It was quite an experience to see my life posted on Huffington Post last week. I’m honored, to say the least. Who knew my bad marriage counseling experience would bring about such comments. But that’s the thing about putting yourself out there…you open yourself up to commentary…the good and the bad.
What’s interesting is that I wasn’t phased by the negative opinions. The old me would have wanted to respond, justify, explain, and win over the people who were somehow seeing me in a negative light.
Not so now.
I’ll reiterate one of my recurring tenants in this blog: You control how you react.
So I laughed aloud when I read about my “vanity”, “laziness”, and my personal favorite, “emotional instability”. And then I realized, the people who read HuffPost Divorce are people going through divorce themselves. They are hurting, scared, and trying to make sense of it all. In a way, I can become a scapegoat for some. That’s OK. It doesn’t impact me personally or change the way my children look at me. So thrash away….
Amidst the comments on Twitter, I found one that lead me to today’s article…If I’m not going to counseling and I’m not talking about my relationship problems, what AM I doing?
“Nothing” is not the answer you’ll hear from me. I’m actually doing quite a few things that I’ve picked up from various sources.
First and foremost, I’m looking for exceptions. What does that mean, you may wonder? Stay tuned, I’m going to explain in my next post but if you want to get a jump on things, read “A Woman’s Guide to Changing Her Man” by Michele Weiner-Davis. Here’s the big twist: I’m not really trying to change my man! But the book offers lots of advice on how to change yourself.
The second thing that I’m doing is trusting that actions and intentions come from a goodwilled heart. That may sound a little cryptic. So I’m going to point you towards the source…”Love & Respect” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. I’ll admit, the first section is a little repetitive and preachy, but there are gems to be found in this book if you can hold on. This will be the second thing I explain over the next couple of days.
The third thing is saying “Yes to life”. I’ve mentioned Susan Jeffers and her book “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” in another article. Let me tell you, saying yes to life is a bit harder than it sounds. It’s surprising how much this will change your outlook and everyday interactions. As mentioned before, a future post will expand on this change of attitude.
Fourth, Dr. Phil and I had a heart to heart via a couple of his books. Working on myself…it’s an underlying theme to many of the relationship books that I’ve read but I never knew exactly HOW to work on myself until now. On this topic, I can point you towards many past posts, but this one is the most painful for me and the most telling: Guilty, as Charged. As Dr. Phil would say, no matter how thin you make that pancake, there are always two sides. I’m looking at my side and scraping away at the burned parts.
Lastly, I’ve listened and read Marriage Fitness by Mort Fertel. That guy is all about putting your marriage first. But before you can put your marriage first, you have to 1) fix yourself and 2) rediscover the person you fell in love with. I gave Husband #2 a chance to shine when I really didn’t want to and it ended up for the best. Oddly enough, without knowing it, Husband #2 gave me a chance to shine as well.
I want to finish up for now just saying these words, no matter which road you are on— hang in there. It is not the man with the bigger brain or the bigger wallet that succeeds. The man who practices tenacity and dogged determination will be the one to reach the goal.