HomeMain PageRelationshipsSkillsCommunicationTo be Safe You Must Share

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To be Safe You Must Share — 13 Comments

  1. Hi Al,
    I came across your website and papers June 2013 when my partner of 10 years left me without saying why and wouldn’t speak to me about it. I did a Google search and found you. I read lots of your papers, I did a lot of thinking and mind searching.

    I decided not to walk away but to try to mend things with him. I used your methods. He gradually started to talk and told me he had left because of the circumstances. Six months previous, his teenage children had come to live with him after falling out with their mum, he felt he couldn’t maintain a relationship and look after them. He said he felt he couldn’t give me what he thought he should, even though I had not asked for anything and I have always got along fine with his children.

    I sat back and waited. I thought if that was it, I would wait and slowly and hopefully show him we could make this work together. He said he still loved me and missed me and was doubting his decision.

    After 4 months I discovered he was visiting a woman at work, he said they had met a few weeks after we broke up. I was angry, I said he knew I was waiting for him and I asked for his honesty and to stop seeing me if he wanted her.

    He said he wanted to make a go of it with me and we started dating on the understanding he wasn’t seeing her. You can guess where this is going. We were properly back together by January but I found they had planned a lunch date in the March. He said he never intended to go but was too coward to say no to her. We have talked, cried, laughed and done our best to make a better relationship. I have asked for his honesty and openness, I still knew something wasn’t right.

    As things improved between us he has opened up and told me he was seeing her for 3 months before we met, he worked with her, her child was a similar age to his and he thought the grass was greener and allowed himself to get closer to her. He said he realized soon after we finished she wasn’t the sort of person he wanted a relationship with. He has also confessed to continuing to see her for 5 months after we got back together. This confession came a couple of weeks back. He said he used to call at her home for a cup of tea before coming to me.

    I feel all the work we have done to rebuild our relationship was done on top of untruths. Had I known this at the outset I may not of wanted to continue. I feel betrayed all over again. I am really finding it hard now to trust him, so much was covered up I keep wondering what else is there. I can’t settle comfortably with him. But I don’t want to give up we have come so far.

    I decided this morning to come back to you, to read more papers to try and find some help, guidance, support, lesson.. Anything to help. He is a good man and father, he does find it very difficult to talk, even if he has to ask his kids to do the dishes.. I am sensitive in my approach with him but I can’t just leave this.

    I ended up crying this morning and told him I’m troubled and having trust issues. He said he understood but offered no reassurance. I had to ask. He says if we talk about it his guilt at hurting me weighs him down for the day.

    Can you guide me towards any of your essays etc to help us please and thank you for making your work available. So many of your essays have given me a greater understanding of relationships and soothed my thoughts at times when it’s been quite tough going.
    Thanks. Hopefully xxx

    • Hello “mandarin,”

      Thanks for dropping by and sharing your story. I certainly can hear and see part of what is going on. Relationships aren’t easy and perhaps I can share a bit about your situation and give you further directions to look.

      One thing that puzzles so many “working” on a deep relationship is the need, not just to witness and experience what your partner does, but to deeply understand the “why” of what they do, (oh, and share the deep “why” of what you do, too). The reason for this is that a deep relationship requires a deep sense of safety, trust, freedom from betrayal and surprise – which can only occur with deep intimacy. Now, people always make sense. They always do what makes sense for them to do. So if you want no surprises, you have to solidly learn their sense and how it works. If you want to stop surprising your partner, you have to share with them your sense. Know their sense and then what they do will seem easily understood and no surprise, or shock.

      Most people start this journey-to-intimacy after some series of shocks such as you’ve had. And those shocks do hurt. Ow.

      And so before you is the gathering of a lot of data. Here are some of the questions I imagine you will get answers to, along the way. Why does he lie to you? (Probably first simple answer is that he’s scared of you – scare of what will happen if he tells you his truth.) The answer to this may lead to why he lies to many people? Why is it difficult for him to say “no” to the other woman? My guess is he is conflict avoidant in a way that generates lots of conflict. Cool thing about the answer to this is it may lead to what you need to do to get him to be reliably honest. Promises won’t work.

      Why does he pick the kind of women he does, including you? He does and he makes sense doing it. Even more interesting is why did you pick and stay with a partner who is commonly deceptive? Probably has to do with your momma and poppa. These questions often lead to brilliant observations that give you reasons to work WITH each other.

      Lots of stuff here.

      Your goal is that he finds you a) a source of safety as b) he learns to be a source of safety to you.

      It does sound as if you have been working on this, but just have to go further down that path.

      My guess is you’ve partnered with a person who is a bit on the Codependent side and thus tries to make other’s happy but not in a way that nourishes himself. Tricky. Gonna have to learn about Codependency. But not beyond you, I believe.

      So I would look into my papers on the Power of Passivity and Passivity in the Foundations and then look at the two papers on Caring Behaviors, Caring Days, and Caring Days a Discussion. All about both people learning healthy boundaries and both learning appropriate selfishness.

      Go ahead and post back here your questions.

      Good luck.

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