Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Grabbing the Bull by the Horns
This was sent to Aunt B via email...
Dear Aunt B.
I'm looking for some unbiased advice. I am 19 years old, engaged (he's 22)
and mother to 2 beautiful twins babies; a boy and a girl. I got pregnant
when I was 17 and a senior in highschool. My fiance and I, (we've been
engaged since October 2005) could not have been happier, but it was still
difficult for me, as happy as I was, I was still so young. Everything
throughout my pregnancy went well and on July 19th 2006 I gave birth to my
little munchkins. My man was right by my side the entire time, he wasn't
allowed to stay with me over night, but he was there till as late as they'd
let him stay and got there first thing in the morning. I had a c-section so
he helped me go to the bathroom and anything I needed afterwards. For a
month or so he helped out at home making bottles and such. I know it was a
hard adjustment especially for him. The babies are about to me 11 months
old, and my relationship with my fiance has deteriorated tremendously.
About 5 months ago he had lost his job and started collecting unemployment,
we've lived with my mother and things have been kind of tense because he
doesn't really do anything to help out around the house leaves his dishes
around and doesn't pick up after himself. But my mom tolerates it as do I,
because every little thing triggers a fight. And he rarely stays home to
help with the babies. Now I am home ALL day with 2 babies whom I love more
than anything in this universe, but after a while I need a break. He's
started back to school which is from 8am to like 12:30pm. He always goes to
his parents house afterwards or his making excuses why he can't be home.
All we ever do is fight and it's not all him. I snap at him for stupid
things and he snaps back, we are both stubborn fighters. I finally broke
down about a week ago and was ready to end our relationship, but I don't
want to throw away all of our good times and years for just a few months of
stress and turmoil.
I had happened to catch a glimpse of one of his messages on the computer and
it was to some girl he met over the internet that I went to school with
she's a year or 2 older than me. I am extremely jealous and so I got upset,
and he told me it was just because they knew the same people. Now I got
paranoid because I knew how bad we had been fighting and how much we've been
pushing each other away. We barely have sex and when we do it's like bam bam
done time to go to sleep. I started checking his text messages and call log
on his cell phone, as much as I didn't want to I couldn't help because being
home all day my mind wanders and I think WAY too much for my own good. So
I'm reading the text messages and he's telling her how we always fight and
how they should get together and hang out. I have a history of depression
so this sent me into a tailspin. I started crying at the drop of a hat. I
told him we have to talk. But he gets his guard up and gets nasty and
starts fighting with me. We talked and got everything out in the open. He
hasn't cheated on me, and says he NEVER would do that. Which I do believe
but like I said I am home all day and my mind gets the best of me, and I'm
glad that I found the messages because if I push him away enough than that
may drive him to the point of doing it. This past weekend he went to a wet
down and I let him go, because I usually get all bent out of shape when he
wants to go out because I RARELY get to go out myself, if I do it's with
him. I also hate when he goes cuz he never calls me and I never seem to
know if he's coming home or not. So we talked Friday he went to this thing
on Saturday. Now he normally would leave at like 9 am and say he has things
to do before he goes, but he actually stayed home until about 1 and we spent
the morning together. Then he called me 3 times that night, the last time
being to come pick him up. I did it because I told him to call me if he
needed a ride. He hangs out with this kid who is just a waste and is always
drinking and partying. I can't stand him but I let it go cuz as long as I
know my man is ok and coming home with me. We spent ALL of Sunday together,
and even cuddled that night. I'm trying to be very open with my feelings
and he's really bad at letting me know how he feels unless he's angry. But
I think he's trying to get our relationship back on track. Is that what it
seems like to you?? I just can't seem to get this pit out of my stomach, I
want to get our shit together because I am so in love with him really, and
we both just got so caught up in the stress that we drifted apart. I don't
think he would stick around if he really didn't want to try to make this
work. Am I wrong for feeling like he doesn't want to work it out with me
when he started talking to that other girl?? I want him to feel like he can
come and talk to me if he's feeling down and I don't want to be the reason
he doesn't want to come home. I want to spend the rest of my life with this
man. Everyone's telling me he needs to grow up quicker and take on
responsibility or I just need to leave and let him realize what he'll be
losing. I just really need to get over this jealousy and mistrust that I've
created in my head. It's driving me crazy. I don't really know what I'm
asking you to answer just seeking advice I guess on how to get the spark
back in our relationship, so he doesn't feel like he has to seek out other
I know this letter is all over the place, but that's how I feel right now my
emotions are out of control.
Confused in Love.
