Today I lost my temper on my husband. He began yelling back. He yelling back at me only added fuel to the fire. But I kept yelling. And he kept ignoring me after he yelled sorry and then said, “I was only trying to help.” Normally his words during a heated moment would make right the wrong but this time . . . this time I was fed up with his misuse of the word sorry.
You are one of the rare people who can separate your observation from your perception…you see what is, where most people see what they expect. —Tsitsi Dangarembga
Today I got a question asking if my husband’s daughter got the email we sent her nearly a week ago. Yes, she got the email and with her dad’s permission I’m posting her response.
I am not upset at all. Every statement is the truth. I know that about myself. I put unrealistic expectations on Jake. A friend of mine (who likes to counsel me for free) helped me see through the crap that I believe should be true. She helped me realize that I was spoon fed to be totally dependant on a man and he should take care of your every need. You shouldn’t have to work and you should be in tons of debt to reach that ‘American dream.’ The exact line is..’you aren’t a real member of society unless..’ And for so long I have believed that. I am 22 years old and have a monstrous amount of debt because I was told at a young age that that is how you are successful. No, it makes you stressed arena sick. There are ways to have those great things, like a house or a new car, without being overcome with a great amount of debt. It is called saving. Something Jake and I were never taught and are trying to teach ourselves now. It is very difficult. Because we were taught you weren’t anyone unless you have tons of material items. His step-dad is very materialistic. His mom isn’t but his step-dad, just like my mother, make you feel terrible about your accomplishments if they aren’t to their standards. I am working on my attitude everyday. Every morning I wake up and I think of something I am thankful for. I may not like my job but my coworke just gave me all of her Thursdays and my Fridays back. That means 30 hours a week instead of 10. And that means I will also quality for insurance through the union. I may hate getting up early but it keeps a roof over my head, it keeps food in my cabinets and so that I am able to buy Layla’s meds. I am working on not being too hard on Jake. That one is really hard because he isn’t great at staying on top of important things. And when he doesn’t stay on top of it it makes me feel like he has not been truthful with me. So many times in the past he has not been. We are working on it and d everyday is a new day.I love you!
A couple of days ago my husband and I emailed his daughter. Unfortunately, she struggles with self-worth. And the emails she sends her dad and I are often heart-wrenching. They cast a big shadow of gloom with no expected date of sunshine. Sometimes after reading her messages I want to just fly to her home state and gobble her up with the biggest hug. But that is impossible! So the next best thing is to write her emails of compassion with hope that my husband and I aren’t making things worse.
I’m sharing this email because I thought it was inspirational. It deals with the feelings of young people who often tend to lose their way because they are given bad advice. In all honesty, there is no guarantee that everyone that sets out on their life quest will finish first or finish last; all a person can do is their best.
After hearing about your struggles I can see how you arrived at your fleeting moments of feeling unsuccessful. Personally, Annette and I think you and Jake have been victims of bad advice. It doesn’t mean the person(s) that gave the advice meant you or Jake harm. It only means their information wasn’t conducive to the life and lifestyle you and Jake are seeking. Remember, sweetheart, success depends on how you view life and what you truly want out of life. And it’s fulfilling your dreams and not the desires of others that give meaning to being successfully satisfied.
Sadly, sweetie, people now days like being sold pipe-dreams. I hope you’re not one of them. Because the number one problem for most young people and couples are unrealistic ambitions that become constant let downs. And once a person or a relationship reaches their limits with life disappointment most often desperation sets in with other negative feelings. And sadly when that happens most, if not all, find themselves and their relationships in positions of compromise.
Jake is young and he have made some mistakes. He is paying for some of those mistakes. Or would it be better for me to write he has adjusted his life to accommodate the consequence of many of his choices?
You are young. You’ve made some mistakes. And, like Jake, you are paying for some of those mistakes. Or would it be better for me to write that even you are finding ways to tailor your life to live with the consequence from the choices you made?
I’m not sure who is telling you that you should expect Jake to take care of you. And in all honesty something doesn’t set well with me about that expectation. I guess part of the reason that mindset doesn’t set well with me is because, it clips your wings as an individual, as a professional, as a woman, and eventually as a mother and mentor.
Another reason I believe that egocentric thought is harmful is because it defines or sets the tone for controlling and abusive relationships. And in most cases where one partner takes care of the other partner, qualified to pull their weight, the relationship always end bad. And each usually walks away feeling bitter and disappointed for different reasons. So with that said, again, I think you and Jake, more so you have been victims of bad advice; mainly, because their concept does not help you or Jake reach what you seek for your lives as a young couple and as young people.
Annette and I weren’t sure if we should say anything about your feelings of hopeless, especially Annette. She felt we needed to keep our nose out of yours and Jake’s business. But I cringed upon hearing her words, especially since she is such a good parent to her own children. Surely she could understand I want and have always wanted the best for my kids. And I know that last sentence comes as a shock to you! Laughter! But don’t be so shocked! And, yes, I want the best for you and your sisters. And, yes, I have cried over my decision but it was made in the best interest for all.
My dear sweet wife had a change of heart about writing the letter as you can see. And I’m glad! What started out as a short email, later a book, and now an email again has been carefully written to send a message of love and encouragement.
So, I echo the sentiments of my wife, “you and Jake are doing great!” But I think there is room for improvement. Speaking from experience and as a man who has been married several times, I have fallen out of love with my first wife and I thought I had fallen out of love and in love with the second wife. I noticed what kept and keeps my relationship together with my second wife is her ambition to help me help us. My second wife is not perfect but she has my back. And for a temporary moment I had forgotten that!
I hope the content of this email didn’t upset you.