I’ve been feeling this one a lot lately. I’m a strong woman who can take a lot. The problem with strong people is you never know what straw is going to break the camel’s (my) back. For those who are on the weaker side, no criticism or judgment intended, but people are more careful with you. Because we are aware of your sensitivities and limits, those who know and love you, also know your limits. Short of abuse, unusual stress or neglect, those limits are respected by the people who matter in your life. For those of us who are naturally strong, we take it and take it and take it some more, soldiering on supporting everyone around us even as inside, we’re running on empty, hiding our worries and fears. When’s it my turn? Is there someone (short of God) who can be strong for me for a while? ‘Cause I’m tired and there’s no end in sight.
*This is the live version. Less polish more realness.
I can hold my breath
I can bite my tongue
I can stay awake for days
If that’s what you want
Be your number one
I can fake a smile
I can force a laugh
I can dance and play the part
If that’s what you ask
Give you all I am
I can do it. I can do it. I can do it
But I’m only human
And I bleed when I fall down
I’m only human
And I crash and I break down
Your words in my head, knives in my heart
You build me up and then I fall apart
I’m only human, yeah
I can turn it on
Be a good machine
I can hold the weight of worlds
If that’s what you need
Be your everything
I can do it. I can do it. I’ll get through it
But I’m only human
And I bleed when I fall down
I’m only human
And I crash and I break down
Your words in my head, knives in my heart
You build me up and then I fall apart
I’m only human, yeah
I’m only human
I’m only human
Just a little human
I can take so much
Until I’ve had enough
I happened into the restaurant this morning, a sick Buddy and active Little Man in the car, after dropping a post-Bio Mom Pretty Girl off at school. Meaning only to stop for a quick yogurt breakfast for the boys, I immediately parked the running car and quickly occupied the boys downstairs to take tables on the floor when I walked into the rush. Despite a projected 5 hours the kids would need to be occupied downstairs, I / we stayed through and worked lunch with you and closed along side you. Again successfully occupying the kids downstairs, we had our much anticipated sit down with our landlords and exhausted our questions for them. I was hoping to walk away with a definite ‘yey’ or ‘ney’ to our much discussed business direction. We just wanted to ‘know.’ You heard a definite. I? Not so much though I ruled nothing out.
You, having already arranged for your mom to watch the kids to give us time to talk, had made a way for date night. Or not depending on if we were just going to come home and cry? You left our evening very open ended. For all I knew, we would be spending the night in rather than going out.
After our meeting, I rushed the kids home as you closed the restaurant. With Buddy asleep and the other two begging for a bath, I filled ours first and let them at it. Figuring after dinner out and with you opening in the morning, we wouldn’t be able to handle bath and lovin after 8 ish, a reasonable back home time given past dining experience (plus, grammie sitting usually means baths and jammies for everyone so probably no hot water for our bath later). Perfect! Kids occupied, wife naked (ish), said wife ready for action after a few days off, an early hot bath, and romantic date plans? Sounds like I’m getting some lovin’ tonight!
But . . . your mom’s home too. Wow! I guess it is 5 o clock, but I thought we’d have a bit more down time before we went out. Of well, she won’t mind. She’ll think it’s cute. A romantic bath for two!
We make it upstairs. We talk. We clarify. We dream. We relax. Or so I thought, but again with the facebooking! Then you mention our favorite, Ko Ho and a pork chop and off we went. Perfect! I had already thought of this option too and had Plan B lined up. I had chosen a top that would be a little sexy to greet you in and easily transformable into date night attire with some leggings.
But wait! This was to be a business / dreaming dinner? Well, I guess that was his original intention in arranging childcare for tonight. Bringing the sketchbook? Oh, he must be serious! Ok. I can do this. Switching gears to . . . business. Pros and cons. This landlord or that landlord. Ok. I’m on board.
Hit a bump there. Ideas are flowing faster than I can follow. Once I understand one and have time to jump on board, you’re off on another. Not waiting to use the book I guess. Whoa, Nelly!
