Sunday, September 04, 2011

To have a friend, you have to be one

This was one of the many pieces of advice my mum gave me as a child. Empathy, Compassion clearly are a vital element in any friendship but particularly in a life partner
Thoughts around this have stemmed from two sources;

(a) Trying to get into the head of Hamish, my recalcitrent lover and
(b) Trying to define what a good husband might be

I'll tackle (b) first. I guess Husband's (Wives or life partners) vary to the extreme in what they provide. Most would score between 3-4 on the following checklist

(1) Emotional support
(2) Commitment: The ability to be inately trustworthy and faithful
(3) Sharing of financial load
(4) Sharing in domestic economy cook clean look after kids family admin (bills, volunteering, clubs and socs)
(5) Regular safe (preferably hot) sex
(6) Companionship

Less than 2 items and I would say it is not a relationship. I think with Hamish so far I have only got number (5 and maybe 6) and if it does not improve I will be ending it by the end of the year.

Incidentally with Simon I only had (2, 4 and 5) and with Neil only (3)

I have had a very bad week, and when on Wednesday morning I was holed up in my car in a parking lot at work tears streaming down my face and literally unable to face the day, I had not idea who I could possibly depend upon to listen to me, and it dawned on me that there is no way I could turn to Hamish. It has only been 4 months, but still..

What specifically do I want after a hard, confronting, harrowing stressful day at work. Not sex, possibly some relief in the domestic economy, but at the very basic level, as I have said before, for someone to be a safe compassionate witnesses to my life experience. And I have just looked up compassion which is defined as a "Deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it"

I told Hamish about my day, and he told me he was *not* surprised people treated me that way, and then proceeeded to make fun of my accent (teasing I suppose).
Which brings me to (a) in the spirit of empathy, another thing my mother would tell me was to try to see things from the other person's point of view. I used to think I was quite good at it, putting myself outside my own body and fully into another's (I was probably deluding myself) anyway here we go.

Hamish. A lone wolf. Loves sex. wouldn't mind having children, generally happy in his own skin and with his own company. Professes to want a relationship. But in practice, it mustn't be complicated. In fact he should not have to work at it at all (in which case he reasons something must be wrong).

However I think this work also includes being compassionate, empathetic, in short, being a friend. He doesn't mind people being a friend to him. He likes a listening ear from a woman, He helps out his mates when they need him, but not women, because with women ... I suspect he feels ... there is always a hidden agenda. It would seem, from his reactions, he is possibly wary of women - once bitten twice shy. He would also say he doesn't fall in love easily. He needs to keep friendship and sex completely separate. He would not expect his lover to need him (locked out, flat tire etc). You're a fuck buddy I don't do favours for you. You can scratch my back, but I won't scratch yours - that's not playing nice now is it?


RockiBottom said...

Seems to me that you have already figured out that he is not really relationship material. At the very least he is not what YOU need from a partner in a real relationship.

FI0NA said...

That's not what I want to hear rockibottom!!!!