Posts Tagged ‘Relationship Issues’

What We Learn From Failed Relationships

Posted: May 27, 2014 in Absolute Truth, Abuse, Anxiety, Arguments, Blog, Blogging, Change, Childhood, Children, Coping, Crisis, Culture, Dating, Debates, Depression, Diary, Dilemma, Divorce, Dreams, Emotional Abuse, Ethics, Evil, Faith, Family, Fatherhood, Fear, Forgiveness, Freedom, Fun, Greed, Grief, Growing up in abusive homes, Health, Humor, Inside My Mind, Journal, Kids, Learning, Lies and broken promises, Life, Lists, Living Your Dream, Logic, Love, Lust, Marriage, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Misc, miscellaneous, Moral Theories, Morals, Motivation, Mourning, NA, Opinion, Pain, Parent, Parenting, Personal, Philosophy, Poems, Poetry, Published Author, Quotes, Random, Random Thoughts, Rants, Rejection, Relationship Issues, Relationships, Sadness, Self-esteem, Self-Help, Self-image, Social Anxiety, Social Debates, Society, Sorrow, Spirituality, Stress, Suffering, The Invention of Lying, The Philosophy of Lyrics, The Philosophy of Quotes, Things That Give Me Anxiety, Thoughts, Top Ten Lists, Uncategorized, Unity, Verbal Abuse, Writing
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I would first like to start off by thanking all of my readers and subscribers. I learned today; I have readers from 61 different countries. I think that’s pretty bad ass. I am aware that my readership grew from the topics of philosophy, theology, and madness. So bear with me as I stray a bit from those topics. Today I would like to release that which has been permeating in my mind. I would like ponder for a moment the importance of learning from our mistakes in a failed relationship. Through all of this I am trying to maintain a positive attitude and outlook. So here we go.

The one thing I can say with out a doubt is I am far from sainthood. I have made my more than my fair share of mistakes, and bad decisions which played a role in the overall destruction of my marriage. I am ashamed and consumed with intense guilt because of this. This combined with my wife’s lies, and infidelity has allowed me to see the light. I am sure I could write a 200 page paper on this topic, but I will try to keep this short and sweet.

There are 10 main things I have learned in my failed marriage. Now mind you there are far more than 10, but as I said this is not a 200 page dissertation on my failed marriage. I will do my best to not place blame, because it doesn’t do anyone any good. Some things on this list will undoubtedly overlap, even though this is the case I feel each one deserves to be mentioned. Without further ado here is my list of 10 things I learned from my failed marriage.

