|Andrew's Relationship Story|
My First Relationship
During my life, I've had four major relationships with women. My first relationship was at high school when I was 18 year old and I got involved with a young woman. In the beginning, everything was great, we'd laugh and talk and generally have a great time together. However, I was always sick. I was vomiting a lot, not really sure of what was going on. The relationship lasted five months.
My Second Relationship
My second major relationship was during and after university with a young woman from Vietnam. She was gorgeous. Again, in the beginning things were great. We'd laugh, talk, have fun – you know the fun I mean – and generally hang out with each other. But again, I was sick all of the time. Over time, I noticed that I was far less of myself than I was when I entered the relationship. I had divorced parts of myself in order to make her happy. However, there was so much that she wasn't happy about that I ended up divorcing most of myself and, in the end, there was little of me left. There was, I guess, just a shell of myself left behind. She'd ridicule me over this. She'd ridicule me over that. She'd ridicule me in publicly as well as privately. There was nothing that was right about me, from her point of view. I guess I was just a wrongness, a wrongness that needed to be fixed. With just the shell left behind after I had divorced so much of me, I had the point of view that I had few options but to stay with her. A bad relationship was better than no relationship. But this wasn't just a bad relationship. It was a downright horrible relationship as the daily ridicule and criticism that was constantly being thrown at me was horrendous. It felt as though I was stripped bare every single day. This relationship was killing me.
For some reason, we had bought a house together and were setting up 'a life.' I knew it wasn't going to work but I did it anyway. Over time, I began to gather strength and 'fought' back. I was no longer the little puppy that get's kicked when the owner is displeased. She fought back harder, to retain control. I resisted but still stayed in this messed up relationship. I reasoned that if I ended the relationship, I would lose the house, I would lose my friends – not that I had many – I would lose all that I had worked for. Looking back now, I had nothing to lose but everything to gain for this relationship was truly terrible. We were a on again off again relationship and she finally ended the relationship some six years later. We went through the settlement process but I effectively gave her everything. I didn't wish to have anything to do with her any longer. My life at this point was a sheer wreck. Nothing was working for me and, I reasoned, I had little to offer anyone, especially myself. I stayed at friend's house for two weeks (very grateful for that), in hostels, house sat and, eventually, found a share house with two other men. I was 25 years old by now.
Time for Me
I spent the next 18 months re-building me. I gained new friends. I had lots of fun. Learnt to dance, played sport, played games. I did all the things that I enjoyed so that I could feel a presence of me again. But, in those 18 months, I didn't enter another relationship with anyone. This was time for me, whatever that meant.