Sunday, February 12, 2012
One Crazy Girl's Brief Guide to Navigating Relation Ships
So my friend Ms. DSS left this commentary on my last Drewfus blog, and I think it deserves a proper answer:
I would like to see a copy of your training notes, because yesterday was about as much as I could take...
a) criticized because I don't fold the laundry correctly
b) criticized because I don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to the NFL MVP (even though I picked Aaron Rodgers 2 days before the announcement and got an argument)
c) if I'm not "wrong" about something it's simply because he doesn't really care about the subject.
d) he doesn't know how to use a telephone (not only personally, but to call PSE&G, call the landlord, call the doctor)
e) he's a slob (so am I but no where near this level of slovenly)
f) if my tone of voice- usually dulcet tones, mallifuluous actually- changes, I'm "yellling."
e) I think I'm burnt out.
Thank you Miss Anthrope, I know you won't let me down.
Prior to proceeding to a response, I should let everyone know that Drew hates being a character in my blogs. He also hates when I post "cute" photos of him with the cats on Facebook and all his friends text him with mocking commentary [Note to Drew's friends: please stop ratting me out]. He also hates when I write about past sexual encounters, which I don't do so much in blogs but there's a load of stuff in the book that's really going to piss him off if I ever quit noodling and actually get the damn thing written. It is a hard knock life for the partner of a person with very little filter and a 21st century amenity toward laying it all out there for the world to see. He is a very private person, and sadly for him, I am not. So while he's not looking, let's post another photo of him with a cat:
If he asks, tell him I posted this instead:
Okay, so back to DSS's very interesting commentary.
I am certainly no expert on relationships, but through the extensive practice of making the worst choices possible, as often as possible, I have narrowed the stupidity down somewhat.
First, and probably most importantly, you can't make a silk purse of out a sow's ear. My mother told me that when I was 10 and I never forgot it, primarily because I didn't know what a sow was and I couldn't understand why you would want to make a purse out of an ear. Gross. But these are wise words that can be applied to many situations. In romance, as in cooking, you have to start with high quality raw material.
After years of choosing drugged out underachievers, selfish jerks, cheaters, and narcissists, I graduated to someone with a very kind heart and an enormous amount of integrity. This wasn't genius on my part. I just thought he was hot and I got lucky that he was interested and as beautiful inside as he is out. He finds my intensity entertaining and he is very patient with the crazy, so much so that there is much less of it these days. Well, relatively speaking. And our neuroses suit each other. Sometimes you can really like or love someone but it simply isn't a good fit, and this is probably more difficult than dating a total creep because the "correct" path is harder to navigate.
Second, when I have made choices that have not served me well, which has been often, it was because I wasn't ready for anything better. Meaning that I did not feel that I deserved to be loved properly, and if someone perfect had come along at that time I wouldn't have noticed them because they wouldn't give me the trouble I thought I so richly deserved.
Also, along those lines, bad relationships and spending time with assholes are a fabulous way to keep from looking within at whatever things about yourself that you don't feel good about. If you have the noise of arguments ringing in your ears you can't hear the sound of your own self-hatred and fear. You can focus on how shitty the other person is, which keeps you preoccupied and gives you a warm feeling of superiority. To quell that noise and really look within can be excruciating. When I was absolutely forced to do it, I felt like I was dying. I really did. It felt as if I dropped into a black hole that I would never crawl out of and it was a slow and painful claw into the sunlight.
It's only very recently that I've learned how to be a good partner and trust myself and the other person. I'm still a work in progress, but now when I look back much of the shit I put myself through seems almost comical. Once you learn the lesson, in your soul rather than just knowing it intellectually in your brain, you never have to take that particular class again.
The people in our lives are mirrors to what we are giving out energetically, and to how we feel about ourselves. So being faced with constant criticism from a partner means that this is what we feel we deserve, and maybe that this is how we view the world, with a critical and/or jaundiced eye.
Ask yourself about all your relationships, not just romantic:
--How do I feel when I am around this person? Do I feel loved, supported, positive, energized? Or do I walk away feeling resentful, drained, angry, sad, bad about myself, used, or unseen?
--What do I bring to my relationships? Am I the one that is draining, unhappy, selfish, ambivalent? Or am I giving too much with expectations and and then feeling frustrated because it's not reciprocated?
--Who am I when I am with this person? Do I like myself and my behavior? Do I do things I swore I wouldn't do?
I realized one day, probably years into our relationship, that being with Drew made me want to be a better person. It became less important to be right all the time, and I desired to live up to what I feel he deserves. This was a very new feeling for me, and a new awareness clicked in. It wasn't that he was perfect, and I certainly never will be, but it became about a higher way of relating.
In your case DSS, maybe it was just a bad day and you have some decent raw material to work with and you just have to do some girl-pounding on the clay (sorry guys). Maybe it's time to do some examination, or maybe it's time to kick his criticizing ass to the curb. Only you can decide that for yourself, and I thank you for the opportunity to think and write about it.
And lastly, because he's still in the other room, let's post another photo that amuses me. This is Drew's band The New Rising Sons, who formed and were signed to Virgin in the late 90's. I never get tired of those pants and that hat. You're welcome, America.