Sunday, August 17, 2014

Growing Gardens in Marriage (no scales needed)

Good Enough? Scarcity?  to Vulnerability? Abundance? Power?
What an amazing day. I have so much to be grateful for. I love how we have such amazing potential to create our lives.

So last night we went to bed with a heavy weight. Hubby asked if I felt understood. I said I didn't. He was shocked. He said all I have been doing is listening and trying to understand you. "but I don't feel you truly understand". He then gets defensive and has to justify how I "should feel understood". It is how I feel and getting defensive about how I "should feel" does not help me feel any more understood. He agreed and we agreed to disagree. He left to go watch TV.

This morning we were laying in bed and he was surprised that I still felt the same as I did the night before. He goes on to tell me about how on Monday and Tuesday he put in a special effort to talk to me. Didn't that count? I said that is was then. I am in the present. This is what we are dealing with now. We need to go through it and not pretend it doesn't exist.

After quite a bit of time, a light bulb went on in my head. The greatest insight I have ever had to understanding my husband. He has life on a scale. A SCALE!!! I was shocked.

He thought that life was on a balance scale. It was really on a subconsious level. He knew that the atonment paid for all our sins but he also saw everything on a scale.
We are taught that we sin and through the atonment our sins are taken care of and satisfied.

The problem is that if you see all your life on a scale. My husband saw our relationship on a scale. He saw that if his wrongs were balanced with right living he was OK. He would constantly tell me his "right living" and I didn't care. I could care less that he took out the garbage and did a load of laundry. For example: If I am hurting because of a lie or deceit, It has little meaning that he did something good. I was suffering from the deceit. He would then go on how he was never good enough. It does not matter how much he did he was never good enough. What??? I have been confused by this for 20 years until TODAY!!! He saw our relationship on a scale. If he did wrong, then it was made up by right. I never saw our relationship on a scale. No wonder he saw that he was never good enough. No wonder he had to defend himself to prove that he was "good enough" and the scale balanced.

This model he had in his mind was killing him literally. HE IS NEVER GOOD ENOUGH!!! I said for 20 years I have seen our marriage as a garden. Actually I see us as each having a garden that we must each tend to. There is also a marriage garden that must be tended to together. The problem is ours looks like this:

He never saw the garden we were growing. Only our marriage on a scale of if he balanced good and bad. We talked for hours. It was so healing to finally understand his thinking. It was so powerful to see that he was balancing weeds and flowers. He was able to see for the first time that his infidelity could not be balanced on a scale. It was a weed in our marriage garden and had to be pulled. And when it is pulled we must plant flowers to crowd out the weeds and when weeds sprout we need to pull them small. Our garden has 20 year old weeds that are still there.

link: "  In relationships, we can be 1) dependent, where we rely on the other individual to take care of our needs and make them responsible for our joy; 2)independent where we rely solely upon ourselves to satisfy our needs, including our joy, or 3) interdependent where we as autonomous, cooperative participants rely on each other.Interdependence is being mutually responsible to, and sharing a common set of principles with your companion.It should not be confused with dependence, because dependence implies that each person in the relationship cannot function or survive apart from one another. Neither should it be confused with co-dependence. Co-dependence is when a person is extremely emotionally and psychologically reliant on their partner. It is characterized by extremely passive or excessively caretaking behaviors that adversely affect your relationship and quality of life.”
It has been an amazing 2 weeks. As I sat in the bishops office 2 weeks ago saying I was well (as he says no) and the therapist the next day amazing things happened. I had sent an email full of cognitive distortions: Mind-reading, all or nothing, labeling, over-generalization (never-ending pattern of defeat), fortune-telling, blame, magnification, all or nothing thinking, emotional reasoning. It was 4 am when I sent it. It seemed really well thought out at the time. When I sat down after my therapist responded with a concern over my distortions. The next day I looked at them and I saw them all. It was amazing. I then rephrased them in my head with more accurate statements. It still hurt to find the history but I saw it in a new light.
My reality has not been my reality again. This time I think I am well enough to leave well. No panic inside. No tears- yes those have dried up to.
Below was the only history I could find on hubby's phone. It is all YouTube history that I am sure he forgot to delete. I am sure anything else was done on his incognito web browsing. His apps are set to no filters.
I think I need to leave him. He will never be honest or faithful to me. He stays lots at work late and I am not sure what he does there either. I don't' care. 
Tonight he was messing with a flashlight on his phone and it looked like he was taking pictures or video of me and then said it was just his flashlight- seem suspicious cause I immediately asked to see his phone and he wouldn't till done messing with it. I finally get the phone and then he panics and grabs it back from me and I am trying to get away. Of course he is stronger and just completely loses it.
 He is a fake, a liar, and a narcissist. Smooth on the outside but inside there is no transparency. 
I think I am strong enough and healthy enough to leave this time and leave well. I can't stay any longer. It just seems not fair to my own health and wellbeing. I have suspected for a while but I have kept a strong focus of self-compassion and self-growth.
He is extremely defensive and plays games with my thinking. I see them now. He watched TV till 4 am Saturday night and I am suppose to go to work feeling comfortable. He watch until 2 am Sunday. I hid the remotes Sunday morning because I was tired of battling the TV. He got upset and said i was deceiving, controlling, etc and I said to him,"I am not sure what I am, but I will talk to Kendal on Tuesday to clarify those points; but I am not telling you where the remotes are because I am tired to the TV on most of the time.
Later tonight about midnight the whole episode with the phone happened and I demanded to see the phone. He was physically aggressive because he was in panic.
I just feel as a daughter of God and a human being, that I can say I have done my best and it is time to leave. I just don't deserve this kind of treatment any longer.
Any advice or words of guidance I would appreciate very much.He does not even know I found these things. I just want to handle this the best way.
Titles: I listed titles of videos (not a PG-13 rating)

