It’s Not Me, It’s You
I used to get all worked up any time lovely Lori felt bad or struggled. While she never gave me reason for this, I have plenty of reasons to worry when the woman in my life is unhappy.
If my mother was upset and I was in anyway related to the issue in her mind, I was in trouble. Doing all I could to make it better as fast as possible was a matter of self-preservation.
Then I had a girlfriend who expected me to fix everything, even if I had no responsibility or power. I was supposed to protect her from everything, including her own internal demons.
Given these things, you can see how my dear Lori feeling bad would push my buttons. I’d been taught “Unhappy wife, crappy life” and any hint of a problem put me into fight or flight.
Aside from being wrong, this was not at all helpful. I took responsibility for things I should not have. Lori was aware of my stress, and it just made things worse for her.
For several years we’ve been learning a deep truth – most of what people think about us is more about them than about us. It took a while, but I’ve finally been able to apply this to my relationship with my wonderful bride. Even if she is unhappy with me, odds are much of it is about her. This allows me to look at the situation with less panic, which is a good thing. If I see places I messed up or can improve, I do those things. If I don’t see any fault on my part, I just love and support her. Either way I’m calmer, which is helpful. I no longer add to the stress, which Lori appreciates greatly.
Of course, I shouldn’t use this as an excuse to not deal with my own stuff. I’m far from perfect, and I’m fully capable of doing things which hurt my wife. I need to honestly access each situation and determine if I’ve contributed to the problem. Even if I have not contributed, is there something reasonable I can do to make things better?
So what about your marriage? Much of what your husband thinks about you is not about you. It’s not about who you are or what you’ve done or said. It’s about his past, his insecurity and fear, his misunderstanding, his selfishness, and so much more. If you can learn to see this truth, you can more easily deal with his anger, sadness, frustration, or whatever else.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and often it’s about her!
This week’s survey is The Sex Act You Secretly Want – the sex act you don’t see as sinful you want but don’t ask for.