Alright. At dinner, back on the same page. You were riding the ‘monsters’ or something so you said. Acknowledging I wasn’t keeping up with the thought train. But wait! We’re all for the same thing here. Happier, healthier us. More time with each other and the kids. Less strife. Less anxieties. Yes! That’s what we all want! Let’s do this! What’s the best option for us? Feeling good. We’re cuddling. We’re doing good.
In the car, ok I think. Nothing sticks out. Foggy so no romantic back road, but ok.
At home, ok I think. Kids with grammie. We head to our room. We relax and talk and such a little I think? You’re down to your usual bedroom attire of boxers and wife beater and facebooking on top of the covers as we continue to talk and . . . up comes our roommate.
Little Man wants to lay with mommy. Mommy washes face and hands and teeth (at daddy’s prompting) and quickly get’s him comfortable in the dark. While I am trying to get said son asleep, husband proceeds to get comfortable under the covers removing wife beater and cuddling pillows into leveraged positions. Business ideas still flowing even as Joshua some how manages to quickly fall asleep. But as I slip out from under our sleeping son, I fear it is already too late. He’s already out. Not just the son, no the father too.
But wait! There’s a chance he is just relaxing while I was getting the dude to sleep and he’s just waiting for me to turn on the romantic mood we spoiled with business talk all night when all I wanted was to just spend time with you! I know we’ve got the decision of a lifetime in front of us, but we’re not going to make up our minds tonight, are we? I could always wake you with a BJ, right? Quick! Some romantic lighting and some mood music maybe? What’s the least intrusive to see if he’s responsive? Low lighting? We’ll go with the low lighting since I can’t remember where a single electronic music making devise is! And . . .
Nope. Not into it at all. Blinded him instead, so now I’m a jerk. <sigh>.
I’m lost. Where did I go wrong here? What changed in the last 25 minutes since we walked in from the truck? ‘Cause I still felt like I was coming home from a date when we got out of the truck? Happy endings all ‘round, right? Oh! Was it before that? I guess I bitched at I guess I bitched at you all night? I had attitude? I’m PMSing so that has to be it, right? I’m the problem? I didn’t just do everything but jump your bones and lay out a red carpet (ha) to my vagina this evening? I was attributing my frustrations of the evening to sheer sexual frustrations of which I was hoping to happily exhaust on you. But, no. I get a sarcastic ‘how dare Marshall rest’ from you as if I have ever thought you didn’t deserve to rest when you’re tired. I love to participate 100% in our alone times, but I understand the difficulty of shutting off the brain sometimes. I know we can’t just magically hop to at the drop of a hat when your partner is ready for some couple time, but . . .COME ON!
I’m getting whiplash again, and it not me spinning my head with 180’s. I swear, dude! I can’t keep up and I feel like you’re getting frustrated with my slowness. Like there’s something wrong with me that I can’t keep up with your train of thoughts, spoken and unspoken, and somehow read your intentions and ignore your anxieties and doubts all while trusting your judgments absolutely but also being ready at a moment’s notice to entertain any option for our future. GAAH!
It’s like an army standing at a constant state of readiness. Fatigue will set in. Attention will waiver under the strain maintaining peak awareness. Ears silently straining for the cue to move. I’m getting tired of swimming yet I haven’t moved at all. What if I waste all of my energy treading water and I have none left to move forward?
I’m like a clenched muscle, after putting my shoulder to the plow, readying itself to push and some how maintaining a life while living in that moment of sheer potential energy – the moment before the push that has the potential for anything / everything at once until a decision is made to direct that energy potential into action. A moment in time where all things are possible, all options are on the table.
Love on me and I on you
Believe in me and listen
Rest and hear my heart.
Look at me, not past me.
Talk with me, not about us.
Spend time in my eyes not in your head.
Feel my arms not anxiety’s claws.
Lay your head upon my chest and breath deep
For I am yours, and you are mine.
