I know enough now that I should be writing when my mind is so cloudy. I’m fraught with tension, anxiety and sadness. It is taking every ounce of my being not to reach out to Scott to “fix” this.

In reading back on my posts related to Scott, I know how I sound. I realize what I haven’t done is take a really hard look at myself in the mirror. Scott’s mirror, too. When I do this I always worry I am going to spiral into such a depression I won’t be able to crawl out again, but I also know the hard work is the necessary work.

Unfortunately, Scott echoes much of what my x told me about myself: I am controlling and critical to a fault. I make him feel like he is always wrong, that he can do nothing right and that it’s never enough for me. My boys say the same thing to me.

I can sit here all I want and defend myself. I don’t wonder why Tony was so impossible to separate from, I know it clearly: he saw my shit and somehow knew how to manage it. My friends say because he had the best of both worlds. I say part of it was his own personality coupled with the way he thought he loved me. He would do anything to please me. Anything expect leave his wife.

Initially with Tony, I never felt it was one sided. Some times one or the other was angry and one or the other apologized or reached out to smooth things over. Tony never indicated I was controlling or critical, but I must have been the same person then as I was before him and after him. It sucks so badly that the only benchmark I have about how I want to be treated in a relationship is from an affair.

There is a part of me that feels I need to remove fairy tale Tony from my equation. Bobby too. That leaves me with no one but my x and my childhood (pre marriage) relationships as models. And Scott. But I can’t help thinking how wonderful Tony always made me feel. Ho he brought a sense of sincerity, seriousness and kindness coupled with patience and humor.

I am not going to make excuses for myself in this post. I am going to do the work and get out the things I know I must continue to work on, for my own benefit and any relationship I am in (including my kids).

I know my challenges:

  • I like control, I have a very hard time not being in control and not being right on top of it.
  • I am critical of almost everything at first. It must come out like a complaint every time to those around me, even though I often times am just speaking directly. My directness is too much for many people.
  • I lack patience.
  • I am judgmental.
  • I am lot to handle because I am so complex and moody.
  • I have become extraordinarily forgetful and I think part of this is I’m not paying attention, I lack the laser focus I once had. I worry I may get early onset dementia all the time.
  • I am, in fact, almost always depressed and find it hard many days to get motivated. Now, more than ever, I do – but fuck its hard all the time.
  • I am overly anxious about my life change – leaving my kids, selling a home I have lived in 43+ years and changing coasts for a job I am overqualified for at a company I don’t love in a city I don’t want to go to.
  • I do not do alone well. At all.

There have been so many things in my life that kept me on cruise control that my worst traits were also my best.

  • My control came out as confidence more often than not.
  • I was too busy to let depression consume me with a busy job, commute, home and young children.
  • As a leader, directness and transparency was a valued trait that I was rewarded well for.
  • My life didn’t really change all that much, other than the normal course of events (until divorce and my subsequent breakdown).

I believe, though maybe I’m wrong, if I can begin to alter the worst three traits: control, criticism and judging, I will find I am a better person. I thought I was doing better with these things, but, according to Scott and my kids – I am not.

So this is why I have a hard time determining if Scott is good for me in the longer term. I want to believe in fairy tales, but I no longer believe that’s going to happen. I am trying to live within my means both financially and emotionally.

I cannot discount his anger and lack of emotional IQ, those are really big concerns for me. I don’t believe that my behavior creates his reactions, those reactions are built upon his own history and he is responsible for his reaction. I am responsible for mine. I don’t think you can ever really identify when the chicken and egg come first, and I can often see when I am at fault, but it doesn’t excuse his behavior.

Scott deserves credit for so many things. I believed in the beginning he saw me, at least I felt that he did. I believed we were aligned with both long and short terms goals – and we are, but our path to them may be divergent. We both place importance on many of the same things.

The space between our behaviors is where I get lost. I think about how I can change myself to be a better person, and I feel that I can do that because he is supportive of me in many ways. On the other hand, every time I make a wrong turn, I feel threatened with argument and abandonment. Should I expect him to love me unconditionally? That doesn’t seem reasonable or fair. So what is it I need to work on to behave difefrently to bring out the best in him?

