The Beginning of Something Else

On June 1, 2007 I found out my husband and partner of almost two decades had been unfaithful to me since before our marriage, and had been having intercourse with prostitutes for 3 1/2 years. This is what happened next.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

If you're perfect, how can you grow, right?

One of the promises of SAnon is that we will come to not regret the past. I don't think I'd say that yet, but I think overall my experience has been similar to that of The Junkys Wife on her of discovering the addict in her life. I can see some gifts and I'm grateful for them.

In couples therapy last weekend I realized yet again how quick I am to take responsibility for Husband's feelings.

For example, if Husband is upset about something I hear one of two things: 1) I did it and now I have to fix it; or 2) he thinks I did something I didn't do and I'm going to prove to him how very, very wrong he is.

What he is actually trying to say...I don't hear that. It immediately becomes about me and how I'm responsible or resisting responsibility. And what I see I can do is to remind myself that I'm NOT responsible for his feelings, only for my actions.

If I go to the store and buy cheese (or say something mean to him for leaving dirty laundry on the floor), he could be mad because he wanted me to buy milk instead, or he could be happy because we were out of cheese and he was going to buy some on the way home but forgot. I'm responsible for buying cheese (or saying something mean). He's responsible for being mad or being happy.

My next thought is that I want credit for making him happy.

But upon reflection I'll give up that credit in exchange for the freedom that I gain by not being responsible for his feelings.

That was easy.

The hard part is actually stopping myself from going there after 40-some years. Progress, not perfection.


Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

My own defensiveness and feelings of responsibility also get in the way of me hearing my husband. It's hard to listen without getting in our own way.

Rae said...

Yes, I appreciate that you said "I don't hear that" regarding what your husband ACTUALLY said. I too struggle with this so very much. Thanks for writing out your thoughts as a reminder of something that I have to continue to work on one day at a time.