all that has come before

You’ve stopped needing me. I think you’d be relieved, at first, if I left, but after a while, you’d miss the idea of me.  The me you knew in summer, but then you’ll remember the me of the fall and shrug.  I don’t know how to excite you anymore, to hold your interest, to have you find me desirable.  You’ve stopped.  You pretend you haven’t when you kiss me goodbye in the morning, but the whisper of a thrill is gone.  We moved beyond initials, now we’re knee-deep in power struggle. Each day, I worry that I fail you.  I’m growing more insecure, in me.  In us.

I’m not afraid you’ll leave or awake to find you’re not happy.  I’m afraid we fight too much because we both have strong stubborn personalities and butt heads too often.  I feel tumult when it happens this often, the discord.  While you are a safe place for me, I’m still unhappy being so off balanced, so off sides with the one I love.  I need time to myself, to be a girl, to cook for you, to have you over for wine and dim lighting, for music and making out.  I miss making out.  I want to kiss you more.  To build to something, toward something. 

I talked last night about roasting you a chicken.  Polenta.  Mushroom and leek stuffing.  Maybe apple and sausage.  Root vegetables.  It sounds nice, coming home to that.  I don’t want to become her again, the one who tries and ends up looking like the chump.  The one left standing, wondering how she got there, with an oven mitt.  I don’t want to be nice to you, to give to you, because it prevents me from giving to myself.  And it scares me because if I break down and really give to you, it means you can take from me.  It means getting hurt.  I know I cannot prevent.  I know the wall won’t help, but I shouldn’t be this scared.  I shouldn’t be checking your web history wondering how many email accounts you have, wondering what you’re hiding, which thoughts you’re too scared to say.  A guy in a committed relationship who is pressed for a step forward will lob the excuse, “scared of marriage,” because you say, “he’s not very well going to say, ‘I’m really scared of having to start over, of the online dating, and the moving out thing, much more than I’m afraid of losing you.”  And I hear you say it of the men you know, tell me how they won’t reveal these things, and I wonder what it is you won’t reveal to me.  What are you hiding?  How many email accounts are there?  Do you have a dating profile up on an online dating service site, or do you just window shop it when you’re bored to see what’s out there?  It makes me not want to shop for you, for clothing, for more shampoo, for chicken.  It makes me want to withdraw, these thoughts of what you keep for yourself.  Makes me want to run away, leave, and find an apartment of my own instead of a house for us.  Because I don’t trust.  Why?  Because.  I can’t even come up with a reason.  I know I’m wonderful, pretty, smart, talented, and expressive.  Why would you ever risk losing us?  I need to hear that though.  I need to hear that you wouldn’t, without just the actions.  I need to hear the words without having to ask for them.  To hear, “I want you to know I know just how lucky I am.  Thank you for choosing me.  I will never do anything to fuck this up.  Ever.”  So instead of complain, I’ll say it to you, say it because I mean it and I need it back.  And you’ll respond: “nor will I.  I won’t fuck it up.”  And that will be good enough.  I’m so scared you will do something to dissolve things, but I have to trust that you won’t.  I have to remind myself that you’re not him.  At all.  And wouldn’t be because you have integrity, because you’d know and wouldn’t like yourself.  I have to hold onto that instead of what has come before.

COMMENTS:

  1. This is exactly, what I am feeling right now. Its like you are speaking for me – through me. I love my husband to death – he says I am "possesive, obsessive" I can't help myself from loving him. He says he loves me, cares for me…… and will never do anything to lose what we have…..BUT I am not able to trust him – i saw in the websites he visited – cheapescorts.com, halfpricegirls.com……come on how can i trust him after that….he says that was just to keep his mind off for a while when he is really stressed at work…..i fail to understand…..I know what you are going through …..and it just pulls you down and you had always thought that you will be the last person to be so affected by LOVE……I am struggling- thus can't give a piece of advice. write about if you ever find a way or overcome this. will be looking forward to it. take care.

