Of course I’ll hurt you. Of course you’ll hurt me. Of course we will hurt each other. But this is the very condition of existence. To become spring, means accepting the risk of winter. To become presence, means accepting the risk of absence.”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
Harold and I have hurt each other so much over the last bit. It doesn’t even matter what about. Neither of us means to hurt the other. We are both trying as hard as we can to make it right. My heart aches. I keep accepting the pain and opening up my soul to him, giving myself to him. We have always done this, always been able to take each other in, pain and all. We heal ourselves and each other and become even closer.
We haven’t been able to figure out how to work this alchemy in this particular place yet. (It’s a specific dynamic. We seem to get along fine everywhere else.) We have both had moments of despair, believing that we would never repair the damage. We know that if we do not manage to pass through this pain and find healing, we will not be together in the same way again. Paradise will cast us out. Fear of losing the greatest intimacy I have ever known is making it impossible for me to be intimate right now. It’s a trap. I feel betrayed.
Are you wondering why it matters so much? I think most relationships begin in a place of innocence. We feel the pull of attraction, we explore the infinite possibilities of synergistic joining, and our bodies are flooded with hormones that make us feel fantastic. Eventually, something happens that causes pain. Until that moment, we are innocent, we love without flinching. After that we know deep down that we should anticipate getting hurt. We become guarded. It matters because it is impossible for me to make love in a profound way if I am flinching away in fear. What I value most in life are my intimate relationships.
The brilliant thing about Harold and me is that we have cherished and nurtured our innocence. We make love on such a deep level that holding onto pain in the relationship would make our sex life impossible to maintain. We have certainly fought and had passionate disagreements. In fact, Joel feels like we fight all of the time, but the truth is that we don’t dare let a disagreement become a resentment. We value the deep open connection we have too much.
We’ve witnessed so many relationships become stagnant because people let issues build up without addressing them. It’s hard to maintain intimacy when you know that your partner is likely to do anything to avoid confrontation or hurt you in the same places over and over without resolution. Harold and I have known that we wanted to be constantly growing and have consciously sought a clean, open, and dynamic connection.
Surprisingly, we’ve been able to continue having pretty amazing sex, even through an endless series of painful arguments, a fact that gives me a huge amount of hope for resolution. Often in the past, if we were able to connect sexually, we could carry that energy into different aspects of our relationship. Right now, we can make love in connective and mind-blowing ways, but we still feel stuck.
That’s what makes this current issue feel so dire. We’ve been trying to work through the issue and our normal coping methods aren’t working fast enough. We love each other so much. We normally meet each other without reservation. If we can’t work this out, we will still stay together – we are good partners in many ways other than sexually, spiritually, and emotionally – but I will grieve. I will be heartbroken over what I have lost.
In the meantime, I haven’t given up yet. I think we can work this out and have what we want. I continue to consciously choose love over fear. I pass through the pain to find him. I am not innocent any more. I know it’s going to hurt and that’s okay. It is my submission, should he choose to take me.