I’ve been reading an eye-opening book, “Why do I keep doing that? Why do I keep doing that?” It has hit so close to home that it is really, really scary.
In one part, which was a true life story, it was suggested to express what you want and then listen to what happens.
Last night, in the spirit of listening to what is going on, I really paid attention to the “conversation” that went on between the two of us. It went something like this:
Him: Was it busy at the store today?
Me: Yeah, sorta. Especially since B. was sick.
Him: J. [his brother] just texted and said “blah, blah, blah.”
I made some response to that, and he responded back. We talked about J.’s text. Obviously my day wasn’t first on his mind. He then asked something else about my day. Oh, about the company Christmas party that evening. I replied and then he again started talking about something else in his day.
I don’t know. Maybe this is “normal.” But I don’t want it to be my normal. I want to be focused on, to know that I really, really am being listened to, not just a perfunctory question so he can get on with talking about himself. Yes, I am FINE with focusing on him, too. But quite honestly, the give and take simply is not there. He is always taking. Not ever really giving.
Then this morning, he wanted sex. I didn’t. I don’t want sex with him. It has been too hurtful emotionally for me for too long that I just don’t want sex with him. (Don’t get me wrong; I seriously still want sex. Just not with him.) So, I thought I would see what would happen if I told him what I wanted. I told him, “I don’t want to.” Very plain. Right? He was quiet and then he told me he was so horny and would I please reconsider. So I did what I usually do, (“Why do I keep doing that? Why do I keep doing that?”) and let him use me. And then I hated him and I hated myself and I went out driving and I cried and cried.
But obviously what he wanted was more important than what I wanted. Or didn’t want. I know that in a healthy relationship, there will be a continual give and take. That I would sacrifice for him and – this is really important – he would sacrifice for me. But this isn’t a healthy relationship and I don’t see him sacrificing for me. And I’ve spent 20+ years sacrificing for him, thinking if I just did enough, then he would give back to me. I guess not.
“Why do I keep doing that? Why do I keep doing that?”