  1. Never Lie: I did a lot of research after I found out about what my wife did. I learned that in humans our first response when we know we have done something wrong, that will ultimately lead to a negative outcome our immediate response is to lie. We do this for two reasons one we want to avoid conflict, and two we don’t want to get in trouble. Since I am a proponent of the tabula rasa theory (mind being born as a blank slate.) I feel this is a trait we learn as children, which carries over into adulthood. Lying to your partner no matter how small is a terrible idea. We can overcome this childish trait, by knowing our partner as well as ourselves, focus on understanding and know that mistakes are actually learning opportunities.
  2. Never Cheat: I think this one doesn’t need further explanation. It’s a painful and shitty thing to do to those we love. Even if (insert some attractive famous person) wanted to be with you, nothing is worth hurting the one you love.
  3. Trust: it should go without saying that if the two things listed above are followed then trust shouldn’t be an issue. Unfortunately we all carry the baggage of past hurt, what we need to realize is who ever we are with now is not the person who caused us hurt in the past. I would imagine it would be a good idea to be open and honest about these past hurts. A relationship that is not built on trust is like trying to build a house of cards on a windy day, neither of these two examples will be successful. The perfect advice one can give in fostering trust in a relationship is this; if you would not say or do something if your partner was there with you, then you definitely shouldn’t do it.
  4. Accept and Love Each Other For All Their Good Qualities, As Well As Their Flaws: let’s admit it people, no one is perfect, and those who claim to be are probably the most screwed up of them all. Initially I am sure that we all fall in love with our mates good qualities. During the “courting” or “honeymoon” phase of a relationship, it is kind of like interviewing for a job, you really are not being completely honest your just trying to get the “job.” As the relationship progresses and begins to become serious is usually when we start to notice each others flaws. The important thing is that we learn to love that person regardless of their flaws. In fact I believe our flaws can become the most exciting part of a relationship. When you love the good qualities along with the flaws you know you have found true love; when everything seems to fit like a glove.
  5. Never Put Your Partner Down and Break Their Will: this topic has a lot to do with item number four. There are just two things I would like to add. The first is from an article by John Gottman, PhD in an article titled “4 Signs of A Troubled Marriage” Here is the link.http://affiliatedpsychologicalservices.com/4-signs-of-a-troubled-marriage/ Gottman talks about “The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse” which are clear signs you are headed for a divorce. The first two he brings up is “Criticism” and “Contempt.” If anyone out there grew up in an abusive home where as a child you were faced with these two horsemen, having to deal with such things in a marriage is a key ingredient in a divorce. If you tell someone something negative about them enough times, with the right amount of nastiness it is only natural the other party will believe what they are being told, and inevitable this is who they will see when they look into the mirror. I don’t think people are aware of how serious the long term damage can be. My second point comes from a line from the song “Weight of The World” by Blue October. “Don’t bother changing things that won’t give into changing.” It is one thing to help your partner grow and become the best person they can be, but in the process don’t try to change who they are inside. If you are hell bent on trying to force someone to change, there is always medication. If this is your goal please take to heart one of my quotes “Medication is to fix the people we don’t like.” If you feel you need to medicate your partner, it’s time to call it quits.
  6. Freedom: As your relationship grows, it is imperative that you do not take away your partners freedom. When I say freedom I am not referring to allowing your partner to go out all the time neglecting the relationship, and engaging in behaviors which fall into the first three categories I listed. When I say freedom, I say that it is clearly healthy to share and be with each other, but it is also healthy to have a respectful life outside of the relationship. I have made this deadly mistake in one of my relationships, and I have now been on the receiving end of how damaging smothering and isolating your partner can be. If your relationship is built on a strong foundation of trust and respect this should be something you encourage each other to do. I have always admired the relationship between my best friend of 26 years and his lovely wife. I will not mention names, but I truly hope one day I can figure out whatever their secret is, and apply it to my future relationships. I am going to encourage them to write a book.
  7. Support Their Dreams: There is nothing more precious and sacred than some ones hopes and dreams. For some our dreams appear to us when we are young, others do not fully realize their dreams until they discover who they are. When I was young I had the normal boyhood dreams to become a professional football or baseball player, unfortunately like normal boys those dreams were not meant to be. Beyond those two options, I really didn’t have anything else that drove or inspired me, until the 5th grade. Long story short I ended up doing many writing assignments and I remember my teacher signing my year book, saying she could one day see something I have written being published. I was not a very well behaved child, so positive reinforcement from the teachers I tormented was rare, but from that moment my dream changed. I wanted to become a professional writer. As I grew older I held onto this dream, and wrote in private. I never thought anything I would write would be read let alone published. Again long story short one of my poetry books was published, I started this blog, wrote two children’s books, and two other poetry books. Needless to say this was the greatest I had ever felt about myself, because I accomplished something I never thought I could… my dream. I did not receive support from my partner, and in fact was highly put down and discouraged from continuing to write, until finally I had no option but to stop writing. The details behind this are not important at this moment.
  8. Open & Honest Communication: You would think this is a no brainier, but for my marriage and I would imagine many others this proved to be too challenging to overcome and sowed the seeds to our divorce. I feel if you have all seven of these things listed above then number eight would be a given, but if you take out one or two of the above it makes communication a challenge. I avoided and ran away from open and honest communication. I could make a laundry list for why, but this is already becoming too long of a post. Mainly I was afraid to honestly look in the mirror, I was scared I was going to receive an unhealthy dose of items four and five. Regardless of those reasons it is on me for failing in this aspect of our marriage. I need to take ownership for this, and like everything listed learn to not make the same mistakes. It is very difficult and challenging for me to be social, and communicate even with those closest to me. I know this is something I need to work on, but what always ends up playing over and over in my mind is the Pink Floyd lyrics from the song “The Final Cut” which I will add at the end.
  9. Be A Selfless Lover: This is actually one area where I have and feel the most accomplished. I felt I needed to add this, because in my experience men in general put their intimacy needs, or the final “outcome” before their partners. I will not go into detail in case my mom is reading this, but as men our primary focus and goal when it comes to being intimate is placing our partners needs before ourselves. Any man can do his business and be on his way, but this is a man who has failed. When it comes to intimacy your only goal and desire should be the feelings and ultimate “outcome” of your partners needs. Everything else should be secondary.
  10. Find Your Genuine Light: Tomorrow I am going to post a quick poem describing the meaning behind this comment. I do not believe in soul mates. I do not believe there is only one true love for everyone. I believe for everyone, there exists many individuals who could be considered your genuine light. I believe they are rare, but they are out there. My advice is if you feel you are holding your genuine light, don’t let them slip away because you cannot be certain another one will come around to light up your life.

 

“And if I show you my dark side
Will you still hold me tonight?
And if I open my heart to you
And show you my weak side
What would you do?
Would you sell your story to Rolling Stone?
Would you take the children away
And leave me alone?
And smile in reassurance
As you whisper down the phone?
Would you send me packing?
Or would you take me home?”

Pink Floyd

These lyrics describe perfectly why it is so difficult for me to open up to people, which hinders my ability to effectively communicate.

