May 17, 2013 at 12:05 pm #35804
My relationship with my long distance boyfriend of nearly two years started very roughly. We met online during a time where I was being very promiscuous online, addicted, but also thriving in some way, as addicts do. There were definite pros and cons to this lifestyle. It allowed me to finally express my sexuality after being too self-conscious to do so for years. I met a lot of interesting people. it was more than just sexual activity; often it got much more intimate, and many times it became a friendship too. But it was dangerous in so many ways, especially for someone like me. When Ben first sent me a message I was fairly uninterested in the beginning but kept up casual conversation. He, on the other hand was falling in love, hard.
There are a lot of discrepancies about what I remember during that time. It was and still is very confusing to think about. I still cannot decide if mental illness was triggered by all this, or if it helped cause it, but I do struggle with some issues; some that are diagnosed and some that are not.
We met in late summer and by late fall, he told me he loved me and I told him I loved him and we officialised. I think part of me craved the stability and felt bad for not having it. He offered me SOLID love and utmost commitment. It is almost as if I felt compelled to accept and return his love. All of this is very vague and I fight with myself to try to remember what I was feeling at that time, my internal struggles, where my love was, and I really cannot say for sure. But on this confusing basis, we did create a relationship. I remember struggling so hard to let go of all my other ‘connections’ particularly with one person who, as I reflect now, I was much closer with than others for a much longer period of time; I know now that he loved me. It killed him that I was doing this. And it killed me too but I did anyway. That is pretty much the theme to my story and to this day I don’t really know why. I was a mess during this period of time where I was making the transition to be a girlfriend. It all seems so twisted and dramatic recalling and explaining this. I have never been able to before and I am trying to be accurate.
After the initial madness, it seemed I had successfully made the transition. Me and Ben were ‘thriving’ as a couple. Again, our dynamics at that time are completely blurred to me but we acted and communicated as a couple. I don’t remember how long it took for it to happen again or if it just never really stopped, I don’t even fully remember how frequently. I continued to pursue what I was doing before. But this time it was considered cheating. Sometimes with people I knew in the past. Sometimes less intimately with strangers. Sometimes with new characters. It screwed me up. Worse than I was before. So terribly bad. There were numerous points where I was definitely close to death. I can see that now. The confusion and the complete loathing of myself alongside a few dangerous situations were enough to push me that close.
Ben has been cheated on by every woman he has been with. We are both very insecure people. He says this is the first time he has been in love (but not his first relationship). I consider him my first love and relationship. Sometime during the spring after we started dating in October, I told him what was going on. It was the first time I heard him cry.
Just before I told him, I experienced a very abusive and controlling ‘relationship’ with one of the brief connections I had made before I met Ben. He came back into my life and became part of my cheating. The trauma from that drove me further over the edge, and I am really not sure what to credit for my sudden confession. It came out of nowhere but saved everything. I am so thankful for what I think of as my own divine intervention.
Ben had been suspicious because I was ‘honest’ to him that and old ‘friend’ had come back into my life. (The abusive one) I have no idea what compelled me to share that with him. I really think part of me didn’t believe that I was cheating. Part of me just couldn’t understand that I would do such a thing. If you know me in real life you would never ever suspect it. Though Ben was suspicious, he just thought he was being irrational and insecure. When I told him it confirmed all his fears, and damaged him deeply. I think there are a couple reasons why he is still here and I am thankful for them. We slowly but surely built things up.
I consider it the beginning of our relationship because it gave me the opportunity to grow love, and for him to regrow his. Can you grow love? I panic at the thought of “You’ve never loved him”. People say that about people who cheat. And today I still struggle with that. I appreciate everything he does for me. He has flown across the ocean for me. He is concerned about my mental state. He wants to have kids and a family with me. And I feel the same for him. But I can’t trust my feelings. I’m just beginning to trust myself in general. I have stayed true ever since, and to the outside eye we are absolutely perfect for each other. So similar. It erks me sometimes that we get mistaken for brother and sister ha. I love Ben. I can say that confidently. But I can’t deny the past and I still struggle. Hard.
I know I have issues with identity and confidence and honesty and lots of other things. And though part of me strongly believes I need to spend forever with him, other parts totally disagree and point to the past as proof. It scares me so much.
Can love be learned? Should I allow myself to act on impulses? Is it fate for me to make certain decisions? Is it the course of the universe? Confessing to him was an impulse, but leaving him in order to heal on my own is an impulse too. The benefit would probably never amount to the pain. On both our parts. He is my everything, and I have lost myself in this relationship; but I would rather lose myself in him than be lost in a dangerous internet world. I just want to be found. Without medication.
If you have gotten this far please share with me. I just need someone to talk to. I kinda feel like that’s the phrase that started the whole thing.May 17, 2013 at 1:50 pm #35813
I believe all cries for help, are cries for love. Not love from another person, but from ourselves, for ourselves. You have asked the question can love be learned and my answer is yes. It seems to me we cannot love another until we know and love ourselves, and then, only then when we love ourselves can we truly love someone else.
I think your boyfriend has helped you to know yourself, and the next part is up to you. I am sure you do not need to deny the past, but accept it – accept the mistakes you made and learn from them, about yourself. A spiritual journey is always a journey inside ourselves.
As someone who spent many years looking for love outside of myself, I know you are strong enough and wise enough to inside and find and love the real you.
Love and peace,
MarilynMay 18, 2013 at 1:52 am #35829
Recently I experienced something similar to what you went through. I got into a long distance relationship over the internet and we ended up living together. A lot of my demons came up and really interfered with the relationship. I went through some very rough patches in my past relationships where I was cheated on repeatedly, lied to and hurt. I went through a deep depression that I never received treatment for. I ended up cheating on my current ex. I shouldn’t have done it but i’ve reconciled that part of my life.
I used to think that I was in love yet at times I wasn’t sure. The problem was, I never really knew myself or allowed me to be myself. That all stemmed from my past and it took a pretty drastic event to realise that.
I can understand where you are coming from. Each person comes into our lives to teach us something about ourselves.June 12, 2013 at 7:30 am #36793
Hello Marilyn and Adam,
I must admit that I felt so good after releasing this pain that I forgot to check back for any responses.
Thank you so so much, your words have helped me.
I am still struggling with my relationship. I am trying to heal myself so I can heal us.
I truly hope that I will look back on this one day and feel that it has caused me to grow.
Thank you for your insight xJune 12, 2013 at 11:34 am #36801
What you said here stuck out to me: “He is my everything, and I have lost myself in this relationship; but I would rather lose myself in him than be lost in a dangerous internet world.” Being lost as a girlfriend or being lost in random relationships are not the only two choices available to you! Maybe to be found, you need to take a different path than the two you’ve presented.
Final thought: in my personal experience, if your answer to “am I/was I in love” is “I’m not sure”? The actual answer is no. Real love has a certainty to it that is hard to ignore, and I’m sure in time you will find it, both within you and outside you.