A Personal Epiphany
As you may remember, we're in the reconciliation process. And, we're doing well. We continue to navigate uncharted water in terms of off-limit subjects (that are now routinely discussable) and overall non-hijacked communication.
AFEH speaks often of passive aggression. I've known for a long time that I get a certain amount of pleasure from the suffering of perceived enemies. The German term for this is schadenfreude. Yet, I didn't realize how deep this passive aggression can run... and what sort of acting out results from it.
Then I read MEM's post about the "yes man hubby" who for 18 years was "perfect" for his wife. We all know the profile now. Goes to work everyday. Good father. Sexless marriage. Basically dominated by his wife - dotes on her.
One day, she looks out the window and here he comes on his brand new motorcycle, decked out in leather, a couple of tattoos and a hard-looking biker ***** on the rumble seat.
He flips his wife the bird and hits the road.
She "never knew what happened".
When I read that post, I realized MEM was describing me in my first marriage. Since we don't change all that much without effort, I started looking at myself a bit harder in that area.
Most - if not all - of the angry outbursts I initiate are with someone close to me who I perceive has "taken advantage".
But, realize this, we're talking about one transaction at a time.
I've had the tendency to extend myself, extend myself, and further extend myself to get the "desired outcome" in relationships. Pretty soon, it's unrecognizable in form and I'm basically miserable - and hopping mad.
This is a really interesting type of thing to study in yourself. It becomes "easy" to start saying no where the answer was always "yes' before - because you you realize the ultimate price to be paid by communicating an endless array of yes's.
Believe me, the person asking does NOT want me to take the ball all the way to the one-yard line by myself. Because, at that point the reciprocity I'm hoping for must materialize or the middle finger gets twitchy - if you know what I mean.