  2. yeah, I know those feelings, too. very very well. My opinion: surfing in dating websites is a NO. an absolute no. surfing on seex sites – well, if they want to. I don't care. well, wrong. I do care. but I accept that. but no dating sites. those are for single men and women. and he should accept, that you have those feelings about that issue.
    and by the way: I found out that there are guys I can trust. I can just suddenly trust them. I think it is possible to just suddenly trust a man. if he helps a little…

  3. whatever guy you speak about here – this is really about you – and until you figure you out, you will feel this way. get some time on your own – however "past tense" this is – get some time on your own and heal. Pushing fwd in a relationship like this is not going to fix anything. you continue to write about feelings like this – and you need to listen to your gut. Listen to your gut.

  4. I have been in my relationship for 6 years and (married for 2). I love my husband more today than ever but absolutely the relationship matures. I know exactly what you are talking about – but I would say this: men love simply and that's why we love them as men- when you start expecting them to react to the things you do for them like one of your girlfriends would react, you take away the man. Don't get frustrated when you don't hear them say the words you want to hear them say. They are different and love differently and you have to see how they love. My husband spoons me every night as we fall asleep. He holds me close and tight. He might not sing my praises regarding the new candles I purchased to match the plates I have in order to serve him the pork chop I flavored just the way I thought he would like it, but he cleaned his plate and went for seconds. He tired early due to his full belly and held me close as we fell asleep together. Love expressed man style.

  5. Stephanie,
    in the past fortnight you had moved in with your man, were pregnant, lost the baby , become engaged, loved The Suitor, argued with him, cooked for him, did Brooklyn with him, and today you are practically out the door.
    what is wrong with this picture???

  6. In reference to Angelina and Stephanie: I was a philosophy major and am currently getting my Ph.D in sociology and have spent a lot of time looking at and studying relationships. I believe there are 3 basic thruths to healthy relationships: 1. you RESPECT your partner (their lifestyle choices, goals, intelligence) and they respect yours; 2. you COMPLETELY TRUST them and they COMPLETELY TRUST you – not a blind trust but a true trust; 3. you are each individulas that come together and create more harmony and happiness than strife. If any of those 3 elements are missing, I truly believe there is dysfunction. Really think about those for a second. I could forward you pages on each of those 3 elements – but I challenge you to sit down and write what each element means to you. Respect, trust, and the individual vs. the unit

  7. I'm an old-school snooper. Desks, wallets, etc. You leave a trail if you go on his computer, and if he's got half a tech-brain, he'll find it and how embarrasing is that? Besides, if anything's going on, there's going to be a paper trail. The point is, we all do it. Especially those of us who trusted the first husband 110%. You're never that trusting again. But is that so bad? There's something very unappealing about a woman past 30 who's as trusting as a 17 year old. Or a puppy. Or other cute, dependent thing.

  8. I assume your guy reads your blog. How does he feel?
    I am currently trying to overcome a serious trust-disorder with my therapist. After one long term relationship in which I had everything to lose, I left him. After that two more relationships passed and the first thing I did, was tell them the story of that rocky relationship "trusting" they would know that i've been hurt and that they wouldn't do the same thing. But in my "messed up head & heart" I kept searching for their mistakes, and I found them, and I made them big when I knew it was my head working against me, not them. I tried to find the indication that they WOULD hurt me, every minute of the day: He hasn't called, he rather be with his friends, he doesn't want to see me, I'm an obligation for him, he really wants out.. etc..
    Right now, I began a new relationship, and I haven't mentioned anything of my past, I haven't "threatened" him or "warned" him about the things that drive me crazy. I am working really hard to understand once and for all that He isn't Them. And also I'm trying to stop looking for mistakes, to feel suspicious.
    He recently wrote an email in which he said "I love you *****" and he had made an anagram of my name. My first impulse was "holycrap" he wrote the name of another girl!!!!! and all my defenses were immediately into high gear.. in a matter of 2 minutes I was ready to lose it, until I took a deep breath and looked at the name… it made sense.. it was just an anagram.
    So women out there: Must must must put guard down and must, must, must stop revolving against him all the time. That's the only path to sanity.

  9. I am literally sitting here crying….I am fresh out of a long term relationship and these are the exact thoughts that went through my head for years. The difference is…is that he thought he shouldnt have to reassure me, that i should just know. Well, I got too scared, he got too tired…

    He would only be lucky to have me, but in more ways that one, I still feel like its been my fault.

    Thanks for making me feel less alone…and its just something we have to overcome.

