Friday, May 10, 2013

We Can Work It Out

Last week at Oh Get A Grip! I came clean about some of the relationship messiness that's been going on between Sweet and I. Read it here if you want the backstory:  

Is it weird that I share more of my life with my online community (that's YOU, by the way) than with my "real life" friends?  Or is that the new normal?

Anyhoo, just thought I'd give you all an update.  After not talking, almost a month(?!), our anniversary struck.  May Day is the anniversary of our first date.  As of May 1, 2013, Sweet and I have been together five years.  Whether that's a long time or the blink of an eye is relative, I suppose, to the reader's experience.  For me, I feel like Sweet and I just met, and I feel like I've known her forever.

So, despite the fact that we'd been out of contact, out of sorts and maybe a little bit out to lunch, I expected Sweet to surprise me.  I don't know why.  I guess because she's a romantic--much more so than I am.  I thought she'd do something nice to commemorate the occasion.

When I didn't hear from her by late afternoon, I started calling all her numbers.  I realized that, not knowing how long her evil vacation was supposed to last, I had no idea where in the world she was.  Well, somewhere in Canada.  But Canada's a damn big country.

I was angry all over again.  And then I forced myself out of the house for the volunteer work I'd already committed to.  There's something about talking with women escaping domestic violence that always helps put my personal shit in perspective.  When I got home, I wrote Sweet this letter:

I wanted to acknowledge our anniversary.  I didn't want you thinking I'd forgotten.  I haven't forgotten it, and I haven't forgotten you.

I'm not sure where we stand, which is why I didn't know the best way to acknowledge this day.  I didn't know if I should be celebrating or mourning.

Then I realized I should feel grateful.  Because no matter what happens, I've been lucky enough to spend five years with the most beautiful woman I will ever meet.  I have learned so much from you.  Most importantly, I've learned to value myself.

I five years, you've had a more positive impact on me than anyone else in my life.  No matter how our relationship proceeds--as a romance, as a friendship, or as a memory--I will always love you.  You mean the world to me.  I want you in my life forever.  Hopefully that can happen in some way. I trust you enough that I feel confident leaving those decisions in your hands.

I love you with all my heart.
Happy Anniversary.

Who knew I could be so reasonable, huh?

Sweet and I never forget that we love each other, but sometimes our communications get cluttered and we have misunderstandings.  It sucks and it hurts, but ultimately we need each other.  We're better together.

In order to proceed without being a total jerk, I had to drop my fear of change.  I had to be open to the possibility that I might lose everything, or I might not, but neither of those options could destroy me.

We finally FINALLY sat down together yesterday to talk out a lot of stuff that needed talking out.  I was sure Sweet would break up with me.  She was sure we'd just yell at each other.  But we didn't yell.  And we didn't break up.  We talked and we listened and we really heard each other.  I saw Sweet cry for the first time in our five-year history.

The talking and listening and hearing were easier than usual, for me, because I wasn't holding on too tightly.  I wasn't focused on WHAT I WANT.  Instead, we both considered what's best for us.

When Sweet said, "I don't want to break up with you," I felt a weight lift from my shoulders.  I was really angry with her, and I've still got a bit of that residual anger, but I didn't want to destroy something we've spent five years building because I was mad.

Our lives are complicated.  We're bound to piss each other off sometimes, and argue, and cry, but as long as those arguments are productive and transformative, I'm on board.


Oh, and here's a May-themed madrigal just for the hell of it:

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