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Is there such a thing a being too compatible?

Posted by Daisym on October 6, 2011, at 1:06:08

I've written on and off here for years so most of you "know" my therapist. He is steady and wise and open. He believes in the connection of the relationship as a healing vehicle. And he is very, very funny. Which is not to say that we haven't had ruptures (a few were huge) and we haven't been mutually frustrated with each other at times.

I've been in therapy for a little over 8 years. I go multiple times per week, which has gone up and down at times. He has always taken vacations - usually a week at a time. But two years in a row now, my therapist has taken two weeks off in September. Last year it was really hard on me and we spent weeks processing my anger and abandonment feelings. There was lots of old stuff there but it scared me enough to make me pull back a lot. Things shifted this summer and I felt connected and safe again...until he left again.

This week has been full of very honest and frank conversations about how painful it is for me to be so attached, with all these deep feelings. I love him and I hate myself for loving him or needing him. While I realize this *is* my core issue, I can't figure out how it will ever get resolved. And just to be clear - it isn't about having sex with him, or wanting to truly marry him, etc. I am a realist, I know and have always known the confines of this relationship and I'm super careful to not push the boundaries. I rarely call or email between sessions anymore - I make myself wait unless it is a crisis. What I find is that being aware of all these feelings highlights the void in my life - I want someone as safe as him to love "all the time." I'm very lonely - even as I'm surrounded by other people. We've spent a lot of time the past few months on this - how to use friends better, etc. A significant other is not part of my life right now and I sort of doubt that will ever happen again. I've been pretty badly wounded and trust is hard.

My solution was to suggest cutting way back on sessions and to think about termination. I really want to figure out if I'm only going to therapy to maintain the connection. And I can hardly bear the thought of another vacation. I wondered if enough of my needs were being met by my sessions and if this was preventing me from forcing myself to develop new relationships. I feel very foolish too, btw - for not being able to figure it all out. I keep thinking, "If you'd fallen in love with a married man (not your therapist), you would know you need to break it off and move on. But here, the love is OK, even as you suffer from it."

My therapist said he feels really confused because he hears that our deep connection is hurting me and he doesn't want that. But he also knows how much our connection has helped me. I completely agree and feel the same confusion. And I feel like a complete _ss because he is so generous with his time and attention, while maintaining very safe boundaries. He thinks I'm too harsh with myself about my need for him. So what the heck do I want? The best I could get to was I wanted to feel this connection to him without always having to judge it - without the conflict it sets up inside of me. I want to be able to use him as my safe base from which to explore other relationships. But that just doesn't feel possible. The other relationships are so elusive. And he doesn't seem to have a clone. So it seems easier to break my attachment to my therapist. And the only way to do that is to wedge time and distance between us.

It is so complicated and there are more strands, but this is enough for now. I'm just looking for suggestions even in how to think about all of this.





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poster:Daisym thread:998892