July 25, 2023

Should You?

“Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.” This is not the old adage warning against youthful vigor and questionable choices. This is a self reflection on the long standing relationship with the man who choose me and whom I choose back.

Early sexual infatuation lead to a steady relationship, living together, eventually marriage (after eight years) and a family with two sons. The powerful emotion of love grays out the negative mannerisms and personality traits. We ignore those traits because we give more weight to being wanted. Desired. Having someone who is totally into us. The traits are still there however. As the relationship continues we adapt. Our brain and subconscious build modalities to cope. We are immensely creative in our ways to keep hold, get what we emotionally need, and never deal with the core issue. That is if we are aware of the core issue(s).

My man has been at war with his world since he was very young. He has anger issues. He has grown. He is more self aware than ever and has continually modified how he shows up as a result of his personal growth. Yea. There are still lapses. Such is all growth journeys. We never 100% rid ourselves of our dark side or sabotaging behaviors.

As lust turned into a long term relationship I began a protracted practice of doing everything and anything possible to “make-my-man-happy”. A skill set I built while totally blind to it. My subconscious working on my behalf to feel safe and loved. Years later I raged and cried at the ineffectiveness of my efforts. At some point I learned you cannot control others. People will be people. Never can we be certain they they will act or respond in ways we want. Eventually I also came to grips with my role in what was.

Spectacularly qualified I managed and arranged for everything. A supreme quartermaster there was always enough in the house. Especially the food and items preferred by my man. I took on the roles of running the house, running both our businesses, planning trips and activities, communicating with both sides of the family for holidays. I thought I was doing right in eliminating as much as possible from his plate. Less things to trigger the anger. More ease equals more happiness, right? No not right. I was trying to control something I had no control over. Another human being.

In over protecting his world I contributed to his inability to cope. Taking the sharp corners off only delayed self reckoning. He didn’t have to take responsibility. He could be angry and critical and judgemental of the world and not be called on his bull shit. He could forget to buy gifts or cards for his wife for any of the numerous special days each year and receive acceptance with an “It’s okay.”
Much of what was is no longer. I will say that again, much of what was is no longer. We continue the beautiful challenging work of rewriting our relationship. For me much of the learning (my growth) has been to stop trying, stop worrying, or doing anything to manage what’s up with him. Just let it go. I found I could choose to not take on what is being put out. He’ll figure it out. And he has. I had to stop making it about me. Realizing his moods where his and actually rarely had anything to do with me. I had to learn to speak up in the moment. To say what was present, real, and true for me. I had to not let tears stop me from saying what I wanted to say. He has learned to hear me through the tears and not shut down because of the emotion. Huge!

I could wish that I’d magically had the awareness and understanding way back then that I have now. I would have preferred not to have been the super manager. To have seen that just because I could didn’t mean I should. I do not really want to rewind. Well, maybe a little. But, I know, now more than ever, what we experience is necessary for our evolution. We don’t earn our wisdom and learn to lean into difficulty without losing faith in a void. The challenges, pain, struggle are all for us to become who we are destined to be. People of depth. People capable of profound mutually loving relationships.

For Your Best Possible Self
Coach Christine Clark

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