Monday, November 5, 2012

Small steps

I keep re-reading my conclusion from the last blog post - to let go of the anxiety because I can embrace either outcome (things with out with The Runner or they don’t) - yet the knot of anxiety is more present than ever.

We talked, again, about the topic of his adjustment to dating a woman with a child.  As we dove deeper in, 3 things became clear:
1) He’s not even sure if he can make the adjustment. I originally thought he was adjusting but he said multiple time that he doesn’t know if he is a fit for me given my ‘family environment’. We talked through some his perceptions versus my perceptions of the responsibility that is involved.  And in the end, he asked to spend more time with Grace to see if it ‘clicks for him’.

2) He admitted to backing off and being distant because of his uncertainty. I told him that was very hurtful to me. I wasn’t even sure if he still liked me!

3) I’m really scared to continue letting him spend time with Grace. Because it isn’t going to click. He isn’t going to wake up one day and be comfortable in a family setting. It is going to happen through building a relationship with Grace and having repeated experiences where he is more comfortable and at ease.

After giving the conversation more though, I continued it the next day and came to the following conclusion:
We are moving through the steps of a relationship in a condensed time. Accelerated by the presence of a child. It’s creating a virtual pressure cooker that is scary for both of us, so the only want to take the pressure off is to take very small steps and to communicate openly throughout.  So we agreed to take baby steps and I asked that he keep lines of communication open and honest. He can’t shut down on my again, as it feeds into my insecurities and the assumptions that each person makes when one shuts down is the quickest way to derail a relationship.

So we are giving it a try. This should be good, right? I stuck up for my needs (open communication, reassurance....I added that one in as well).  He expressed his concerns. We addressed them together and came to an agreement of how to move forward together.  And when we’ve been spending time together, it’s been really nice. It feels more of how it felt from the start, back to his Superman ways.

Yet in the time we are apart, the anxiety gets so bad I can barely breathe. I’m not even sure what I’m so scared of. Potentially it is a trained reaction to view it as rejection or a fear that I’m not good enough. Although my head is very clear that is not the case. So why is my heart panicking? Why am I analyzing every word he says, looking for a deeper meaning, rather than just looking at our time together and saying: this is good..

I don’t have the answer. If anyone has a suggestion, please do chime in.

I knew dating after divorce would be hard. Particularly because my marriage ended in a 6 week time period - an entire life derailed - so I come by my very low tolerance for uncertainty honestly. But the low tolerance for uncertainty is really hurting me.  The ‘monster’ inside is feeding old stories of fear. I have no sense of security in the situation.  Obviously the easy way to rectify this is to cut of off and say it is inducing too much stress.  But I’d be ending something that still has potential out of fear.  Not out of love for myself.  He’s holding up his end. I’m holding up mine. Small steps, open communication.  This is good. Why am I so scared?

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