Never giving up: Gratefulness project day 9
I went and got the book Couple Skills by Matthew McKay, Patrick Fanning and Kim Paleg.
After what happened with my fiance I have realized I need to learn to communicate better. I could’ve handled some of the situations differently. Of course hindsight is 20:20, but I am brave enough to admit I made some mistakes I wish I hadn’t.
First of all, in the future, I won’t make my relationship as public on Facebook. That was juvenile of me and I won’t do that again.
Also I have stopped drinking alcohol, which I know threw flames onto the fire of any anger I felt. I did things and said things I wouldn’t have if I’d been sober.
I also didn’t tell the whole truth about my financial situation and that led to tension between us very shortly after we’d moved in together. I will endeavour to be more truthful and upfront about my financial matters in the future as well.
But what I feel really frightened me was how vulnerable I felt when we argued. We are both passionate people with troubled pasts, and we brought a lot of old pain into our relationship. I think that can be said for anyone once they are in a new relationship in their forties. And I overreacted to one argument in particular. And I felt like running away.
I am not proud of that, but that’s what I did.
I don’t think I believed in myself enough to face myself. And in an intimate relationship you must face yourself. You cannot tell the truth to your partner if you can’t tell the truth to yourself.
I have done that over the last two plus months and I see that I need to learn how to express myself in difficult situations. Sometimes it is a good idea to take a time out and let the intensity diminish. But I feel I have the courage more and more to learn to express what I want and what I need without feeling as if I need to run away.
I guess I didn’t quite have that courage before.
I don’t know if I will ever be with my fiance again or if I will need to learn these skills at first alone and then eventually with someone else. But I am very proud of myself that I can admit I need to work at being a better communicator.
It’s ironic because I can write my feeling down, but when I’m faced with conflict all sorts of defence mechanisms come up that get in the way of my rational being. I know that comes from my childhood, and I know I need to learn to express how I feel. That it’ll be better for everyone when I can.
I admit it’s not going to be easy, but I know I must do it to be myself in any relationship, especially an intimate one.
So here goes…
I’m grateful for wanting to be better and never giving up. My personal life has been far from smooth, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be happy with some work and some patience.
Never give up!
From the series, Because I’m a woman and because I can! by Jacqueline Snider, writer and editor
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