Patience: NOT My Virtue

I can’t keep my mouth shut. When something bothers me, I have to say it right away. I try, so hard, to filter and it doesn’t work. I have to get it off my chest.  It a bad habit. One I wish I could overcome for once and for all. 

Some times are better than others and I have a little self control. Other times I’m really good at saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.  

I decided that I need to practice. Maybe each time I think I “have” to say something I can write it here.  I try, really try, to think of good advice ASV once gave me: what will you get by saying that? (Or something along those lines).  What’s my expected outcome?   

Does anyone have good pointers on how to do this?  How do you control your emotional thoughts to have a logical conversation?  Or maybe, to have or avoid a conversation?

My dilemma right now is probably obvious: I am very frustrated as the other woman around the holidays even though I knowingly accepted this role. Making things worse are the death of his mother, creating an additional influx of family, friends and gatherings.  Deep down I understand this is no place for me, even if he was a free man,  this is family time.   

Bennett had a very good life. Other than not having a true martial relationship, everything is very good on the outside.  He has built a good life for his family.  I don’t truly see him leaving this life for me. Regardless that he has no intimate relationship with his wife, they are good partners and good parents together.  He plays his part very well.  He said this creates self-loathing within him but I’m not so sure I believe or truly understand that.  When I got to the point that I felt self-loathing, I got out of my relationship.  

I agreed to stay through January. I want to enjoy my time, I just don’t know how to actually do it without losing my patience.  

I’m getting dangerously close but I know there is no point in pressing him. I don’t actually believe he will make a change and I feel I just need to plan my own exit strategy come the New Year. 

But how do I not explode in anger, bitterness or sadness in the meantime?   How do I maintain my patience and composure for the long game?  I have come to keenly realize I am not good at planning long term (in all facets of my life) but very good at short term, tactical response.  How do I focus on my actual goal of self care and self preservation?  

If Bennett and I are meant to be, how do I focus on the result and not the path to get there? 

How do I keep my patience when I’m turning into a boiling kettle? 

I don’t know and I don’t like the angst I am feeling. This isn’t his fault because this was my conscious choice. Just like it’s my choice to make it through the month ahead. Regardless of his actions, I need to have control over mine no matter the outcome. 

I wish I had some kind of secret key to my head!

Author: Madeline Harper

My journey through divorce and an emotional and sexual reawakening. Love, laughter, friendships, family and heartbreak included. And there is sex, lots of it, so close your eyes and turn the page if that's not for you! While I started this blog as an endeavor to journal my thoughts and feelings in an attempt to better understand myself, it has become an amazing platform from which I have met some of the most interesting and wonderful people in my life. My path is often crooked, but I hope you will share in the journey with me.

42 thoughts on “Patience: NOT My Virtue”

  1. Your feelings are valid. I know without a doubt I wouldn’t feel any differently.

    My advice: Let him know that you’re struggling. It probably won’t change anything… but it might?

    And you can always change the terms of your arrangement of waiting if it’s no longer working for you. If you don’t think anything will change in January, what’s the point in waiting? Since you’re feeling angst right now, maybe it’s best to cut the cord if you think you’ll just be prolonging the inevitable?

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I do not think sharing it with him helps. He knows. There are no more words I can add to how I have already communicated to him. He really does know. Now the only thing left is action and I do agree with you that nothing will change come January.

      As far as prolonging the angst, I just want to stick to not being miserable going into the New Year. While I do have anxiety around our relationship it’s hardly the anxiety I would feel from a complete breakup. I need to prepare myself for that come January.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow. So interesting. What inner conflict, pull and push confusion and distraught? . This doesn’t really have much to do with the things you asked; i find it kinda neat that what you consider a ‘downfall’ or bad habit, i wish i had it. In the past i have kept too much in and that created not a good place. i suppose there would be a balance. Because i think to much of either approach is not a good thing. Well, give yourself the time line and commit to it. Come the new year, if you don’t feel any differenty or if you don’t feel its different for him, reassess and analyze where you’re at. Maybe try and remove yourself as much as you can from this for the time being, and get your attention and focus on what else is around you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The funny thing is that my past behavior wasn’t successful either. In the early stages of my marriage I spoke my mind and heart and it got me nowhere, so I learned how to close it all off and shut myself down and I said nothing. I really think my x thought that I had finally resigned myself to his behavior (or maybe he didn’t think at all which is much more likely) so when I said I wanted a divorce he suddenly seemed surprised. Once I realized I needed to be direct and open, I couldn’t allow myself to going back to the way I had become (closed off). But the pendulum swings too far sometimes and I want to be true to myself, yet kind to him.

