ASK ABDI: HOW TO DEAL WITH FEAR OF INTIMACY IN RELATIONSHIP?
QUESTION: I had a one-night stand with an old lover while in a state of confusion with a present one. And then felt the need to tell my present lover about it when he was starting to break up the relationship. In hindsight, this was a mistake and I was trying to hurt him. Also, this has been a pattern for me: fear of intimacy/abandonment by acting out with sex.
Needless to say, my now ex-lover is very, very angry. He says that he can’t look at me without seeing some other guy fucking me. I said, "but you’re fucking someone else now". He said, "that’s now and it doesn’t matter, this is about then". He said he thinks it was bound to fail. I said, "that’s what you’re telling yourself". He said that’s how he feels, that he would have walked away had he known.
I don’t know what to do now. It’s clear he’s still too shut down to hear anything. Should I contact him or let him be? Should I try to talk with him, hear more effectively his upset (like respond with “that must be so hard”, instead of “but you’re fucking someone else now”, and share how I feel about it not being over and that we both are working through abandonment stuff?). It feels like there’s not a listening there at this point. Should I try to meditate and talk to his soul and bypass his personality like you have spoken about? I don’t know what to do and it HURTS.
How on earth is this going to shift? I feel like I’ve fucked this up forever, that he’s not going to shift or open up to me again. But I don’t have clear sight right now and would really appreciate some guidance on the next step to take.
ANSWER: I know you are in pain and that it hurts. This pain has nothing to do with what is presently in front of you. It is an ancient pain that has been repressed in many of us - by stories, constant movement, and often anxiety borne seeking under the guise of spiritual conquest. The only action that heals it - is to be confronted with it in this raw brutal manner that you are facing. Do not draw back from this seemingly immense darkness. Sit with it, feel it, and be gentle with yourself. What you “need to do next” will be informed by this moment. And this moment. And this moment.
Talk and dialogue with your own soul first. Then you can move into his. Keep being clear that your desperation here is about you and your pain. This “I can’t live without this person” is displaced pain and always a sign of addictive seeking, which will never be satiated by obtaining what is perceived to be the salve.
Here is an opportunity to heal an issue that we dance around most, if not all, of our lives. Let go of all desire wanting it to be otherwise or your will to make something happen. Be with what is. That is your medicine at this present moment.