Me (not ME but me)
“Women were created from the rib of man to be beside him, not from his head to top him, nor from his feet to be trampled by him, but from under his arm to be protected by him, near to his heart to be loved by him.”
The author of this quote, David O. McKay, wrote numerous books and teachings including ― Pathways to Happiness. Interesting point of fact, McKay was the ninth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), serving from 1951 until his death in 1970.
Anyway . . . I’m sure you’ve seen this quote passed around on Facebook and it all sounds great. Love her, honor her, and protect her don’t be a bully or a jerk. Makes sense, right? But let’s a look a little closer. It’s never quite as easy as those tidy FB quotes like to make it. The line that stuck out to me yesterday was . . .
“NOR FROM HIS FEET TO BE TRAMPLED BY HIM”
This is where 1000’s of years of men went wrong. Instead of honoring their woman as a partner, she became a tool/ a step stool / a scapegoat for the man. Though America has come a long way from the Middle Ages, even today, women are often trampled by the men in their life in the emotional sense. I would equate the word ‘trampled’ in this quote with the term Emotional Abuse.
What is Emotional Abuse?
Experts opinions vary, but according to the University of Illinois counseling center, ″Emotional abuse is any kind of abuse that is emotional rather than physical in nature.” (Such a vague definition, I know!) Bottom line, emotional abuse diminishes the other person either in emotional well-being or self-worth. Emotional Abuse is used to control another, often to the point were the abused can no longer recognize how to feel towards anything for themselves. They are reliant on the abuser for their cues to be happy, sad, satisfied, guilty, etc . . . There is obvious a wide range of this type of abuse. In extreme cases, exhaustive questioning of “where have you been” and “who have you been with” is a form of emotional abuse. What I would like to focus on is the often hidden, milder forms of trampling a woman experiences in a relationship.
We women are experts at reading our partners’ emotions. We read the facial and physical cues of an upcoming explosion. We see the frustrations building. We anticipate conflict and we seek to defuse the situation before it implodes / explodes. A good woman does not inciting her husband to anger, but that also does not mean a good woman has to accept everything our husband’s says in moment of anger as fact. We women tend take what our men have to say to heart whether they speak from love or anger.
I know that I am not perfect and there are times I am called to listen to the (hopefully) loving criticism of my spouse. In a good marriage, your spouse will fill the role of a spirit mirror. These spirit mirrors of ours (our partners) see deep and often reflect the worst in us. The saying ‘opposite attract’ is accurate. We are often most attract to (and then marry) someone who is so stinkin’ great at what we struggle with. And then we spend the rest of our life together learning to appreciate our partners’ strengths and trying not to get down when starts picking at us. I know I have learned a lot from my husband even when the criticisms weren’t coming from a loving place. I still took the time to listen to what he had to say and listen for the truth. In the moment, we can get very worked up and not hear it, but there is a usually a thread of truth in these criticisms. That’s what makes them so sharp and damaging, like an arrow aimed at our heart. It’s easy for our partner to point out what we’re NOT good at, what we struggle with because it’s what they excel at it and enjoy doing. An immature person cannot conceive of why something that is SO easy for them is a struggle for their partner. ‘Can’t everyone/ you just . . .?’ You fill in the blank. Deflection is a standard technique in conflict. By pointing out our mistakes or flaws, they deflect the attention away from themselves and what THEY need to be working on.
Because it’s easy. It is easy to judge and point out the flaws in others. It’s not easy to be judged. It’s not easy to accept criticism and know you have failed at <blank>. It’s not easy to examine your soul and come up lacking. It’s not easy to admit you’re not perfect and you’ve done everything you can think of to fix yourself. It’s not easy to humble yourself and admit you need help.
This is being trampled on. This is being walked on by your spouse. When I have to question everything I am and he gets to continue with business as usual because it wasn’t his fault. He’s not wrong. This is emotional abuse. It is emotional abuse when your partner consistently causes you to question your self-worth. Build up don’t tear down. The log in your own eye, remember? Don’t be pointing out the speck in my eye (because, yes there is one) and forget about the log you’ve got going on over there.