  10. My heart goes out to you, Stephanie. We've all been there and some of us are there now. It's always easier to give into the fear than it is to give in to the positive feelings, the feelings of contentment and the thoughts that could easily lead us to wrapping ourselves up too tightly in the ones we love. For some it will always be a struggle, for others they'll walk away- they'll allow their fear to overshadow the love and friendship. He loves you, Stephanie. He wants to marry you and have a baby- those are the ultimate forms of getting wrapped up in one another. So while you may have fears of cooking for him or fear of not being attractive, look at the things that matter. He's willing to give you two things that most women want- two things that the man I love will never be able to give.

    Best of luck to you.

  11. I spent 35 years married to a woman who, in her insecurity, needed more than I or anyone else could provide, materially, spiritually, or socially. I would have had a much happier life, and although she wouldn't have known it, she would have too, if we had thrown it in instead of getting married. As it was she tortured herself and me because she couldn't take me for granted, and couldn't tolerate me taking her for granted. In any good relationship, there has to be some tolerance and taking it for granted that he/she loves you without having to always put on a performance. If you can't achieve that level of tolerance, do him and yourself a favor and move on (and perhaps keep moving – some people aren't cut out to be married).

  12. Maybe, as human beings, it's unnatural to allways be attracted to one another, to excite each other. It goes against nature, at that. I think men and women love in different ways; women will allways love what they first did about a man, in a man… I think men love the initial quirks and surprises, the unpredictability of a new person. Eventually we become predictable, and maybe that's the problem in relationships; like movies, the first time round they're great, but there's no excitement in a movie you've watched a hundred times…

  13. Hola Stephanie!

    I read introspection and past tense at the bottom of your post and for some reason I feel I have read this exact post before. If I went searching would I find it in your history? Just curious….

    You know, we all have these sorts of feelings, I believe. I also believe there is nothing wrong with having them…but then again, I believe that allowing yourself the introspection and the feelings are about growth and not about you feeling doubt about where you are now.

    I guess I dont really understand why people have to jump to the conclusion that this post is about you in your current life or about you and Phil. I dunno, call me crazy.

    Here is hoping you and The Suitor have a great weekend, whatever you happen to be cooking. Also, an oscar party…great idea, one I have never thought of!

  14. I've never posted before but I just wanted to clear something up so that everyone understands more of the context of this blog. In response to Robert- I have been reading this blog for months and just realized that the category each post is filed in actually makes a difference. "Past tense" means that something happened in the past, so every post is not about Phil.
    Stephanie- in the past few days my coworker and I have gone back and forth about being so happy for you and then so crushed by your loss, but now we're just completely thrilled that the Suitor is now Phil and that you are so happy together. It's fantastic that you have such a great (and REAL) connection to each other- I can only hope that one day I'll experience the same thing. Congratulations- and thanks so much for letting us into your life. BTW- when does the book come out??

  15. "I don’t want to be nice to you, to give to you, because it prevents me from giving to myself."

    Even though I believe that this post is probably about something in the past, and you have probably already 'gotten through it', I still feel the need to comment on it.

    I think this is such an old-fashioned, 1950's mentality – this idea that you only have enough 'niceness' in you to give to him, that there's a finite amount of love to give, that if you give it to someone else, you will have none leftover for yourself. WHAT IS THIS CRAP? Finding someone to love, to express your love for, should energize you as well as feed your own soul. It shouldn't cause you to feel like your tank is on Empty. So many women struggle with this, thinking things can only be one way or another, this way or that way, tonight I'll give my love to him and tomorrow I'll focus on myself. I say focus on yourself now. By focusing on yourself, you'll rejuvenate yourself, and there will be more love to go around. You might also be pleasantly surprised if you take the focus and attention off of him for a few moments, it might have the opposite effect of what you expect (i.e. you might find him being the one standing in the kitchen with the oven mitt baking you a lovely dinner). Be a little selfish (after all, men have been doing that for years). But please don't worry about "become(ing) her again, the one who tries and ends up looking like the chump. The one left standing, wondering how she got there, with an oven mitt." It doesn't have to be one way or the other. You can have it both ways – love yourself and love him. In fact, that is the only way it should be. Have your cake and eat it too. ;-)

  16. My buddy has a favorite saying, I cant remember it verbatim, but it goes something like this (this is relative to men and women loving/thinking/acting/etc. differently as commented upon):

    Men spend their lives wishing that their wife would act like she did before they got married; women spend their lives wishing their husband would change from what he was like before they got married.

