Thursday, November 20, 2008

Learning to let go

I learned something about myself at the marriage counseling session we had Tuesday. I have a huge problem letting go. Seeing my mother being treated badly by men, and abused physically by my sister's father had a huge effect on me. My mother catered to all the men in her life and none of them treated her the way she deserved to be treated. I spent my life taking all of this in and, even though I had no idea, it shaped the way I lived my life.

I have never really catered to my husband, not even when he deserved it. Even when I wanted to do things for him, I wouldn't allow myself to let go. I was not going to be my mother. He was treating me wonderfully but I wasn't about to take the chance of being taken for granted. If he asked me to fix him a plate at a function, I would tell him he had two hands just like I did. I'd say, "Make your own damned plate."

Who would have thought that a man would care about something like that? My husband sat me down one day a few years ago and told me that even though he was a man he had feelings too. He even said it would be nice to be complimented from time to time. I didn't expect that. I wasn't a total brick wall, but I defitintely could have done better. I accept that.

I did some soul searching to try and find out why, even though I really wanted to, I could not bring myself to do more for the man I loved. Childhood shapes adulthood. Once you're of age you can either continue the cycle or break it. I chose to break the cycle, stomp on the cycle, jump up and down on the cycle, and throw it out the window. I was so determined not to be like my mother that I went so far away that I got lost.

I constantly thought about my husband's infidelities. Whenever I had a quiet moment, it was in my head. I refused to let it go. All I did was wonder what he did with the women he was with. Even when I saw him trying to make changes and heard him asking me what he needed to do to fix all the damage he caused, I stayed in my head. He cheated, he cheated, he cheated, that's all I could think about. I just could not let go.

Not only did my mother's experiences affect the way I maneuvered my relationship; it also affected my personality. I have a problem with people telling me what to do and if someone crosses me I have absolutely no problem x-ing them out. I hold grudges FOREVER, even though I know it's not a good thing. I can't help it. Not only do I not want the man in my life taking advantage of me, I don't want ANYONE even thinking about going there.

I never thought to trace any of this back to my past but my marriage counselor connected the dots for me. It was definitely a light bulb moment. I felt like I could breathe a little easier. I finally had an answer to a question i'd been asking myself for a while............."Why am I like this?" I cherish this answer and now I have to do the work needed to make the necessary changes.

Someone on a blog somewhere said therapy was not going to help. They were wrong. After our second session I noticed that I was no longer in my head. My outlook softened and so did my heart. I felt a lot better about everything. Our therapist even noticed that we were much closer. Things are a lot better, but we still have a long way to go.

I look down the road and I can actually see myself being closer to my husband. I see us making love and eventually getting back to where we once were. I look at him now and I see several glimpses of the man I fell in love with. I'm not putting all of my eggs in one basket, but i'm allowing myself to get out of my head and be something I don't usually let myself be. I'm actually optimistic.


Kin'shar said...

this is the hardest part of putting a relationship (marriage) back in place. Especially when the problem was persistant....or the cheating was repeated. Make one wonder how sincere is he this time. But I can tell you this....I only have once more to be made a fool. Im out for sure.

Scorned Woman said...

Last leg would be the two words i'd use to describe how i'm feeling about my husband. I've already told him that this is it. He says he knows and will not mess up again but only time will tell.