Dear Confused in Love,
Do you feel, a bit like a yo-yo? I would and can completely understand how your emotions could run the gambit. I was 16, when I got pregnant with my first son, my husband was 22. We both thought we were so grown up and I most certainly thought he was. He did the same thing and went through Birthing classes with me, was there for his birth, cried and it was a wonderful moment in time. But it wasn't long after that, he went his merry way with his friends and so on and I stayed home, with our son. He was the one that wanted to get married, he is the one, who all along wanted to stay married. But he didn't want to work at it and he didn't realize his full responsibilty to his children.
I had two more sons and our relationship as man and wife, lasted nine years. I was sick of the partying and if I was going to be alone, I figured I might as well be completely alone. He was also very bossy and I had gone through this rite of passage, so I thought, from a girl to a woman and was not going to have some guy, who was barely there, tell me what to do.
I have regrets and of course, being able to look back, in retrospect. I wish I had handled it differently.I guess what I am saying is that, I want you to be able to work this out. Kicking him to the curb, is not the answer, although, I'm sure there are times, when you'd love to. So, what can we do? My youngest son, Waylon, just turned 26. We call him, "Johnny Appleseed," because he has fathered children with three women, already. His first child, Kassandra, will be 9 in August and he's not seen her since she was a toddler. It is partly his fault, that things are as they are but the child's mother, is a strong willed young woman and she grew tired of his shenanigans. Now, I'm sure, you didn't write me to get my life history. I tell you this because I can see a correlation and that, quite possibly, men are not as quick to realize their responsibilities as women. I say this because I can look back and see that quite often, a guy like my son and your fiance', grapple with settling down and fulfilling their obligations.
Believe it or not, a guy who is 22, doesn't really know what he wants out of life. He knows on one hand, that you are the best thing that ever walked into his life. I firmly believe he loves you, with all his heart. I also believe he knows what's good for him; You! I bet, if I asked him, who he loves, he would say you and the babies. But there is that side, that still fighting with the young and irresponsible side of himself. In one way, he wants it all, meaning you and the kids. On the other hand, it does have a trapping mechanism.
If you were to delve, deep into his mind, you'd probably find a bit of resentment and discontentment. He may never admit it but it's there. I would call him a liar, if he told me differently. But I must point out, that it is perfectly natural and many men, feel this throughout their lives. Women do too, at times. they'll stand in front of the mirror and wonder what happened to the girl they knew and the body that was once supple before childbirth. They'll even wonder what their lives might have been, had they not become pregnant, especially at an early age. That too, is natural. But we don't walk away from doing the right thing.
Men are more apt to have this crunch time, that period of questioning and our society has made it seem ok for a man to walk away from his family. Oh yea, we have our "Deadbeat Dad's" list but we do not scorn those that should be scorned, we accept it, don't we? Divorce rates continue to accumulate and we just swallow it. Sooooooooo Babz, what does all this mean to me?
I would love it, if you would read every post I've written, that has the tag, "Bitch Belt." See, I want you to have your man and happiness. I also welcome you to experience the rite of passage, from young girl to womanhood, becoming a good woman. I want you to become assertive and state your needs. I don't want you to fear, saying anything and you'd better grab that bull by the horns now or you never will. A good woman, who wears my Bitch Belt, is an assertive woman, who says what needs to be said, does what needs to be done and is fair, doing it. It is your approach, to your man, that makes all the difference. You must always respect him, if he respects you. If he doesn't you will make him. I don't want to use the word "training" and many men would be resentful, if they felt that their wife or girlfriend was trying to train them. So, we'll call it "schooling your man."
I'm sure that you've heard, "Behind every great man, is a great woman." Well, it's true and men are not born knowing it all, contrary to popular belief. No, we must school them in many departments, many aspects. They are not mind readers and often do not think as we do, nor as deeply as we do. This is why, you must state your needs. From, your love making to placing your dish in the dishwasher, men must be shown the way. But I'll say it again; it's all in the approach. If you show him respect, when you try to tell him something and do not come across as a nag, he may not put up the great wall of defense and just might hear, what you've said.
Often times, giving them, perspective on a situation, is the only answer. Most men, learn from a hands on approach If he's learning how to fix a car, he has to see it in action. They don't do well with manuals, per say or directions but what you show them, in action, will stick in their brain. Once again Babz, what in the hell are you talking about?
After you read this, you will already be a different woman. You will put on that designer Bitch Belt and become the woman, you were designed to be. You must also, face your fears. You have been sitting on your hands, biting your tongue and now, you have building resentment. I guarantee, he will continue to behave just as he has, unless you stop and face your fears.
