Things in my personal life have been pretty rough this past month. And if I’m going to be completely honest, they have been from the beginning of my 11 year relationship with my husband. As I have stated before, I began this grown up relationship at 17 years old and very naive. Not much experience under my belt (bah ha! “under my belt”… get it?…I made a funny…ok, awkward), I easily lost myself. I truly mean easily! I have yet to meet someone that hasn’t in some way morphed into what they “think” they need to be for the benefit of a happy union. Some lose just pieces of themselves, and some bury the whole thing.
I have been angry, forceful, jealous, demanding, needy, and emotional… among other horribly destructive personality traits. In a blur of life moving forward, I find myself wondering how I let myself get to this point. How come I wasn’t stronger and didn’t change it?? I know I have a sincere heart and my intentions come from a place of wanting to please, but I rip at my husband and cut him emotionally because I am so internally unhappy.
I have looked to my husband and they way he felt about me as a measure of my stunning personality. If I pleased him, then I MUST be someone worthy of this world. I literally thought this way each waking day since meeting him. I spent 11 years trying to please him and everyone around me, but never felt satisfied with myself. I had this fire inside that sparked occasionally when I felt free, only to subside to a dull blush. And my dear husband has stuck by me like a trooper, or an idiot, we can’t decide when discussing it. At least until this past month, he really broke. Things have changed and he is no longer strong enough to tolerate my dependency on him creating my happiness.
I am so grateful!
I am grateful because I know now how to strengthen my marriage and to move it along. In order to renew my marriage is to date myself! Sounds quirky and a little odd? It really isn’t, and I recommend it to everyone who hasn’t had a chance to find themselves. It’s not to late to try, I promise as I sit here…28 years old, a shadow to her husband, and a self-inflicting woman. I have personally left all of myself buried deep in order to conform to what I thought I had to be for everyone else.
If you are the one that is dependent in a relationship, you may often feel hurt if your partner doesn’t respond the way you “expect” them to. You may find yourself jealous, and often times conflicting about not wanting your partner to have alone time with their friends, but also wanting their happiness. You also may find that you need to know EVERYTHING that your partner is doing. An example would be where they are at what time, if they are caring for themselves and eating meals, what they were talking about with other significant people in their life. These are just a few of the unhealthy thoughts and feelings someone might experience in a co-dependent relationship.
I personally always needed reassurance. I needed it for everything! And most of those things weren’t even important. For example, if my husband sounded edgy on the phone, I had to call him several times to ensure that it wasn’t me that caused his bad mood. I would then try and provoke positive thoughts, pushing and pushing to “create” a better mood for him, just to make myself feel like it wasn’t my fault. In reality, all he needed was some space to work through his bad day or whatever it was that caused his turn of emotions. Just reading that sentence, I realize even more how wrong I was. Those were “HIS” emotions! Not mine to control for my own selfish benefit. That is just a teeny example of the behavior I had (and am still working through). On most occasions, something like this would escalate to an all day argument about all the things that make me unhappy with our relationship and how he doesn’t give me what I need. This man has stuck through so much emotional damage just to ensure I am cared for. I honestly don’t know how he did it, let alone still having a scrap of a relationship to have the opportunity to repair. I am truly blessed to be in a safe situation to learn through these detrimental behaviors.
So starting today I am dating myself. I am treating myself with respect, and doing so with little concern for how others see me. This is a private and enjoyable time. I get to explore what makes me something worth loving. What I have to offer and bring to all my relationships. I have also decided to go to school to work towards a career change. My writing, my passion for the environment and wildlife, my smile. These are all things that I add to those around me.
Today was amazing, and beautifully peculiar. I went to work with my soul wide open. Strong with my decisions on leaving this broken me behind and discovering the person I loved when all I had was myself. To a time when I was the only strength I had. I brought myself internally to the place I went when I was dealing with my bi-polar and meth infested mother. Where I went when I was being manipulated by her unhealthy emotions and forcing me to contour to her needs. I became that woman today. On more times than I can count on one hand, I was freely handed compliments. Maybe just kind words from others, but nonetheless, compliments to me. When I mentioned I wanted to make a difference with my future career choice, I was openly told (by the most quiet and honest man at work), that I already do touch people because of who I am. That I make people feel good. $#%#$%#$%#%??????? I haven’t had such a nice thing spoken that directly to me in a great while. So random. But what really had me open my eyes was when a woman I was ringing up finished her transaction, placed her receipt in her wallet…eyes down, and asked me blatantly “So…what are you going to do?” I was shocked. What did this woman want to know? And how did she know what I was going through??? I proceeded to ask her what she meant, was it about the war? The economy? My weekend? Nope. She wanted to know what I was going to do with life in general. Now, I am already self employed (three store front locations), married, stable living environment and pretty set up in general. Was I made of glass today?? I told her of my surprise to her question, that I am pursuing an old interest in Natural Resources/ Conservation/ Wildlife Biology and that it was going to be a fresh start and a long journey. This woman then spent the next 15 minutes (this is my cashier position that I do part time for fun and we were not busy) telling me about how excited she was for me and that she was incredibly happy to hear about my decision. I really didn’t know what to make of it, but after she left, it really made me realize I was making the right decision for ME.
So tonight I sit here writing to you. Writing for me. I am down half a bottle of wine and a belly full of cheese and fruit. My candle is lit, music of choice playing. I also painted my nails (something I had put off for a while). My husband is out with his cousins and I am very much content with that. Turning my insecurities around and facing them as open doors for creating what has been amiss for far too long. Me.
Love yourself before anyone else, because then you can truly offer others unconditional and pure love.