one of my friends posted this on facebook a few days ago, and another one shared it, then I shared it, and then someone else shared it from me posting it. it obviously hit home for a lot of us. it’s definitely made me think.
One of the paragraphs that most resonated with me:
The subtext to everything I was saying was simple: “You are behaving in a way that I find inconvenient, and I want to you to stop.” I wasn’t willing to engage with her emotionally and address her very real concerns because I was too wrapped up in my own shit to think about other people. As a result, I would minimize her issues. By telling her that she was reading too much into things, I was framing the situation as her being irrational.
The rest of the article…well, parts of it scared me. I was a middle-class, suburban, stay-at-home-mom. Even though this was not the first instance I’ve seen this, I still am not supposed to read an article that describes behavior my then-husband exhibited during the marriage which is then labeled as abusive and controlling.
it makes me wonder how real was my marriage?
I didn’t realize it at the time, but what I was doing was, in effect, telling her that she didn’t have the right to feel the way she felt… because I didn’t want her to feel that way.
I will tell you, from decades of experience, not just with the ex, but from my father as well, that having someone do that to you is so incredibly damaging. Because my dad thought he was parenting well and raising me to be “lady-like” I grew up thinking that showing emotions was wrong, which to me as a child meant feeling “too much” was wrong.
And so, I went into my marriage believing that I had to hide most of my emotions so that I would be lovable, and loved. How sad is it that I accepted the responsibility and blame for inconveniencing my then-husband with my emotions that he didn’t want to deal with.
Holy hell, how damaged is that?