    And yes, this doesnt apply to all situations, but in general, many women spend their lives trying to change their man, and men spend their lives wishing their woman wouldnt change. I think men fall in love with what they have, women fall in love with what they think can be. I would argue that the man approach is better/safer, but i am a man, so i guess i am biased.

    Oh, and trust should be a given in a relationship, something that is not ever up for consideration. If you find yourself checking your mates email/web history/etc. because you dont trust them, then you may as well cut bait and fish elsewhere. And if you are one of the deluded women checking web history because your man said he didnt look at porn online (a lie, and dont ever kid yourself about it), and you are expecting to discover that he has been viewing adult websites (and will consequently be pissed), then you either need to face up to what your man really is all about and accept it, or you have to hope to be able to change him into something he isnt. This goes for men aslo, but its easier for me to look at things from the male perspective.

  17. Wow. Like one of the comments here, this post is about me. I'm 21, married to the man of my dreams, and just celebrated our first wedding anniversary last January 19. But there are times when I can't help but doubt him and his feelings for me. Like you, I have searched online if he has other email accounts. Not only that, I found out he is surfing on pornographic websites when I am not around. I don't understand how a man could say that he loves you, and that you are everything to him and yet he continues watching porn. And the worst part is that he continues to lie about it (and his other email accounts) even though you've already caught him.

    I'm sorry for rambling. I thought I was the only one feeling that way. Now I know there are a lot of women out there sharing the same sentiments as I do.

  18. I love it how people think they have the right to give advice and really think they know a person after reading a post.

    I'm glad you are able to express your hopes/fears Stephanie. I hope that by writing things out, things look a little bit more clearer in the end. I know how you feel though. Been there, done that. I guess its just the chance you take with love though, just know that brighter days are up ahead.

  19. Stephanie,

    If you were a man, you'd be the kind of man who is in love only when he is caught up in the chase. You'd be the kind of man who is only happy when he is making the conquest. Once the victory was won, you'd be the kind of man who would become bored with the prize.

    You would make quite an interesting man.

  20. Stephanie:

    I understand these are very stressful moments, but they will pass. It's easy for someone else, to say that, when they are not, "the one" who is in this hot seat.

    But you have come too far with this guy to let insecurities or fears cause greater grief or cause separations.
    You have to mesh together, because that is the quickest cure to overcoming this issue!!! Many good people out there can not find love (like me)so count your blessings that
    you have each other. That is precious and real love can never be bought, so be the great team you are capable of!!

    He probably has fears and does, not yet, have all the answers, either. That is to be expected.
    He should find comfort in you and visa versa!!!
    Especially in times like this, you need each other, and more than ever!!!!

    You want to be a partner for life with Phil, and he wants the same, in you. So, regardless of what happen, in your past, that promotes these emotions and fears, you can't bind Phil to that. You are putting him in an impossible position, and more importantly, he has not done anything to gain your mistrust or suspicions.
    That is not fair, to him Steph!!!

    He shares your feelings too, and if he feels pain, dealing with your negative emotions, How can he be fully in your corner, with you during these times. How can anyone? You have to fully trust him!!! He is worth it, because he has successfully proven himself to you!!
    You got to get rid of these inadequacies,that he did not create and is not responsible for.

    Isn't Phil one in a million and a lot better and more special than any of the MIDS? He is not an easy type of
    guy to find, even in a city with 20 trillion people!!!

    In my book, he is a unique find that would be impossible
    or very difficult for you to replace. That is why he gained and developed the appeal and love, he has, from you. That is not an easy or overnight scenario for a guy to gain from you!! He had to have earned that by successfully passing many, many of your tests. He has responded well to you and he will conntinue to do so, if you just let him!!! I know all this from reading, and not missing any of your postings the last 10 ½ months!!

    Many, many people from all over the world are rooting for you, Steph!!!!! You can show the world how its done!!!
    Not many people have that gift or ability. But you do!!

    You have to believe in Phil!!! He is not perfect, no one is. No one can live up to someone else's expectations 100% of the time. It is just impossible!!!

    Just be strong and lower the bar a little bit and let the comfort and happiness you are unconsciously blocking, from entering enter your lives, come into your lives.

