I have had several interactions with women where they flirt with my partner in front of me. Sometimes, they pointedly ignore me. Sometimes they tell my partner he looks good several times in the course of an afternoon and touch him repeatedly.
In these moments, I hold my tongue and smile, because I know in the end, they are doing it because of the sickness within them, and nothing I do or say in the moment will change that.
But later, when I talk with my partner about it, it becomes a heated debate, and it is not about whether the women are doing this or not, but why this bothers me and why it should bother him. I admit I am at a bit of a loss. Most of these women, as he says, are not people to admire or aspire to be, and in fact they are usually without boundaries, but still, it hurts when people behave in this manner. I have struggled for the last three years or so to let my pain over these encounters go, but I have not yet been able to do it.
If I take a step back, I know that I allow this into my head and I don't have to. I also know that this is in my life because I am supposed to evolve past it somehow. So I meditate, I focus on my breath, and I release the pain that resides in my chest every time something like this happens.
It is synchronicity that today is the day of my father's birth, and he is the one who first put me in this type of a helpless position with his third wife. She was boundary-less, like the women that bother me, and she was completely competitive with me and my siblings for my father's affection. This also happened with my mother. Her partners were always taking her attention, energy, and ultimately, affection, and leaving my brother and I with...mostly her rage.
This is a pattern within me that I know I am supposed to break. I feel like being the bigger person would be not saying or doing anything in the moment, and also not being bothered by people and things that don't, in the end, really matter.
But my insecurities and history get the best of me, and I am left with the pain of being put in a painful horrible place. It reminds me of the years, from the time I was 8 or 9, that I was always a secondary concern. I am re-living this over and over at the hands of people who have been sent into my life to heal me.
So I will continue to work on this, write about it, and maybe, eventually see these events for what they are; opportunities to put myself first and recognize that no matter what other people do, I am always the priority.