Being together for over twenty-nine years doesn’t guarantee that we speak the same language. The same situation could be interpreted several different ways, so this past week has been the perfect example of the two of us not understanding each other at all.
After the storm hit and part of our tree decided to make our home a “tree house”, I was a tad stressed. I disguised it well by simply doing all the next right things including cooking dinner. My philosophy is if I don’t dwell then I can move forward. Sometimes my insides don’t match my outsides and it is a recipe for misinterpretations mixed with old behavior. You see, after sixteen years of a spiritual recovery program, the controlling, manipulative person I once was occasionally makes herself known. She monopolizes and takes over. She does this as a way of feeling secure and it gives her the illusion of feeling in control. You see, I was stressed about the tree so I wasn’t really paying attention to my actions. Apparently I asked my spouse several times if he wanted his dinner reheated since it wasn’t as hot as I would have thought it should be. I wasn’t in tune with my listening skills and didn’t hear him respond “No thank you”. So the last time I asked him, he uttered two descriptive words that make my skin crawl ….controlling and manipulative. Let’s just say that might not have been the best response for him to use as my head might have spun around like the chick in The Exorcist. In my mind, I was being kind and considerate.
So, as we addressed this disconnect after dinner. He was not understanding my position and I was definitely not interested in his. And here is the reality, I wasn’t in a place to listen. I was in a place to be heard, understood, and for him to be accountable for his unkind response.
After our dysfunctional exchange, he went to gather with some of his friends and I called someone to unload my discomfort. I have learned this action allows me to see my part and shift my perspective. There are so many layers to the emotions bubbling within and once I shared, it was suggested that I write ten things I love about him. Ugh! I mean seriously, at that moment, I didn’t even like him, so the shit was getting real.
Honestly, I tend to lean towards looking at everything that is wrong with him when I am in a place of discomfort. He is the problem, not me. But the moment I started writing, I realized that there is more good about him than not. He is kind, forgiving, loyal, funny (not all of the time, but there are moments), a great father, handy (I mean, hello, he can fix and build shit), but most of all he tolerates crazy Allison.
When he came home, we were both in a different space and more receptive to one another. These are the moments that I am most grateful for and most of the time, it takes a person outside of this dynamic to help me see the situation differently.