That phrase “unrequited love” has been rolling around inside my head a lot lately. I had to find my dictionary to check its full meaning, and I think it matches the feelings I’ve been experiencing. So often when I’m counselling with partners I share with them what so many partners share about feeling like we’re pouring our love and our souls and our emotions and our efforts … everything into a black hole and nothing comes back to nurture us in return. It’s quite soul destroying, and has to be linked to that feeling of “unrequited love”. Love that’s not returned or reciprocated. I know it’s a different usage, but I think it’s the same feeling or state to be in. A real sense of ineffectiveness.
Somehow we do believe our partners love us, but they just seem unable to demonstrate it or respond to us in ways that resonate with our soul-need to be actively loved and acknowledged for who we are and all the ways we show our care for them. The reciprocation we naturally expect in a marriage or long term partnership. For us, it’s why we’re in a relationship.
It was really stirred up for me recently when I was trying to find some sort of closure (again) for myself after a relationship breakdown I experienced late last year. (Yes, I chose another Aspie arrogantly thinking that with my knowledge I could make it work. 1 year of bliss. 4 of confusion and conflict. I failed. Correction - we failed.
So many unhealed painful feelings. So many meaningful words rewarded with silence. Some rewarded with rage. Having to sit with and be content with those open and raw feelings of unfinished business and “unrequited” love, care and effort is next to impossible. I want some of it, or something, back. Please.
My attempts to seek some sort of acknowledgement or empathic response are met with statements about his hardships as though it’s a competition. I need to let it go. For my own sake I need to stop seeking a response that satisfies my longing to be acknowledged, valued … or told that I was loved. He genuinely doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of my words or what I’m seeking.
I know that my value is in no way diminished by his lack of response or acknowledgement; I know I’m a good lover and partner!
The fact is, we are all wonderful and beautiful people who are highly empathic, highly responsive, highly loving, and many more good things.
We just fell in love with beautiful human beings who cannot requite to us what we cannot help but give.