Women are not whipping boys for the frustrations of life. We are not scapegoats when things go wrong. We are not the problem (usually). What I have to remember when he strikes out at me with a harsh word or ten, the anger I feel from him is rarely really just about me and what I’m doing (or not doing). I am merely the closest, most forgiving, and easiest target for my husband’s frustrations.
Think of a fire. What I do or say may ignite the fire, but I’m not the wood, the kindling, the paper or the fireplace. Even in the most extreme case, do you blame the matches for the fire? No, you blame the one who strikes the match and lights that fire. That would be YOU not me. You are most of the problem. I am only one small part that gets the blame for the rest of life’s frustrations (i.e. the forest fire out of control).
Stop trampling on us!
The song for today – Jewel’s SATISFIED
If you love somebody
You better let it out
Don’t hold it back
While you’re trying to figure it out
Don’t be timid
Don’t be afraid to hurt
Run toward the flame
Run toward the fire
Hold on for all your worth
Cause the only real pain a heart can ever know
Is the sorrow of regret
When you don’t let your feelings show
So did you say it
Did you mean it
Did you lay it on the line
Did you make it count
Did you look ’em in the eye
Did they feel it
Did you say it in time
Did you say it out loud
’cause if you did hun
Then you lived some
That feeling inside
That’s called satisfied
Busy people walking by
Can’t help but worry some
With so many things to do
So little love gets done
Empty hearts everywhere
Drowning but dying of thirst
If you want love
It’s not that tough
Start by giving it first
It’s so easy to give
Baby can’t you see
Just close your eyes open your heart
And do what comes naturally
Horses are built to run
The sun is meant to shine above
Flowers are made to bloom
And then there’s us
We were born to love
I need to be done with not being real. Just be straight. Say what you mean. Mean what you say. Don’t leave anything unsaid and undone just because it might be more comfortable for the moment. We look back with regret at the chances not taken and opportunities missed. We relishes the memories when we went for it and then carry the SATISFACTION of a job well done. You did your best and gave your all. It either worked or it didn’t but not because you didn’t want it enough or try hard enough. Satisfaction is a powerful thing. It is the lack there of that leads to midlife crisis’ in my opinion. When a person reaches about 45, they look back on their life, have regrets or don’t like what they see and freak out because they realize their life is half gone. Where will you be at the half way point? A life well liven is not mired in regrets, but filled with the satisfaction of a job well done. “You have done well . . . “
“Gravity” – This is my favorite version by the singer/ songwriter done live. Also see Alex and Sierra’sSomething always brings me back to you.It never takes too long.No matter what I say or do I’ll still feel you here ‘til the moment I’m gone.You hold me without touch.You keep me without chains.I never wanted anything so much than to drown in your love and not feel your reign.[CHORUS:]Set me free, leave me be. I don’t want to fall another moment into your gravity.Here I am and I stand so tall, just the way I’m supposed to be.But you’re on to me and all over me.You loved me ’cause I’m fragile.When I thought that I was strong.But you touch me for a little while and all my fragile strength is gone.[CHORUS]I live here on my knees as I try to make you see that you’reEverything I think I need here on the ground.But you’re neither friend nor foe though I can’t seem to let you go.The one thing that I still know is that you’re keeping me down.You’re keeping me down, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeahYou’re on to me, on to me, and all over…Something always brings me back to you.It never takes too long.
