You know when occasionally you find yourself complaining about how, had you REALLY known that your boy/girlfriend-type-thing or spouse was X (for the sake of argument, stingy with his/her freaking feelings) and very much not Y (oh, for the sake of a longer argument, warm and fuzzy like Grey's Anatomy's Dr. McDreamy), you might never have dated or married him/her?
What's up with that?
Well, you don't REALLY have to have excelled at elementary school math to find the common denominator in your life's lousy laundry lists (i.e., YOUr boss is an a#s, YOUr online dating experience is hell on earth, YOUr girlfriend is lame or YOUr husband is lamer, YOUr kids are unappreciative, there is not enough time in YOUr day). The common denominator is YOU.
Okay, so here's the perfect example of the ME in my marriage.
I am a life coach and I have a life coach of my own, and because I hold my clients to their weekly promises, she hold me to mine, too. One weekly promise of mine is to hug my husband twice a day. Not like one of those quickie, fako, on-my-way-past-him-to-do-something-else hug, but a long, deep, heartfelt hug.
Who has got the time? I hear you.
So here I go. I spot him in the kitchen. I quickly send off a last, last email and I head into the kitchen to fulfill my promise, feel proud of myself and hug the man. Mind you, I do not check to see if it's a good time for him. I seize the moment as quickly as I felt the urge. Oh, ALRIGHT, truth is, my computer beeped a reminder and I didn't want to push snooze again and potentially forget. So there I went.
And off I go, right up to my unsuspecting, suppressed-bored-been-there-done-that-seen-war Israeli husband of 18 years and give him a deep, long hug. Fifteen seconds in, I feel him doing something (you might need to sit down for this one) mid- my hugely generous, out-of-my-box hug. Yes, in the middle of my grand, bold, time-consuming expression of love and appreciation, the man actually grabs a paper towel and starts wiping the kitchen counter.
Now, now, ladies (and the one man who's reading), take a deep breath. I did.
As luck, years of training and inhalation would have it, time catapulted to a halt and bought me a second in which I saw before me the choice of two paths I could take. One, a much much easier, perhaps funner, surely louder path, where the perk of righteousness would certainly be more available than the other, namely Option One: The Dirt Road -- the "I could rip this guy a new a-hole and go down the oh-my-god-I-give-you-my-heart-and-stop-what-I-am-doing-to-hug-you-and-you-stingy-motherf*&cker-you-clean-the-counter-why-I-never-and-I-mean-that-never-again-will-I-hug-the-likes-of-your-stingy-a$s" road OR Option Two: The Higher/Several Years of Coaching Paved Road -- the "I could slow down and actually see something freaking funnier" path - namely, holy crud, I married ME.
Take a look -- Did you date or marry you?
No kidding, if you are really willing to look, you will uncover that you, no doubt, date, dated or even married some version of you OR some version of worse-than-you so that you could look good and not have to deal with your own jerkiness and can for a long, loud time get to pretend it's him, his problem, now your problem to fix, when truly truly truly we conveniently, freaking brilliantly, date/marry-on-purpose some variation of ourselves, the us with whom we don't want to have to deal.
What? Not you?
Hehehe, nice try; start looking.
Maybe you date, dated or married a bigger pig than you so you would look organized and divert attention from your own type of sloppiness. Maybe you date, dated or married an anti-social or quiet man/woman, so you could look all open and honest and not have to deal with where you are a criminal, where you are a fake, an actual withholder guised as a talker.
Peas in a freaking pod, that's me and my husband -- stingy and stingier (but, uh, let me keep pointing loudly at him to distract from me).
Now, now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying my man ain't stingy, that my man should not put the darn paper towel down and be down with being hugged, but ain't it freaking perfect that I picked him to make me look like a hugger?
Genius o' me, no?
At first this investigating may feel ick-worthy, but if you really can get the amazing cosmic joke of it all, it would point to where you need to go to work on you. The moment I deeply got that I was the source for all the yuck (and all the great) in my life as opposed to pointing the finger at them, at HIM, was the moment I got I could do something about it.
And talk about lightening the loathe... if you get that your loudest complaints about THEM are most likely pointing out something equally criminal about you, well, yeehaw, it opens up the whole world of actions you could take: bigger, bolder, perhaps less fun, but surely more productive, than complaining and blaming.
And that's where the PHEW lives... and few live there.
Care to join me?
Love (and hugs),
P.S.- Join me for the hilarity of correcting your online profile: Right-ing Your Dating Profile on Tues, May 29. C'mon, it'll be fun.