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More relationship stuff

Introspective and masturbatory. You have been warned.

In dealing with Barb-related issues for the past few months, I have to wonder whether I am relationship material.

Sure, I tend to be super-critical of myself. But I don't know where I sit with dealing with a partner.

Every relationship has its own rules. I get that. Every relationship is different. Yet at the same time, I think that I bring a certain amount of stability into the relationship, at least with my expectations and the way that I deal with things.

Have I been too critical of Barb? Not critical enough? Does criticism have anything to do with it?

There are a lot of things that I should have done.
I should have been stronger.
Meaning that I should have had more courage in dealing with confronting her when things bothered me. Instead, I took it on myself to be accommodating without really looking at how I felt about something.

I should have not let her get away with the things that I let her get away with.
Hmm... not quite right. I think that any person is responsible for their own behavior. It wasn't up to me to "let her" get away with things. I did express my displeasure with some things (the kitchen, the Room Where No One Walks), I offered a schedule of chores, I asked for specific dates of things to get done. Nothing worked. I finally gave up.
That's the point. I shouldn't have given up. I should have pressed the issue, or walked out a long time ago. I should have had the courage to say no.

Why didn't I?

Because I'm a nice guy?

I can still be a nice guy and have courage.
I can still be a nice guy and be able to express my displeasure or disappointment.
I can be a nice guy and walk away from a harmful relationship if it would be a better thing to do.
I can be a nice guy and still cause you pain.

I am truly a sweet, wonderful, caring person.

I need to be a strong person.

I need courage. I need strength. I need to find it inside myself.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 25th, 2004 02:02 pm (UTC)
For all my bitchiness, I didn't walk away when I should have, either. At some level, I felt like I deserved the treatment I was getting, even though I knew intellectually that it wasn't healthy ... or even justified.

I don't think it's because I'm a "nice girl" however. I think it was because I was a broken girl. I'm not nice. I'm hard on others. I have high expectations. I'm just as hard on myself and expect a lot from myself, too. This doesn't make for easygoing relationships, especially if I'm in a relationship with someone who can't stand up to me.

I'm sure my ex thought he was being a nice guy when he didn't express an opinion or had me call the shots. However, what he read as "nice" I read as "weak" -- I wanted an equal, not a lapdog. Every time he didn't stick up for himself, I felt less and less like sticking up for him. I lost respect.

My expectations and his were greatly misaligned, however. What he expected from me as a wife was greatly disconnected from who I was (and even moreso disconnected with who I am). My expectations of him were too mature for where he was at the time.

... perhaps that is where the ball was dropped with what you described above. You expected that if you 1) expressed disatisfaction with the situation and 2) offered some possible solutions that 3) your partner would respond to your discontent and do something about it. You didn't have a contingency for dealing with a complete side-step of responsibility, short of leaving the relationship. And, as these things often happen it was just a little disappointment here and a small slight there ... none of them seem worth leaving the good things behind for.

I'm rambling now, but I hope you get my point. You don't have to accept full responsibility for what happened. You take your lumps, but don't think that you lack some fundamental trait just because you and a partner didn't see eye to eye. Like you said, every relationship is different.
Oct. 25th, 2004 05:47 pm (UTC)
You were a broken girl? Yikes! But do you consider yourself *fixed* now? I mean, you seem relatively happy, and have a lot going for you.

Weakness... I think that's about where I was. It was easier just to hide and distract myself from the problems. I may not have to accept full responsibility, but I have to take some, and hopefully in a healthy way that can lead to me being a better person.

I also need to stop picking up strays. :)
Oct. 25th, 2004 06:25 pm (UTC)
Oh, my yes... I was way broken.

I listened to the rhetoric I was fed by my ex: I was too demanding, too difficult, too bitchy for anyone else to love. No one else would endure what he did. He did stick with me for a long time... but I don't think it was out of caring or any personal fortitude. I think it was out of fear of being alone and not having an audience.

Part of my issue was hormonal birth control. It made me nutty and depressed. I gained 70 lbs over the course of my relationship with my ex, so that also preyed on my self-esteem. I lost 30 lbs before my wedding... and my ex tried to sabotage me daily. See, I was focusing on myself, not on him.

I stopped taking BCP, and within two months I felt much better. I started feeling angry instead of hopeless about my situation. I started expressing my unhappiness, and meeting with hollow apologies and unfulfilled promises. I finally screwed up the courage and levelled an ultimatum. And, I followed through.

The day I told my ex I was leaving, I felt like I was "back." Back in control, and using my wits to get what I needed. I don't consider myself totally fixed yet. I still have a lot of anger and resentment at my ex for not realizing what an idjit he was/is. Then again, he likely never will... so I need to get the fuck over myself.

I'm really very happy, now. I know this because I rarely *think* about whether I'm happy or not. I just am. I accomplished a big goal in buying property. I have a few other goals laid before me that I am working on. I think I can call myself fixed when I've done those things.

But I am not exactly expecting to be fixed right now. Just better.

I think you're taking responsibility for your share of the issues you had in your relationship and are actively trying to seek out the cause. That's healthy, I think.

And leave the strays for someone else. ;) James said that before he met me he dated women who he thought he could make better people by supporting them, caring for them and providing stability (sound familiar?). He came to the realization that they didn't want to be better people. They were what they were.

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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