“Shake it Off” – This one is done by Glee, one of my favorite version for the trio effect. More meaningful too since it was situation specific for the show.Regrets collect like old friendsHere to relive your darkest momentsI can see no way, I can see no wayAnd all of the ghouls come out to playAnd every demon wants his pound of fleshBut I like to keep some things to myselfI like to keep my issues drawnIt’s always darkest before the dawnAnd I’ve been a fool and I’ve been blindI can never leave the past behindI can see no way, I can see no wayI’m always dragging that horse aroundAll of his questions, such a mournful soundTonight I’m gonna bury that horse in the groundCause I like to keep my issues drawnIt’s always darkest before the dawnShake it out, shake
it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh woaaah! 2xAnd it’s hard to dance with a devil on your backSo shake him off, ooh woah!And I am done with my graceless heartSo tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restartCause I like to keep my issues drawnIt’s always darkest before the dawn< CHORUS >And given half the chance would I take any of it backIt’s a fine romance but its left me so undoneIt’s always darkest before the dawnAnd I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’tSo here’s to drinks in the dark at the end of my ropeAnd I’m ready to suffer and I’m ready to hopeIt’s a shot in the dark aimed right up my throatCause looking for heaven, found the devil in meLooking for heaven, found the devil in meWell what the hell I’m gonna let it happen to me, ohh
Ever feel like you’re just treading water? Holding onto a cliff and neither climbing up nor down as your arms start to shake from the grip needed to just stay put? Or maybe you’re expending energy waiting for something or someone to go or do something? Anything?
Waiting is exhausting!
As I wait, I have noticed how sensitive I am to anything that seems like a ‘go’ sign – an opportunity to go somewhere, do something, be with someone, anything. Doesn’t he know, I’ve just been waiting for the sign? Why does he tease me with random moments of ambition and inspiration only to withdrawal after an initial frustration? Doesn’t he know I’ve just been waiting in the wings for him to get this show on the road called life? I’m moving restlessly from foot to foot, watching the game, thinking to myself ‘put me in coach. Let me show you what I got. I can do this. Let me do this. Let us do this.’ Instead, I grasp on to any bit of ambition he gives me (or I take it?) and feel like I have to ride it for all it’s worth. It may be the last little bit I’ll see for a while. I want to do this with him not despite him. That’s no way to make a like together.
It’s not his fault that I don’t have any family, friends or mentors in my life. That I rely on him to be both my lover, my best friend, my confidant and my partner. It’s not his fault (entirely) that I’ve lost all but the most superficial of relationships with my parents. It’s not his fault that my sisters got caught in the fall out with my parents and now, with young families of their own, have little time for the insecurities of their big sister. It’s not his fault, I moved away from my close-knit family church and as a result lost contact with the wonderful mature women who should have continued to mentor someone like myself through these new trials of life. It’s not his fault (entirely) that at the same time, I left a long-standing commitment to music and youth and, following several other transitions, am left with not a singe artistic outlet – other than Pandora playlists while we’re making out. It’s not his fault I never formed close relationships with my fellow college or high school students. I was too busy working, performing, pursuing two degrees and volunteering in church to hangout with anyone and actually do those ‘get to know you’ activities. It’s not his fault (entirely) I’ve owned an incredibly needy business for the last 8 years and probably only had time to get together with him, because I saw him and worked together pretty much everyday.
But . . . I like spending time with him dang it! He IS my best friend. He IS my business and life partner. He IS my only confidant. <sigh>
I might need to go back to being ok with just being by myself. Stop caring about what he’s doing or wanting every minute of the day and letting that determine what I am going to do or say. Maybe I’ll start volunteering again. I just realized today how much I don’t do in a night or week just so I am available for if he wants to do something with me. How ridiculous is that! I’ve stepped down from every nonprofit I’ve ever participated in. I have no hobbies or classes outside the home. I no longer belong to a church. I have no friends that I would hangout with apart from my husband.
I tell myself that it’s all good for me. This is teaching me to loosen up, to go with the flow. I like to control the situation around myself, maybe this is an opportunity for me to mature, be more flexible. But that’s just not reality. We are not called to ignore our gifts and talents and I am a planner by nature. I am all about process. I wake up thinking about what I’m going to do in a day, including how it will end. I think about the most efficient way for us to leave the house. I think about what the kids should do when they get home from work with the 20 minutes we have before we jet out again. Do not get me wrong, I adapt well. I have to with a husband that won’t plan more that 20 minutes ahead. But because the times are so few, I find myself tripping over myself to jump on ANY wagon he finally gets hooked up. We’ll talked about it off and on for a while. Me trying to be the supportive wife, encourage the positive and trying not to respond too negative in response to some of the more unorthodox or outrageous ideas. ‘You want to go somewhere, anywhere, do something, anything, let’s go’, I say. Controlling? I don’t think so. I have desires left unfulfilled so long I don’t remember what’s it’s like to be filled to overflowing with happiness, peace, belonging, being loved, being cared for, being taken care of, secure, sure of myself, confident, inspired, and committed. That’s what is really happening. I am going to need to see some maturity here real soon, or I will have to start protecting myself. Pearls before swine, right?
