I think it is an understatement when I say that Nick and I have some relationship issues. We’ve been struggling along together since we found out I was pregnant back in 2008. Things were really bad for a long time but things have been better more recently. Unfortunately though, since Dessa has been born we’ve been struggling again. We’re both tired and stressed and things are sliding back to where we were.
This sliding back has made me feel like things are back where we were. Because of this I’ve noticed myself shutting Nick out and brining up things that I know are likely to lead to a fight or disagreement. I feel resentful towards him, like I want a fight. I also feel myself growing more and more sensitive to the small things and taking everything so personal. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been a defensive person (a glorious gift from my upbringing) but nowadays I’m defensive about everything.
I only recognized this after an epic fight that Nick and I had. I started a touchy conversation on people being honest, which inevitably led to a conversation about our relationship. When our relationship issues come up it’s like World War 3 is starting. Nick and I have 2 very different perspectives on our issues. so talking about them always seems to end in a fight and then a few days of giving each other the cold shoulder.
Nick always owns up to cheating and owns that it was wrong but when he talks about how he was feeling during those times I feel like he is making excuses for his behavior or is blaming me. This sets me off to be defensive. I stop listening and start proving that what he is saying is “wrong”. I can’t say for sure but I’m guessing this makes Nick feel like he has to defend himself and his feelings which turns everything into a catch-22. I know that Nick has told me during and after a fight that he feels more alone and that it feels easier to just not say anything. I get why he would feel that way but when I hear that it scares me. I feel like he is going to shut me out and cheat again. So why I continue to fight instead of just listen I don’t know.
I don’t know how other people move past the hurt and humiliation either. I know at some point, if I want this relationship to work, I’m going to have to come to terms with what Nick did and move forward. My only hang up is I don’t know how to get to that point. I feel like the next logical step would be to go to some kind of counseling. I did individual counseling for a while and it was fine but it didn’t really help with my relationship. I’ve thought about going back to marriage counseling but I’m hesitant because we’ve been to marriage counseling a lot and Nick never seems to truthful. There have been so many times where we’ve gone to marriage counseling and Nick has lied and because of those lies we didn’t get the real help we needed. I see Nick trying to do things right which makes me wonder if we did go back would things be different. I want to believe that this time would be different but there is so much history that this time wouldn’t be.
I guess what I’m getting at is, that I now know I need to listen more than react. I need to be thinking more about what I can do and less about what I think Nick should be doing. I need to be more mindful about what type of person I want to be. I can’t control what Nick does, says or feels but I can listen, try to understand and see if I can move forward with him. I shouldn’t be thinking about how to make Nick a better person. I should be focusing on how I can make myself a better person. I need to stop being a victim of what happened to me and start being whole again. I need to hold myself accountable for the problems I’ve made in this relationship and make personal improvements to change them. Having that big fight made me understand what I’ve been doing wrong for so long. It was a lesson learned and I hope to grow from it.