I watched the riptide of his ego pull him into treacherous currents of fear and doubt. Knowing we’d both drown if I followed him in, I initially chose to just witness.
I saw him as a strong spiritual swimmer; I figured he’d know to wait for the rip to release him and swim parallel to the shore. It was refreshing to date someone I didn’t need to play lifeguard – or life coach – for.
All I had to do was remain compassionate and loving.
My introduction to his anger came via a conversation about my family of origin. He insisted they couldn’t possibly be taking the idea of him seriously. Surely they were thinking I was just having a fling with a Latin lover.
How did he know how people he’d never even met were thinking? At the time, I didn’t see anything odd about that.
I assured him my family members, all of whom were really excited for us, would welcome him and his son into the fold with open arms. I expressed that I couldn’t wait for him to meet everyone! He snapped that he didn’t want that – he just wanted to be with me; he wasn’t looking for a family.
I was stunned by his words and aggressive tone and wondered what I’d said that had invited them. This would come to be a very bad habit – searching for the ways I was somehow prompting his anger and feeling guilty about that. Hello, codependency!
It wasn’t just his behavior that changed – he actually looked different! Like those who have had near-death experiences, many people who have been in this situation have reported the exact same thing. The first time you experience someone raging at you, seemingly unprompted by anything you’ve said or done, the person’s face often literally transforms.
Although I hadn’t experienced it before that moment, this new face was not necessarily any less familiar. It was almost as if part of me already knew this side of him before encountering it.
His outburst felt endless. He just kept repeating the same points, as if I wasn’t responding. I went into another room to take a few deep breaths. That enabled me to listen to the rest of his rant with compassion. I put my arms around him and validated his feelings. I told him I understood the fact that he had never seen himself dating an American woman, but reminded him who I was – certainly not a typical one.
I reiterated that I was part of a multi-ethnical family – my beloved sister-in-law hailed from Belize!
I told him many of my family members saw him as a rock star. Not only because they loved his music which I’d posted on Facebook, but also because he was the first man who had ever inspired me to say the word marriage out loud.
He laughed. Love prevailed. His anger passed through like a quick thunderstorm without lightning. There was no damage in its wake; it had been nothing but noise. I trusted when it came time for my smaller mind to do its thing, he would handle it with the same level of compassion and grace.
For the time being, we only had to contend with his ego. Mine had clearly packed up my intuition and traveled back to New York without me.
I was scheduled to follow soon. I couldn’t imagine leaving him and his son, but I was looking forward to seeing my loved ones back home. I trusted life to work out the details of what would initially be a long-distance relationship, until the time was right to be together permanently.
The same force that brought us together and kept the planets revolving around the sun was fully capable of working out ample opportunities to see one another.
I was proud of myself for staying present with him, instead of letting his ego trigger mine into a fight. We joked that our first fight would probably be about something ridiculous like breakfast, namely whether to put organic cheese or cashew butter on our apples.
Inexplicably, it also wasn’t about the fact that his marital revelations were arriving every four days.
He shared that he’d been married once before betrothing the mother of his son, back when he was very young. He told me the connection died of natural causes after a number of years; routine and dullness drew them apart.
It was the first time I flat out didn’t believe him.
Today, I can list many a reason why a marriage with this man might not last for eternity.
Boredom is simply not one of them.
Subscribe to Blog via Email