Then – 1/24/2004
“I am so tired of being the leader. I would love to be partners in the true sense of the word; where I can say ‘tag you’re it’ and things will be taken care of.
I’m SO tired of having to tell ‘Carl’ what to do. It’s a catch-22 because when I leave him alone he does nothing and I get frustrated; when I tell him what I need him to do I get frustrated because I don’t want to be his mother. The other day I had to go out for something and he asked me about what time to feed the kids; he could have decided on his own but he kept asking me what time to feed the kids. I told him he could decide because he was the parent home with them and he kept asking me what time to feed the kids. I told him that it didn’t matter and that whatever HE decided would be fine……and he kept asking me what time to feed the kids. I walked out of the house mumbling to myself and trying to figure out how to continue doing this.
So here is the vicious cycle: he doesn’t take charge of anything so I become more disgusted. I become more disgusted so he gets into more of a depression. He gets into more of a depression so I get more disgusted.”
Now – 3/20/11
Reading that entry now, I can feel my stomach twisting in knots. My ex-mother in law was very controlling while my ex-husband was a child and as an adult, so I inherited the effects of her disempowering behavior when I married him. Ironically, I had always been an independent, take-charge type person so for a long time it didn’t dawn on me that this could be an issue in my marriage; until it was.
I can look back now and have a level of compassion for him that I couldn’t have back then. I can see that he was also caught up in a vicious cycle, trying to come to terms with the marriage ending, his revelation about his alcohol addiction and feeling like a failure. I do see that now, but at the time I had so many things on my plate that I was slowly coming to a mental and emotional breaking point.
I believe that everything happens for a reason and that there was a reason that ‘Carl’ couldn’t step up and take charge of things like I needed him to. It was part of our journey and part of the lessons we were meant to learn. He is remarried now, as am I, and I only pray that the vicious cycle we both were caught up in with each other became more functional and empowering in his new relationship.
The light at the end of the tunnel is that I chose to remarry a man who has my back and knows how to support me and take charge without direction. The cycle has finally been broken.
Next week – Driving myself crazy