Friday, July 16, 2010

Thank you, Eleanor

Emotional times continue for my husband and me.

We had our second counseling appointment, which was... well... not very productive in my opinion. We both seem to be trying to convince the counselor that the other person is doing a lot of irritating things. Dissatisfaction is the key word. Things that aren't working rather than focusing on things that are. I'm not lily-white on this score either.

Our counselor will be gone for a month, so our next appointment isn't until August 24th. That seems nearly an eternity.

I'm contemplating a solo road trip to see my family in the Midwest. I was going to fly there in the fall anyway, so why not get some time away from each other where we can think and maybe even miss one another a bit? My husband thinks it's a bad idea. But then that's part of the problem for me... many things I do seem like a bad idea to him.

Before I leave this subject, thanks to several bloggers who recently posted "nuggets of truth"... favorite quotes. One person mentioned this one, by Eleanor Roosevelt: No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. I love you for this one, Eleanor! And I can substitute any number of things for "feel inferior" such as:

feel fat
feel stupid
feel ashamed
feel unimportant
feel inadequate

See? So now anytime my husband says something that makes me feel badly, I try to remember to repeat Eleanor's wisdom to myself, substituting whatever feeling I'm having. Then I can ask myself, "Am I really willing to consent to this?"

PS. Here's four pages of quotes by Eleanor.


  1. I recently posted that quote when Karen at Waisting Time had an open mike for quotes! Eleanor knew her stuff, didn't she?

    Sorry to hear about the continuing marital problems. Done marriage counseling several times, but no picnic around here in that area either.

    What if Eleanor was the counselor? I bet she'd tell those men straight up!

  2. I hope things work out in the best way for you and your husband. I think the road trip is a great idea! Often getting away from the everyday stress of a situation can provide you with a different perspective. It'd give you both some breathing space perhaps. Also I just love long drives alone so it sounds like fun!

    Thanks for the quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt. That inferior one is a favorite of mine but it never occurred to me to substitute another word - great idea!

    "Sometimes it takes darkness and
    the sweet confinement of your
    aloneness to learn that anything or anyone that does not bring you alive is too small for you."
    ~David Whyte

    I can't remember where I found this quote but I think it's from a poem he wrote. Take care.

  3. It's difficult when partners tend to approach conflicts from different directions. I know I tend to be more confrontational (I want to talk about it NOW and get it settled, as if that were possible (ha!) and my sweetie likes to back off, give the problem a little room to breathe, and hope that will settle it. In the heat of the moment, I consider that to be abandoning the problem (and me, of course) and it just makes me more determined to deal with it NOW!
    After 40 years together, I finally came to the viewpoint that it might indeed be a good idea to give the conflict a little space and when I did that I found he was willing to deal with it a bit sooner (when I quit pushing so hard)...
    marriage is a constant balancing act and I'll be sending you both healing thoughts...

  4. Eleanor Roosevelt certainly knew a lot, didn't she?

    "I'm contemplating a solo road trip to see my family in the Midwest." I took a road trip across country from Portland to Chicago and back two years in a row. It was a grand trip and I loved it. We have this amazingly beautiful country that most people just sort of jump over and never really see. There is a lot of time to think about things on a road trip, or think about nothing and just watch the country roll on by. The one thing I regret was not being able to take time to go on small side trips, or return via the old Rt. 66. The alone time did me worlds of good, especially on the return trips when I was dealing with family emotional garbage. One tip: on a long car drive, if you're not stopping to get out and walk fairly frequently, and maybe even if you are, consider light compression stockings. I came home with minor surface phlebitis (painless) because I didn't know this.

  5. I hope that this process, painful as it may be, brings you to a better place, wherever that will be for you. I know from you journal here that you have pain and things you are personally working through, but in your writing you always strike me as very strong and with an amazing spirit. I hope you see that in yourself as well:) Hugs.

  6. I love these quotes.

    I quite like that one : "Campaign behavior for wives: Always be on time. Do as little talking as humanly possible. Lean back in the parade car so everybody can see the president.":o)


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