Hi Brooke! Thank you for all your coaching. I have one for you.
My children and I went to the ice cream shop and because my husband wasn’t with us, I bought a pint instead so we could take it home. I told my husband, “You weren’t with us so we bought a pint.” His response was, “You had free license and bought an entire pint.” (pause for shock– my brain twisting to understand what he just said)
What IS this? I got bored years ago trying to analyze and figure out why he says and does such things. Then I got busy with actual children. I gained 70 pounds and stop taking care of myself and started cleaning house more than people who do it for a living. My best friend and I realized that we were spending a considerable amount of time feeling AWFUL after interactions with our spouses. She would go back to bed. I would clean. My mother said we have to “detach emotionally.” Then she said we were “emotional eaters” and that’s why we were/are overweight.
10 years later, my mother has ignored her husband and done her own thing. She’s living her life and having a wonderful time–mostly without her husband who sits in front of the tv all day. My friend drinks and has affairs. But since I don’t drink and have an otherwise amazing life, there’s nothing but raw truth. I don’t want to know someone who thinks and acts this way–especially towards me! If I create a mental bubble around myself before he speaks, and he realizes it’s useless to mess with me, he’ll direct it at our children. My daughter is no nonsense and will walk out. My son makes himself invisible/zones out and later retells what he saw and heard and what he thinks about it. While my husband is ranting, I will state what my intention was, “We brought it home to share with you,” and walk out. I’m not an enabler so I have to leave or it will become an argument. Then we become the “awful” family.
He came from a fighting/divorced family (8 years old) while my parents were laid back, never fought, and always explained OPP (other people’s problems) to me. My favorite was how couples would drink, get in a fight, call our house and scream at my parents about things, and then they would get back together by bonding over their contempt at my parents. I think they would just feel sorry for him but set him straight about the way he speaks to us.
C: Husband says things
T: What the hell is wrong with him. His mother failed. Someone failed. This isn’t really about me. When I was on my own, I was free to be my best without someone trying to bring me down. Where is my self-confidence? Hope he doesn’t say these things to coworkers or his boss.
F: Attacked. Escaping. Someone is trying to transfer their pain onto me. Distracted and sabotaged from achieving my goals.
A: Fantasize about healthy relationships. Study self-help. Try to “recover” faster and keep moving forward.
R: Live in between appreciation and gratitude and fear that I’m being held back and damaged.
C: Husband says things
T: Most of what you say is about you– not me.
F: Grateful for all the time I’ve spent reading self-help, in therapy, and working on my own issues. Grateful someone invested time and attention in me enabling me to validate my own existence.
A: Go on with my schedule and maintain my confidence. Be practical. Focus on reality.
R: Achieve my goals. Set an example of self worth for my children.
So I’m not overeating. I’m not ripping my nails off. I’m not going back to bed in the middle of the day. I’m not ordering a case of wine. I’m reading and learning and consciously NOT doing these things. But my thoughts are that everything unique to me is being wasted.
At what point does this become automatic without the screeching halt of “here we go again.”
Secondly, you recently coached someone to pick up her husband’s clothes for the sake of living an otherwise happy life. So are you suggesting that she compromise what she considers to be unacceptable? That it’s her thinking about it that is causing her pain–not him throwing his clothes wherever he wants. What if he is doing it purposely to control her? My thought is why must she be his maid? Why can’t people take care of their own emotions, belongings, and let people be?
Can you imagine if Oprah waited to be Oprah until she lost weight? Or she was too busy picking up her husband’s clothes and cleaning the house? Or you, Brooke, cooked and cleaned all day, to keep the peace, instead of creating LCS?