It doesn’t take much to make me want to leave this behind and start over somewhere else. Just a little verbal attack from my taller half, and I’m looking about to see if there’s a doorway anywhere. And each time he speaks to me in this horrible way, it becomes easier to see myself living elsewhere, free of this person who judges me in the nastiest of lights. With friends like him, who needs enemies? As the saying goes.
Don’t write about it, don’t talk about it, don’t think about it. This is the advice given in The Secret, which tells us not to focus on what we don’t want. Instead, to focus on what we DO want.
Easier said than done.
Not writing, talking or thinking about it seems almost like pretending it didn’t happen, so then “it” blows over and nothing has been resolved. He “gets away with it” and I imagine I am happy with him, until he does it again.
So, I try not to rehash— in my own mind or on paper or in conversation— the things he said, the attitude he displays.
Yet I can’t bring myself to climb into bed with him, or even to speak with him. I wish he wouldn’t come home; that he would leave me in peace rather than forced to share the house with his hateful, vitriol-spewing presence. He has insulted me yet again, and it has put me off him.
I know that his attitudes are his problem, not mine. I can walk away from him, and from them. He can’t. Not without a lot more awareness than he has available to him right now, anyway.
But it still hurts to be seen through his eyes as a person who is “arrogant” when she chooses to live her life according to her own values and beliefs, rather than his (which seem to make him miserable rather than contented). Now obviously this is a case of a man thinking he has the right to control the actions of a woman; thinking he has the right to tell her how she should spend her time; that if she doesn’t do the things he (and perhaps “society”) thinks she ought, then she is selfish and irresponsible.
These are common attitudes toward women, and they are so ubiquitous and deeply engrained in all of us that even as you stand against them, trying hard to be true to yourself yet fair to others, you wonder, you doubt, you ask yourself if you are a decent person or just a sniveling lazy git who wants everything done for you, giving nothing in return.
Similar to what I said a few paragraphs above, with a spouse who sees you as a spoiled brat, you really don’t need any of the normal problems of life to bring you down. Your spouse can’t resist doing it for you.
Which is why, in order to protect myself from him and people like him, who think they have the right to judge others, I need to stop caring what he thinks. Period. The problem is that his attitudes over time might be wearing me down rather than instigating more self-esteem in me (because I’m able to stand up for myself and know my own mind; no one is going to push me around. Yet I’m still here, which makes me wonder if I’m a fool). A person like him is dangerous to those who love him and are emotionally vulnerable to him, because they may tend to lean toward his way of thinking, which is extremely toxic.
Writing, talking and thinking “about it” are the ways I’ve always dealt with dissatisfaction, conflict and pain.
However, doing these things have not changed the situation, so I have been giving The Secret‘s recommendations a serious shot, over the long term. I’ve been consciously doing so since February, using the daily affirmation:
“My partner and I always treat each other with the utmost loving kindness, generosity and respect.”
Lately it has seemed as if doing so has made a huge improvement in our relationship— as if finally something central has shifted— and I become hopeful and relax into the expectation of a long and happy life together.
Till out of the blue he attacks again, and I’m shocked and chagrined and looking for that doorway. It’s only words that he uses, and a mocking, exaggerated, mimicking tone of voice, but that’s all it takes—that and the harsh judgments— to make me consider leaving him. Life is too short to spend years of it with someone who can’t be trusted to be fair and gentle.