You are a man first, a husband second, and a father third. Those are the order of your priorities. Never forget that.
You and our marriage counselor are of one mind on that, lol. Definitely a goal for me.
I feel like, before I had a kid (and lost my job), that was more true. My life, my mission, come along for the ride, that sort of thing. Though I really did love being a husband.
My wife, however, felt that she lost too much of herself in that dynamic, that she just went along with me and 'spoiled me', perhaps even fearful to cross me (though my hand to God I swear that she had a blast most of the time herself), and now the chickens have come home roost, as it were.
Incidentally, if you don't mind my asking, where did you learn that? Is it just conventional wisdom, or is there something more specific?
The only thing that has changed in this situation is you.
I'm clear on my own failings, yes.
I specifically avoided MC for a long time because of this. One, because I am actually not a huge fan of marriage counseling in general, but two, because I realized that, no matter where I go, there I am. The problem always starts with me. Get my **** together first, then start working on the things around me.
I started MC, however, because I realized that I was not making any progress individually, and part of it was the ongoing dysfunction at home. I intend to get back to working on myself solely once my wife and I can stop reactivating each other and walking on eggshells around each other.
A healthy single parent household is better than modeling a dysfunctional but married family.
And a healthy functional marriage is better than both.
I don't want to leave when I am at my most disempowered. If I'm going to leave, I want to do so when I'm empowered to do so, not because I can't hack it where I am.
However, you have to be willing to risk it all to find out...Or just continue as is while your soul is sucked dry.
As I mentioned elsewhere, I get how much *I'm* sucking my soul dry. All the feeling sorry for myself, being sad, feeling lonely, feeling neglected and worthless, all of it - it's crippling me.
I'm present to the idea that we can't always choose our circumstances (or our relationships), but we can choose our reactions. My reactions have been disempowering and literally sucking the life from me (and from my wife, I'm sure, and even my son, which is a terrifying thought). All my energy (and thusly, not an insignificant amount of time, too, I'm sure) is going into that disempowered reaction. The first thing to do is to cut the resentment and frustration and loneliness and depression and self-pity/self-loathing. Easier said than done, but I get now just how much it is costing me. Life can still suck, but I don't have to make it worse with my reaction.
Yesterday, I had a moment of energy that I haven't felt in a long time. It was relatively short, but it reminded me of what can be. I am starting to tap into it.
Thank you for helping me see my way.