SHAMELESS PLUG HERE
I can't believe I'm such an idiot.
I've been back in the gym, lifting and doing cardio every morning before work, and I can't believe the difference in my mood, my appearance, my entire OUTLOOK. I took Athol's advice...I went and picked up some different pants to wear to work, bought a few nice shirts, and dug out a few I haven't worn in awhile. People I've worked with for years are coming up to me and asking;
"What's different? Did you lose some weight? Are those new clothes? Did you cut your hair?"
The majority of these comments / questions are of course coming from women that work around me. Now I'm not mentioning this in a "beat my chest" sort of way...but then again..
My wife has been talking about starting to exercise. She still hasn't yet. Granted she had to take the kid to an appointment one day, another day she was fielding calls from a person she works with early that morning (Note to self: Most all workplaces have their fair share of drama. Sometimes when you are trying to HELP, you end up biting off a whole lot more than you want to chew - end NOTE)
But my point, yes I do have one, is that I can SEE how tired she is. And I guarantee you, a week ago, I was acting the same way. Getting home from work, doing the things I had to do, then sitting around....feeling like shit and just tired with LIFE in general. My wife called just now and I tried to tell her how much better I feel. I simply told her, you NEED to exercise. Just DO it. Make time for it...dot..period...end of sentence.
I know some guys, and women, are thinking...
"That's stupid. Your wife is feeling pressured."
WELL DUH!!!! She should be feeling pressured. That's what Athol is talking about, in essence. Not the Guilt turning into Resentment, then Anger pressure, but the "Holy shit, I can see the difference in him. My God. What hell am I doing?" pressure.
This stupiphany (yes I made it up...figure it out. If you can't...well...not sure what to tell you) makes feel better than I have in a long time, but at the same time I do feel a bit of anxiety.
I can make the changes I NEED to make, in me - FOR ME, and hopefully this will spur changes in the way my wife interacts with me.
But there is a very real chance that she won't rise up to the challenge. There is a very real chance that it will take a serious sit down talk, or more likely writing a letter to let her know where I stand.
To let her know how I feel regarding her and our marriage.
To let her know what I NEED and EXPECT from her, AS MY WIFE.
And lastly, but most importantly, that she has two CHOICES:
A. She can choose to be my WIFE. She can choose to provide the things that only she can provide to me, her husband.
B. She can CHOOSE not to provide these things.
Of course I would definitely prefer option A. I love my wife. I want to stay married to my wife. But I can't stay married to a woman who doesn't WANT to be a wife to me.
I'm not saying it's her fault. This isn't about fault. Maybe she just isn't attracted to me anymore. The large portion of that blame would fall on my shoulders. I wouldn't be attracted to me either, if how I acted and looked to feel, is reflected by how I see her now.
Not that I'm not still attracted to my wife. Hell, I'd move into a trailer park and make sex our CAREER if I could. That's not the point.
I know that a major part of the issue is that she doesn't FEEL GOOD ABOUT HERSELF. And at risk of being blunt (Who the hell am I kidding...I'm always blunt.)
I cannot MAKE her do anything. I cannot force her to get up and exercise and make her FEEL better about herself. I cannot make her do the things I want. And the big one for me at least....
I CANNOT MAKE MY WIFE HAPPY. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR MY WIFE'S HAPPINESS...............
That's scary stuff right there. Whether we will ever admit or not, most of us, male, female, husband, wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, most ALL of us do it.
We think that our job is to make the other happy. It simply doesn't work like that. We can ADD to their happiness...or TAKE AWAY from their happiness by how we are, how we act, how we treat them etc...but we CANNOT make them "HAPPY". It just simply won't work.
The harder you try, the more you'll bleed as you butt your head up against that immovable object.
Every person has their own issues. When they enter a relationship, they bring those issues with them. If they don't deal with them directly, those issues don't go away. They may fade for awhile. They may stay below the surface for a time. But when life brings them back down to Earth from that endorphin high of love and romance...when they realize they are the SAME person they were BEFORE the relationship, the issues will normally come back to the surface.
It's like taking a backpack and strapping it on the day you are born. Every time you have something happen to you in your life, something that can shape the way you look at yourself or others, something than affects your outlook...it's JUST Like throwing a pebble in that backpack.
By itself, or just a few of them together is no big deal. You can carry that backpack all day, no sweat. But year after year, pebble after pebble, the weight gets heavier and heavier. If at some point you don't MAKE yourself stop and empty the backpack, eventually the load will be TOO much to carry.
Now this isn't some impending thing coming down on my life...on my marriage. I'm simply trying to empty the backpack. Stop toting it around for no good reason. And I hope, with all my mind and soul, that my wife will eventually empty hers out as well....even if she needs help doing it. But if she doesn't...eventually she simply won't be able to keep up with me as I move forward. Her load will have gotten too heavy.
It's not an overnight thing. You can't go to the gym for a week, get some new clothes, get a haircut and start changing some of the stupid things you've been doing (over and over and over) and expect your wife, or husband, to simply jump up and exclaim:
"Oh my god..that's so great. Here I come."
They are USED to you acting a certain way. You have ESTABLISHED a pattern of behavior, whether you know it or not. You have to BREAK that pattern, and ESTABLISH a NEW one.
So I'm working on my WEAK areas, as instructed. I've got plenty. But I know if I take them on, ONE BY ONE (just like I picked them up, it didn't happen all at once) I will eventually come to point where I know it's time for my wife to follow and do the same..or not. The point is that choice will be HERS. When that time comes, I MUST know that I've done everything I can to change the direction of our relationship. And I'm definitely not at that point yet.
I can't even see the light at the end of the tunnel yet.
But at least now I know I'm IN a TUNNEL, and it does have an exit.