    If you do that, positive things will slowly come together. You both will be so much better off, sainer, and much happier. It will make this difficult issue easier to cope and handle!!! My thoughts and prayers to Phillip & You!!!

  21. Perhaps we can read this without being judgemental, and perhaps learn and understand a little about some of the differences between men and women, through this rather interesting sociological experiment. Pertinent to this discussion on the role of sex/porn in the comments, I'd particularly point to the part about the strip club.

    http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Entertainment/story?id=1526982

  22. Brilliant, as always.

    You just summed up the way probably 95% women in their thirties move through a relationship in one brilliant paragraph.

  23. ATTN Fans of Stephanie! Who are any of us to presume we truly know Stephanie and her life – no matter how many times we have read her posts, imagined her as she wrote them or imagined her as she acted out the situation? Unless you are a friend of hers reading, then you DON'T!
    It breaks my heart, that so many people feel comfortable enough with this "friend" of ours named Stephanie, that it's ok to scold her and have the arrogance to fix her! There is a reason why we all come here: bc Stephanie is Stephanie.
    Point: YOU don't know when she truly wrote each post.
    Point: YOU don't know the exact event or sequence of events that led her to write the post.
    Point: YOU don't know for certain who she is writing about. Maybe she is reflecting on a Stephanie she used to be…her hindsight of another situation. Maybe not. WE DON'T KNOW for sure unless she writes that person's name out.
    Point: she DOES categorize her posts as past tense when they aren't in real time – so that is a huge flag to not beat her down present tense!

    Bottom line, it's my opinion (I am not speaking for her!) that Stephanie writes as her therapy – she doesn't write so we can all give her therapy. Maybe I am wrong too. Unless she outright tells us, we don't have the right to assume. But WOW! When Stephanie has wanted advice, she has asked for it(cookbooks post)! Even when she blocks comments on a post – people will go to another post in order to comment about it! So disrespectful!
    Just please consider yourself at your most honest and vulnerable moment. Is that the moment when you want your friend(s) – or better yet, strangers – to pounce on you and tell you how wrong you are and how you could be doing things so much better, so differently?
    I like seeing posts that pose questions or quotes that give us a different angle to look at the situation/her post – but the posts that direct themselves directly at Stephanie with paragraphs giving her a to-do list of fixing her just make me sick to my stomach!
    Can we please all try to remember that when we come her to visit our friend Stephanie? This girl is HUMAN and and she opens herself up to strangers.
    STEPHANIE, thank you for being you. Thank you for reminding us that we all have our insecurities that can be crippling or endearing -or both. Thank you for teaching us ways to look within and see the effects those inner demons effect our outer world. Thank you for your honesty and willingness to lay yourself out here for better or for worse.

  24. Speak for yourself, Paige Jennifer – Stephanie's post does not demonstrate how most women (or men for that matter) work through a relationship.

    I have never met Stephanie and I don't have the context to make judgments about the way she leads her life but I will say this – trust has to be there (on both sides) for a relationship to last. It doesn't really matter where your insecurities stem from – if they are regularly present in an exclusive relationship there's a problem and you need to work it out before you make decisions about the future.

    Here's a scary little statistic: I am in my late 30's and I have been to probably 30 weddings in the last 10 years. Sadly, more than half of those marriages are over or ending. You know which ones are going strong? The ones where both parties in the relationship accepted their partner for who they are, have never tried to change them and have (from the beginning) had complete trust in one another.

    This going to sound horribly cynical, but the idea that love is enough to keep a couple together is a myth. It doesn't work that way and it never will.

  25. Dear Stephanie:

    I love your honesty and feel the pain you seem to be in with regards to male relationships. The words are all written out of kindness.

    From a male perspective, hearing the thoughts you so wonderfully write about is frightening! And yes we can hear them. In every thing you do. Trying too hard to make us like you more…snooping and spying…pushing and prodding the relationship into a shape and form you can live with. But the fact is you'll never be complete. Oh maybe for about ten minutes or ten days, but then you'll be back to the negative assumptive thinking about his true intentions.

    I sense that you view the relationship as "about to fail," and thus you'll always see him half way out the door. In fact, he's probably never been happier.

    You do need to sit and talk to a therapist, preferably a male one, based on your apparent issues with anger and abandonment by men. It is in that safe space where you can admit your fears and begin to piece together the genesis of these destructive emotions.

