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#390802 - 03/26/12 10:26 AM Stepping aside
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3493
Loc: somewhere in Africa
The other day, my wife and I were at home and she was walking toward me. I stepped aside, thinking I was in her way and that she needed to get past me. (it’s not a very big apartment!) But she came right up to me and I tried to get out of her way by going the other direction. Turned out she was coming to give me a hug – but I misinterpreted it – as usual! We did an awkward little dance (I’m terrible at dancing, too!) for a moment before I realized what was going on. Then she embraced me and I hugged her back. And we laughed about it and it was good.

But that is such a graphic illustration of our relationship – she reaches out to me and I freak and retreat or withdraw or run the other way – or just overlook it or assume it doesn’t really mean what it should mean. I just automatically assume that no one is trying to love me or accept me – I feel like I am a nuisance or not wanted – even tho she has made it a practice of trying to make me feel loved and accepted. I have been immune to it. Almost like I couldn’t hear it because the other voices are too loud – the ones that shout “UNACCEPTABLE!” and “UNLOVABLE!” and “DISQUALIFIED!” and “IF SHE REALLY KNEW WHAT YOU WERE LIKE…”

There was a time not long ago when I’d have been very triggered by almost any unexpected touch or one that was not initiated by me – and that’s very rare, so don’t hold your breath! And she’d have been hurt that I was trying to “avoid” her. So we are doing better at figuring things out.

But I still have to go through a process of trying to remember to make definite actions to show love and affection and use words to say what I think and feel. And then I have to make the effort to actually do something about it. Sometimes that takes a while as I try to overcome my habitual resistance and the mental/emotional barriers. I may get as far as following through all the way to the gesture or the statement – or I may not – and then end up kicking myself for failing again. You wouldn’t think that something as simple as a hug or saying “I love you” would be so difficult or complicated. how stupid and inept can you be...

lee



Edited by traveler (03/26/12 11:33 AM)
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#390807 - 03/26/12 11:25 AM Re: Stepping aside [Re: traveler]
lucylives Offline


Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 364
U have no idea how helpful these kinds of things are to me, Lee.

Thanks.


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#390809 - 03/26/12 11:34 AM Re: Stepping aside [Re: lucylives]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3493
Loc: somewhere in Africa
smile
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#390823 - 03/26/12 01:11 PM Re: Stepping aside [Re: traveler]
Esposa Offline
F&F Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 724
Loc: NJ
SO INCREDIBLY HELPFUL

These are the little things we just don't know.

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#390940 - 03/26/12 10:55 PM Re: Stepping aside [Re: Esposa]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3493
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Who’s driving?

A dream I had a few weeks back also illustrates the state of our current relationship:

We were both in a mini-van – haven’t had one of those for years! – my wife in the driver’s seat and me in the passenger’s seat. We were cruising along a 2-lane highway – flat and straight – landscape looked like desert – featureless, small rocks and sparse, scrubby, weedy, thorny vegetation and hard, rocky soil. It was grey and overcast and I gradually realized that we were slowing down, glanced over at my wife and saw that she was not steering , but had her hands off the wheel, slack in her lap and was gazing blankly out the windshield. I cried out and reached over to grab the wheel but couldn’t control the vehicle. We veered off the road on to the shoulder, then off into the desert, bumped along for a while and then coasted to a stop, heading into nowhere. We just sat there, neither knowing what to do next…

The meaning seemed pretty obvious to me. She has been “driving” our marriage relationship for a long time, while I’ve just been “along for the ride.” At least that’s how she feels. Actually I’ve been distracted by trying desperately to figure out the “operations manual” and decipher the “travel directions” to our desired “destination” and haven’t been doing very well with it. And now she is tired of doing what we’ve done for a long time without a “rest area.” It is time for me to move into the driver’s role and take charge of the direction we are going. But I am very fearful, insecure and feel inadequate and unequipped to do it right. So for now, we don’t seem to be getting any further. I am busy “repairing some damage to the vehicle” or “trying to figure out the map.” And she is waiting for the time when we can resume our “journey” together. I think she is not too happy that our progress together has “taken a detour” while I try to get myself straightened out – but we can’t really “hit the road” again and expect to go anywhere until I’m “firing on all cylinders.” Thankfully, I have a good “mechanic” that is helping me and giving me some good “tools” to work with. And then there’s this “auto club” called MS and many “backyard mechanics” here that are also offering lots of experience and good advice.

(Hey - at least I’m not using sports analogies!!! LOL)

Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#390975 - 03/27/12 03:10 AM Re: Stepping aside [Re: traveler]
Anniemy4sons Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/29/11
Posts: 98
Loc: NJ
you are neither stupid nor inept. You are doing great. I can't remember the movie but they kept saying something that has stuck with me for years, "baby steps, just take baby steps". When you are new at something, you shouldn't jump in and leap. You should try a little at a time.

So take baby steps Lee. You are doing great!

I love hugs from my husband btw. They are simple I love yous. Uncomplicated I love yous.
_________________________
God is my teacher, Jesus my comfort and the Holy Spirit my protector.
I AM Listening...

Thank you Mother Mary.
Pray the Rosary every day. http://www.comepraytherosary.org/

I BELIEVE IN HER PROMISE.

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#390985 - 03/27/12 05:58 AM Re: Stepping aside [Re: Anniemy4sons]
Dar Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/15/11
Posts: 170
Loc: Missouri
I can't remember the movie

"What about Bob" Bill Murry (Funny stuff)
_________________________
All I ever wanted was a hug.

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#391069 - 03/27/12 09:35 PM Re: Stepping aside [Re: Dar]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3493
Loc: somewhere in Africa
thanks, Annie, Esposa & Lucy!

You give me hope and courage to try harder to succeed in meeting my wife's expectations and needs.

Lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


Top
#391856 - 04/02/12 02:08 AM * [Re: traveler]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 2217
*


Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (04/28/13 05:00 PM)

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#391860 - 04/02/12 03:01 AM Re: Stepping aside [Re: Smalltown80sBoy]
Anniemy4sons Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/29/11
Posts: 98
Loc: NJ
Don't forget Lee, it's a two way street. You just have to be concerned with keeping your side of the road clean. Your wife has to deal with her own side of the road.

I learned that we (wives) have a responsibility to meeting our husband's needs and expectations too. But we can only do that if you communicate what they are.

In therapy I discovered that I was getting angry and frustrated with my husband because he was not meeting mine. I expected that he should know by now. "I can't believe we've been married for 23 years and I have to tell you. It should be a dance by now, one that we know by heart." But I didn't know that he just DIDN'T know. He wasn't not doing it on purpose, it wasn't because he didn't care or had better things to do. He just didn't "get" the clues. So I have a job of telling him. He was in a double bind because he didn't know and I wasn't going to tell him.
I'm a tad stubborn. So we agreed to communicate even the small stuff until he understood me. And I him.

So we're both taking baby steps!

"What about BOB!!!!" yes that's it!
_________________________
God is my teacher, Jesus my comfort and the Holy Spirit my protector.
I AM Listening...

Thank you Mother Mary.
Pray the Rosary every day. http://www.comepraytherosary.org/

I BELIEVE IN HER PROMISE.

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