I pride myself on being honest and feel that it is the most important quality a marriage must have to survive. But recently I have also come to realize it is a double edged sword. Take last night. B and I were out walking and I told him I thought I was working hard on changing those things that REALLY mattered to him. For instance, I have not yelled once in almost 2 weeks, I am definately keeping the house cleaner, we are being much more intimate, etc. I even went so far as to leave him THINGS TO DO LIST on the refridge telling him that until we went to marriage counseling I was willing to show him he is being heard by having him write one thing per day on the list that he would like done around the house. I, of course, would continue to do the other housework but would add this chore to the list of things that needed to be done. That was a biggie for me but I felt it was important that he knew I did value what he wanted and how he felt.
So as we were walking I asked him if he thought I was working hard on changing things that mattered to him like not yelling, cleaning more, buying out Victoria’s Secret, etc. He replied yes he did think I was. Then I went into the land mine asking him if he thought he was doing the same. And he said “Yes” and I I thought, “really, cause I’m not seeing it” so I asked “How?”. And he replied by being more intimate and making you feel desired. WHAT????? Really…because that isn’t benefitting you at all is it? NO, really I want to know BESIDES SEX what are you doing to change and then I realized that I had stepped on the trip wire just by the look on his face. And then I saved the night by saying, “Well I have noticed you are listening to me more” and in doing so lied. I lied because I didn’t want him to feel like “oh there she goes again I can never do anything right.” I lied because I realized I was going to ruin what had been a lovely evening by “going there.” I lied because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings by saying, “NO, I really don’t feel like you are doing a whole lot of changing except for the fact you are having more sex. No, I really don’t feel like you are working very hard on yourself. In fact, it feels like you are being more selfish while sitting back and watching me run around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to make things better.”
Sorry to inform you but we are BOTH going to have to change if this marriage is to survive.
The other side of the blade also looks like this. Now that you have told me you love me but don’t really like me and now that you have told me that you might want to divorce it is hard for me to trust you and our relationship, whatever that may now be. And since you don’t share your feelings I fear that you will just walk in the door and say, “I’m done.” And that just makes me feel hopeless, scared and vulnerable. Sure, I know that I have to stop the yelling and that by doing so it will benefit everyone and also have a profound spiritual, mental and physical impact on me. So whether B stays or leaves this is something that I am needing to accomplish for myself. But it feels so wrong to feel like my head is on the chopping block with the guillotine blade being held up by a thread. And that needs to somehow change if I am going to move forward and not sabotage this chance at saving our marriage.
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