I recently pestered my husband with the classic, “Are you ok?” when I habitually asked it twice in a really short period of time. He said, “It makes me angry when you do that. How many times are you going to ask me within 5 minutes?” And I truly understood, what he said wasn’t wrong. So I told him I needed a minute and I really did some reflection by going upstairs and taking some time alone. I am too wound up in him and I need some separation in general. It struck me that I’m always looking for ways to take care of him, to move through something that is “wrong”, and to fix something. I’m always prepared for my life to fall apart and I don’t know how to enjoy it. So I do appreciate him snapping when it comes to that revelation.
During that evening alone, I realized a few other things too. Like I’m always asking him if something is wrong because I’ve set the tone it’s my job to fix things. Like I’m so conditioned to be dealing with crisis that I automatically expect everything to be bad. Like I’m conditioned that way from previous events in our relationship that he will never acknowledge. Like he will never recognize his role in the trauma he caused in my life. Like I need to worry more about if I’M ok and start addressing that over his concerns. He takes care of himself.
That latter part bothered me as well. We’ve been together 20 years and he still feels the need to keep that facet of his life separate. He will take care of himself over the family every time. It made me angry for a long time. I can accept that I need to take better care of myself instead of focusing on him. I’m not his mother. I used to say that in the context of me “having” to fix things but now I say it in the context of I need to take care of myself and he is a grown man. He will figure it out whether it looks how I think it should or not. He doesn’t need me and I need to make myself stronger so I don’t need him in the same way. I’ve still been in the damsel in distress mode when I needed to remember what I was capable of.
I also need to remember that as I grow, he is growing too. It doesn’t necessarily mean we are growing together and only time will tell on that. But I KNOW I will not be gaslit into believing that these energetic shifts aren’t happening. I can see them and I can feel them. Those moments of needing to be apart more and looking for other outlets and other people. The silent phone conversations where we really don’t have much to say. Or the distracted conversations where he pretends to be interested. We are changing and our needs are different. I HAVE to allow that. It isn’t his job to jump up and fill in where I am lacking, even if I did that for him. It’s my job to take care of myself and develop who I am. Wherever the cards fall, that is where they are meant to be.
So in the context of “OK,” I’m sort of alright. I feel good and I really have no animosity toward him. It hurts, yes, but I can keep it in perspective. This is one of those things that I will need to work on correcting for myself. I’m highly sensitive so I know when something is wrong even if it isn’t major. But I have to accept that even if something IS wrong, I may not be the one needed to fix it—even if I can. It’s about backing out and finding where I am needed and when. I can be the savior to everyone, but they may not need me—and that is ok. I know I’m not alone in this behavior. So…what can we do for ourselves to find our center again? What will make us ok?