In therapy the therapist could see I was doing well. I had cried and talked. Now I was ready to see a path forward. We talked and I felt a desire to not do anything rash. I could see that I had capacity. I felt strong. I felt I had worked through my distortions and could see more acurately my reacting and panic. I then asked, "so when I leave (therapy) what am I suppose to do". He prefaced that it would be not be easy but that he wanted me to go home, give him a kiss and a hug and show him lots of love with right intent and hope he would be attracted to the light I had.  I laughed (literally). He said he did preface it. Then the miricle started in my heart. We talked about intent. I had been learning lots about intent and it felt so good inside. This is what I wanted but seemed impossible. He talked about boundries. He said when i walked in over a year ago my grass was dead and trompled because I had no boundries. He talked about the power i had now. He talked about how with my health I could make my boundries what ever I wanted because they were mine. I could have sex when I wanted or not when I didn't want. he talked about how i could move my boundry and go home and show love and all because i had power. My husband is a people pleaser. If I used this for good he would maybe see that love and move closer. It was a risk I was willing to take. To be VULNERABLE because it was my CHOICE!!!

So I left his office to drive home. All fear left. My heart felt good. I felt love fill me. Yes, I have grown. I have practiced self-compassion that I had space and room in my heart to be vulnerable. To possibly find growth. To have faith (law of attraction) that I could LOVE the UNLOVEABLE. To trust in my creative capacity of my mind that could create a wonderful marriage. A garden vision of flowers. This is how I have started seeing my life; my personal garden. A life of joy, happiness, and peace. 
2 weeks have passed now and growth has occurred. It has been amazing. We talked about how I came home that day last night. He was so amazed. He said he felt so loved. He wondered what happened to me. He wanted to do better. He came home from work earlier to spend time with me. He came home to talk. We were planting flowers. Yes, I saw our marriage as a garden. A place to plant flowers, pull weeds, and cultivate growth. I saw this garden as separate from my person garden but interconnected. I saw us pulling weeds and planting more flowers. I loved how it felt these last few weeks. 

Then we started discussing sex. SEX is a tough subject. He wanted to understand me and my pain. This led us on a journey of him listening to me how I feel. I was able to tell him about how my vision of our garden and then the light went off in my head when I saw the scale. It allowed justification for sin because if I was not nice he could be not have to worry because it was my fault. The scale would tip and he could plant weeds because he was not in a garden. This same thinking was carried to his entire life. Work was difficult because he was never good enough. If he didn't show that he was "good enough", he was demoralized at work. It was always a competition. He was always trying to be better than so and so but they always found something to tip his scale that showed he was NOT "good enough". Of course we are never enough. He will NEVER DO enough at work. They are a project based company. They are paid by the project. 

I asked if he could possibly see work as a garden and not a scale. See your job as something you create. Use Law of Attraction, Manifesting, Creating to do your job better and not the "label" of "Am I enough?" through competition and doing. Projects are about creation. Create something great and enjoy doing it. No competition and no comparison. Only abundance. Use the power of the mind to create abundance at work. No stress in that view only amazing growth. The view of a scale of Scarcity. It is moving to an abundance Mindset:

Below is how I worked at clearing my mind of heaviness on Saturday. I used nonviolent communication as my model for working through my issues. You can see my transition from victim to empowerment.

I slept til 9 am this morning and I woke with a feeling of heaviness and weight. First I called my mom last night and find out she is heading toward Utah with a guy she has known for a month, met only once  (this weekend), and is already talking marriage. I talk to him on the phone. He is outgoing and talkative. Been married twice- once for 30ish years to a muli-personality disorder and 2nd for 6ish years that ended mutually. I see RED flags. We have come from similar situations my mom says....yes, of course they have both been victims. That is drama triangle thinking. That is not the way to see it. She was just as much the problem as he was. In her previous marriages they were "both" on the drama triangle. She is a victim to her previous marriages but now is "healthy". Knowing someone for 4 weeks, met once,  and wanting to marry them is NOT healthy.

