Join Date: Jan 2011
| | Not yet a total success story...but all hope isn't lost
I recently went through six months + of chaos with my H. I doubted that we should be married due to general incompatibility, lack of common interests, and a growing dislike of each other. There was no cheating, no verbal or physical abuse, no money problems, and no kids, but still, we just can't get along. Perhaps I just married the wrong person? We ended up doing a short separation. After I moved back into the house, things still weren't right.
All along, my H was convinced that all the problems in our marriage were due to me. He admitted that he might not react to me in the best way all the time, but besides that, nothing else was his fault. After months of fighting, tons of marriage improvement books, three different counselors, a psychiatrist for me, separation, and almost divorce, he suddenly (out of the blue) had a moment of clarity where he realized, "Hey...maybe I should take a look inward instead of blaming everything on her." He realized that he was unhappy with himself. He has bad self esteem and a poor self image. So, he started a strict diet and began training for a marathon. He said that once he makes himself happy, the marriage will fall into place.
After this moment of clarity of his, I originally thought it was extremely selfish. There he goes again...only thinking of himself and not caring about me. Then, about a week after, I had a moment of my own. For months, I've been waiting for a moment where I would just KNOW that I needed to leave him. Many days, I wished that he'd cheat on me, or that I'd get in a bad accident...so finally I'd have a real reason to live my life and get away from him. Fortunately, when my moment came, I realized I needed to stay instead of leave. I can sum it all up in one profound statement:
"If I take all of this energy that i'm using to hate him, and put it towards loving him instead, maybe he'll follow suit."
You know what, in the past four weeks, my life has improved. I am no longer stressed, tired, miserable, cranky, and sad. Our household isn't tense and angry. We are getting along and laughing. We work together on tough issues and treat each other with respect. We still disagree, but we don't let it cause us to fight. Instead of dwelling on our problems, we're focusing on finding solutions.
I've realized that I have to accept the fact that in my marriage, I set the tone and mood of our day to day existence. I lead. He follows. At first, this doesn't seem fair. That's a lot to put on my shoulders. However, perhaps if I make a habit of creating a positive atmosphere in my own home, I'll eventually be allowed to have a bad day every now and then and he'll be able to carry my mood on those days. Have you ever heard the saying, "If mom isn't happy, no one is happy!"? Well I don't have kids, BUT it's very true that the woman of the house usually has control of how tense the family is. At least that is my experience.
I am not out of the woods yet, and we have a long way to go, but perhaps my initial positive story might help some of you to realize that it's not always about how the other person is treating you. Perhaps if you reflect on how you're treating the other person, then you might be able to make some progress. It takes two to make it work, but it really is easier to love someone than it is to hate them.