Sunday: 16.July.2006

Sadness of relationship decay, more vivid dreams & kudos

In contrast to the Dog's note (see entry for the 14th), I received a note today from a buddy I used to work with back in New York. We worked 12-hour days (7-to-7) for several months, and would go for a burger after work (at Jeremiah's or Blueberry Hill) or for pizza .. always stimulating conversations. See his note here:

We're legally separated, in the process of divorce. Takes a year to process in NC, so we have a way to go. She just decided she didn't want to live with me anymore (after 13 years). It's tough, but I make it one day at a time.

We've been apart for 7 months. As you know, the feelings of abandonment and loss are the worst things to try to deal with. I miss the boys terribly.

Going from reading to them every night and tucking them in to seeing them every other weekend has been hard.

I was really drifting for a while, but met a girl who is helping right the ship. She's the greatest.

So good to hear from you. Miss our conversations.


Breaks my heart. I know those feelings. Being separated from your kids is unnatural. It goes against every paternal instinct. It's likes cruel & unusual punishment.

And he's such a good guy, too (from the south): intelligent, educated, competent, hard-working, funny, easy to talk to, well-read. He'd read more books than anyone I'd ever met. Has two beautiful boys he adores.

That's the achilles heal of relationships, which makes them risky: it takes *two* people to participate (and you can only control one of them). If your partner wants out (for whatever reason), you can't make it work by yourself.

And (as you know) the emotional anguish can be quite debilitating. (He calls it drifting.) For me, a sure sign something is wrong in the relationship is the intentional infliction of emotional pain (key word: intentional).

If it ever looks like someone might be *trying* to hurt me (on purpose), that's a red flag something is amiss in the relationship, and that I should take a step back and re-evaluate.

Hurts (unintentional) are bound to come in *every* relationship, with even the most well-meaning of partners. But when the offense is intentional, that's a red flag: a sign they don't care as much as we thought they did, or hoped they did.

Cuz if somebody *cares* about you, they don't want to hurt you (intentionally). They don't want you to suffer emotional pain, especially not because of something they've done, or failed to do.

And if they *do* (want to inflict emotional pain), and it persists, you probably won't be very eager to spend time with them (unless you're a masochist). Now we have a name for people who *try* to hurt us (on purpose): enemies.

Update: One reader wrote in with a verse that says love pays no attention to a suffered wrong. That may be true, but I don't think that verse is talking about romantic relationships, cuz if your patner is trying to inflict emotional pain, they're obviously feeling "touchy or fretful or resentful", which makes it doubtful they love you, and most would agree you can't make a relationship work with your love alone.

Anyway, 'nuf of that. I had more vivid dreams last night (see previous entry below), involving the little guy. Not as bad as the previous night, but not very good either.

In my dreams, I never get to spend much time with him. Someone else always has him, and isn't caring for him very well. Last night, I dreamt someone had overdressed him and he was cooking, overheated, beet red. (It has been hot here lately.) He was much smaller, too.

On a more positive note, I was at the coffee shop last week, and a guy came up on his way out and said, "You're doing a great job, dad. Keep up the good work." Made my day. He obviously had been watching.

Then, later that same day, only a few hours later, at the park/playground where I take him, two moms approached (together) and said, "We want you to know we've been watching you and think you're doing a great job."

"Thanks," I said. "I appreciate the vote of confidence. But I know people who would beg to differ." =) [Wonder how long they'd been watching .. minutes? hours? days? weeks?]

I do things with the little guy I don't see other parents doing with their kids. I mean, I get involved, creatively, doing silly things, trying to make him laugh. I have plenty of experience playing (many years), and still have some kid left in me.

Other kids at the park sometimes ask me to play with them, too. Usually little boys. I think it's the male energy and attention they crave. Sometimes I'll push them on the swings if they persist, but normally I'm reluctant. I mean, what if I pushed them and they fell off?

Anyway, my heart goes out to my buddy.

Posted by Rad at July 16, 2006 08:35 AM


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