Marriage is Hard Work!

Relationships are hard! Damn they’re hard! The good ones are the ones where the good days outweigh the ones that are a struggle.

I ranted earlier about Facebook. Truth be told, the rant wasn’t about the comments themselves or even social media at large. The rant was pent up anger at my husband for unresolved hurts triggered once again by a similar situation.

There were somethings which he wasn’t totally honest about in the beginning of our relationship and breaches of trust which spread into more recent history. There were times when he allowed others to publicly shame, harass and hurt me in an online forum without sticking up for me, not protecting me from his friends.

Today, the comments coming through which were hurtful were again from his friends. All of the sudden, I was filled with rage and hurt. Once again, he had betrayed me. ALL of the hurts came flooding back… from the very first one up through this one.

I am justifiably angry that he lied to me and cheated per the terms of our relationship. I have covered for him, played nice so that people on the outside don’t know. I swallowed my pain while his friends ran me over with their words as I set boundaries with him around online behavior. He sat by and did nothing as they accused me of killing him. They tried to call me to task about my ex-husband. The list of things these “friends” and even a member of his family did is unthinkable.

I sit here hours later in the aftermath of yet another fight where all of these hurts get brought up again. We’re speaking. We’re acknowledging our love for one another. Yet, I’m still sick inside that I’ve allowed these hurts to happen… more than once.

Years and years of therapy and 12-step programs have taught me that I have a part in nearly every hurt. In this one, my immediate examination tells me that my part initially was to stick around for it. Next was to get angry and trust again after my trust had already been broken. After the second time, it truly was my fault for trusting him.

I guess what I’m getting at here is that eventually I have a choice to make. I don’t get to keep being angry at him. It doesn’t change anything except make me feel sick and make him feel bad. He’s shown a pattern of behavior which doesn’t seem to be changing despite my feelings and hurts. I get to choose if I can and will live with this or not. I use the term “get to” because I didn’t always have a choice. I didn’t know anything else. I didn’t know I could choose to be in a relationship with someone whose behavior and words hurt me over and over again or not to be. I lived in a family where hurt was love. As crazy as it sounds, if I was hurting in a relationship… ANY relationship, it meant I was safe and it felt like love. This is no longer the case!!!!

So, I find myself bashing my head against the wall in my marriage as the same exact issues arise over and over again. My reaction is hurt and anger and victimization every single time. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

I see now, very clearly, that my hurt and anger and tears do not make a difference in his actions. They hurt and disappoint him that I’m hurt once again, but my feelings do not impact his choice of actions. I’m playing my part in HIS insane game where he hurts and does wrong. I don’t know if people leave him or it gives him an out or a reason to use. His behavior and reasons are HIS to figure out. MY part is mine.

There is so much good between us that I don’t want to walk away. That is not the choice I wish to make. I refuse to keep banging my head against the wall in this world of being hurt by the same kind of actions.

Right this moment, I get to choose to do something different. I get to choose not to allow myself to slip into little space where I’m hurt and afraid and just want nothing more than to be loved and accepted. I’m better than that. I have the skills I need to survive and take care of myself. I matter more than to accept any love in any form it takes…. even if it hurts me. I get to be big and deal with this in my adult space where all of my emotions and faculties are functioning in logic and not scared little girl.

I’m choosing to sit with my feelings no matter how uncomfortable they are. I’m going to take responsibility for the fact that I have ALLOWED this pattern with no real consequences. I get to look at what I’m doing that I chose another partner whose behavior is hurtful and not attentive to my emotional needs around safety and being treated with respect. My thoughts right now aren’t on him. They are on me and MY choices and patterns. This is not a pattern I will live with for the rest of my life.

Tonight, I don’t know how to fix it. I’m angry at myself for allowing the same hurts over and over again. I’m angry at myself for staying in the relationship when the very first betrayal of trust happened. I’m angry at myself for being angry with him over and over instead of doing something different myself.

On a scale of 1 – 100, I’d honestly have to classify my marriage as being 70% happy with respect and honor and so much love it’s hard to believe. The 30% that creeps in hurts so much!!! 😦 I’m sad tonight. My heart hurts. I’m disappointed… in him and myself. The 30% that hurts is all in the areas of trust, integrity and honesty.

How many clients and sponsees have I told that it’s up to US to teach people how they treat us. I know so well that this is true. Time to take a solid look at my boundaries. What is and isn’t OK with me. What are the consequences for crossing my boundaries? At what point do I choose to leave a relationship which hurts me? What am I going to do differently?

One of the first things I learned in domestic violence counseling following my last marriage was about keeping secrets. Not talking about the things that go on and keep them in private so that no one knows is a set up for isolation and getting support when you need it. Now, I’m not saying my husband is abusing me. I’m drawing from former knowledge. I’m also saying that I will not cover up my hurts any more and talk openly and honestly about things. It’s the only way I will get better and be able to make sound decisions. His embarrassment is not MY issue.

For the moment, it’s time to do the dishes. Maybe watch some TV with Ruffi curled up in my lap. Time to give myself a break from this hurt so I can actually do something different tomorrow.

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