    Questions to ask yourself:

    Who left me?
    Who left a loved one in my life?

    Do you blame yourself for your father's actions or worse, do you blame your mom for causing it?

    How in fact did she contribute to the emotional or physical abandonment and pass that lesson down to you.

    Can you forgive your father?

    Can you forgive your mother?

    I fear you will smother this poor guy. You're looking for daily reassurance that he won't leave you like others have done in your life. That is much too much of a burden to bear.

  26. A sincere gesture…simple…sweet…sublime.

    Words can soar through the air at mach speed, but fade until they are almost silent. Men don't always pilot words well. They just live on a different plane than women.

    Women talk. And talk. Until some men balk. We try to force their words. Sometimes we get silence. Our words can bully them. But they almost never fake a touch. The perfect touch. The touch that says so much more than hours of conversation. The touch that says they hear us. The touch that tries to erase the hurt. Try and let it erase the hurt.

    The sincere touch…simple…sweet…sublime.

  27. I'm getting lost trying to follow these posts. Did you JUST have a miscarriage THIS week or was that something that happened a long time ago? I would be mourning the loss of the pregnancy–I'm finding it hard to follow you here, and kind of hard to be sympathetic when you're complaining about your weight the same time you are experiencing such a loss? I'm not a daily reader of Stephanie's so if someone could explain how she goes about posting?

  28. Steph…you've got to let it go. A man who was afraid of reliving his past just ran me out the door because his fear was overwhemling us both.

  29. for all the "for those who presume to know stephanie" or "what gives you the right to judge/give advice" people, why wouldnt we think it was our right to give advice? you put a blog up in the most public forum in the world, the web, and you think that people giving their views, perspective, or opinion is inappropriate? help me understand that, or tell me wherever you got whatever you smoked so that i can get some. why is a response telling stephanie that you 100% agree with her, totally understand her feelings, or applaud whatever her course of action is the only acceptable response? find me another venue where someone puts up there personal feelings, inviting a reply from the readers, but the response needs to fall under certain guidelines or else you are wrong for giving it. and you are right, our knowledge of stephanie is limited to what she posts about herself. but from many of her posts, i get a much better perspective regarding some aspects of her life than i have about most other strangers in the world.

    i figure Stephanie is ok with people voicing their opinions or else she would choose to keep these very personal subjects to herself (which most people do in fact, and consequently, are not soliciting the opinions of a world of strangers.)

    i would argue you should worry about your own comments, and keep the judgement of others advice to yourselves, but you have the right to disagree with my perspective, and voice it. And you dont have to agree with me, and i dont have to agree with stephanie, but if something is posted publicly, you can bet i will exercise my freedom of speech right however i want. I just find it absurd that you think that the public isnt going to voice their comments, and that SOME of the comments might not be "stephanie i applaud your bravery". If you want that maybe you should all move to lemmingland

  30. In an earlier comment, Lilly wrote, "I believe there are 3 basic thruths to healthy relationships: …2. you COMPLETELY TRUST them and they COMPLETELY TRUST you – not a blind trust but a true trust"

    No offense, Lilly…but that sounds like something a Philosophy major would say! Works great in theory, but not so great in practice.

    You can't COMPLETELY TRUST anyone (MAYBE your parents being the only exception). Now…before you start calling me a cynical A-hole that doesn't trust anybody, let me explain what I believe to be the difference between trust and COMPLETE TRUST.

    A guy walks into a bar. The bar explodes. The guy escapes, but with third-degree burns all over his body. Does anybody fault the guy for having walked into the bar without expecting it to explode? Of course not (with the exception, maybe, of a handful of Southern Baptists).

    Now…should the guy never walk into another bar again? It would be completely understandable if he chose not to, but there is no reason why he shouldn't if he wants to (after all, bars don't just explode every day). Would anyone fault him for NOT pausing for a second before walking in? Would anyone fault him for saying that he is COMPLETELY confident that the bar he's sitting in isn't going to explode. Yes…I would.

    Darwin's theory of evolution (and I'm not meaning to get into a science vs. religion debate here) makes it clear that animals – including, of course, humans – have an innate drive to adjust their future behavior in order to avoid exposure to negative stimuli experienced in their past. Those that do not have this drive simply perish.

