He was a Good Listener

Then – January 13, 1998

What a day.  I was so worried he wouldn’t be able to get a hold of me, but we finally connected.  It was great to talk to him.  I got information on school, moving, transporting the cat and was able to share it all with him.  He got a line on where we may want to go on vacation.  It sounds good – an island with lots of sun.

I’m still concerned about going to school in NYC for my MBA.  It seems very expensive.  I’m excited to get a job, but school would be great.

Today my current boss asked I’d return for a couple weeks to spend time with my replacement once they are hired.  I hope it’s my one of my friends.  We’d have a blast.

I love him way too much and miss him more.

January 14, 1998

Okay, so I had a bad night and a worse day, but I’m much better now.  I won’t even go into it, but suffice it to say that he wanted to hear about it; listened and really helped.  Is he really a man?  Hard to believe.  I ordered him some flowers to be delivered to his office tomorrow to welcome him home and thank him for cheering me up.  He really made me feel better.

He’s going to join me in San Francisco for his birthday weekend.  I can’t wait to pamper him.  Maybe we could go to the modern art museum.  I need to pick a hotel too.  This means that there won’t be more than 1 ½ weeks in between when I see him before I move.  I am a very happy girl.

Now –

What really stands out here – and I remember it clearly, is his ability to listen early in our relationship.  Not just to listen, but also help.  Now I feel like the person who is supposed to be my best friend and confidant is the person with whom I cannot be myself or share my feelings and troubles.  When I do share, it seems that we do not see eye to eye on things.  It’s one thing not to agree with someone, but another to discount their feelings in favor of your own self perceived always correct opinion.

Last year when he was ready to file for a divorce he told me that he was tired of hearing me talk.  So I started sending him emails, so that I could avoid him.  This was for my sake, not because he was tired of my voice.  That didn’t work either.  More about this later.

Now that the children are older I am concerned about him having this attitude with them as well.  My son so wants his approval and seems hesitant to state a differing opinion, even in a polite way.  My daughter is more likely to speak her mind, until she knows she’s pushed it too far, and then she clams up.  There is a defiance in her clamming however and I don’t feel that she is letting her opinion go, but rather has learned when it’s not worth it to continue a discussion that is going nowhere.  My son however, takes it to heart and seems genuinely dismayed when his father has differing views.

At this point, my best strategy is to try to provide the balanced feedback that the children need to grow into their own thoughtful opinions and values.  I want them to feel that even though they are young, their opinions matter.  I wonder how my husband’s upbringing helped him to develop into the person he is today.

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