I am a control freak. I don’t want to be, but I am. In situations where there is an obvious leader who is taking care of things and everything runs smoothly, I’m content to sit back and follow. However, situations when there is no obvious leader or the leader can’t control things, then I chomp at the bit to take charge and put things back in order.
While in college and grad school, my control freakishness was kept in check. The teachers were obvious leaders and ran their classes well. I was kept busy with my tasks that I never felt the need to take charge. I was me…the true me.
I also didn’t have problems with my mom either. She gave birth to me and has always been there for me. When I was a teen I challenged her authority (but few teens don’t challenge their parents’ authority), but as an adult I respected my mom. If I smarted off to her it was from across the room so I had a good running head start. My mom and I are a lot alike so we butt heads from time to time, but ultimately I back down from her.
As for my dogs, well I made sure they mind. I don’t try to control them or dominate over them, but I wrote about how I train my dogs a couple posts ago.
Enter the husband. I love him dearly and I wouldn’t trade him for anyone–except Keanu Reeves, Jay Tavare, Nathan Chases His Horse, and maybe even Denzel Washington…or even Morgan Freeman, oh the sound of his voice! Actually, I wouldn’t even trade him for any of them (maybe give him Morgan Freeman’s voice) mostly because I know my husband; I know his limitations; I know what he’s done…where he’s going and so on.
That’s what drives my control freakishness crazy! I see what my husband is doing, how it’s hurting him; I know how to help him. I try to help, but I can’t.
When we first got married, we got into a lot of arguments because I was afraid to tell him the truth, when he hurt me, when he scared me, when I hated him, when I loved him. Finally, I was able to tell him the truth and I tell him the truth often (sometimes tactful, sometimes jokingly, and a few times after he’s pushed me to the limit). At the same time I started feeling comfortable with telling him the truth, he starting feeling uncomfortable with hearing the truth.
Like the other day when he was hurt because I told him that sometimes I felt that I needed to push him to do things in order for him to get it done. I didn’t say it to hurt him. It was more of a confession than anything. To me, it was an acknowledgement that I realized that I was being a nag and I was explaining why I did that. I was not defending my behavior, just explaining. I thought he understood that. He didn’t. Whoops, I did it again. I told him the truth.
Now I’m at a loss. Do I continue to tell him the truth or do I keep it bottled up inside? Which is worse, hurting him a little bit when neither of us is upset or erupting during an argument like I used to? I always thought the former was better than the latter. I know the ultimate thing is to not hurt another person at all, but that could only happen in a perfect world.
My latest technique is to just let my husband be. Even when he’s being annoying, stubborn, selfish, etc, I just sweep it off my shoulders and go about my business. It’s the only coping method that I have that prevents arguments and keeps my depression at bay. The only question: is this really beneficial to my marriage? Is it going to eventually lead to us gradually moving apart because we’re doing our own things?
Is there a secret to this marriage thing? If so, what does it cost to obtain this secret? Am I going to have to climb mountains? Fight off man-eating wild animals? Run with a pack of wolves? Sing the ABC’s backwards?
Sometimes I wonder, is it even worth the effort?
Okay, rant done. Next post will be back to your regularly scheduled doggy anecdotes. Until next time, I’m going to be practicing singing the ABC’s backwards.