I often speak about J, my boyfriend, my best friend, my partner in crime. He agreed to write a guest post on my blog, providing you with the perspective of the man on the other side of a recovering ED. I often wonder what it’s like for him to be with me; if it’s hard, if it’s depressing to see me upset, if it’s unbearably frustrating. Today, in his own words, J’s thoughts on being part of a relationship with someone dealing with an ED.
Oddly enough, we both had the same idea (this happens a lot). Tianna is interested in my perspective of being in love and dealing with someone who is recovering from ED. To me, being in love with someone and dealing with someone who is recovering from ED are not two mutually exclusive endeavors. In fact, they go hand in hand much the same way a square is a rectangle. To dumb it down to the simplest statement, I see the ED not as an obstacle but merely a thing that makes the girl I love. Let me explain:
I view the people in this world as broken or at least misshapen in one way or another. We all have these vices or addictions or disorders that we deal with. We are all in some form of recovery from whatever pain we’ve had to deal with. This is obviously not the cheeriest perspective but I believe it sets me up for the greater joy. Because I know if someone can go through a valley and still love on the other side, there is great power in that.
Tianna has gone through a valley, a very deep one in fact. Granted I did not see the worst of it but I have felt her pain in a few of her previous posts. But here, on the other side of that valley, she loves me. With that, how can I call any deviation on account of her recovery an obstacle? So what if we need to go to certain restaurants because they are of the few that offer healthy choices. For a guy who doesn’t eat all that healthy to begin with, a healthy choice is not a bad idea. On top of that, is not the definition of love to be concerned for another’s well being? Her happiness is more important to me than anything else. Yes, there are plenty of fish in the sea. Only a fortunate few are as lucky as me to be snagged by someone so beautiful a she. I am continually awed by her strength and drive to be happy.
I don’t understand ED, I don’t claim to, and I don’t believe I need to for this relationship work. All I need to do is listen and be patient, to show her love and do my part to convince her that she is the beautiful woman I see. Should a man stumble upon this post who is in the throes of love with a woman in the valley all I can say is be patient. She is struggling much the same way you struggle with your own insecurities. Listen to her, not with a hurt or defensive ear but with compassion. She has enough false voices in her head, don’t be one more.
I like lyrics. The greatest lyrics for me are the ones that move me to a deeper paradigm of humanity. I’ll leave you with a few lines from The Decemberists song, “Don’t Carry it All”:
So raise a glass to turnings of the season
And watch it as it arcs towards the sun
And you must bear your neighbor’s burden within reason
And your labors will be born when all is done
And nobody, nobody knows
Let the yoke fall from our shoulders
Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all
We are all our hands and holders
Beneath this bold and brilliant sun
And this I swear to all, and this I swear to all