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Well, Tyger, I'm not an expert, but I've always been one to get things out in the open and say what I'm feeling. I know I can't expect other people to be a mind reader, and even though it can be hard, it's best to say what's going on. If you are giving him space, but that you're doing it for yourself, not just for him. then I think it's ok to tell him so. That from what he's told you, it sounds like he needs to figure some things out and until he does, it's best that you step back, and that you'll be his friend. If that's the truth.

But please try not to be so on edge about it. I know it's hard not to feel that you have to strategize, and what you do or don't do can make or break the rest of your life or at least your future with this guy. Keep an open heart and mind, be respectful of him and also very respectful of yourself, and things will work out the way they are supposed to.

I actually saw the last part of a movie with Ashley Judd on the Lifetime network yesterday that really made me think. I've actually had a very very emotional weekend and have been thinking about a lot of things. In addition, I finally broke down and got some stuff out on the table with my mom regarding some childhood trauma that has been haunting me for decades, and she did give me some much needed closure, for which I am so very grateful. But that movie really got me thinking about a lot of things that go on here on these boards. Like I said, I didn't catch the whole thing, but from what I gather, she was a woman who was in a lot of pain from a bad relationship with her dad and a lot of other things. When I came in, she was drunk and leaving a bar and some guy she knew took her to her father's house and she was knocking and pounding on the door and screaming and crying and he would't come to the door so the guy who brought her just took her home. She had a fight with her grandma as well because she would always complain about how bad her husband treated her and Ashley told her she couldn't stand to hear her whine about it anymore, etc. Ashley then had a fight with her boyfriend, i guess she did something stupid when she was drunk and he dumped her. So she went to her priest to talk about things and she said how frustrated she was that it says knock and the door shall be opened and she's been knocking and knocking for years and he said, well, then, stop knocking and just come on in. She didn't quite know what to make of that at first. She went back to her dad's place, and he let her in and she told him she wanted to talk. He picked up a guitar and played and she said I came here to talk but he wouldn't stop playingso she said "I'll let you get back to waht you were doing, thanks for the song" and her face said "I'm never going to get what I want from him, he's never going to give it to me, but you know, I don't really need it anymore." She went to her boyfriend, who already had another woman in his house, and she told him she was sorry for what she did, and she wished him luck, and that's it. She was at her grandparents and her grandfather insisted his wife pour him another glass of wine, when she was busy with the dishes and the box of wine was two feet away from him on the table. She told him to get it himself and left. He asked Ashley to pour him more wine, and she just picked up her purse and left. The movie ended with her going off by herself and enjoying the sunset by herself.

All this to say, what got me thinking about that, is, you get into real trouble in life when you expect or depend or need other people to give you closure, amends, apologies, support, whatever. The door becomes open for you when you decide to be free of what other people will or won't do, care or don't care, support or don't support.

Lord knows, I know that that is FAR easier said than done. I will always insist that to a large degree, we need each other. Humans are social animals and we all need love, companionship, a sense of belonging and meaningful touch. But we cannot sell out our self respect in order to get it. I don't wish to sound hypocritical, because I was one of the all-time worst offenders. For years, and years, I let bad, cruel, evil things that other people have done to me tear me apart, and I even went back to some of these people, trying to be more strong, confident, respectful of them and myself to illicit a different result, and all I got was more of the same, more disrespect, more verbal abuse, more crap. You cannot change what someone else is going or not going to do to you, for you, with you. All you can do is be the best you that you know how to be and if someone else wants to come along for the ride, hey, great. If they don't, that has to be ok, too.

You can't live your life on edge, feeling like you have to rub your tummy and pat your head and hop on one leg at the same time to "get him" to care. It took me a long, hard road to realize that's just not how it works. I was very very lucky that my mom finally gave me the closure I needed, that I told her what words I needed to hear from her and she said them. It was very freeing, traumatic for us both, and I wish I hadn't had to have put her through that at this stage of her life, but it had come to a now or never kind of head. But the other deeply emotional thing I've been struggling with since last Friday, I know I won't be so lucky. It involved an ex, someone I haven't seen or spoken to in a decade, but the pain is still very intense and deep. But every step, painful or not, is another step on the road that will hopefully one day lead you to a better, stronger, lighter, happier place.

Well, I'm rambling now, but all this blather to say, give him space for yourself, not just for him. Because you know that your life is short and precious, and valuable, and because you deserve a great guy who's emotionally available to you and who can and wants to be in a real relationship with you. You don't have to shut off from him totally, you don't have to kick him out of your life, just embrace the fact that you are good and special just as you are, and if he'd rather deal with other business elsewhere, then that has nothing at all to do with you. You are still smart, strong, and wonderful and whatever is going to come into your life, will still come. Good luck to you.

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