Open letter to boyfriend
Subject: Support comes in multiple forms
I’m not starting off this letter with the traditional hello because I’m not really in a friendly mood; and after you read this, if you ever do, you won’t be either. But you left me no choice, I mean I am a woman and yes we are emotional creatures. From your perspective that may not be a good thing but without that emotional side who would nurture our children or teach you what love even is? Unfortunately due to acceptance of the emotional body that is within my soul, self expression is very comfortable for me. Although this is unfamiliar territory for you, I tried to make your transition into a real relationship, with a real woman, as comfortable as possible; finding alternative ways of expression in an effort to make you comfortable, discussing my issue with family members to get a second opinion in the justification of the emotion at hand and even changing my perception in an effort to ‘not take things so personally’ and just let things roll off my back. Not only were none of these methods satisfying for both you and I, none of these methods of action addressed the issues at hand in our relationship, in a way that invoked change. So now I’m releasing my emotions on paper, no longer hoping to alter my reality, just in an effort to release my pent up frustrations. I have now accepted that maybe it’s just not in your make-up to possess the qualities in which I feel I need from a spouse, in order to be happy in a relationship.
Support financially is a blessing and yes I am very grateful that you are the type of man that won’t allow me to take on the entire financial load of our family; I have definitely had my share of men who are only with me for what I can do for them and I know you do not fall in this category. However, this is the only category of support that you excel in. If I was just looking for a sugar daddy, this would be satisfactory in a relationship. However, since I owned my own business before I even met you, for me, you have to bring more to the table.
Now I have fallen in love with you, we have a beautiful family together and I would love nothing more than for us to succeed in the completion of the goals that we have planned for our life together. What worries me is I’m putting my eggs all in your basket based off the life we ‘could’ possibly have together, not based off the current life we live. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not worried about where we are financially, I’m worried about where we are in regards to the strength of our soul’s bond together. If our bond is not strong, money will not matter. If our bond is not strong, the house, the car, the kid(s) will not matter. If our bond is not strong, longevity will not exist.
I truly believe that support in every form, strengthens a couples bond. How can I picture forever with someone who can’t be my everything? There are five categories of support that I think are lacking in our relationship:
· Emotional Support- I personally know the effects that negative/pent up emotions can have on your body, your mood and even your personality. Because I refuse to be the depressed alcohol abusing individual of my past, I am currently testing out ways to express my emotions constructively. I need a spouse who not only is comfortable with my process but listens to me and respect the way I feel. If you have an opinion on the matter, I am always open to any perception to every situation. Communication, active listening and compromise are key concepts to providing me with emotional support. I have accepted that you are unfamiliar with all of these concepts but a lack of effort in the attempt to satisfy my emotional needs makes my soul yearn for that support anywhere else; when my heart would be most satisfied if you were on the other end of that support spectrum. Out of respect for our relationship, that is why I feel the need to talk with my female friends, my family or even your family to constructively moderate my emotions.
· Individual & Collective Goal Support- I personally need a spouse that is like my personal cheerleader. I am my hardest critic. Sometimes I just need you to help me get out of my own head but if you don’t even believe in the steps that I’m making personally in my life, you can’t. You not supporting my individual career goals, that I am working toward, not just for myself but for the better good of our family and financial future, makes me second guess myself even more. Even though you don’t believe in the field of study I work in, at least believe in me. Working towards achieving personal goals is hard enough dealing with the small doubt in the back of your mind, but it makes it so much harder when you don’t have a support system behind you. I wasn’t aware that is it too much to ask for your spouse to support your dreams; I find the strength to support your career dreams while working on my own by realizing that your personal goals are directly associated with our family’s collective goals. But the collective goal for our family includes more than just our individual career goals coming to fruition; though this is the basis of our economic survival. During our process of reaching our goals, it would lighten the load if both parties took on equal responsibility of all other household and family responsibilities; cooking, cleaning, maintenance of house and car, development and need of children, maintenance of spousal relationship, running mandatory errands (i.e. grocery store, bank, child doctor appointments). If life duties, outside of the mandated work hours, are compromised upon, no one side of the relationship will get overwhelmed. No one side of the relationship will feel like they are doing this alone. No one side of the relationship will feel unsupported and therefore has to fear that this will be the rest of their life if they decide to keep moving forward with this relationship. How can I picture forever with someone who can’t be my everything?