There are several things, I noted, concerning your fears. For one, you have attempted to tell him things and how you feel but he starts a fight when you do. That is a real prize fighting tactic, hook n jive, side stepping the issue. he knows that you hate to fight. Instead of throwing a temper tantrum, he comes back with a fighting stance. That's all it is and you will now see through it. You will also, not be afraid of it or afraid that you will run him off, if you do this right.
Get up and look in the mirror. What do you see? You see an attractive young woman, do you not? Then, ask yourself; What does he see? He must respect you. You are many things to this man. You are the mother of his children, a noble cause. Rarely, do our men, see this on a daily basis. What they see, more often than not, is their wife/lover.
So, what will you do to be the best at that? You want him to continue to shop at your store, right? It takes work to make a relationship work, you must continually make him think, blow his mind, ok? It's not supposed to be, all about sex but men are hardwired, differently than women. During sex, don't let him wam bam thank ya ma'am ya. Do not fear his reaction, if you step out of yourself. Don't be the mother of twins, when you're in his bed, be a woman and demand his attention, take control, make him remember. You can do this, I know you can.
You must not nag. If you have something, that's bothering you, pick and choose your fight carefully. When and where you fight, is important. If you want to win, you must find the right time to bring things up. You tell him, you need to talk to him about some things that are bothering you. I am not telling you to tippy toe around him, dammit if somethings on your mind, you need to talk about it. And he needs to listen. You'll have to set the stage. Never ever fight in the bedroom. It must be a place of sanctuary, never filled with bad memories. Yes, it's only a room but if you can help it, never go there to discuss something that may be heated.
Put on your Bitch Belt...Ask him to sit down, when it's private and the kids are occupied. You tell him, there's a few things, even if they might seem petty, they are still bothersome. You tell him, you'd appreciate it, if he would talk with you and you do not want to argue. You say, that you are not accusing but simply letting him know how and where you stand. You then tell him, that when you bring up anything, he goes off about it and "that won't work." Now, you need to say it, just that way. You are not saying that it's not acceptable but you are stating fact. You are also taking control of the conversation and he will have to look at his behavior during discussion. You then tell him, that you want to have an adult conversation. You say this because, if he goes off, he is now aware that he is not the one having an adult conversation, right? If he gets cagey, at all during your conversation, you simply say, "I wanted to keep this on an adult level." See, you're not calling him childish but you are saying or making him painfully aware that he might not be behaving as an adult, right?
Grabbing the Bull
He must understand, his part, in what makes or breaks this relationship. But guys are different, as I said before, so you have to take a different approach.
First, you tell him, you respect him and that you can only envision being with him, for the rest of your life, that you love him and you want to trust him. Trust is paramount in any relationship. If you don't have it, you have nothing. trust is more than wondering if he's fooling around. It's trusting him with your heart and mind, emotions and your children. You tell him this and that you want to continue to respect him.
Then, you explain this simple premise; Women are given a 6th sense, an intuition. It is real enough, that it is even mentioned in the Bible, several times.
It is then, that you tell him, you do not want a response to what you are about to say. He does not need to retort or defend himself. You are making a statement, an important synopsis, as to how you feel, matter of fact;
I am not accusing you. But I am stating what and how I feel. I want you, from this day forward, to treat me, exactly as you want treated. If you do not want me to behave secretly and IM other men, you will not do it. If you do not want me running around, behaving with a single persons attitude and heart, you will not treat me, this way. The only thing that's separates us, from a legal marriage is a piece of paper. My heart is married to you. If you want me to continue to behave, as your wife, you must behave as my husband. If you want my continued respect, you must respect me and my feelings. You will not blow me or my feelings off, unless of course, you'd like me to treat you in the same respect.
If you are not happy, now or ever, you need to say so. Do not try to spare my feelings but be honest. I am not playing a game with your emotions and will not have mine played. You always have an out but you must be honest. If I no longer trip your trigger, you need only to tell me but do not fool around on me. You may not like the outcome. Now, I am a reasonable woman and I am not trying to pin you to marriage. But when a man comes home, sleeps in your bed and tells you he loves you and only you, you believe him and it is the same as a marriage. I don't need that paper right now to validate yours or my feelings but I need us to understand each other and our future. You're either in or your out and you must make up your mind. You can't have your cake and eat it too and run around one minute like your in a relationship and then the next minute, you're out and acting like you're not. Once again, I am not accusing you, I am stating how I feel. You must treat me with respect, if you want me to continue to respect you. It's that simple.
Face your fears or forever allow your life to be ruled by distrust. You could write it all down and give him the letter but make a stand. If you don't grab that bull by the horns now, you'll forever have a rough ride.