I have had to deal with a lot of fall out because of my actions. I hurt a lot of people because of what I had done. But the biggest consequence of my bad decision making was losing her respect and trust. When we started dating, she had opened up to me so quickly and had not a single doubt that we were perfect for each other and meant to be together. And I completely agreed. We were perfect for each other, loved each other unquestionably, and life finally just made sense.
But I was lying to her.
Every day we were together, I was keeping information away from her. I wasn’t sharing with her things about myself. Things I had done, and things I was doing. She was completely in the dark about everything negative that was going on, and when it all finally came out, it was like our life together exploded. She explained it to me best by describing it like we had a terrible car accident. Life was just fine, and suddenly it was a big mess, and it was all my doing.
When she first found out what had been happening (I wasn’t even the one that told her, someone else had to), she calmly broke things off with me. And I completely understood why she had to. It was better for her, and I deserved it. I don’t know why I thought I would have been able to keep everything that was going on from her, eventually it was going to come out anyway and no matter how hard I tried to hide it, it would start affecting us and our relationship. It was almost as bad as my actual misdeeds.
For a month, we had absolutely no contact. I had figured I’d never see her or hear from her again, which again, I understood why. But if you have been keeping up with my posts, you’ll know that about two weeks ago we reconnected and have been talking a bit and trying to repair what has been done.
Despite everything I put this woman through, despite everything she is dealing with now as a result, she still wants to maintain a connection with me and build a relationship. She is the most understanding person I have ever met. I have never seen a level of dedication and commitment to someone like I have with her. She is willing to stick by me as I deal with the remainder of this fall out and is willing to rebuild what I had destroyed. I don’t know what she is thinking long term with us right now (eventually we’ll talk about that, but now is not the time) but from where I stand, this girl is my end. I won’t ever want another woman in my life. I have never felt this strongly for anyone ever before. She is the one and I will do anything I can to make sure she has a happy, secure life. I am going to marry this girl.
Before I do though, we have a lot to work on. The biggest obstacle we have to overcome is building trust. Because I spent so much time keeping the truth from her, she has a hard time believing what I say to be true. I have been guilty of being very selective with answers when she asked me questions and only provided pieces of stories to keep the full truth from her. It is a psychological problem that I am now currently getting treatment for and it is because I am getting this help and actively bettering myself, that she is willing to move forward with me.
One activity she has asked me to take on, is to provide more detailed information about who I am and what I believe. The method is an interesting one. A few months back, she had approached me with a book, entitled “1000 Questions For Couples” A book that is designed to help couples strengthen communication and better understand their partners by answering questions that reveal parts of your personality, and view points on a wide variety of topics. At the time, I scoffed at her, and brushed it off. I felt that this activity was creating too much structure in the courting process and took away a lot of the mystery and excitement in slowly finding out things about each other. She disagreed, but didn’t push the issue.
This time, when she approached me with this book, I had a different view. I had broken our trust, and had been so careful in what I shared with her, that I felt this would be a great way to be able to share who I truly am with her and at the same time, learn more about her. I was scared at first that I would give her answers that I thought she would want to hear, but I was committed to start telling the truth at all times, and provide all bits of information rather then “just enough.”
She sent me the book, and after reading through the questions, I committed to sending her the answers to at least 2 questions a day via email and discussing them and other questions when we would see each other.
The first day was a little tough. As I wrote, the urge to edit my words and tweak my thoughts was very strong. I wanted to send her clean, concise answers that put me in a positive light and would help explain why I was in the situation I was currently in. However, I fought the urge, and continued to write, and I started opening up more and giving more information than was being asked. I didn’t go back and read my post for any reason, and would even leave spelling and grammatical errors, which normally drives me crazy. I didn’t want to be tempted, so I didn’t read back at all until the answers were already sent out to her.
Even after the first day, I felt great about what I was embarking upon, and she felt great reading the answers because she could perceive the honesty in my writing and was learning a lot about me not just through the specific answers I provided, but also the stories and context I would include as well. She was proud of me for taking this task on and treating it with this level of dedication.
As this week progressed, I answered more questions, and found that my answers had been getting more and more detailed and would quickly develop into long stories explaining every nuance of a situation. I would remember things while I wrote as well, things I completely forgot about that until particular moment when I wrote about it. Entire memories were surfacing and I was channelling them directly into my words for her.
It has been a week now since I started this activity, and I have never felt more free and open. I have been very surprised by how some of my answers formed, and discovered a few things about myself while I had been writing. I actually had a few realizations about myself while answering some of the questions. I’ve noticed as well, that when we met up this past weekend, I have been able to share more with her, and am finding myself asking her more questions. I want to know everything about her and I want to share everything with her. I don’t want a single secret between us.
It is still difficult in person to share exactly what is on my mind, I don’t like talking about myself and sharing my past, but this exercise is teaching me, and I am able to catch myself when I am only providing part of a thought. This is part of the process though, and I am definitely much better at sharing then I was just one week ago. I’ll chalk up this accomplishment as a combination of therapy and this 1000 Question activity, but if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t see as much progress as I have already as well, I wouldn’t have been able to find the strength to endure any of the consequences of my ordeal. I feel this activity is going to reveal a lot and I am going to learn more about myself during this activity then I probably ever could through years of contemplative thought.
If you are in a committed relationship, I highly recommend that you check out this book and discuss a few of the questions with your partner. You will be amazed at what is revealed.