So . . . what am I supposed to do? He arranges to have his shift covered 7 days before Christmas, wants to go into town and I’m not supposed think we’re going Christmas shopping? Apparently, he wanted to shop by himself. Didn’t sound like fun to have me (or Joshua) around. I don’t think he meant it as hurtful. He was just expressing HIS frustrations. Apparently, I don’t let him do things. I’m always trying to control him even with something as simple as watching a movie. Am I that needy? Maybe I am. Maybe, I’ve allowed my entire life to revolve around my husband. Maybe every plan I make has one end goal – to get done or get home so I can be with him. Is this too much? I just thought my energies should be given to those I care about most. Is that so wrong?
Maybe we each need to prioritize the other’s alone time? Then it’s something we are doing for each other, not making for ourselves. I feel guilty for ever hour I’m not at home. I don’t feel like I can just pop off and go shopping any ole free afternoon. I don’t feel like I can take off for a cup of tea or lunch with my sister. I DO need permission to have some time to myself. And . . . I think it is a partner’s job to empower the other to do what is healthy for themselves. Do I hold him back? Maybe. I feel like he is naturally inclined to be that social butterfly, life of the party. I probably do hold him back. Without me and the kids, I am sure he’d be at Adam’s one night, jamming with Michael one night, watching football with his dad another, work a couple of nights, and then veg the last. Sex? Sure. But it’s I that get the kids ready and headed for bed each night. It’s I that makes decisions all day about what I eat so I can, again, be available. Why isn’t it about whether I’M in the mood? Why can’t I be the priority? He is my priority ALL THE TIME! I am constantly thinking about making his life easier, happier, more fulfilled. I am constantly thinking about his physically and emotional comfort.
I don’t think there is a single person in my life who thinks about my physical or emotion comfort like I do for him. And that’s pretty sad. He listens better to strangers in our business than he does to me. He goes out of his way to remember their likes and dislikes, to anticipate their orders and remember what was talked about the time before as well but can’t ask me nicely for help when he knows he’s messing with my time and a project I’m in the middle of. Nothing is every as important when he has needs, certainly not whatever I may be doing or needing. A misunderstanding with a long time customer led to his disturbed rest for days. Our misunderstandings end in him walking away, refusing to talk or going to sleep if I can’t just get over it. To the best of my knowledge, he’s never lost sleep over me.
Yeah, I matter.
I can’t remember the last time he massaged me. Take that back. It was about a month ago and led straight to sex. I can’t remember the last time he cuddled me in public. I can’t remember the last time he said he appreciated me. Take that back. He appreciated that I was willing to go through thrift shops for clothes for him and the kids ’cause he can’t. Great. Even now, as I write, he is taking a nap. After leaving me crying silently in the car on our trip home following our aborted shopping trip, he leaves me to go to work, or not, as he watches his movie and now, takes a nap.
Like I said, he’s never lost sleep over me.
I did it again.
Here I am waiting for him to do what I think he should before I step out to do what know I should to do.
I dance around minor issues waiting for him to take the lead and then I am frustrated when it’s not done or not done how I thought it ought. Really all I want (ALL I want, ha!) is to be loved and appreciated for what I do well and supported where I am weak.
Isn’t that all anyone wants?
We are all striving for that same sweet spot. That place where you are using and developing your gifts and talents, hopefully making a living while doing so, and then being surrounded by family and coworkers who understand what you love and do well and encourage you in it. Can’t I have that? That’s not too much to expect is it?