Second thing weighing on my mind is my own relationship. I pulled back on my boundaries again. I had jumped them forward and felt vulnerable but last night I pulled them way back. I felt triggered. My husband said he was "trying" not to have sexual needs but it not what I have a problem with. I want to have sex with my husband. I love feeling close and connected sexually. We went out late and just got some dessert. It was nice and I was able to talk to him about my concerns regarding my mom. He saw all the red flags as well. Yes, marriages don't just split amicably. If you are happy together then there is no need to split. If he was talking of his problems it would feel a little better but I think they are connecting to their past dramas and it has ignited a teenage drama of both victims and both rescuing each other from their recent broken marriages.

When we got home at 10ish, we were getting ready for bed. My husband had the noisy box fan on and it drives me crazy. I asked him to turn it off several times and reluctantly agreed. I finally said sarcastically, "you can sleep on the couch with the fan or in here with no fan (except ceiling fan)". He walks back in and says, "I like the pillows in here better". Speaking of my breasts. I felt immediately triggered and not safe. I felt an immediately withdraw in my heart. I felt objectified by those words. I don't have a problem that he likes my breast. I just have a problem that he "tries" to not...??? Not sure of the words exactly.

It becomes very evident in the way he acts and there is almost a hidden sexual energy that he has and denies. I just wish we could talk about sex and find sexual healing. Instead we just walk around the subject like it does not exist. We have sex every 6-8 weeks because that is the distance in between connection. I just feel a patience.

 I wish I could just not let that comment bother me. I wish I didn't feel objectified at that moment. He takes it all very personal and has no understanding of the pain that rises in my body. My betrayal trauma that became triggered by those words. An example from the previous week shows what is possible with empathy: It was like running into the video game cover last week and an email he sent, and when I talked with him about it he listened and empathized. He put some of himself forward and showed some vulnerability. It did wonders to healing that day.

Last night was the opposite. He was defensive and not empathetic towards my trigger. He starts thinking "all or nothing". He starts to point out every good thing he has done like it is on a scale of weights.See what I did on such and such days.  (funny I didn't see this when I wrote it that it was actually true. It just seems crazy to have such a mindset) It really bugs me when he does that because I could care less about that. It does not make all well because you did all that on those other days like it makes up for how I feel right now. It does makes up or erases that I felt objectified in that moment. It does not promote healing to get defensive about what "great" or "good" things you have done. It does not change that I felt objectified at this moment. If he could have been present with me in my pain it would have been easier to go through it then ignore it. It is like a wave is crashing toward me and then he sits on the side saying it is no big deal because he is only in ankle deep water. Wanting me to look at the waves from 3 days ago.
I used an article to help me process my thinking:

Self Empathy can provide profound self-understanding....our minds assigns meaning to everything we experience...emotions stimulated and, when triggered, we seem to forget who the other person is to us, all the needs met by that relationship and what we want....react- blame self or other person. Neither effective. Long-term trigger patterns and self-protective strategies take over.

Yes this is what happened to me last night. I felt triggered and and need to protect myself. I became of afraid of husband and the "unknown". 

Whenever we focus on what we don't like, we create resistance and lose connection to our needs, thus preventing us from taking actions that will meet them. React instead of act. The more we uphold a consciousness of needs as motivators of our actions, the more we empower ourselves to choose responses in line with our values. 

HOW??? In article they say that I should live from a need-based consciousness by having Self-Empathy.
step 1. ACKNOWLEDGE: events and people stimulate my feelings- they did not cause my feelings. This is my reaction. I reacted by assigning meaning (mental processing) after the stimulus and then I link it to some form of assessment of a need I have that is "met or unmet". This is the pause between a stimulus and my response. This will empower me to have choice and reduce my reactive behaviors.

When hubby said what he did last night it stimulated a feeling in me. He did not cause my feelings. I reacted subconsciously to what he said. What need did I have that I processed as being unmet? I am looking at "universal Human Needs list" and I would say my need for security (emotional) and sense of self (dignity) were triggered.

2. Take a few deep breathes- this will calm my body. I know this. It happened so fast I had so little time. It just shows how I passed judgement so quickly to the situation.

So if I go back and take a few breaths and see my judgments. (he is objectifying me. He only came home for sex. I don't know who his is. etc) and observe them without censoring or identifying with them. I stand back from them and just observe what my feelings and needs may be

4.  Practice- takes time and practice to develop and find space in head to observe without reacting to our reactive minds. Then to have self-compassion with my feelings and needs by connecting to them and the energy alive in me at that moment. This will lead to relief, self-understanding, and self-care.

BRAIN SCIENCE- Stress (fear) will cause me to distort (for example I was really good at mind reading yesterday), go to past events and fear future. I left the present moment and was left with intense emotions, distance, withdrawal, unable to self-reflect (I was a victim to his words and lost my peace) and was unable to consider his point of view (cause I know he objectifies from his history and he could not convince me otherwise) - called empathy.

Can you believe practicing Self-Empathy I can have POWER:
- I can be true to my life in me, my intentions, and my values
- I can use my inner resources to be in the present moment.
- I can have compassion to those who exhibited behavior that stimulated feelings in me that can be tense and uncomfortable.

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