Thursday, July 21, 2011

Choosing Not to Take Offense

I went out of town for a couple nights and left my hubby behind. Our history usually has told me he has hated it when I do that. He calls and complains he misses me and wants me home soon. He doesn't sleep as well. He gets sick to his stomach. But this time when I asked about going he said whatever I wanted was fine. When I was gone he didn't call me, I called him. Then when I got home he told me he slept SO WELL while I was gone because the baby and I didn't wake him up and because I took the other boys too they didn't wake him up either. He slept straight from 11 pm until 6 am.

I see how that would feel good. I wish I could sleep like that.

At first I felt like it hurt my feelings. But I realized it was a good thing - what I've been hoping for actually. I wanted him to grow up and reach the point where we could be apart for a while without the negativity like that. Freedom would feel good. It's a good thing that he got the sleep he got. So I pulled back from my knee-jerk response (that would have been "Well, maybe I should just stay away then if you sleep so well when we're gone.") and took a deep breath and said, "That's great, honey."

I've realized lately that much of my sad feelings are really my own fault. I do have the right to feel the way I do, so I don't need to give myself any guilt trips for the feelings I feel. But it isn't his responsibility to make me feel better, it's mine.

Most the time he does something that hurts my feelings, it is completely unintentional. He's busy working on something else and ignores or forgets about me or something I wanted. I used to tell him about how wrong he was and hope for apologies and hope for change (I sound like Obama right there...haha) when it wouldn't come. He'd do the same thing the next day. His inability to remember things that were important to me made me feel like he didn't care at all. If he cared about something, wouldn't he remember? Well, with him, apparently not. So I finally learned to suck it up. Remind him. It's as easy as that.

And when he unintentionally hurts my feelings, most the time I don't need to tell him about it. I can acknowledge my own feelings and tell myself that I understand it was unintentional and forgive. Quietly. He doesn't have to hear about it at all because it would only make him feel bad too and he hadn't meant it anyway. The only time I should speak up is if it's been repeated over and over and I'm at some kind of breaking point. In that case I should tell him my feelings without expecting or demanding anything from him. He doesn't want to hurt me. I know that. So he's trying not to.

Anyway, I guess the point is not to get offended by things. When my feelings are hurt unintentionally, it's my responsibility to fix my feelings.

It's a hard lesson to learn.

2 comments:

  1. It is a hard lesson to learn. I'm constantly re-learning that one myself.

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  2. If you master this one let me know you're trick, I could use the knowledge! But really, I think it's a good thing to work towards, even though it won't happen all at once. And at the same time, it's good to communicate frustrations before they build to that breaking point, because then it all blows out of proportions. It's a fine line to balance, and I topple constantly. I think the key is patience, both with ourselves and with each other, especially those we see every single day. :)

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