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How about a letter?

"[I]Dear Mark,

I need to tell you a few things and I need for you to really listen.

So many times I've wanted to have this conversation, but because lately we've either been arguing or you've been crying, well, it never seems to be the right time.

I love you a lot. I think you know this. I'm not sure how you could NOT know, especially since you realize that I am putting a lot of energy into trying to be in a committed relationship with you despite how challenging it has been personally and emotionally for me since we got back together after your infidelity. THAT alone should say something about the level of commitment I feel for you.

I have come to realize in the past few months that our style of coping with relationship stress is very different. It's not bad, but it certainly is different. And I feel that this is making our relationship fragile and putting up some roadblocks to making our relationship a closer one. Although I do appreciate your passion about wanting this relationship to work, so many emotional tears have no place in a happy relationship, and these displays of emotion are causing me to feel awkward when I am around you. I remember you as a stronger person, and I find it difficult to hold meaningful conversations when you are overly emotional. I also dislike knowing that our parting brings on this type of ending - and sometimes I find myself wanting to delay getting together because of that.

That is only part of the stress that I am concerned about in our relationship. In order for me to feel romantic and at peace with us, I need to feel good about us. Your demands to know my hourly schedule have got to stop. I don't believe loving relationships should have so much distrust as part of it. Your lack of trust in my choices to spend time with family, friends, as well as how you percieve my time spent without you is honestly, a let down. I cannot have my boyfriend, my partner, always wondering about my motives, my whereabouts, or my integrity. Every time you grill me or complain that I am not making you a priority, that tells me that you don't respect me or trust me. I am trustworthy and honest, and I'm surprised and saddened that you don't see that, or choose not to, in order to get your needs met.

This relationship has got to be about us, and the thing is, "us" does not just involve you and I. "Us" involves who we are as individuals too, not just what we do when we are spending time as a couple, and we should be celebrating ALL aspects of each other, whether something involves you and I directly or not. It's not that I need more freedom from you, but I need more than just what our relationship can offer to feel like a whole, productive person. I cherish and need my family and friends as much as my boyfriend. I am tired of you trying to make me choose - that is not having my best interests at heart, and we are both deserving of a partner who can do that for each other.

If you love me, then you need to love all of me - and that includes supporting and encouraging me to be the best and happiest person I can be.

I realize that you crave physical intimacy, and I am flattered by that. But I need to FEEL romantic and part of that reaction comes from how you treat and perceive me. Your actions and words now are telling me something different, and I can't physically respond without feeling loved on all levels, not just on the levels you choose to love me at.

I am asking for some maturity and understanding on your part, Mark. This letter is important to me or else I wouldn't have taken the time to write it. These are my thoughts and feelings, and I am asking you to treat them carefully and with consideration.

I would like to make our next phone call or the next time we see each other a brand new start together. I want an emotional investment in a mature relationship with honesty and compassion. And I want that with you.

Please call me soon. Love, Calista[/I]"

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