To Be A Compass

Somewhere along the line in my relationship with my ex, something went terribly wrong. It started out small, and it just got bigger. The fighting was passionate in the beginning. But then everything was passionate in the beginning. Yet in the most basic sense, John was a truly good man. He wanted me to be happy. He was kind, he was giving, he was thoughtful.

When I got pregnant, things changed. What I can see as I look back now, was that we both changed, but me more than him. I quit standing my ground. I tried to be nice. I didn’t focus on what I really needed during that difficult time. I let it become about him–while I was the one who was pregnant.

It was like a house of cards or a line of dominoes. Once I made that first fatal error, it all started to fall down as the years went by. I was missing something, and I knew it. John still wanted to please me, and sometimes I let him. But mostly I focused on pleasing John. How to make him happy again, so he would care about my needs again.

I sort of had it right. I knew for sure that I couldn’t just give in all the time… that it wasn’t right to pretend I was attracted when I just no longer was. Sadly, I knew a whole ton of wrong things, though. And I tried every single one of them–repeatedly. Whether they worked or not.

Then it was over. And it ended ugly. I was hurting and hating him because it was easier to hate him than feel the anguish I’ve felt over losing him.

But I know what I want. I want love. I want a marriage and a lifelong commitment. I want to be in love and I want someone to be in love with me. I know that much for sure. So I started doing some meditations about attracting your ideal mate. I made changes in myself; and I decided that I wasn’t going to be the people-pleaser John-pleaser I had been. I got my hair cut and I colored it. Change. I started keeping the house the way I want it without regard for punishing him for not picking up after himself. Change.

Then as I continued my meditations, I stumbled across an ad on a page.  An interesting thing to note is that I don’t click ads. I just don’t. I end up spending money, and I rarely feel like I get what I needed or wanted from that product. I don’t do disappointment well, kind of like sadness. But I clicked it, and it took me here: http://www.havetherelationshipyouwant.com/?s=56629&sbid=cpbzw&cuid=djmr&cids=3WSZZZ, (I am not affiliated in any way)

Immediately, I could just sense that, at least for me, this felt RIGHT. It was like kizmet. I was definitely not living my feminine energy, but I didn’t know it. It was like a key fitting into a lock–I understood immediately that THIS was what I was doing wrong all along.

Men are designed to please through doing. Women are designed to please through accepting. This is evident in our very bodies. We accept a man into our body… into our lives… into our circle of life. And that’s where I went wrong. When I started trying to please, instead of accepting pleasure… I went horribly wrong.

Now, I don’t justify anything he did. Some of those things were just downright MEAN. But so was I sometimes. Neither makes the other right, but it becomes easier to realize that I contributed to what happened, and that he didn’t WANT to be mean… we were just both completely lost and confused.

I’ve forgiven him. Just like that. And I’ve understood in the last few days that men have a focus. They have a True North in a relationship… and if I want to be happy with my man, I’m not supposed to please him. I’m supposed to be his compass. His True North is my happiness. What a profound, amazing concept.

Looking back, I know this was true for John, beyond the shadow of all doubt. He wanted me to be happy. He wanted to please me. When I started trying to please him, instead, he lost sight of True North. And I couldn’t make him happy because I was not happy. I thought that my happiness hinged upon him being happy first.

I had it all backwards. I needed to tell him, in a real, raw way, how I felt so he could tell how far away–or how close–he was to his True North. Without the guidance of my emotions, he was lost and adrift… then we both started screwing up.

The program is hard and it’s scary. It’s stripping myself of defenses I spent 42 years building. It’s asking a person with autism to look someone in the eye without faltering. It’s huge and it’s terrifying to be so stripped bare to my naked soul in front of a man who has such power to hurt me; and doesn’t even know it because I hid it so well.

Wherever I go from here, I know it’ll be marriage. And this time, I’m committed to being the compass. Men want to please. I’ve seen it so many times. It truly IS their nature to please. But they have to be guided. Not through being told WHAT to do… but through being told how what they are doing is working–or not working. The doing is their job… the pointing to True North is my job. The feminine is receptive of the action, and maybe sometimes it won’t feel nice. Sometimes it’s scary and sometimes it’s painful and sometimes it’s angering.

It’s hard for them, too. They want to hear “I’m happy” every time, but sometimes it’s “I feel sad”, instead. Or maybe it’s “I feel angry”.

By not being honest about how I felt, I broke his compass. Its needle was wobbling all over the place, and he had no guidance system anymore.

I didn’t know any better. I was trying. So was he. A critical element was missing, and neither of us knew what it was or how to get it back. Now I know, and I know now that I’ll have what I want. I’ll be married someday and I’ll be my husband’s most precious treasure: his compass.

