Monday, November 13, 2006

Breaking My Silence

I'd like to share something I read this week:

Accepting Love

Many of us have worked too hard to make relationships work; sometimes those relationships didn't have a chance because the other person was unavailable or refused to participate.

To compensate for the other person's unavailability, we worked too hard. We may have done or most of the work. This may mask the situation for a while, but we usually get tired. Then, when we stop doing all the work, we notice there is no relationship, or we're so tired we don't care.

Doing all the work in a relationship is not loving, giving, or caring. It is self-defeating and relationship-defeating. it creates the illusion of a relationship when in fact there may be no relationship. It enables the other person to be irresponsible for his or her share. Because that does not meet our needs, we ultimately feel victimized.

In our best relationships, we all have temporary periods where one person participates more than the other. This is normal. But as a permanent way of participating in relationships, it leaves us feeling tired, worn out, needy, and angry.

We can learn to participate a reasonable amount, then let the relationship find it's own life. Are we doing all the calling? Are we doing all the initiating? Are we doing all the giving? Are we the one talking about feelings and striving for intimacy?

Are we doing all the waiting, the hoping, the work?

We can let go. If the relationship is meant to be, it will be, and it will become what it is meant to be. We do not help that process by trying to control it. We do not help ourselves, the other person, or the relationship by trying to force it or by doing all the work.

Let it be. Wait and see. Stop worrying about making it happen. See what happens and strive to understand if that is what you want.

Today, I will stop doing all the work in my relationships. I will give myself and the other person the gift of requiring both people to participate. I will accept the natural level my relationships reach when I do my share and allow the other person to choose what his or her share will be. I can trust my relationships to reach their own level. I do not have to do all the work; I need only do my share.

That was from, "The Language of Letting Go," by Melody Beattie, which is a book of daily meditations to stop being co-dependent. If that excerpt resonnants with you, then I urge you to run, not walk, to the nearest bookstore, or to click over to Amazon or ebay.

This is the part that hits me HARD,"...the other person was unavailable or refused to participate.To compensate for the other person's unavailability, we worked too hard. We may have done or most of the work. This may mask the situation for a while, but we usually get tired. Then, when we stop doing all the work, we notice there is no relationship, or we're so tired we don't care."

That is exactly me in my first marriage; to a "t". It came about after I was pregnant with my second child, while the first was still so needy. I couldn't meet all my son's needs with so much tiredness, discomfort and pain. I asked my then-husband to participate, but he couldn't. Or if he did, there was so much tension and anger surrounding my request that it didn't feel worth it. I stopped asking. I did the work of two parents and I was the life of that family, thus stopping my own life.That hurt. I was hurting. I searched for a way to stop the hurt and eventually found Islam. Alhumdulillah.

But, here I am again, in another marriage. And I have to look at patterns and see the truth and ask myself questions. Did I get myself into another situation where I am doing all the work? Where I am left waiting and hoping?

Originally posted as Honorary Arab


Faith Confusion said...

I loved this post!! I'm going to slowly go through and read all your old stuff. !! Hooray!! I thought I'd run out of blogs I liked :)

I'm like this with my husband a lot. I try so hard and he gives little back. He used to give a lot but then he would upset me so much that I shut off from him. I don't know if our marriage has anywhere to go but I'm going to start giving more and stop trying so hard to be everything and see what happens...
Do you have any other personal advice?

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom,

Your comment was a fun one to get. Ya, I've got to put more of the old stuff up. I was scared to have it out there when I was too out there (if ya know what I mean) but now I'm cool with editing it and making sure I only tell what is right to say.

Can you re-read your comment? Seems like you made a typo when you said, "start giving more". The whole point of the post was to give less and I think you agreed with me in the paragraph above.

Personal advice? OH LORDY! I'd say don't jump away from this guy. All guys are seriously screwed up. Work on yourself to the point where you KNOW you are doing all you can to be closer to God, truer to yourself, and better to your hub and the kids. Let go of wanting him to change and inact the change within yourself.

Laugh more. Love more. Drop stupid stuff when it really doesn't matter.

Oh! And keep reading and commenting!

LOVE Ya! Kisses right back!

Faith Confusion said...

Sorry to be confusing. I didn't explain what I really meant.

I think by saying giving more i meant just being gentler with him, giving him the nicer me. He gives A LOT to me but i'm a bit resentful then i don't give a lot back. I try too hard with the relationship when i try to work it all out but a lot of the time I think that's the problem: I want it to be "this" when it's actually "that".. but maybe "that"'s not so bad afterall.

So i agree in that i should try to do less about the relationship and just let it happen. I need to give more though, ie: cook regular meals and do all that kind of stuff. I like cleaning but he's very good to come home most days and cook the food for us. I slip up a lot where i know i can get away with it but when i do it for him it does feel nice for both of us.

Hope that all made sense... still going through your old posts bit by bit. Just read about Ramadan. It's great but i didn't want to comment on every post. I could be like the stalker of your past posts, lol.

Love what you've written!! It's so helpful to me. And with this reply too.