As things change and I become more aware of the patterns I’ve fallen into, it becomes more painful when I find myself still repeating that stuff. Now that I’m aware I shouldn’t still fall into the same stupid things.
I have always been easily manipulated. But I also learned to manipulate… Not well, but I try. I don’t even realize I’m doing it until its pointed out. I still. I still continue to falling into letting my anxiety dictate my reactions. I still feel guilty about EVERYTHING. I still placate instead of saying what I want and why.
I’m discouraged. Just last night I had a great conversation with my wife, brother, and sister in law. My brother has the same struggles and we really had a great talk. Then this morning I went right back to doing the same stupid stuff.
I know I’m not stupid. I know what I’m doing wrong and what I should do about it. It makes me FEEL dense. I feel like my wife literally never makes mistakes. I think I’m the immature person in this relationship, and that is not familiar ground. Or maybe I always have been and just didn’t know it. Who knows.
I am not saying I don’t have confidence. I feel like I’m smart, hard working, caring, generous, and a generally nice guy. I know my wife thinks I’m sexy. My daughter thinks I rock even though she resists letting that slip out of her mouth. I am comfident in my abilities and I’m confident in my relationship.
But my guilt-reflex is knee-jerk. I feel like I have no control over it. Like my anxiety, I can recognize and overcome the guilt, but it’s always the first reaction. It has to change.
My sister in law had an insight that shook me. She said that when someone gets mad at me, I hunker down and say “please don’t stop loving me.” She was right and I’d never thought that before. Real love isn’t conditional or retracted during a disagreement.
I am a work in progress. I love my life, I love my wife, and I will be the best person I can be.