughter both live with me, which they do to this day.  We got engaged in August of 2014, not long after my father passed away, and while we don’t have a set date to get married, I’m working on making the proper emotional adjustments that will allow me to do that.

I’ve learned lots of stuff over the past couple of years, thus proving that you can teach an old dog new tricks.  I’ve re-learned that good relationships take work, and a commitment to both partners to work, both alone and together, towards the common goal of making the relationship work.  That comes a whole lot easier when each person’s focus is the other one in the relationship.  Most important, I’ve learned the value of that one person who “gets you”, the person who understands where you are at emotionally.  I’ve also learned that I need to do the same for my partner, if the relationship has any chance of success.

Thank you for showing me this every day, and happy anniversary, honey………..I love you!

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