While my partner and I were working through some issues earlier this year, there came a point when I thought that she wanted to end the relationship, but was afraid to say so. This idea came to me not from any genuine message from her, but from my own insecurity and fear stemming from past relationships ending when communications broke down. (She actually had needed space to clear some issues in her life and didn’t want me to be hurt by those issues.) Rather than initiate an adult discussion of what was going on, the hurt insecure little boy in me decided to unilaterally communicate for both of us. I left my beloved a message, saying something to the effect that I would speak for her since she couldn’t do it herself, and that our relationship was over.
She responded angrily and with tears and called me a few well-chosen and well deserved names. But then she made a reference to my character that really hurt. I knew this summation of my ways was coming from her place of pain and not from the reality that we shared together or the way I acted in our togetherness. The title that she pinned on me was “full of sh** new age guy.” (I have turned that into the acronym “FOSNAG” for purposes of brevity and cleanliness.)
Needless to say, that really hurt! In all of our time together, growing together, healing together and loving together, everything I brought to her was real and genuine and honest and caring. What wasn’t real was my need to go back to that “old place” of self-doubt, self-pity and unworthiness. The strange and wonderful thing was that she was coming from the same place. She had withdrawn from me, not because she didn’t love me or want our relationship to grow, but from the fear that the issues she needed to deal with would render her unworthy and burdensome in my eyes. In a twisted way, it was sort of like O’Henry’s “Gift of the Magi” where two people very much in love sacrificed what was most dear to them for the happiness of the other.
Well, it was “FOSNAG” that proved to be our magic mantra. I called her back and firmly but lovingly stated, “I am not a FOSNAG!” That silly expression, born of pain and fear, brought us both to hysterical laughter. The laughter brought us to smiles, a quick reunion, embracing and a kiss. What was communicated in that kiss was mutual forgiveness, reconciliation, a deep and abiding respect and the recognition of true love. FOSNAG and the kiss healed us.
We both are still working through the things that adults have to come to terms with, but we’re doing it together, with openness, communication and love. I am a “new age guy”. But deep inside of most of us open hearted men is still a hurt little boy, longing to be accepted and loved and communicated with. So if you find yourself with a FOSNAG, be kind and compassionate and above all, talk to him. He might just surprise you!