Saturday, March 17, 2012

I'm Selfish

So... I've come to realize lately that I've been selfish.

And (but) to be honest, I bounce back & forth between it's bad and it's normal (because that's normal, does that make it okay?) and it's reasonable (again, does that make it okay?), and it's not selfishness, it's standing up for yourself and expressing what you want / need.

I don't really have a conclusions yet. Part of the journey, I suppose. But I do think that maybe there's a really fine line between standing up for yourself & expressing what you need from your spouse, and being a selfish little brat.

I guess in reflection I can see where lately I've been more on the selfish end of things. I also see where over the past few years I've made this journey, where for a really long time I concentrated on what he needed / wanted from me and busted my butt in attempts to give him what he needed & wanted.

And felt like I wasn't getting that same selflessness in return.

FireMan has become so much a better husband than he was a couple of years ago. He does do things for me. I don't want this to sound like another my-husband's-a-jerk post.

I guess what I'm saying is that in trying to figure out where I got here, I think his selfishness spun off of into need for me to assert my needs & wants, after they had been ignored for so long.

That after so long of feeling ignored and feeling like I was giving, giving, giving and not getting back what I needed, I imagine it's a natural part of the human psyche to reach this sort of survival mode, where you stop caring about other people's needs (not that I ever stopped caring, I swear), and start asserting that your own needs be met.

Sort of a I'll-hunt-to-feed-the-pride-until-I-realize-I'm-starving-myself situation.

I'm not saying my selfishness is good, or right. I am saying that I do feel it is justified, explainable, and a natural reaction of the neglect I was receiving from my spouse.

Similar to what happened here.

Doesn't make it right. Doesn't make it okay.

Does make it my actions, and I need to own them, and take steps to change my behavior.

But I do think there's a lesson here for everyone.

And... you know what... I'm gonna expound on that a little bit.

I hope this makes sense. It makes sense in my head.

Now... what do I need to do?

I think first of all I need to try to do some quiet reflection and see where my actions really have been.

I need to put my husband's needs above my own.

I need to work to strike a balance between asserting what my needs & wants are, without neglecting his needs, or... well, acting like a selfish little brat.

"Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."    -- Philippians 2:2-4 

1 comment:

  1. I would have to respectfully disagree with you. You are not selfish. I have no idea what the particulars of y'alls situation is, but you have to assert yourself or you will resent your partner.

    Let me share with you some our story. We had a point in time where I wasn't sure we'd make it. The fallout from the Sofa Super Store Fire was truly overwhelming. Mentally, he was hanging on by a thread that was slowly unraveling. So, naturally, I threw my entire heart mind and soul into being his everything. His eyes when he couldn't see clearly. His strength when he was too tired to stand on his own and conscious when he couldn't control the anger.
    Fast forward through 2.5 agonizing years, he is "healed" enough to stand on his own. BUT, my being his everything has become a habit. For both of us. Now, I'm in my first troubled pregnancy and I need him to lean on - for him to be the strength for awhile. And he is completely unable to. In fact, he's angry when I show the slightest bit of weakness.
    And that flips a switch in me. I suddenly see clearly, the pattern we have fallen into and I'm pissed. I can't live my entire life that way and be happy. I have valid needs too.
    It honestly took me almost dying in childbirth, then having a desperately ill child to wake him up. He finally saw what was going on. I couldn't make him see. He had to come to it himself and that's the frustrating part. And I learned not to resent the fire department.
    I can't say what would have happened if he had never opened his eyes, but I'm glad he did and now we are happier than we've ever been in our ten years together.
    I hope you somehow find the same. Hugs :)