Other People’s Models 4

LDR of four years. My boyfriend and I argued two weekends ago. He said he wanted to break up, but we didn’t. We took this weekend off, which I did not want to do.

He texted me today and asked me to come over for two nights, which I did after work. I have an online meeting that I agreed to host tomorrow. He asked me out to dinner at that same time. I didn’t tell him about the meeting before I came, in part I thought he would not like it, but we usually don’t go anywhere on weeknights.

He told me he wants me to not go to the meeting. I don’t want to break my agreement to host. He says he is unhappy and not sure if he wants to keep seeing me. He RSVPed ‘Going’ on Facebook to a singles gathering right after he said that. I told him that is not okay. He said if I don’t like it I can leave.

So far I’m feeling calm, but I could have a lot of thoughts and feelings about this.

Here is an intentional model.

C: I saw R click button on Facebook
T: I don’t have to have a strong reaction to this
F: Calm
A: Do models, wait to talk to him when he is less upset, don’t make up a story about what this might mean, stay in integrity with my emotions and intention to have a good week, allow myself to feel my feelings without escalating the situation or hurting myself with my thoughts.

Why do you choose to believe that his actions cause your thoughts and feelings?

I think I was taught from a young age that other people, especially boys and men, can hurt my feelings or my body through their words and actions. I think I have a habit of this thought in relationships. That if I am good enough, and please him, that I will then feel good and we will both be happy. I think similar to my job status, I equate being in a relationship to doing better in life, being less lonely, and being acceptable to myself and others.

How can you take back your power if you recognize that your feelings and experiences are the products of your thinking and not other people’s actions or inactions?

I can take responsibility and become more aware of my thoughts, feelings, and actions. I can see him for who he is without exaggerating either the things I perceive about him as positive or negative. I can take responsibility for being in the relationship, staying in it when there are things I don’t like happening, as this is my free choice. I can be empathetic to his feelings and recognize that in his model, some things I do result in him having emotional pain and unhappiness. But at the same time understand that I can’t cause him to be happy or unhappy through my actions. I can take responsibility for what I do, and not contribute to further arguing or emotional distress.