    Just as one would question the intelligence of a child who kept repeatedly touching a hot burner on the kitchen stove, I question the intelligence of anyone who COMPLETELY trusts another after having had COMPLETE TRUST betrayed in the past.

  31. Fair enough Ryan, but I think what Lilly is trying to say is that for Stephanie's relationship to work, she HAS TO trust Phil. It is not an option not to. If Stephanie really feels like the "guy who walked into the exploding bar" ie: She is not actually capable of trusting Phil, then she should let him go, for his sake and her own.
    And Paige Jennifer – I am a thirty year old woman who does not have "trust issues" at all – and nor do most of the women I know. Believe it or not, there are actually plenty of women out there who are actually capable of enjoying respectful, mature, honest, healthy and nuturing realtionships, without all the emotional insecurity.
    And sure, I may well get hurt one day, such is life, but until my partner gives me a reason to not trust him, then I'm going to trust him – to do anything other than that is just disrespectful.

  32. Random thoughts, since I have no idea of the is past tense, future tense, or alternate universe-

    * You speak of fighting like it is somehow natural. It isn't. It happens, but it shouldn't happen regularly. Your partner should be your best friend. I never fight with regular friends, and most people don't. So you shouldn't fight with your partner.

    * Lilly has a solid point. Men and women are completely different, and the differences are incomprehensible.

    * And the other Joe has a point. The saying I've heard is 'women marry men hoping they'll change, and men marry women hoping they won't change. I will never forget a girl I worked with complaining about her ex, and the way he dressed (60s boehemian hippy). I didn't see the need to be critical, so I said nothing, but all I could think of was 'WTF did you expect? He is exactly what you dated and married. You can't marry a person and expect them to change into the person you want them to be'.

  33. I've been in some bad relationships before and I too thought I was doomed in relationships and dysfunctional. But now with the guy I am with I realise that – yes I am a bit insecure but some guys press the insecurity buttons more than others. With this guy I feel so much more comfortable and loved. Maybe you need some distance from him – i.e move out for a while. If he is the guy for you then you'll be back together but if not maybe you'll just feel relieved you're outta there. Its hard to see clearly when you are son entangled in it all.

  34. Ya gotta hang in there, girl, and not think about things so much. You can really drive yourself crazy by thinking things over and over in your head. I've done it a bunch of times. It's not such a great idea.

  35. Wow. I know someone, I think, that could have written this exact post. I'm sure trust, after being betrayed, may not be so easily given again. How long did it take you to actually pull it off, in a lasting way, Stephanie?

  36. throughout this piece i was thinking that last line. and then you wrote it. and then i was relieved, for you. work to believe that this time its different. don't let your past have that power over you. you can do it.

  37. Stephanie-
    You come across as the sort of person that pours all of their energy into the things that you're passionate about (ie blog/writing), that's why you're successful and good at what you do. Can't imagine you'd do anything half-assed. And so, I have faith that you'll sort through these issues, and you will start controlling them instead of allowing them to control you.

  38. I appreciate the fact that you want to open up your and talk about these issues with us. Many other women across the country like myself don't feel alone in this situation.

    I'm learning that at some point in time you have let your past go, your insecurities in the end will detroy what you presently have. Don't let that happen.

    I speak of experience. I lost a great guy due to my insecurities and the fact that I couldn't let go of the past.

  39. Of course, one is still left wondering if it's just a lack of trust or if there is a confidence issue interplay there as well – an idea, perhaps, of not deserving. Sorry, I think about things.

  40. I'm of the opinion that this sort of manic insecurity and intense doubt is pretty normal, especially when you're young or if you are inexperienced in long term relationships, or even if you are just getting used to a new partner. But then eventually you get bored of yourself and move on (from the compulsive insecurity and constant evaluating, not necessarily from the person). Just know that you won't always struggle so much to trust someone, it will get better. On another note Stephanie, I thought it was awful what you wrote about short women in one of your older entries. It was something like: short women tend to be top heavy and have no personalities and you went on at some length to illustrate your point. You might have also thrown Jewish into the pot, or dark haired women, I no longer remember. Either way I thought it was not funny enough to justify itself and it was sad use of self-expression. And yes I'm short, female and jewish and also too compassionate to write mean things about groups of people in a public space. Journal or no.

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