· Spiritual Support-I know this can be a touchy subject but hear me when I say, I’m not asking you to believe in what I believe. I’m not asking you to change what you believe in. I’m asking you to respect what I believe by taking the time to understand why I believe what I believe. I’m asking you to find yourself spiritually in whatever form you wish but to know who you are spiritually and move in that light daily. I respect that you do not have much of an opinion in this category which makes my job a little easier in regards to understanding you spiritually but what I am lacking from this relationship is support from you in regards to my spirituality. This is not only what I believe, this is who I am; this is the career path I am working in, this is the life style I live, this is the belief system I am raising our child in. At minimum, I don’t think it’s too much to ask for you to pick my brain about my beliefs. If this was the other way around, I would want to know everything you believe in, even if it’s just to make sure that I agree with the influence it may have on our child(ren). To know that you don’t agree with my believe system and yet not know much about it, worries me.
· Personal Awareness Support- Everyday I strive to be the best person that I can be. I have accepted that change is inevitable so instead of fighting to stay the same, I am determined to actively work towards new personal growth regularly. While in this relationship, you have pointed out qualities of my personality that were unappealing to you. I have taken the time to reflect upon myself, let go of past experiences that created these unfavorable behaviors, let go of negative influence in my life that cause unappealing traits and actively put new behavior in place to better compliment our relationship. I feel like most of these changes go completely unnoticed by you until I point them out to you. I feel the need to point them out after I have accomplished each feat, once I realize that your perception of me is still based off my past behaviors. Regardless of how hard I work to please you, how much change you see in me, you still take it personal if I suggest areas of change for you that are unappealing to me. I realize that you’re not comfortable being criticized, you don’t even critic me until we get into a heated disagreement and you feel like I’m inaccurately criticizing you. The difference between me and you, I don’t see you criticizing me as a bad thing. I believe that you are constructively providing me with information that, if understood, would improve our relationship, our family and therefore our life together. I take each criticism seriously and actively put in the work to be a better person because I believe you deserve the best version of me at all times. I don’t feel that I get that same respect in return.
· Sexual Support- Now this category, I can say has been improving throughout our relationship. It may have taken some time but we are both actively moving in the right direction of finding the support that is satisfactory to both parties in this category. What worries me; even this category is not discussed between us. It feels uncomfortable to even talk about this form of support let alone inquire of ways that it could be better. The last thing I want to do is offend your manhood, but I should be able to talk to you about any and everything and this is just a subject I fear to address. Since this category is moving in the right direction, I have not even tried to discuss anything with you. I don’t really feel like I need to; out of fear of putting a halt in the progress we have already made.
With that being said, I am very aware that you are not only capable of supporting me in the areas that you choose to put effort into, but you are also capable of personal progression if on your terms. What worries me; you’re not interested in putting effort into the other area that I personally feel are necessary to creating an equally satisfying relationship. This is where that leaves me mentally; Do I hope one day that you will learn to support me and therefore sit around waiting for that day to happen or do I accept that this is who you are and this is who you prefer to be therefore accepting that it just may not be meant for us to have longevity in regards to our personal relationship? Is it wrong for me to walk away during a time of financial growth for the both of us, inevitably setting us back and forcing us to start over in many areas of our lives or do I put my personal needs before your own and take that chance in an effort to find the balance of life struggles and happiness again? With this letter, will you finally hear me or are my words just falling upon death ears?
The war between my mind and my heart
P.S. - For those of you who think I am harsh for posting this entry to my blog, you are more than entitled to your opinion. However prior to posting this entry, I offered to read this letter to my spouse in person and informed him if he was willing to have a constructive conversation on the topic and then felt uncomfortable with me posting this online, I would change the content of my blog entry this week. In an effort to avoid an uncomfortable conversation, my spouse gave me permission to post this letter without his knowledge of the content and informed me that he would read it online with the rest of the world. This most likely means, that he will never see this letter anyway. So before you jump to conclusions about my character, please be informed.