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.