02 January 2009

Resolution 2009

The impending divorce is not my choice. I have to recognize, however, how I contributed to the problems in my marriage. I have to own my parts without beating myself up over them. This time, I’m thinking out loud about them. I guess working on these things is my New Years Resolution.

Andrea and I were a good match because many of my weaknesses were her strengths and many of her weaknesses were my strengths. I realize now that in many ways I leaned too heavily upon her strengths. That put her under tremendous pressure.

I never (not really never, but close enough) took initiative. This is true of all my relationships. I am horribly insecure and shy. I have an inferiority complex. The indecision plays a part here too.

I never appreciated the needs of an extrovert. Extroverts need external stimulus.

My defense mechanism is to withdraw. Too often this is hurtful to others, because they don’t see the fear or hurt or indecision.

Several times I seemed to recognize that I was doing a poor job of communicating, but I didn’t know how to change. The really odd thing was how easily I did change once she said she was unhappy. I made a 180° turn and—if possible—started communicating too much.

I’ve always had a natural tendency to raise my voice. People perceive me as screaming when—as far as I’m concerned—I’m not. I guess I never considered that this was something I needed to work on. I did know that it bothered Andrea. I did know that sometimes she took me venting frustration personally. Again, I thought this was something she needed to get over instead of something I needed to work on.

There are times when my emotions and frustrations get the best of me. Times when I do yell. Even lash out. I can’t deny knowing it, because there were times when I’d write something instead of saying it in an attempt to avoid that. I think there’s much here for me to understand.

I realize now that this was a problem during my entire marriage. I’ve been pretty sure that letting my fear and frustration get the best of me drove her away last year. I don’t know if things would have been different, but I wasn’t helping the situation.

I wonder: Is everything here a general problem or only a problem in the context of my marriage to Andrea?


Anonymous said...

It is both.

Your problems are in the context of your marriage, but if you over-contextualize and focus upon blaming your ex-spouse you will go nowhere. Whatever new relationship you ever have, she will not be in it but you will. This is a lot like the work that people do when going through grief. It is just as painful, but if you do not do it now it will haunt you for years and on into another relationship.

I was going to email this to you...but the email sheets instructions were in Japanese. They're localized for here, but I cannot read the language.


Scott Shafer

Don the Bassman said...

Learn and grow, thats all I can say. Everyone keeps saying that communication is the key (both ways!) to a good relationship and I have to agree but there is another thing that has to be a part of it as well, Humility. Be ready to admit mistakes and ask for forgiveness. Things happen, this is true for friendships as well. I don't think that you can communicate too much (I could be wrong on this) with your spouse.

I could ramble but I think that you have already heard most of everything that I have had to say on it. And I posted my response since you posted your thoughts, share them to the world.

The Vonster said...

Like Donald, I could ramble, only I'd get all psychoanalytical.

I won't do that, since you're just thinking aloud. You're finding where you feel improvement could be made, and that's a very good thing. You cannot change if you do not identify what you need or want to change.

If I keep going, it will be a ramble, so, I'll just leave it at that.