I love to read relationship books. Whenever I read something that reminds me of my relationship with SG I marvel at how intuitive, how clever, how well researched the author must be. When I read something that doesn't fit us at all, naturally either the author is a charlatan or we are the exception to the rule. My husband is more than a standard deviation from the mean, if you know what I mean.
Anyhow, this current book I'm reading is all about how Attachment Theory is really what comes into play in our love relationships, that our primary relationship with our partner follows many of the same patterns as child/parent attachment. Similar to the way a healthy parental attachment fosters a sense of security and the ability to be happily independent in a child, a healthy attachment in an adult relationship makes each partner feel safer about indpendence - both theirs and their partner's. According to this theory, then, a clingy, jealous or insecure partner isn't just being a jerk: they're dealing with abandonment issues.
Makes sense. It helps me see my distaste for SG's road job in a different light; a person whose standard motto regarding relationships goes something like, "Everyone leaves. Period." isn't likely to feel too secure about having their partner off living the single life for a couple of months at a time.
Time and love do much to cure the places we are broken, and SG and I have seen a lot of that happening over the course of our relationship. I'd love to say that I'm completely without insecurity, but I would be lying. I am, however, much more secure in this relationship than I can recall being in a very long time.
Which is good, because we're pretty sure he's going to end up going back on the road.
Its not that his in-town full-time job is a horrible job, or anything. But its not what he's used to. Its not what he likes or wants to do. He likes the road. He likes his solitude. It doesn't mean he likes being away from me or that he doesn't want to be with me. But its work and pay that agree with him, and if being alone for several weeks at a time are the price, its one he's happy to pay. Not everyone has the luxury of choosing what they do for a living. Hell, at best we choose between several imperfect options and pick the one that's simply the least worst.
We've had some very long and occasionally very intense discussions about this of late. We've spent time exploring our feelings about our relationship, about ourselves, about what we want out of our lives and where we want to be ten or twenty years down the road. We've talked about what's hard about him being gone for me -- being lonely very much the primary issue, followed by being overwhelmed -- and about what's hard for him about about the current situation.
Compromises in relationships don't mean each party gets what they want and then they hold hands and skip down the primrose path while rose blossoms fall from the sky and birds sing love songs. Oh, no. Compromise means sometimes I have to give up more than I think I want to and other times the short stick gets drawn by my husband. Compromise means maybe my husband goes on the road, but at the same time we get someone to come help with the housework and the yard so that I at least get a break to do things that I want to while he's gone. Compromise means maybe he doesn't take the six month job that would bring a much bigger payout, but takes fall and spring work and spends the winter at home. And lets be honest, the days he's here and I get to go gallivanting off on my horse while he stays home and wrangles my offspring there is absolutely no doubt about who is getting the short stick.
So little in life is absolutely perfect. I would say, if pressed, that SG is the perfect man for me. I think he would probably say I'm the perfect woman for him. I know there are times both of us will tell you how the other is driving us insane or irritating the crap out of us, but even then there are billion reasons its worth it to get to the other side of the trying days.
Remind me I wrote this come fall, will you?