Mar 24, 2010

No longer 'my drunken enemy'

After the last time I saw him he has grown, matured and changed his views on life and our relationship completely. We are rebuilding our friendship that was lost about a year ago with no strings attached and the best part is that I have never seen him so happy and free. We are living completely different lives but still find a way to catch up when time permits. ...

Reasoning to why he's still attached; it was staring me right in the face the whole time, but this article I ran across makes perfect sense and threw me out of the denial phase.

'According to Harville Hendrix, we are most magnetically attracted to people who embody the characteristics of our parents or early caretakers because we unwittingly seek in a partner someone who will re-injure our childhood wounds. Our adult selves can finally heal those wounds, but the more negative those characteristics are (from critical and controlling to charmingly irresponsible) the more intense the attraction we feel.

We can get relief from our nostalgia for a passionate love by remembering the intensity of the memory does not hold some great truth about the relationship’s sacredness. Remember, what fueled the attraction may not have been love, but your soul’s desire to heal the past.
Subliminally, people in love promise they will meet all of each other’s needs while having none of their own. (Like mommy did!) Listen to the language of lovers and you will hear the echoes of that infantile bliss: “Baby, Sweetie, Honey, Darling.” We long for the feeling of fullness again, of merged egos. Getting free means understanding that the completeness you felt with your past love echoed a memory from infancy. It was an illusion and temporary and in reality it was not love.

Had the relationship continued, you would have seen boundaries snap back in place with the inevitable reestablishment of reality. No one would have made you feel that high forever.
Brain scientists now recognize that nearly 20 percent of us suffer from “complicated grief.” According Rob Stein of the Washington Post, “One of the hallmarks of complicated grief is a persistent sense of longing for the lost one and a tendency to conjure up reveries of that person.”
The persistence of a romanticized memory contains an addictive element but the element is not in the former relationship, it’s in you. For the 20 percent of us that stuck-ness has a biological source, an actual difference in brain processing. It can help to know the connection you still feel may be more biological than spiritual in origin. So trade in your rose-colored glasses. Chances are you are romanticizing weaknesses as strengths. Was he self-employed because of his independence or his inability to accept authority? A realistic assessment is empowering. Keep a cheat sheet of unflattering truths and refer to it when you slip into dewy daydreams. It is easier to let go of a human than a hero.

Ask yourself whether deep down you believe that remembering the relationship preserves it in some way. Embrace the reality that longing does not connect you and write a new belief code, such as: “I have never left a relationship that would have made me happier than I am now.” “This is a person of great worth, but not to me.”
Each of us probably has 10,000 people we could feel a similar connection to---don’t mythologize as “one and only” someone who actually might have been unremarkable. '

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