I seem to find myself in a sort of reverse sort of soliphistic conundrum where I don’t know if I can trust my own mind. Maybe I’m finally losing it. I don’t know what’s real anymore. Am I wrong for not wanting a relationship.
Am I really damaged because I simply don’t want to play this game of capitulating to the whimsical whims of a woman in order to make/keep her happy. I’ve been talking to a female friend lately and I think I can see why she’s single. It’s madness trying to get her to see things from my point of view. In typical woman fashion, she acts as if what I’m saying is completely outside of reason. Or that I have some sort of mental issues going on.
Just saying. On one hand, when I told her about my wife basically leaving, her immediate question was what did I do or didn’t do. To her, I should have maybe taken her on more date nights, taken her out on more trips since she likes those things. Maybe I should have been more ambitious. … in other words those superficial things (in her opinion) may have been justification for her unhappiness and desire to leave. She also said that maybe the things that I did do for her just weren’t enough for her.
Maybe she’s right. Even though her grounds aren’t biblical enough to renege on her vows (at least from my understanding of them), perhaps it’s a sign of the times. This does however further strengthen my strong conviction that modern marriage just ain’t worth it. The thing that gets me now is that I am no longer desiring to capitulate or cater to the whimsical whims of women anymore. At least not from the heart. I mean perhaps I was looking at this the wrong way. I was thinking that we (in a committed relationship) were to serve one another without necessarily keeping score of who did what. We served each other out of love….almost like how like we do things for our children. Obviously, if things started to feel one sided, you could address it….but the implicit agreement is that we looked out for each other…..serving her was like serving me and vice versa.
But perhaps relationships should be seen as more transactional than utilitarian. The what have/ what are you doing for me mindset should be employed at every turn. Perhaps I sold my “love” for too cheap. That she should constantly be ‘earning’ it and she can lose it if she does not do what I want her to do. I should be making more demands….and even though it’s her choice whether or not to keep up with those demands, her not fulfilling them should determine my level of love and dedication to her.
That happy wife, happy life shit cannot fly. Happy spouse happy house. In other words, I should put me first, us second, and her third.
This goes directly against what I was taught as a child. My mother used to give us the acronym JOY….Jesus, Others, Yourself (in that order)….as the model of how to interface with the world. Perhaps I took it too literally. Maybe this is where the “martyr” complex comes from.
Even today, it seems more selfish than selfless to me, but in a world where selfishness or self comes first to most people, it’s easy for those with the former mindset to be taken advantage of. Empathy starts at home. With me and maybe I should start putting my wants/needs/and desires first above others. Perhaps selfishness isn’t such a bad thing after all. In excess, for sure selfishness is a bad thing…..but maybe the JOY model isn’t meant to be a forever thing. It was a tool to teach me to learn how not to be too selfish. But it should be employed only when necessary.
For me, today, this means that love is transactional and giving from my ‘heart’ is really just about giving so that I can receive. And she really does ‘owe’ me if I do something for her. It’s not about me caring to look out in hopes of reciprocation. It really is about if i scratch your back, you owe it back to me to do …x,y, and/or z.
That’s not love to me, but it seems to be the way of the world. I don’t know if I really like this model. But I’m going to have to start using it….especially towards STBXW or any woman in general. I’m not showing her ‘love’ or ‘appreciation’ unless she is actually doing something tangible that I asked her to do. Any attempt to ‘show’ love doesn’t count unless I specifically ask for it. And even then, it’s only valid until I require something else.
This doesn’t come naturally for me as I’m quite independent. I’ll usually ask once, and if the answer is ‘no’ then I have no problems with just doing it myself. I never required much from people as I’ve usually always felt blessed enough to not to NEED their help. I also hated asking for help as I always felt that I would be indebted to them. But another component of this is to feel entitled. That they should help me if they want my validation and i don’t owe them anything, but validation. It sounds like being a user, but maybe i’ve paid enough debt over the last 40 something years without requiring payment back.
As much as I’ve been complaining about being a doormat, it is because I allowed myself to be one. I only required respect back. This doesn’t work. The lesson in all of this is don’t ask me for shit. Selflessness, thoughtfulness, and putting others first is the quickest way to being walked all over. Entitlement, and the what have you done for me lately mentality needs be radically employed to balance out the scales. Though I thought this mindset was in poor taste at best. Being a servant to others only works if you’re expecting something back. I gotta kill that beta mindset.
If you think about it, beta is second. Alpha is first. Putting myself second and others first as in the JOY model does seem to align with a ‘beta’…. aka your needs first, mine second.