It’s Not About Me!

Then – March 24, 1998

Okay, I think he missed me.  I didn’t realize how I missed him until he came to visit me in LA.  I’ve really been having a great time here – “visiting”.  My temporary and permanent replacements at work have been a lot of fun.

He came into town and we had a great weekend dining and shopping and hanging out in Santa Monica.  We also had one heck of a fight. It started while we were having dinner before I took him to the airport.  When he got out of the car I seriously thought it might be the last time I saw him and I was so mad, I didn’t care.

He can really shut me out.  He felt so bad when he realized how upset I was afterwards.  He doesn’t understand how much it hurts me when I think he’s upset with me.  When he’s not his caring loving self, it really hurts.  It scares me that I need him so much.   I’ve become dependent upon him for my happiness.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.  We argued over how much we would do to help a pet before putting it down.  His position seemed very uncaring to me and was certainly not now I would have expected him to feel.  I felt like he was really being cold hearted.  Hopefully it’s not a preview of what’s to come.  I barely slowed down when I dropped him off at the airport.  I just wanted him OUT of my car.

When I returned from work the next night and was getting off the elevators at the hotel, it smelled like a flower shop.  Mind you, I was not even to my room yet.  He had sent me the most gorgeous flowers.  My room was full of bouquets.   I wished we’d never fight again, but I knew that was optimistic.

Now – Over the years, every time we started to get along I’d wish things would be different going forward and we’d get along forever.  Realistic? No.  Setting myself up for failure? Yes.  Our relationship has been a series of ups and downs.  Big ups and downs in the beginning because I was devastated every time he tuned me out or was harsh and unkind.  After so many years I see the pattern and realize that his moods change drastically and often without warning.  It doesn’t make it any easier knowing this pattern exists.

Growing up with an alcoholic father, we never knew when he would drink and when problems would start.  It could be a good weekend with him sober, or if we had friends over for dinner, it was likely a nice evening would turn in to a weekend of continued drunkenness.  We just never knew how he’d be.

In counseling last year, I realized that it was no different with my husband.  He is not a drinker, but his mood can change on a dime and again I never know how things are going to be between us.  While unhealthy, this pattern was likely attractive to me and oddly comfortable.  However, like with my father, it was not in my control to fix the situation.  I became increasingly frustrated and only escalated the problems with my behavior.

After the past year, I feel oddly calm when he gets into one of his moods.  My expectations have changed and I no longer feel responsible for his behavior.  It took me many years not to blame his ire on something I could have prevented.  It’s not about me!

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