      I spoke my mind to him, at the wrong time, and it was a mistake. It was selfish. I wish I could manage my feelings for long term outcome instead of short term volatile emotional outbursts.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh wow. That all sounds tricky and tedious and tremorfilled. Hm. I like what you said about the pendulum swining too far sometimes. I entirely agree. There’s this balance to be had and I think mentally I’m going to be a little stuck on finding it for some time. After so long of holding things back, I do feel weird and out of sorts expressing so much. I am certain we all could use a little stepping back from time to time so those emotional outburts don’t come out so negative.

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  3. Well it’s something you need to practise. To learn. And I hope you aren’t expecting B to come through for you by Jan 1, because we know that’s not going to happen.

    I think you can keep your mind off this immediate deadline by coming up with a plan … for B. Think about how he can begin the move he needs to make. The stages that might be involved. Then attach a rough timetable to these stages. Because it ain’t gonna happen all at once.

    Once you have a rough timetable of the possible “events”, discuss it with him. See if he is agreeable, first to the stages, then review the timetable. This will give you some idea of his real commitment … if there is one.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. No, he gets the month. But I honestly believe it won’t change. He has to make this decision on his own and maybe, just maybe, my absence makes a difference to him. Then again, maybe not.

      You are right I do need a plan – I want to talk to him about it but even that seems like pushing him forward.

      I need to figure out how to control my need to “have it now” and plan for longer term. I am not good at that and really struggle with it. If there is a long term game to be played I would lose immediately!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. go to a local college and pick up some young strange? Knock the bottom out of it until you can’t walk straight, it’s impossible to breath, and you can’t think straight! lol

    Seriously though…

    I really don’t know what to say that would give you any real comfort, or help you through any of this. I really wish that I did, because what you are going through just isn’t fair.

    and with what you’ve mentioned in your post, i’m getting less convinced that he’ll get out soon.

    I think you’ve been more than patient.

    xoxoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No, it’s really not about the sex. It’s about where I am in life and how I am ready for more, with him, and he’s in no position to give it to me. I am struggling with my own belief system – if I believe he’s perfect for me – why wouldn’t I wait? But, conversely, if I’m perfect for him, what’s he waiting for?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think your problem is that you keep blaming yourself. It is very difficult for a person to change their whole personality; and why would you want to? He “feel in love with you” as the person you are now. You have not changed. Whether you chose to stay in the relationship or not is up to you, as you have said. But if I were you I would not change my personality to suit any specific situation. You are who you are, and that is a lovely 27 🙂 year old woman who is looking for love in all the wrong places. That my friend is what you need to change, not who you are a person. You are not an evil or angry woman.
    I will be happy when January is over, so you can finally see him for who he really is as a man. Someone that is plenty happy with his wife, enough to stay right there with her. What excuse will he have in February? By then you will really be angry as well you should be. But you don’t need to change who you are one bit in my opinion! Whatever my opinion is worth.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I don’t really agree about changing personality. I admit this is a fault or a weakness of mine. I have emotional outburst at the wrong time. Why do I do that? Why such self-sabotage? I am not saying what I think is wrong, I’m saying my delivery is selfish, immature and needy.

      I am angry with him, but it’s not the primary emotion.

      I don’t think he is unhappy with his marriage as a family life, and I do think he can stay in it and just continue on the same path he was in before he met me. That makes me more sad than angry though.

      I just want to be able to control my ability to speak at the right time. I tend to get emotional before I can truly control myself.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What I do when my tongue is burning with things I feel *need* to be said is:
    1) I say it to the person. This doesn’t always work out well as sometimes there are nicer ways for me to say what I need to say..but hey, you win some you lose some. As someone above suggested..let him know you are struggling him. Forwarn him that there are things you need to say because it’s hurting you not to.

    2) OR I write it down in a “note” on my phone..I write it as I would say it to him if I could and then I let the moment pass. I give it a day or so to really mull it over and then if I still feel it needs to be said then I say it.

    One thing I am hoping for in the New Year is that I get a better handle on learning the difference between what I want to say and what I need to say. Often I get these confused and that’s where I get myself into trouble.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Just because something needs to be said, doesn’t always mean it needs to be heard.

      As a new yorker, I have no problem speaking my mind.

      As someone who is nearing a dirt nap, I’ve realized that sometimes more compassion for others is much more important.

      YMMV

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I do the notes too!!! I should do it more often. I need to figure out how to get time between the thought and the action – that’s my biggest downfall – I let shot eat at me til I’m boiling over.

      I like exactly how you think: what I want to say versus what I need to say. I also get very confused by how to distinguish these two things. And sometimes what I want – I think I create the need – which is even worse.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Try to do more notes…they always help me calm down…or send it in an email to yourself….sometimes there is just a need to get it out there but saying it to him directly can just cause harm and be unhelpful. I’ve kept some of the notes and read them ages later and am so happy I didn’t send them!!

