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!