When I am happy and positive, he is happy. He really has no expectations other than to be happy and at ease. He says often that he’s worked so hard to get to this place where he enjoys life and doesn’t have a lot of responsibility that he isn’t going to let anyone or anything disrupt that – which I do. On the other hand, I have so may expectations, and when things don’t meet my expectations I try to control the situation or become hyper critical. I know I need to let some of this shit go, and stop wanting everything to be perfect, but even if I did – would Scott be fulfilling to me? Would he nourish my soul the way I need it to be nourished? What in the actual fuck does that even mean to me?

I can’t even figure myself out.

I can’t have it all, so what is the absolute non-negotiables I can’t live without?

Would figuring out those things help me to relax and loosen my death grip on everyone around me, including myself?

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.

11 thoughts on “Cobwebs”

  1. The qualities that he has are the things you are lacking, which is why you were attracted to him in the first place. That’s why opposites attract. By being with someone who’s different from you, it makes you complete because he completes you. Be who you are and let him be who he is and together you will both be happy. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Acceptance is hard and we can’t always help wanting what we want. But since you have found someone that checks off a lot of the things you’ve been looking for, and you’ve been with him a year now, I think it’s certainly worth trying to overcome your differences. When we give up on people too quickly, we don’t allow for things to change and get better. If you two can put aside your differences, maybe you can grow together instead of apart. It’s so hard to find a good man these days. Hold onto him… it seems like he really does care about you.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. M- I am alway pleased when you are writing. You dig deep and ask the hard questions. He’s not the one. He should be giving you support as you prepare for these huge life changes. Instead he becomes another stress in your life because he wants to play games. You have been together for too long for these games. As for Tony, meh, I think he was simply a pleaser. He wanted to please everyone and disappoint no one which is impossible.

    You are embarking on a big new chapter. Of course you are nervous and anxious. That’s normal. Focus on you and journey you are facing. Put yourself first. Keep exercising to keep the blues at bay. Look forward.

    Oh, BTW, the memory and the depression might be hormonal. When I was peri-menopausal, my memory went to shit. Add in some stress and I was sure I had early dementia. It doesn’t last. I can’t remember how long it lasted – LOL. Please be kind to yourself. You can be your worse critic. Hugs to you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Maggie. I really do try to ask the hard questions of myself.

      I have to be fair to him, he is supportive. And he would be more supportive if I could figure out a way to be less critical and controlling. Anyone who feels their partner is constantly criticizing them would not want to be around them either.

      And yes, then he adds to my stress because I get on eggshells when I know he’s not happy because he doesn’t manage his anger well.

      We are an imperfect pair.

      I didn’t think of Tony in that way. You are so right! He was simply a pleaser and a romantic and that was his personality.

      Omg you have thrown me a lifeline with the menopause. I think coupled with being out of work so long my Brain is really rusty! I swear I talk about things with Scott and I ever even recall what I say a bunch of times until he reminds me!

      I always appreciate when you respond to me. You have always been such a friend, cheerleader and great support. I know you have been and are going through your own shit too but you’ve always taken the time to reach out snd comment. I think you’re amazing snd really always appreciate your good advice

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Loving someone is taking their worst, accepting who they are, and loving yourself enough to know when it’s not OK. Loving yourself isn’t accepting you cannot do better or not working on yourself but loving the bad things anyway. You are bossy and controlling. You need to work on it but it’s because your natural leader. When the troops are on the battlefield you’ll lead. You’re a survivor, driven to win. You just need to. Give everyone a chance to shine. Being let down has lead to depression. And life circumstances

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I do agree. And it seems he can’t ha for my worst because it’s too repetitive. And I don’t blame him. Being at your worst shouldn’t feel like an everyday thing, but to him, I am that way almost all of the time. My problem is I don’t see myself so literally don’t know how to control this aspect well enough.


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