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  7. I think writing is your best tool for venting. You and I are both impatient women. Two of my goals are to improve my self-discipline and to be more patient, primarily with myself.
    Your problem in this particular situation is that you have little to no control over Bennett’s situation. He needs to want to change, and you can’t force it. My marriage looked ideal from the outside. My Ex & I were great parents, our friends loved hanging out with us – ftom the outside we looked great. But I was miserable and miserable enough to sacrifice it all for my freedom. If Bennett is there, perhaps he can find the courage to make the tough decision, but YOU have no control, little to no influence on this. I think that may be the hardest part for you – the role of interested & invested bystander. Ugh Hugs because it ain’t gonna be easy.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You are right, I have no control. But I should be able to control myself because I am making a choice to be invested and it’s really eating at me that I still can’t control my emotional outbursts well enough. Some moments I see a possibility with Bennett, but mostly now I am just resigned to no change even if January comes and goes. He has to do it when he’s ready as you said.

      The other part of this is that my life is in a pretty good spot overall … I do have lots to focus on … so why do I have to keep focusing on the one damn thing that isn’t working well? As a Virgo – craving perfection really sucks. I wish I could somehow let go of ideals and focus on the ability to truly be grateful for all that I do have. I have moments but it doesn’t stick around long enough!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You kinda knew this would happen given the situation – that waiting through the holidays and January were untenable. You also know deep down that this is a slow process, you probably don’t want to be on his sidelines while he goes through it, etc etc. Because as others have said – you can’t control the process. These aren’t your decisions to make. And as someone who has been in a situation hoping the other person would make the choice I wanted, and being helpless to do anything about it… it’s stressful.
    But as to what to do? The reason I gave you the advice I did is because I used to be similar. I used to talk impulsively, I used to stomp my verbal foot and felt I had the right to say whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. I didn’t stop to think beforehand and woe be the person who did the same thing back to me.
    So now, I breathe before I speak. I take a moment before I open my mouth to think about whether I really mean what I want to say. I sometimes write it down first. I ask myself “what would saying that accomplish”? – but most importantly, I ask myself what answer / reaction I hope to get. And that tells me more than anything, and usually stops me.
    I would hazard a guess that what you want from him – by telling him you’re frustrated or angry – is not something he can give you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ann. I’m not really focusing on him “giving” me something. I am keenly aware what I signed up for, and it’s definitely more about how best to express the frustration. You know I am exactly like you described: stomping my foot. While I learned some lessons with Bobby, I still haven’t gained enough control.

      Definitely I said something the other day that was wrong (not the wrong thing but the wrong timing) and I had to question myself why I did it. I didn’t stop and think long enough. It was bothering me for a day and so somehow I determined that was enough frustration for me, time to share the burden. I do realize in hindsight no good came out of saying it.

      So if I hadn’t said it – how would I reduce my inner frustration in order not to say something that in the end could have waited for the right time?

      I don’t have good impulse control. But it’s not immediate anymore….but ultimately when the words come pouring out at the wrong time it’s still impulsive.

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      1. I didn’t mean he needs to give you something necessarily – more like, what you do hope to gain or have him do as a result of you sharing your frustration? And what actually is the overall outcome you want? As we’ve talked about plenty of times, if you actually want him with you as a free man – really truly – then there are probably a few different decisions you would make.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. And to answer your last question – that’s why I focus on what I ultimately want. If your behaviours aren’t going to get you closer to what you want, then they are worth changing. It also helps you focus on the right behaviour. It’s perfectly fine to vent and be frustrated but do it with friends or through the blog – not with Bennett.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. All I have to offer on this is, cut him loose. I’m on the same page as oceanswater…. my prediction is he will never leave her. If he’s built this great life where all is missing is intimacy/great sex life (HE says), what stops him from filling that void with you, while staying put? I’m sorry, I don’t trust married men who say they’re unhappy and want to leave….in this day and age, everyone knows someone who’s been through a divorce and knows how ugly it can get, and how Expensive. Which means, many men would think twice before seriously walking away.

    You’re better than this M, and you know it. That’s why you’re frustrated, upset, etc….and have a volcano of words you need to get off your chest.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I do think right now he has his cake and eats it too. He has a great family life and now a great sex/relationship life.

      I’m more sad than anything. Sad to lose an amazing man that I see possibility with. But you are right, I am meant for better than being in an affair.

      My goal is to really start to understand why I can’t control my emotion in a more constructive way.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. No advice, just wanted to let you know that I understand. Every year this happens to me as Sean backs off around the holidays. I’ve not heard anything from him in several days and I go from understanding his situation and knowing it’s family time to being pissed that he can’t find two minutes in his day to say hi to me. This year is especially bad. I really hope things work out for you; I feel your frustration. Hugs.

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