Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I Never Win

     She looked at me and said "FINE YOU WIN".

     While that might be technically true. I made the discussion so hard that it was impossible. I didn't feel like I won anything. I felt like a jerk. What I had been trying to say slipped away unnoticed. I wondered to myself what is winning?

     When I was younger it was simple, winning was being right. As I have gotten older and life has gone down paths I never imagined, I realized that I only had minimal control over my ship. Winning wasn't winning. Tears and anger had no place in my mind and heart. The big question "What is Winning?". It comes now in smaller things. A smile or hug or quiet walk. Holding hands and cuddles. Planning our future and observing the kids growing up.

     Forgiveness is winning. Forgiving myself for those mistakes, forgiving her for hurting me. In forgiveness there is peace. It doesn't come fast and strong, it grows slowly over time. We both have to try to accept the good changes and try to let go of the bad habits. I love my wife, so winning can only be about that love.

     The most amazing thing is I have the CHOICE. I choose what makes me feel like winning. Admittedly it has taken almost two decades to accept that my choices needed revamping. It is not too late. So for today I will try to win with love and kindness.

Friday, May 25, 2012

She smiled and I was lost

Andrea and I often pass each other walking through the house doing this thing or that. Every now and again she will return my smile with girlish grin somewhat shy. Those times I know that I have managed to stay in love these 19 years. Not just stay but grow. She is my all in all and I am complete. In that moment I have achieved every goal and become all that I ever wished to be.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

"Somebody I used to know"

     Everyone at my house has been enamored with the pop song "Somebody I used to know" by Gotye. The song very accurately portrays some of the angst a breakup causes. What this song did that amazed me was to include those intense feelings from both sides. As he bellows out his pain that she is part of his past she reacts to the control and anger she felt from him. 
  • Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over
    Part of me believing it was always something that I'd done
    But I don't wanna live that way
    Reading into every word you say
    You said that you could let it go
    And I wouldn't catch you hung up on somebody that you used to know
      I don't know anyone who can not identify with some of the feelings in this song. I do know that when most people get to this point there is little left for them but to be "Somebody I used to know". What would it have taken for him to cherish her passion and spirit? What could she have done to help him be safe?
     One truth is that sometimes it is better just to move on and let it go.

     Another truth is that sometimes you can work together and move on together.

     We all have choices about who and what we want. Next time you see a couple, with gray hair and stooped backs walking together,  you can be sure at some point they felt this way. You don't get to be that cute old couple without putting in the time and effort. Any relationship can grow or die. It is up to those involved to decide.

Monday, April 16, 2012

I'm Fine But Not Really

     There is nothing more untrue in an interaction between partners than those pretty words "I'm fine". We all know that it is a not so subtle way to say I am really upset. Being "fine"is both a way to say, I don't want to talk and please help me. It's no wonder we are all so confused.
     Picture yourself as a 4 year old that has sucked in a deep breath and puffed out his chest. You are going to hold your breath until... what? What do I mean when my response to her asking what's wrong is to boldly declare "Nothing"? 
     We want to be understood, comforted, and made to feel worthwhile and safe. At the same time we are almost certain that they don't want to or just will not be there for us. It is the perfect avoidance. We can set up a situation where no one can win. If our partner tries to talk with us we can keep our distance and if they don't try to talk with us we can claim that they didn't care in the first place. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Thoughts on "The Pit"

Remember when you were a kid and you found your favorite toy missing or stolen. There is a sinking feeling and panic following it. This is the beginning of the pit. That place we go to when we are afraid, panicked, lonely, angry, confused, and sad. It's like stepping in quicksand. Each of us have dark places and comforting places. Circumstances seem to push us in one direction or the other. Feelings of loss, pain, anger, confusion, abandonment, and alienation, etc. will pull us down into the darkness. Whereas, feelings of hope, joy, love, acceptance, understanding, and belonging will lift us up toward the light place. It is this tightrope we have walked our whole lives. 

We are like circus performers a hundred feet up flying through the air and performing amazing feats. Yet at every new turn there is the possibility that we will fall. When we fall do we disappoint the crowd?  Do we let down our team? Did perhaps, the team let us down? Did we get pushed or jump? Is there a net?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Are We In Trouble?

We get calls and emails asking us "Are We In trouble"? 

There is  a very simple question that answers better than I can.

Do I or my partner feel safe and/or appreciated? Answer this question about your whole relationship not just about a current struggle.

If one or both of you is not safe and/or appreciated start there. That is the springboard for a happy relationship.