Well, come to find out, I am controlling.
I guess this shouldn’t be a surprise. I mean, I’ve been with myself for quite some time and I tend to be overly critical and demanding of myself even.
Sigh. That was a really heavy sigh, because all the wrongs I have been trying to right in those around me was me being WRONG most of the time. I am doing it out of love. Now I have to ask: Love for the other person or Love for myself to make my life less anxietied?
I don’t know, but either way it makes my life more stressful. I am terribly unorganized in my own eyes. I am not really benefiting from being controlling. I am only frustrating those around me and isolating myself.
I just can’t make a definition between correcting /instructing and controlling someone.s behavior. I have to correct people as my responsibility as a Mom. So, there is no option of bowing out. It doesn’t seem to matter what tone of voice I use. Whether I am speaking nicely or yelling there is still an element of criticism. (I have this old saying, ‘Whisper and They Will Hear You.’ If only I would remember that in the height of annoyances.) The only thing I can come down to is: What is Really Important and What is Really Nit-Picking?
I know I care Waaaaaaaaaaaay Wayyyyyyyyyy Waaaaaaaayyy too much about just about everything. Then there are times, truely, that I don.t care at all. But I need to probably care a whole lot less about a whole lotta things. This most-likely stems from the deficiency of the other’s caring. Does that make sense? Due to the fact that it appears that no one else cares. I just have to care enough for everyone! Then all the rest of my responsibilities load up and I am cashed out like a two-bit whore. (And we all know two-bit whores care as much as four-bit whores.)
All whores aside, I also come from a very dynamic family that possesses the skill of reducing one to a shard of scrap metal. I am not boasting about that trait. I am simply stating that we are ruthless when it comes to arguing. Cherry on top of thaaaaaat, is that we are colorful when sh!t hits the fan. I mean, we can be as cheery as a bug on a leaf in the sunshine and then turn into a ….a….well not nice person 10 seconds in. I think that thar is patience? Self-Control? Peace? Gentleness? All the fruits of the Spirit would apply and be in desperate need.
The flip of this is that I am married to an incredibly nice, kind and yet passive-aggressive man (I kindly refer to as agridolce). He is controlling in his own P-A ways. But somehow, I always seem to take the blame. (I’m the most involved.Got my fingers in all the pots.) He stands just outside the ring-just enough to be able to shirk blame (and sometimes responsibility). Which is Great (ha ha ha). He wants to be present and sometimes he is. It’s just really me braving the storms and havens, both good and bad to come. Not saying he’s non-participatory, just saying he has bigger fish to fry, namely: the Mortgage.
So, this being said or rawther typed I am venturing on to read a book I have long since avoided: Finding The Hero in Your Husband: Surrendering The Way God Intended By Julianna Slattery. Sure, you’re thinking the same thing I am thinking, “What’s this got to do with controlling you?” Well, for many years now I would come across this title and say, “Nope, not for me.” I was totally turned off by the idea of well, actually, thinking of my husband as a hero. That just seems contrived and unrealistic. It doesn’t follow my brand of life. It goes against my brand. That is it. I pictured the wife with long sleeves, ankle skirt, covered head, buying rutabagas and leeks, yadda yadda. (Not that they can’t do or wear their chasteness as a flag.) It’s just not my brand. I also envisioned the sweet, angel-spoken, demure, snow-kissed faced woman with the whistle-whisper voice of a southern belle. (You know, the voice of every Christian radio talk show female.) I also thought of the disillusioned, willing, true-heart of the pure romantic ne’er to be a single, white, female again. (I’ll do anything for love.) I just am a quite, a very….well, not really anything like a person you would instinctively think would look at anyone in her life as a hero.
The book, I happily found, discusses in the forefront how Slattery’s advice and insights may be foreign to a wife and possibly rebuffed. But Slattery treads on with confidence that her concepts not only seem odd but they work. They really work. (I’ll be the Judge of That. Ha Ha – Hoo Hoo.) I am glad that the writing is simple and engaging. I have high-lighted such a large amount of the text that it seems as though almost every word is valuable. I am learning about women. How to be a woman in the sight and eyes of God with His hand on me and His word paving my path. I am very, for the first time in a long while, hopeful. I can see how my controlling behavior and identity is swallowing me whole along with my marriage, family and friendships. No wonder I have been so down-trodden more periodically than not in the recent years. My joy, it appears, is paradoxically intertwined with my allowance of letting go of my idiosyncrasies and being okay with not being in charge. Not being numero uno or dos. Not being heard for my rants and raves. Not getting my personal tantrum. Not brooding in silence. Not getting any help. Not getting my way. Instead I will help others especially my husband have his way.
Now, wait a second, that is not exactly what the book teaches. Don’t freak out. Le Freak, c’est chic. It teaches empowerment of wife. It basically in essence takes scripture and unfolds it into everyday life. I really never thought my spoken expectations were the definition of Nagging. The epitome of Nagging. That never once occurred to me. I thought nagging was what that curler-ed lady with the rolling pin and the cat-scratch eye did. Not lovely ol’ me. If I was voicing something once how could that possibly Be nagging? I guess to the untrained ear, it is.
I also am learning that intimacy is a fragile little thing that needs lots and lots of gentle loving care on both sides. One of my many fav quotes from recent reading is:
Intimacy requires that both individuals meet
each other at the deepest point of their need.
Mutual insecurities and humanity are exposed
without defense, so that the other may choose to either
embrace the need or exploit the vulnerability.
Ultimately, for emotional intimacy
to grow, each partner must be willing to meet the other’s
deepest needs and protect the other’s greatest vulnerability.
This produces an environment of trust,
allowing each other to feel safe to share more.
However, when vulnerability is met with
rejection and pain, both the husband and wife naturally
move away from sharing and toward self-protection.
This may be like Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat? But this is after some reading and it all makes sense when you come upon it about how to turn the wheels for better relationship in marriage.
What I am finding out about my controlling is I have a lack of non-sexual intimacy with my husband. (I really have a lack of non-sexual intimacy in all my relationships. I must have trust issues. Go figure.) So far, reading this Hero book has been an answer to prayer. A weird answer, because I would not of put two and two together. I am pleasantly surprised by the content of the book and I wish I would have picked it up and read it the very first time I heard about it. It would have saved me quite a bit of heart ache. So far, being the Judge of That, the principles in the book Really Do Work. They Really Work!