My current frustrations stem back 8 years and did not start with my husband. He is simply next loved one in line who doesn’t seem to appreciate my gifts and talents. And that sounds SO selfish and I feel so badly about myself for even thinking that but that doesn’t change the reality of it!
Don’t get me wrong, I am not a shadow of woman who can’t stand up for herself buried in the kitchen slaving away without thanks. I am a strong, independent, and skilled woman who has been stuck in a business where I have to work in areas I strongly dislike and go unpaid and unappreciated in areas I enjoy and am good at. I can only pay the barest of attention my area of responsibility leading to half heart efforts and rushed presentations. No wonder my family doesn’t know how good I am. They’ve never seen me give 100% to anything much less what I am good at and love doing. I live my life at 50% most of the time. How sad is that?! We are called to live up to our fullest potential not languish in mediocrity. And notice I said they don’t ‘seem’ to appreciate me. My love language is also encouraging words so only hearing once in a blue moon how well I do something, does not a happy woman make.
When the ownership structure changed a year ago, I had hoped it would be my time to shine and grow. There would only be two of us, I thought. He’s my husband. We’ve worked together almost the entire time we’ve know each other. We’ve shared the same frustrations with how things were run under my parents leadership. We’ve commiserated over their treatment and lack of appreciation for all that we’ve done for the business. I understand his gifts and talents. This is it, I thought! I will finally have someone on MY team. We’re going to do this thing together.
And . . . still unappreciated and unpaid for almost everything I actually enjoy doing and even the necessary tasks suited to my major gifts and talents are low priority in my partner’s world. I have and continue to support his incredible personal growth over this last year of ownership. He has had an amazing year and truly come full circle. His skills compliment mine almost exactly with us able to cover almost every business need between us.
I even understand where the frustration comes from on a sociological point of view. I am a INTJ and he is a ESFP – complete opposites in how we process the world, how we interact with people, and how we find joy and renew our energy. (BTW – the INTJ personality type is one of the rarest and most interesting types – comprising only about 2% of the U.S. population. INTJ females are especially rare – just 0.8%.).
I prefer solo and small group activities and need alone time to rest and renew.
He is full of personality and gains energy from being a social butterfly.
I think about what might happen and remain introspective while he focuses on the now and observes those around him.
I am not overly sensitive to the feelings of others, valuing the process or goal more than the individual while he values his relationships and happiness of those around him above all.
And finally, I prefer clear rules and structure and closure while he relaxes and wants to keep his options open and wotk on the fly.
See what I mean!
Our strengths are completely different and I watch us repetitively fall into that marriage trap. You know the one. We all do it. Reality is, when you marry your complimentary opposite, you consciously have to keep yourself from resenting the strengths in your partner since they will usually be your weaknesses and nothing shows off your weaknesses better than the mirror that is your partner. There is tremendous power in a relationship like this. Not everyone gets the complete package between only two people. There is also tremendous vulnerability in a relationship like this. No one is a better mirror for what you’re not than your partner, especially one with such different strengths. Sometimes the reflection is something we’d rather not see. If you let your weakness and resentment of your partner’s strength control your relationship, you will spend your marriage trying to pull your partner down rather than helping build them up into the person they supposed to be. This is what I observed between my Knight’s parents. Their personality types are a half turn apart from us, yet they too are complete opposites. But instead of the husband appreciating the incredible woman who was his wife and letting her strengths add to him, he spent his entire life repressing her so she couldn’t shine any brighter than him. If he’d let her, if he’d believed she was on his team, if he’d loved and appreciated and built up his wife, she would have made his life joyous, fulfilled and blessed as she blesses everyone around her. As it was, she put up with him for 40 years. The best 40 years of his life that’s for sure. He know exactly what he’s missing and the knowledge that he, and only he, is the one that drove her away. She is an amazing woman DESPITE him not WITH him and certainly not BRCAUSE of him.
