Today I was reading in the Huffington Post Divorce section and there was a small piece about what your first fight should tell you about your partner. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pamela-georgette-mft-atr/what-are-the-warning-sign_b_1322618.html?ref=divorce
It made me think of something I saw on Oprah many years ago.
(Now, let me say, the fact that I saw anything on Oprah was a miracle because I had a job. I had to have been on maternity leave. Which means that I cried and/or napped through the whole show).
Oprah was interviewing Maya Angelou and Maya made the statement:
“When people show you who they are, believe them”.
I remember that statement stopped me cold because those are some true words.
I decided I would be using that little tidbit in therapy.
And I knew at that moment that I had been a real dumbass in choosing a spouse. Because Stanley showed me who he was and he showed me relatively quick. I think most people do. But you chalk it up to them having a bad day or growing pains in the relationship, or like I did,
a communication gaffe.
He showed me.
And like the HuffPo piece, it was during a fight. He knew he had hurt my feelings with some little insensitivity and he didn’t call me. He didn’t call me for days. In addition, we were supposed to go out of town for the weekend. I became more and more of a wreck because then I was confused. We hadn’t really had a fight but he had hurt my feelings and he knew I was upset, and he should have checked on me but he didn’t and I didn’t know if we were going or not.
I finally had to call his sorry ass and yell. Which went something like this:
“You suck, you hurt my feelings, you didn’t apologize,
you avoided this conversation with me, are we going this weekend?”
And how pathetic was that? No. Cuckoo Momma. No you dumb bitch.
He hurt your feelings
He avoided the conversation
He didn’t apologize
How I wish I had said, “Forget it, you have shown me an avoidant personality, unable to emotionally engage or meet my emotional needs, incapable of apologizing, you are a coward, you have low character and I wouldn’t go with you to a GOAT ROPING.
|this one fainted from my stupidity.|
And there it lies
What did I do? I accepted his proposal of marriage a mere few weeks later.
And he had shown me who he was:
unwilling/unable to meet my emotional needs
unable to apologize
The exact reasons that I had to divorce him because I could no longer stand being alone in my marriage. Because 13 years later, this was still me.
What kind of Spock wouldn’t comfort the woman he professed to love?
A beer monkey Spock!
I have seen, in using the ‘people will show you who they are’ line in working with clients, that it happens all the time and it doesn’t have to be a fight. They can forget your birthday, [You are really low on their radar if they forget your birthday] or leave you waiting an hour at a restaurant because they were playing Skyrim, or have too much interest in other women (or men) when they are with you, etc People turn the other way, just like I did. And these bozos (and I mean male and female bozos) are working as hard as they can to show us who they are.
I vow to never be so blind again. If they are showing me, I will pay attention.
I swear, Maya. I double dog swear, Oprah.
**I found an Oprah episode where this was discussed. This is a new one and I saw an old one. I am perplexed by the date on this, isn’t she off the air? (I don’t care. Don’t tell me).