I’m not either. I write this with a lot of reluctance because sadly I see many people that I know and that I’m friends with struggle with their decisions. I also used to struggle a lot when it comes to the decisions I made in life and how much you let the people in your life shape those decisions. The other day a dear friend of mind frantically messaged me that she was going to miss her flight. Her husband was arguing with her and she said it was “his fault for making her late.” I told her things will be ok so just catch the next one. She didn’t seem to like my answer and it hurt my feelings. I was trying to be supportive but fair but I don’t believe her husband made her late, I believe she made herself late.
One of the things my father always said was the secret to a happy marriage is “Selective Hearing.” I guess I could have used selective hearing during the conversation but instead I did take it personally. I slowly went back to “minding my own business” but it still left an impression on me. Not everything in your life has to be a frantic mess and if you believe you thrive on that then you are really missing out on a big part of your life when things are calm and you can meditate on your thoughts.
He didn’t make you late, you made yourself late
Never be that person that is always late. A person that is always late is doing it on purpose. By choosing to listen to the words and not being able to readily communicate and establish limits on how you will be spoken to you have effectively given your loved one permission to “Push your Buttons.” Then you allowed yourself to have this behavior control your actions at the most inopportune time (like making you late for events). Couples that at least fight still have a chance at reconciliation. I would be more worried if there was no communication at all. So yelling, screaming and name calling may seem like a plus but when you allow it to stop your forward progress in life you may need to really evaluate what you want. You will have to make a clear choice to stay or go because honestly your friends and family don’t really want to hear you complaining about your spouse. Nobody impacts your life decisions more than you do. Establish those boundaries on communication, communicate them to your partner in their communication language and come to a consensus on their understanding of them, and outline the consequences of not adhering to those boundaries. I feel if my friend didn’t take it personally and just left for her meeting it would have left an indelible mark on her husband that she is not putting up with his name calling crap within hours of her leaving. If he wants to communicate he will have to do so in another manner- name calling is not one of them. Without knowing his true intention he may have been trying to convey that he will miss her or that he feels resentful that she’ll be at media parties all week (his thoughts) while staying at home with their son. We also respond to our partners based upon how they have responded to things in the past. If you snap at your partner out of the blue they are less likely to communicate in a mature level with you. They resort to attention grabbing activities to “get a rise out of you.”
The only thing that can motivate you is you
There will never be enough money, time, weight loss, daylight etc for you to accomplish what you want. Forget about trying to get someone else to accomplish what you think they want. You are your biggest motivation. Another friend of mine has a husband that is underemployed. So while he works he doesn’t make as much as he used to and so she is trying to find ways to pay the bills. She laments about leaving him but she is trying to save money for that day. She says he never calls her when she is traveling for work, doesn’t call for birthays, and sleeps in another room altogether. So she is saving up for the day she will leave. All of that is an excuse. While that sounds like a good plan I would venture to say that there will never be enough money to do it. You may never get paid back what you are owed. So now you must decide to stay or go. Both decisions scary and I have found not personally attaching your worth to either outcome preserves your sanity.
Life offers you the gift of making your own decisions and managing those outcomes. Only you can impact you. Others give you the opportunity to make life choices but your path is still yours alone. For those wanting to leave their spouses consider therapy or group counseling. It doesn’t mean you are weak, it just means you would like to see things from another perspective.
Respect is a currency that is hard to earn
A few weeks ago I notified one of my tenants that I would not be renewing my lease with her. At first I was going to just increase the rent to “encourage” her to move out but instead I decided to just not renew it which I have the legal right to do so. Besides the fact that her dog destroyed my backyard just something about her personality didn’t sit right with me. I couldn’t pinpoint it until her boyfriend told me that she thinks my heart is set on “f*cking up” her life. That statement made me laugh. With enough ex-husbands and the like hating me, being a single parent and working on my own thing I really don’t have much time to care about her life. I remember when I gave her notice about the increased rent. She took it personal and basically said “well I’ll be moving out anyway.”
There were a lot of things that happened from that time until the time I decided to non-renew. For instance she lied on many occasions about her dog. When she needed things fixed she was uncommunicative and not clear on what needed to be fixed. I can’t fix something if I’m not told whether it is fixed or not. I think the last straw was when I needed the lawn for the property mowed and her dog was in the backyard. My mother called to tell me they can’t get in the yard. When I called her she outright lied to me about her dog being in the yard when my mom was standing in the back of my house watching everything going on and telling me about it on the phone. After I notified her about the non-renewal she started texting me back and whining about her life, paying for school etc. She spent all of her respect credits and it was time she put on her big girl panties and take responsibility for the fact that she can’t control her dog. I gave her to the end of January but her pride and ego was so important that she had to move out by the first of the year – her way of trying to “f*ck me” over. I say thank you for moving out earlier, now I can fix everything that got broke and rent it out to someone more responsible.
We make the most of our decisions
Do I miss the extra income coming in? Yes but I prepared for it. While you can’t prepare for everything your attitude matters a lot. So be mindful of how you handle things emotionally and make your decisions by thinking with your heart and feeling with your mind. Sometimes the long term benefit far outweighs the short term gain.
Have you ever blamed someone else for why you were late, lost an opportunity, etc.? How did you handle it?