Diana in Rocky Hill writes:
I have been divorced for about ten years. During that time I have
been dating a man on and off for about nine years. It has been an
emotional roller-coaster. When we first met, he was in a relationship
that he ended to be with me. She was not happy, and continued to call
him, crying, every day. She played on his sympathetic nature until he
went back to her.
During that time, he called me daily – telling me how much he missed me, and wanted us to be together. After a few months, we did get back together – but I just couldn’t trust him any more. So the roller-coaster began. We’d be together for a few months, and then I’d break up with him because he’d do something I thought he shouldn’t. I’d be miserable for a few months, and then he’d call me out of the blue. We’d begin again. Repeat that cycle as many times as you can. We went on like this until nine years had gone by.
A couple of months ago, after another 30 days of misery on my part, he called – right out of the blue. We were on again. He invited me to his house one night, and once I was there I got that gut feeling that he was seeing someone else. I confronted him. He admitted it, so I broke up with him and told him never to call again. I actually sent him an entire letter that described how I felt – and begged him to never call again. A month went by. He called once more. And the roller-coaster ride started back up.
Please tell me, Red, are we meant to be together? Is that why I can never stop thinking about him, and vise versa? I have dated other men, I just haven’t felt the connection that I do when I’m with him. I honestly do not know what to do.
There is a true love, and a whole lot of past-life history and karmic ties that bind the two of you together – but you two really need to sit down and figure out what exactly you want out of this!
In many ways, the two of you are meant to be together – but each of you seems to go out of your way to keep this relationship from working. Through all of the passions, reactions and explosions you have experienced with this man, there still remains a fairly strong foundation. However, foundation alone is not enough to make this a steady relationship. It is only enough to keep that roller-coaster ride going.
After nine years of ups-and-downs, you two know how to push each other’s buttons pretty well. Just because each of you possesses that knowledge doesn’t mean that it should be used. There is a tit-for-tat overlay that presents in your relationship, which becomes more prevalent when things deepen in seriousness and intensity. This mentality often triggers a breakup. The power plays and struggles for control need to stop, or this relationship isn’t going to be healthy enough to get to the happily-ever-after.
Sit down with your guy, and seriously talk. Not about the history, not about the nit-picky stuff, but about the bigger picture. Tell him that you’d prefer to trade in the roller-coaster for a cruise, but you don’t know how. He feels the same way. With both of you on board, push gently for couples counseling. The goal is to learn how to relate to one another without the need for control, and to calm the reactive underlay. It will be a bit of a challenge. Don’t try to bully him into it! If he will agree to three sessions with a good therapist, changes will begin.
Without counseling, the two of you face a much harder road. The plan is for each of you not to give in to anger and hurt feelings when things get tough – but to stick it out, unless you are ready to make the next breakup the “final” end. When things start to get touchy, agree to a cool-down period before you tackle the issue at hand. Instead of each of you pushing to be heard, it may be better for each of you to write out your side of the situation and exchange notes before you try to talk things through.
This relationship calls for more compromise than many others, but that is because the passion and bonds run so deep. You came together to clear up a lot of past life stuff, and this life has added some troubles and challenges into the heap. Each of you ultimately is happier when you are together, but you push and test each other to the very core. The power struggle is massive. There are times in any relationship when you need to ask yourself whether you want to be right, or if you might just want to be happy.
Sometimes you have to agree to disagree, and accept that even though you are a couple, each of you has very individual views and expectations. In some areas both of you need to compromise – in others, each of you needs to honor the other’s personal truths and boundaries – regardless of whether you agree or understand. Rather than falling back into old patterns, you need to design new ones that are healthier for both of you – and for this relationship.
I don’t see an end to this relationship, but with the current patterns in place, I’m also not seeing marriage or a completely stable union. Change the patterns, and you can change the outcome. While you guys were destined to meet one another, and your history keeps pulling you back together, what happens from this point forward is largely up to each of you – and what you are or aren’t willing to accept or do.