Posts Tagged ‘Self-worth’

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. 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.

As everyone knows I had my results appointment with the neuropsychologist on Friday. I was nervous and exited to hear the results. I was hoping to find out what was wrong with my memory and cognitive issues. I was expecting to discover problems in this area and learn ways to improve my issues. I am embarrassed and ashamed by the results. The doctor did not go over any of my cognitive or memory results he just pulled out my MMPI and based everything off of that. It is the results of my MMPI which has me embarrassed, ashamed, and confused.

I just had an MMPI a month ago administered by my therapist. The results came back as “exaggerated.” My therapist told me there is no way anyone could have all the symptoms I answered on my test. I was bothered by this because it made me question if what I have been feeling or experiencing were not real and I was just exaggerated or making them up. I knew I over analyzed the question so I figured maybe that was why. My therapist re-asked me some of the questions on the test, and with her explanation I would have chosen a different answer. I took the MMPI to find my correct diagnosis, and the diagnosis is I have no diagnosis because I have been making my symptoms up in my head. This still twists me up inside because everything I have been and still feel are not real. I have been twisted because I do not know why I am making these symptoms up. This means when I am dealing with the alternate me; I am making the alternate me up in my head???

I was excited when the neuropsychologist was including the MMPI as one of my tests. I was determined to not even think about the questions just answer them based off my first response. I was cruising along answering question after question. I ended up finishing the test in half the time it took me the first time. I felt satisfied with my answerers and was confident the results would show my diagnosis. I again was wrong, disappointed, and further frustrated.

The doctor sat my wife and me down and pulled out the MMPI. He showed the right side of the results showing I suffer from bad depression and anxiety. He showed me the left side indicating why it showed exaggerated. He said out of every question I only answered one question showing myself in a positive light. I answered every other question in negativity about myself. The doctor said with such depression and anxiety it is no wonder why I have been having memory and cognitive issues. He went on to explain very bluntly about his thoughts.

He told me I think so poorly of myself I let it affect every area of my life. He said I needed to be taken care of but I should not need to be that way. He went on to say I do not pull my equal amount of help in any of my relationships. I will depend on my wife to do everything because I have such little faith in my ability. He said I need to stop painting myself in such a helpless role and take accountability for every aspect in my life. The good news is he said this can be changed and fixed over time. If I am able to work with my therapist and build up my self-esteem and self-worth; in time these issues will work themseves out. The way I have been living my life caused me to take these results in a negative way. He stated because of the way I feel about myself even the smallest criticisms become devastating to me. He advised me I need to stop relying on the praises from people to define my self-worth as a person. I became down on myself, and confused why I have felt the way I have felt.

I ended up crying during the results which is very unlike me. It takes an enormous amount of sorrow to bring tears to my eyes. I am sick to my stomach just typing this post. These last few tests have shattered the world I have known. To me these results show I do not have a mental illness. I feel my diagnosis is lazy and co-dependant. If I try to look at this in a positive way it means I can stop taking all my medications. My med doctor pumps me full of medication. I am taking mood stabilizers, ADD meds, anti-anxiety pills, antipsychotics, and medicine to help me sleep. I feel like the only reason I need these meds because I think I do. I really do not have memory problems, confusion, and disorientation; these things are all made up. I do not suffer from Bi-polar with psychotic episodes. My mania is not real, the delusions are fake, and all my emotions are fabrications. If this is true why should I continue taking these meds? I do know I am going to stop taking many of them.

On Friday I attended a high school football game because my daughter was dancing at halftime. I was over taken by anxiety, panic, and paranoia. I began expressing my feelings. I felt the person sitting behind me was pulling at my brain. I could feel and see everyone staring at me. I could hear them talk about me. I started counting all the numbers of the football players over and over again. How fucked up am I if I was just pretending these things to be true?

I was told by a few people who read my book how my words and experiences have helped them cope with their mental illness. I was told my words were inspirational. What does this mean? I am a fake, I am an imposter. How can I continue writing feelings and emotions which are not even real? How can my words ever be taken at face value? How can anyone ever trust my words? How can I ever believe my feelings and emotions? I just recently came to grips with my mental illness, and accepted my limitations. I went into these tests to find an answer to my problems, and the answer was I am my own problem. This whole thing is seriously fucking me up. If this is the case are my feelings of being fucked up even real?