Couples have vices they keep from their partners from time-to-time; some small and innocent, others major and destructive. They do this because the other one simply doesn’t understand the importance of this vice to the other one. Most men will hide the fact they like to watch porn and do the deed. For others it may be food, drugs, alcohol, or shopping. I am no different then these other people except my vice are energy drinks. I simply love them! The taste is phenomenal and I love the small pep they bring. These beverages are truly a gift from above. I applaud the makers of Redbull for introducing the world to the glorious possibilities energy drinks bring.  

The reason energy drinks are my shameful little secret is because my wife has a very stern stance on the beneficial and ritualistic nature of these drinks. I am not really sure why she has developed a disdain for these products.  She used to have no problems with me purchasing these items; I mean c’mon my drink of choice has always been vodka Redbulls. I do not understand her change of thought on this topic; I think it is from my moms endless speeches about how these drinks are bad for you (thanks mom.) I have now had to resort to getting these drinks anytime I venture out by myself, and quickly drink them before I get home. She knows I do this just like most woman know their husbands spank it to porn. She accepts that I will do this, and understands it is a necessary evil.

To a point I understand why she has made this stand. I am a creature of habit and routine. If my routine gets altered even a little bit I am overcome with stress and anxiety; causing me to become uber agitated. If I were to have an energy drink in the morning it wouldn’t be long until it becomes an everyday habit. I frankly do not see any issue with this, because it would be awesome to start my day off with a coffee and a few hours later savior a tasty treat. She is also under the impression these drinks are horrible for my health (thanks mom.) Here is another concept of this I disagree with. I understand I am on a boatload of meds, but these meds are far more destructive to my health and wellbeing than a daily energy drink.

I will try from time-to-time to slip an energy drink by her in the morning but I am always met with disapproval. I really wanted to try a five hour energy shot today to see what all the hype is about, but didn’t want to waste my time with the debate. I do not understand the appeal of porn, and I am emotionally scarred over masturbating. I do not hide food, because frankly could I get any worse. I stay as far away from shopping as possible. If it were up to me I would shop us into the poor house. There are certain things in a marriage you just concede on because a debate is not worth the hassle. I disagree with her but I respect her stance, which is why I hide drinking them in shame.

“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.”
Henri Frederic Amiel

Henri Frédéric Amiel (29 September 1821 – 11 May 1881) was a Swiss philosopher, professor, poet and critic. Amiel is best known for his book “Journal Intime,” which, was published after his death. In addition to the Journal, he produced several volumes of poetry, and wrote studies on Erasmus, Madame de Stael and other writers. Sometimes you come across quotes by people where there are gems right after another; Amiel is one of those people. Out of the 92 pages of quotes I have found; you will find Amiel’s to be in the top ten volumes wise. He was definitely a head of his time.

This quote personifies my own personal failures in my relationships. My wife always tells me that actions speak louder than words, and my appreciation for her personal sacrifices’ should be shown. I wonder why it’s so easy for me to say thank you for this or that, but I fail in showing her my gratitude. If thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude, and gratitude is the completion of thankfulness; then somewhere along the line I have failed in completing thankfulness.

I wonder how often gratitude is shown in our interpersonal relationships. I would imagine I am not the only person out there who has trouble with this. It is easy for us to say we appreciate and are thankful for what are partners do for us, but it is a completely different realm than showing gratitude for your partner. There is the famous quote “this to shall pass,” which many of us feel compelled to post in our homes or workspace. I think this quote qualifies as one people should read daily. Sometimes it is the lesser known quotes which hit us the hardest. Perhaps it is because it’s the first time we are hearing it, and can somehow relate to our own lives. It is as if the author is speaking directly to us, at the exact time we need to hear it.

Perhaps showing gratitude, love, appreciation, and affection is so hard for me because I do not feel that way about myself. There is a saying “you cannot love another, until you learn to love yourself.” If this were the case than I must not be thankful for my own life, keeping me from showing gratitude towards myself; although I am not sure how one would show gratitude for themselves. If this is not true than this paragraph is nonsense, and I am no closer to finding a solution to this conundrum I find myself in. Do I even know what gratitude is?

My wife always tells me the easiest way to show someone you care is by putting their needs before your own. I have difficulty achieving this because we have such different definitions of putting others before yourself. She believes this is an action done 100% of the time where I believe there needs to be a level of selfishness from time-to-time.

I do know one thing I am going to make a conscience effort to try and show my gratitude not only towards my wife, but for myself as well. If I do this though will the gratitude I have for myself result in selfishness? Do I even know the proper way to show gratitude? Is showing gratitude just giving a passionate hug, kiss on the cheek then saying thank you? I wish they would have taught things like this in school, not only gratitude, but also how to express sympathy, empathy, or even how to cry. There are times I feel really shitty about myself because these things always seem to go over my head.