Monday, February 29, 2016

Internal Conflict

One of my friends on Facebook had posted an article recently about why we "selfless" women attract men who need fixing. The article starts out:
"I know so many women in the same position. We attract cheating men, commitment-phobic men, emotionally unavailable men, emotionally damaged men, alcoholics, drug abusers, narcissists and sociopaths."
While I can completely relate to what is in the article it has left me a little conflicted.

Looking back on my life I can see very clearly that I am a fixer, a clean-up-afterer, and a make-it-all-betterer. Many relationships in the past have been perfect examples of this. Even many of my friendships.  Yes, I attract needy, broken people and I have had to learn to recognize them and to let go.

Over the last two years since things have gotten serious with Alex, I have had a lot of mixed reactions and advice from friends and family. Some are very supportive while simultaneously concerned, and others have not been, at least not always, very supportive at all.

I get it.

People care about me and want me to be happy. I also want me to be happy.

I have thought about things a lot. I know that he is an alcoholic and I know that some are worried that I feel that I need to fix him. I know that some are concerned that I am letting myself be abused and putting myself on the back burner. I see how it looks that way, and at times I think to myself, am I sure about this?

Here's the thing. When we met, he was not an alcoholic. When we met, I was probably much more broken than he was. When we met we were just two people who got each other and enjoyed being around one another. We were best friends, we supported one another and lifted one another up.

Now, yes there is fixing needed. But, I understand that I can't fix him. Hell, I can't even fix myself. I don't want to fix him, I know that he has to fix himself, and he has to want to. What I want, is to be there to support him on his journey because there is so much potential for him. I want to support him and remind him that there is something worth fighting for.

I understand that I am gambling. What if he doesn't chose to change? What if he never quits drinking? If that happens, I won't stay in the relationship. But what if he does decide to change? What if he does quit drinking?

Maybe I'm not doing the right thing, but I'm doing what I feel is the right thing to do. I'm doing what I need to do so that there will be no regrets about not trying.

Towards the end of the article there is a line "Because a man who is worth loving won’t accept you leaning in to pick up his pieces. He knows that if you do, you’ll only hurt yourself." What's really interesting to me is that I think Alex feels concern for me. I think that's why he didn't try to move our relationship along for such a long time, because he didn't want to drag me down with him. He has asked me several times what I am doing with him and has been adamant that he is the one that has screwed things up and I am in no way responsible.

Is anyone ever sure they are making the right decision? Probably not 100% of the time. I recognize that I could be wrong, and if the time comes, I will move on.

Others may question me, but I feel pretty certain about my motives. I guess only time will tell.

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