I don’t want that for my marriage. I don’t want to be the one unappreciated nor do I want to be the one tearing down my partner so I feel better about myself. I don’t want to be happy DESPITE that special someone. So, what do I need to do? I don’t know for sure. I do know that if business can afford it, I should not be doing what I hate. What’s the point of that? After 8 years (and 1 just the two of us) we should have this figured out. If the business can afford it and we can afford it personally, both areas of our life will only benefit from me immersing myself in work that I enjoy. And he shouldn’t be my boss. That’s not healthy for a marriage. If the only way he can work is to control it all, let him. He’s good at it. And I can trust him to take care of both our customers and the bottom line. Why am I even in the middle of that? Why put myself in a position to resent him?
Now to get my uncommitted, social butterfly to PLAN this all out!
I don’t know where that phrase comes from – I wait for no man. A movie I am sure, but it suits my revelation and thoughts of the last eve. Why am I waiting on anyone else to make me happy? That’s my job! Not my husband’s, not God’s, not my workplace’s. In my head, I’ve putting too much pressure on my White Knight to be all that I think he can / should be thinking I would only be able to be all that I can be when he does. This is not true. I need to do my best at all times regardless of anyone else’s performance. If I’m not doing what makes me happy, I need to be the one to change it not wait for some external source or grand calling.
If I’m frustrated about the lack of music in my life, I need to make time for worship and maybe learn a new instrument or two (like I’ve been saying for months / years). Not wait until he gets off his butt and learns to play the guitar he bought two years ago.
If I miss church, I need to make time to go even if we work Sunday morning there are options in the evening or early or on weekdays.
If I miss dance, I need to make time for a class or at least alone time with some music and an empty room.
If I am lonely, I need to make some friends instead of relying on him to be my everything.
If I miss making a difference in my community, I need to step out and step up to the plate, not wait for him to have the energy/interest/drive to help a worthy organization.
Stop making excuses Grace!
You are your own person. Take some responsibility for yourself and your own happiness. He’s not holding you back. He’s missing out on life, but so are you! No more. I wait for no man.
It’s amazing how our priorities change as circumstances change. Last week, my most heartfelt prayer was that my placenta would move up and I could have the natural birth experience I wanted. Last Friday, as we rushed to the hospital, my prayer was for safety. “Just please keep him safe. Keep me safe. Just stop the bleeding and let everything be OK.” The non rushed actions of the hospital staff reassured us that the situation was not an emergency. As hours and then days passed in the hospital without a decision one way or the other, the prayer was to be able to go home. But what are our priorities really? When it comes right down to it, it’s still safety – safety and time. While I could go home and do my bed rest there, worst case scenario is 10 minutes. Just 10 minutes to get the baby out if my placenta ruptures before he suffocates. Aside from the clear danger to the baby, the severe blood lose for the mother carries its own set of risks. With a 30 minute drive from home to hospital, it was a no brainer. You don’t risk the life of your child if you have the choice and resources for it to be otherwise.
What I have is unpreventable and untreatable. It’s called Placenta Previa. It is when the placenta implants low within the uterus and blocks the cervix. It’s not uncommon, but most placentas migrate over time as the uterus grows and it is not an issue. Mine hasn’t and to top it all off, it is a complete previa condition. My placenta is essentially capping the cervix. Not only would a vaginal birth be impossible (he would have to literally push through the placenta to be born), but the position of the placenta is incredibly vulnerable to tearing. Any changes / growth of the uterus has the potential to tear and – worse case scenario – rupture the placenta. There is no way to move the placenta and no way to know what action may cause a tear. When I bled Friday, I was sitting down and opened the sliding door to our dessert refrigerator.
So . . . here I am – on hospital bed rest for three weeks. In three weeks, I will be 36 weeks along. We’ll test his lungs (the fun belly button shot) and if they are developed, schedule a C-section before any early labor signs kick in and instantly tear the placenta forcing an emergency C-section. We’ve had the steroid shots to jump start Baby’s lung development. Everything has been done to safe guard us both.
It’s just a waiting game.