“I think we need to put some kind of plan together, make some goals. The old saying is, If you don’t set goals, you’ll hit them. We need goals and a plan.”
-Me, 10 minutes ago.
Sometimes I feel really bad for the things I say to My Bride. I’ll say something unfortunate, usually hurtful, and it pushes her away. Sometimes I’ll push to hard to make a point. That pushes her away. Other times I beat her about the head with words because I’M RIGHT DAMN IT!! Today I learned that once you decide your spouse is wrong and you’re right, you no longer empathize with their viewpoint. You stop listening when you declare yourself the winner.
THAT is something I’m real bad about. I’m always right and I’ll list all the ways you’re wrong and all the ways I’m right. Resulting in 2 people pissed off.
The Good Doctor told me that I seem to want to be right instead of living in peace. “You can be right or you can be happy” was how he put it. Methinks he’s onto something.
With all of that in mind, and way more you don’t know, one might understand a problem I’m having. I want to guide our relationship into new territory. I’m trying to make recommendations and they’re all rejected. “I don’t want to do that” is said a lot. She also tells me, “I don’t need that” when discussing share groups.
The problem here: I have to be incredibly low key when making a recommendation. There are three major reasons for this. First, she doesn’t trust me at all so she is unable to accept anything I say as valid. That makes sense. Second, she doesn’t respect me enough to listen to any recommendations I may have. Third, in spite of what her therapist and all resource material says, she doesn’t think she needs to take part in any support groups.
Trust and respect is not some kind of new realization. I had known of her loss of trust and respect for me for many years. Those we’re always easy to see.
Anytime she had a difficult issue, I would tell her what I thought and how it should be handled. She would then call her father, listen to his advice and follow it. This began day 1 on our marriage and it has always been a sore spot for me. I’m certain that she has rejected his advice a total of 1 time in 21 1/2 years of marriage. That happened within the last 60 days. What sucks for me, I had zero input into the situation. She had a challenge, talked to her father and made her own decision. I was completely out of the loop. I guess that’s how things are supposed to work, but it had never happened before. She had always at least discussed things with me. This time, I didn’t get that privilege.
The biggie, in my mind- she does not think she needs any help outside of marriage counseling. Like I said, that runs contrary to what her therapist says, every book I’ve read and every book she has read. That simply must change.
Anytime I mention something about us needing to do XYZ, she says, “We need to get advice from our mental professional” Apparently that only works when I make a suggestion.
“Hey, will you go to Celebrate Recovery with me next week? There’s no open share group because of the men’s step study graduation.”
“I dunno. We’ll see.” That translates to a big fat no fucking way am I going.
Here’s the deal, I can’t let it bother me. It does, but I’m not supposed to worry about it, even though I do. Being codependent as I am, I try to fix everybody around me and I ignore myself. That’s a big part of what codependency is.
So I have to say something like, “Ok, I’m just making it available to you” or something like that. That sucks monkey balls. There’s a definite need that should be addressed and it might get addressed. Maybe. It’s up to her.
If I push any harder I’m told that what she does isn’t good enough for me. Well, of course it’s not good enough for me. I want is to do anything and everything possible to heal and rebuild. Doing anything less is, by definition, not good enough. I’m not saying SHE’S not good enough. She does make a valid point though. I tend to dismiss her efforts because she’s not doing what I think she should. That borders on manipulation on my part, which is not cool.
Each person has their own way of handling issues and growing. That MUST be acceptable to me, irrespective of what I would do. C’est La Vie.
Getting to the original point. Goals and objectives must be set.
“Let us examine our ways and test them.” -Lamentations 3:40
That’s a good verse to use here. Currently our way is to birch at each other about our pissiness. We each get butthurt and stomp off to our own corner. That way has always failed. We need a new way.
That would mean we have to set down together and have an adult conversation. A conversation about uncomfortable things. How to deal with those issues and how to minimize discomfort. Side-stepping ain’t fixin’ nuthin’.
One pledge I make: I will do every thing I can to make sure I am not the source of pain in her life. There will be some pain, but not the kind of pain I caused when I admitted what I had been doing.
Another thing I’m going to try on: To not be so bloody defensive about things.
This goes back to having an ADULT conversation with My Bride. How can she expect to have an adult conversation when her partner acts like a 13-year-old girl? In-freaking-possible. She doesn’t trust me to do that, and rightfully so. What a great way to build some trust and respect’!!!
Don’t be a dick
Try and gain trust
Listen to what she says
Empathize with her
Don’t be a dick
Don’t be a source of constant pain
Do not be defensive
Do not be defensive
Do not be defensive
That wraps it up well.
Goodnight, gentle readers.