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“I’m Raiding” has Replaced “Bring Me a Beer”

So on my 7 year old daughter’s birthday (She turned 7 this Halloween), my ex ended our 10 year relationship. At first, I was devastated. I gave the guy 10 years of fidelity and honest effort. I’m told that women are led by their emotions and men are the rational, logical ones… yet it was I who hung on despite the many times I no longer felt any emotional attachment–or connection–with him at all. But when he decided he didn’t “feel the same” about me anymore, and “never would”, he walked away like 10 years is nothing. It’s been almost a year since my daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and it’s been one hell of a hard year for her and me both.

Relationships fall apart for a lot of reasons. Ours fell apart in part because my ex only considers two things to be of value in this world… money and sex. And once he started treating me poorly, he wasn’t getting the second and I was too focused on our daughter to focus on the first.

Yet it goes deeper than that. We all know and recognize the iconic image of the guy with his hand down his pants, yelling for a beer while he watches TV and his wife is bringing him a beer with two kids dangling off of her and her eyes crossed from exhaustion. After all, as we all know, he has had a rough day and he deserves to be waited on hand and foot because… he makes MONEY. And nothing else is of value in this world…

But the new iconic “involved husband and father” image isn’t quite so obvious. There’s no beer to depict his disconnection. Instead, it’s a computer and a group of soda cans.

Today’s dad might look more like this: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/woman/health/health/3003526/Video-gaming-Top-Tuns-are-top-slobs-too.html

When his kid wants his attention, it’s “Stop it, I’m busy.” Or, if he’s in a good mood, it might be, “After this raid”. Which incidentally takes him well past the child’s bedtime. Unlike the beer drinking slob, he’d probably disengage long enough to get laid–because in the gaming community, getting laid is cool (as long as you don’t do it on raid nights).

I’m a gamer, too. It really is kind of addicting, and definitely fun. It can be social, as well. But when my daughter came along, it was me who cut back my gaming hours. It was me who quit raiding. It’s me who stops to play a game or to read a story or to take her to bed–on time (imagine it!).

Yet he was entitled to his gaming time because HE had a REAL job. Because HE brought in money. And he was entitled to sex for the same reason. The idea that he should get off of the computer and spend time with his family was a wonderful one. And he intended to do it. But not tonight. Not during a raid. Not when there were coins to gather or gear to get before the next raid.

I did a lot wrong, too. I kept giving up… and trying to get back into it. Our relationship was like working out. I’d give up and then try again. Then give up and get back into trying again. It was like working out for him, too… he’d try for a day and expect everything to magically change. A kiss that morning on the way to work was “trying to show affection” and if he didn’t get laid that night, then “it didn’t work” and if he did get laid that night, he didn’t need to try anymore because “it worked” and now he should be getting it all the time.

At the end of the day, I thought we were back on track to try with “us” again. I thought that, now that our daughter was on the insulin pump and I wasn’t checking her every single night at 12 and 3 and 5 am, we could work towards us. We’d finally found a babysitter for her who wasn’t petrified of her chronic health condition. It was all coming together…

Except it wasn’t. And you can’t have a relationship all by yourself. He had “fallen out of love” with me… was still in love with his computer… and just didn’t feel like anything was worth the effort anymore. But he did try for a couple of weeks to actually be a dad. And when he’s not near the computer, he’s okay as a dad. He gets angry easily, which he blames on me.  Though him blaming everything on me–whether it has anything to do with me or not–is trademark for our relationship. We quit counseling because it wasn’t fixing me fast enough.

The truth is, as I look back on it, he always thought he would be happy “when” and all of his “whens” focused on me. When I got a job, he’d be happy. When he was getting laid every day, he’d be happy. When that was happening, he wasn’t happy. When that was happening, he picked fights about other things every chance he got.

Now he can raid in peace, and I’m okay with the breakup. The reason why is simple. Because now I realize on a profound level that him being a jerk and a slob really didn’t have anything to do with me. We’re broke up now and I’m working to find my real self again while he… he’s still a jerk and a slob. Bless his heart.

Despite this post, I don’t hate him. I’m not even angry at him anymore. I’m seeing things clearly for the first time since I met him, and I know now that he will never have another chance with me. More than that, I know to look at my part of the relationship now, because I can’t trust what he says is my part in what went wrong. He’ll blame me for everything, just as he always has. So I have to figure out for myself which part of me I don’t want to take into the next relationship.

The most important thing is that I’m going to quit blaming myself for everything. I didn’t learn that from him, I blamed myself long before him. But he did teach me one very important thing… I don’t like someone blaming me for everything, even the ones I had nothing to do with. So it’s long past time I quit doing it to myself. I didn’t like it when he did it to me, so now I need to stop being a hypocrite and quit doing it, too.

If you know what I mean, you may want to check out this website: http://gamerwidow.com/

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