Post by saudade2020 on Apr 25, 2020 9:08:29 GMT -8
Thanks to Susannah and page admins for organizing this whole thing. I am new here, so forgive me for any noob faux pas' or errors. but I dont see a lot of male shares on the boards, so am just gonna throw mine in the ring if thats ok? ....
in ref: to Robin Norwood's books Women Who Love Too Much
The books WWL2M and Letters From… are both profound in their insight.
A very quick bio of me; 36 year old male, healthcare professional from a stable middle class home, where both parents are still married and without substance issues. I am one of 4 siblings; there are no acute mental health or addiction issues in the family as far as I am aware and we were all raised in a seemingly functional and caring household with cousins, aunts, uncles and grand parents all around.
I have had one episode of depression in my 20’s which was brought on by working in an environment I did not enjoy, an unhealthy lifestyle, an immature relationship breakdown, as well as my own immature out-look on life and adult responsibility in general. I addressed some issues in that recovery over a couple years and have had no relapse of depressive episodes since.
For 10 years now I have worked internationally on military style healthcare deployments and for the vast majority of it, I find this very rewarding, but it undoubtedly makes personal relationships very difficult to establish and maintain.
Modern technology and communications do not even work or exist in many of the places I find myself in, often for months at a time. I am quite fiercely independent and often happy in my own company for long periods; I don’t know why, but I have never sought to be “mothered” or “looked after” by anyone. No doubt this is damaging in my personal and professional relationships.
Although I am not an alcoholic (I do drink socially, but use no drugs at all) I have recently started to address issues around sex addiction. My bachelor lifestyle when not on deployment meant I quite easily fell into a trap of multiple casual hook ups which were initially acting like “band aids” for me , but over several years are, I now realise, ultimately destructive and harmful. I accept I am a probably a sex addict and am in the very early stages of addressing this via literature, SLAA meetings (when able) and engaging with a therapist (one general, one specific to SLAA).
My last attempt at a relationship began 3 years ago and was with a woman whose behaviours I could identify on almost every page of Robin’s two books; she is a confirmed woman who loves too much of no doubt. I could sometimes see myself too while reading these books.
But I could only see this after the relationship had ended and was reading them. She was a lawyer, late 20’s, an alcoholic (borderline, but sober by the end of our 2 years together), a regular marijuana smoker (which I encouraged her to quit early on), cigarette smoker, occasional overeater, prone to high stress, anxiety and a perfectionist who was raised in a dysfunctional home. Both her parents were alcoholics throughout her childhood and were finally divorced a few years ago once the 2 children became young adults and had left home for college.
Her mother was only recently sober and anorexic for much of her adult life, but her father is still drinking and completely estranged from one daughter, and only partially in touch with the one I was dating.
She has been emotionally, physically and mentally neglected by her father from birth and obviously carries this trauma with her still. I had no idea of the extent of this and how significant it was at the time I met her.
I almost completely missed all the red flags in our early days together but noticed enough to realise that she needed to work through a significant childhood trauma and recommended she start this by giving up marijuana and engaging with a therapist (neither of which she had had done before) immediately.
I now also realise how much of her father and a chance at redemption I may have represented to her, being a male figure who she could attempt to love, but one who lived a globe trotting itinerant lifestyle who would ultimately leave her at regular intervals (for work), abandoning her and by default behaving selfishly even though I was a professional humanitarian.
In uniform pattern to the books, our relationship developed quite quickly. I was asked to move in to her place after several months together because “it made sense” her words. When I rejected this or appeared reluctant or wanted to wait until our relationship matured a little more, it caused tension between us.
There were many things that caused tension between us; a lot of them I had trouble to understand fully at the time, but Robin’s books give real clarity to the root causes of them now.
However, there is no denying some of our issues were down to my own lack of real life relationship experience and ability to form adult compromise and effective relating. It feels like we both came to this relationship with a good equal chunk of issues that needed to be figured out and addressed.
I should point out that during the relationship I was faithful despite my (at the time) undiagnosed sex addiction. Although I am still coming to understand the exact nature of my addiction and how it manifests, I was not with other women while I was with this last partner. However, when we broke up, I would seek solace in further casual encounters elsewhere very quickly.
So where am I going with this? Just thank you really. The books and groups like this have helped me start to understand a traumatic and painful relationship, and I am now at the beginning of a recovery for my own unhealthy patterns of behaviour which are equally as painful to address and examine.
I do not know what my future holds, but I hope it will be better for having read these books and sticking with it’s recommendations.
I suppose one question I have would be can there ever be any hope of reconciliation between me and my ex partner now that we are both actively engaged in recovery?
Or is that very question a shining example of how far my own recovery still has to go ? haha
We have not spoken in almost a year, but I cannot deny I find that very difficult to maintain and am glad I deleted her phone number in an effort to fight the temptation to reach out to her.
I have been sober from all physical relations for over a month and am not engaging in communication or planning hook ups with any of my previous contacts or attempting to make new ones.
I would love her to read these books and talk to her about them but am aware of how potentially destructive that is. I hope she is still sober, working her program , happ(ier)y and healthy but I can not help missing her. I am ashamed of myself.