Monday, July 8, 2013

Unlocking the Pattern

My sister-in-law (his sis) said to me months ago (right after he left), that she never thought we were well matched.  I don't particularly like that stance.  I think that match is what you make of it and that we were well matched in many many ways, and that the rest is work.  It's so convenient to look back on failure and shake your head and simply say, "we weren't well matched." But now I'm perseverating on that thought a little bit.  Here's the line of thought:

  • I wished that I had someone who had taken care of me a little bit more.
  • I know that I have a pattern of being the caretaker in life, and not being taken care of. (I did work to change that pattern this weekend when I reached out for help and let people come to my house and work tirelessly in my yard and in the house to get things ready for sale.)
  • I also have very high expectations (of myself and others).
As someone who is consistently in the role of caretaker and also has very high expectations, I take it all on and don't generally whine (certainly not what it seems like from reading these posts) and I also expect my partner to shoulder a lot (not from me, but from life).  I felt like I supported him a lot emotionally and otherwise, but if my expectations for life in general were too high for him (even if EVERYONE around me agrees that they weren't too high, but perhaps they were for HIM), than he was left with no reserves left to care for me.  I know that because he constantly felt like he was scrambling to meet my expectations, he felt like a failure in my eyes.  It doesn't matter that a) my expectations were totally reasonable (this is supported by other's comments and observations), and b) I REPEATEDLY reassured him that I wasn't putting those expectations on him, wasn't finding fault with him that certain things weren't done, because God knows we were busy, how could we possibly get it all done.  Was he so wrapped up in his sense of failure with not meeting my (not-put-on-him-but-just-known) desires, that he had nothing left with to care for me?  Is this what his sister was getting at when she suggested that we weren't well matched, that I was too strong?
Well, where does that leave me? Am I doomed to not have partnership unless I can find someone with the same energy level and vision as I have?  I don't think it has to be that way.  I think partners can still care for each other, even with different energy levels.  I think that if he had been taking care of himself (which I repeatedly encouraged but he never did), that even if our energy and vision was slightly out of balance, he would have had the reserves left to be able to demonstrate his care for me more.
Ok, I think I'm thinking in circles now, and I have to get to work anyhow.  Part of me knows all this self-reflection and "review work" doesn't do any good, but the other part of me argues that I need to do this so I don't fall into the same pattern with someone else someday.  Don't I have to unlock the pattern in order for that not to happen again?

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