Exhuming and Examining Early Pains in our Relationship

Coffee Time: Monday, January 21, 2013

Pat: Affection has not been our habit in being with each other. But when we set our intention for connection, out of that intention we wake up and perhaps affection will spontaneously arise between us. But affection has not been our default mode to date, we are not yet at ease in our showing of affection to one another. I do notice that when I initiate affection, however, you are more open to receive me and connect. Gary: But I know that I still have to let go of my fear in initiating affection with you. Pat: (somewhat frustratingly) Please do!

Gary: For me the die for my hesitancy in initiating affection was set early in our relationship. When I initiated affection early on it just didn’t work for you, I could hear and feel your push back – your not feeling the chemistry, as you said. I got truly freaked when you rejected my affectionate advances, and immediately backed off from ever taking initiative in showing affection. I had this deep longing to connect with you affectionately and a heartbreaking realization that affection was not what you were feeling toward me in return. This was very painful for me! I simply did not know what to do. But I stuck around and did not leave. Pat: I suspect that this pain was a very young feeling in you, like you experienced when Mom pushed back or did not engage you when you longed for her affection. It would be frightening to the child Gary. Of course I get that you did not know what to do with me, and that you were very hurt, perplexed, and so confused. I was not aware of any of this going on in you. What I was aware of was that you were not clear in you behavior with me. You said, “Pat, you are the one,” but you could not let go of other relationships, and this inconsistency between words and actions, this mixed message, was part of the put off for me. Your words to the contrary notwithstanding, I assumed and accepted that you did not really want me, and so I backed off to protect myself, not really trusting your words.

Pat: There were opposing forces in each of us. Part of each of us was the frightened little rabbit. And another part of each of us was the “protector,” the Logical Dominant One whose energy tried to steer our respective boats through these complex waters safely. But your strong will can get you what you want. Gary: That strong dominant will of mine has to die before a mutual relationship can arise in us. I get that.

Pat: Your experience in bringing to pass what you want, of really going for what you think you want, is so very strong, even daunting to experience. Others less willful may waffle, but not you! Your will is so very strong. That strong will has served you well in life. You would have no waffling – you would make it happen no matter what! Look at this: you graduated from massage school after completing a Clinical Pastoral Education program at Christ Hospital, and this was after completing 30 graduate hours at St. Mary’s Catholic Seminary and completing a successful 29-year business career at SDRC. And in all things you would go with the best you could find – Newfield Life Coaching Training, Margot Anand’s program for Tantra, and of course Pathwork – a very demanding spiritual program. And within Pathwork finding Moira Shaw and now Sage Walker and Anthony Wilson for our couple’s counseling – always picking the best you could find. Often you were clueless about what you were getting into, but you would go for it with undaunted gusto. This energy led to our setting up Stillpoint Center for Therapeutic Massage in 2000, and then your own Tourmaline Life Center with its massive library of personal and spiritual development resources late in 2003. This is a formidable self-will for others to cope with! Your Dominant Logical One would get you where you wanted to go. AND my heart would break over this because the vulnerable confused one within you who was not on board at all, that one’s voice and needs could never be heard by your strong but immature Ego. This lopsidedness in you between the strong willful one on the one hand and the unheard vulnerable one on the other was painful for me to witness and be with.

Gary: This assessment all feels so very correct to me. And this Dominant Logical energy clearly does not work in relationship. The vulnerable one in me needs to find its voice along side the Logical Dominant One. Pat: You would get what you thought you wanted, but I intuited that your polar opposite – the frightened rabbit inside of you – was never given his voice. And yet there was something going on between the two of us. Perhaps you thought it was your adult that you were bringing forth, but the entirety of your adult self was not at all there. Big pieces were missing, and I willingly gave you over to other women to help you grow up and mature into more wholeness. My own Dominant Logical One could see much of this and, as protector of my own Soul, say, “It won’t be me, so Yes, let Gary experience other women even though he says I’m the one he wants.”

Finally in April of 2003 – nearly 10 years ago now – it seemed to me that enough had moved in you that perhaps we could explore a primary relationship. We had known each other about four and a half years at that point, had graduated from massage school, had set up and operated Stillpoint for three years, and each had had other meaningful relationships that we had successfully come out of. I had been in Pathwork for about two and a half years and had participated in many Pathwork workshops and a particularly meaningful intensive that helped me get clarity in my relationship world.

Pat: At first when we got together in 2003 I thought we were going to date, but not you! As soon as I said I was willing to explore a primary relationship your Dominant Logical One stepped in to move mountains. I simply had to watch as you moved out of your apartment, rented an office, moved all your 3,000 books to your office, created Tourmaline Life Center, and moved in with me. You immediately manifested externally all you think you wanted. It took my breath away. All I could do is play along with you as you did all of this. I could never have accomplished all you did in such a few short months. You say that your strong willful energy has to die for the mutuality of our relationship to evolve. I would say that your strong energy is part of your giftedness! It doesn’t need to die at all, but you have to learn how to use it in a healthy balanced way with your more tender heart-energy. I do not regret how our relationship came together – in fact, maybe it needed to come together that way, tumultuous and painful as it was for both of us. The patterning is deep in each of us – a relationship between us is not something for the light-weight to take on! This entire relationship could not have come about in any other way. Then last year, having been together for nine years, we found Sage and Anthony and decided we are going for the gold. No room for superimposition of ideal on top of the distortions we still have. No, we have to tear out the old and build fresh. This all seems correct to me.

Pat: There is something in each of us that is willing to do the hard work of coming to conscious couplehood. Early on I perceived this something in you, but mostly unconsciously. Gary: And part of me, also mostly unconsciously, perceived this willingness to do the hard work of coming to conscious couplehood in you. I did not intuit this willingness in any other woman. I could not have named this, but from here, today, I can see this. Pat: It is even hard to say what this willingness, this “it” is, but I agree that other men I was in relationship with down through the years did not have this “it,” this willingness to do the deep work. It’s as if these other men pointed me to this “it,” though even now I do not know what “it” is at the core of each of us. What is the Truth here, the Reality of you, of me, and of us?

Pat: You seemed to be able to put some of the words together as to what “it” is that we are longing for and that is driving us from the inside. I would even say that you would dare to put words to it early on! Maybe I am still unwilling to put words to it, or unwilling to even have “it” described. BUT “it” is a process I’m willing to be in: the unfolding of a Conscious Loving Relationship. But my take is that there is so much more Mystery to this than what our minds have the capacity to “think” “it” is and be able put into words. It stands us in better stead to not try to use what our mind says – “it” – this Mystery of Conscious Loving Reltationship – is. The phrase, “Gird our Loins” comes to mind. Not sure what that means. Gary: To me it means get ready for battle! Pat: Perhaps here for me it means strengthen our resolve.

Gary: How do you feel having had this coffee time this morning? Pat: The beginnings of US were so painful, probably more so for you than for me. This is good to revisit so we can be more clear about our history. Gary: I can truly see that I am a tougher nut to crack open. Pat: We’ve come a long way. I feel like I have more of what’s needed to really step in and do the deep work that is needed to go on. And that we as a couple are more ready to move on. Let’s try to be more aware of giving and receiving affection! Gary: I’ll go for that!

Shared in love, Gary