This rainy, rainy world
Its pleasures are unfurled across my face
A gauze of tears I would have cause to shed
But in pride before your eyes
I keep my own still dry
In spite of history
There’s enduring mystery
Of how humans fight the facts
The memory of their acts
So many new false dawns
Bright days turned to storms
So much hope and trust we looked to future dreams
Seen in two such different ways
Each hoping that the days would
Bring a lasting plan
Some gold beneath the sham
And frailties would come along
As something strong
And you would really love me
Instead of what you do
Some characters are stone
And those should live alone
Immutable it seems I am
Though all my dreams pull me towards this way
Ancestors have their say
And drag me back again
The struggle to be free
Unending it seems
Most happiness I’ve seen
Is on my own
But I’m drawn to lighted windows
Helpless to discern
How I might become renewed
And leave the fatal few
Cause sometimes I have done it
Those glowing days I won
If not for very long, they were there
And those I think are wise
Say look behind your eyes
The flower that you seek
Is all in how you speak
The quiet in your heart
Will mirror the same part
And someone else, in time
“….Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these, I am foremost. “
1 Timothy 1:15
First of all, I must mention that “Why does he do that?” sheds light on certain behavior of an abuser when he’s separated from the family. In the section called “The abuser as parent post separation”, starting on page 632, the author shows examples of how abusers are behaving in order to win other people’s favor, how they manipulate courts to win custody of a child just so that they can hurt the spouse.
I must admit, I do have such a temptation. Thanks to the book, it helps me to identify the unhealthy pattern. No, no, I’m not reading “my wife’s tactics” and predicting her next moves and get ready, no. I sincerely want to understand myself. My current process is digging deep into my soul, finding all the brokenness, and healing. Think this – if all the use of this book for me was “reading enemy’s map”, why would I talk about it here?
Update: I understood today, from reading the book, that I shouldn’t focus on my feelings and my wife’s behavior. Right, my goodness, I’ve been doing this for years and see it didn’t do any good! No, I rather must focus on her feelings and my behavior, plus my thinking!
That’s why the second book comes so handy. Reading the book “Stop hurting the woman you love” helps me to see my problems at a different angle.
Here’s what stroked me in this book. It’s so straight-forward. I I’ll quote:
“We’re going to tell you an important truth here, a truth that you need to fully understand if you want to improve your life: When you engage in distorted thinking you are lying to yourself . Worse, often you don’t recognize the lie. Distorted thinking allows you to believe one of the most basic lies that we tell ourselves— that the world should be a certain way —and you make misguided choices as a result of trying to make the world fit the lie. Consider a simple example. The driver who believes he has a right to drive on the freeway without being cut off by other drivers believes a lie. He may not be aware of this lie/belief, but you can tell by his behavior that he lives by it. If you try to move into the outside lane before you reach your exit, he will speed up to block you. If you need to merge because construction has reduced two lanes to one, he will not let you in. His thinking is distorted by his belief in the lie that the world should be a certain way. In this case, he believes the lie that you don’t have a right to get into his lane if he is inconvenienced for a nanosecond. His behavior behind the wheel is the result of his distorted thinking.”
The point here is that I’m deceiving myself into believing certain things, which in reality are far from the reality. They continue by listing 5 major lies abusive men are telling themselves – and this is what shocked me, I saw myself at the 2nd lie:
Lie #2: If She Would Change, Then Everything Would Be Better
When something goes wrong, too often we want to blame someone else. (Then they give example of a man named Paul, but I’ll skip it)… Some of us don’t have the deep-seated issues that troubled Paul. But we do have plenty of problems—impatience, boredom, anger, depression, anxiety—and it’s easy to want our partners to change to make our problems go away. If she were just different, we think, we’d stop getting so angry and we wouldn’t argue so much. The truth? You cannot change other people. No one likes being forced to change her behavior. Your partner will resist. She will fight back because she finds your attempts invasive and controlling. If you persist in believing the lie that she should change, you will grow increasingly angry and frustrated when she persists in her usual behavior. Your anger and frustration and the mistaken belief that she alone is responsible for the problems in your life can too easily lead to domestic abuse.
1. Do I live by the lie that if my partner would change, then I wouldn’t be angry and abusive, and therefore my life would be smoother?
2. Or am I willing to change my own behavior and ways of looking at the world?
Here’s what I admit. My beliefs were strongly similar to the first point. Even though I constantly was saying that I’m changing, I always had expectations in the back of my mind for the changes my wife needed to make! “Oh if she would only stop drinking”, “Oh if she would only be less angry”, “Oh, if she would only see my efforts and believed that I’m not the same anymore”.
“You know what” – I’m telling myself now – “why don’t you continue making efforts and truly change, and if it really happens, it will be certainly manifested”. Therefore, now I’d rather pick 2nd point. I am willing to change my own behavior and ways of looking at the world. What world? My family is my world.
But that’s a long and hard journey. Yes I know. It’s painful already and will get even more painful. But I rather bear this pain, temporarily, than live the rest of my life with the pain of a bitter anger, being angry at others who are not willing to respect me, to understand, to have compassion, to love me, to appreciate me, etc etc. Because it’s all illusion.
It’s my illusion that my wife hates me. It’s my illusion that my children want to stay away from me and don’t love me. They all love me and want to be with me. But with real me. They want to be with the person who I really am inside. The person whom they deeply love. They want to stay away from the person who deceives himself with lies and lives by these lies, because this is the person who hurts them and forces them to be distant from the loving, caring, and kind husband and father. I must eliminate this part of my personality. Stop expecting others to change. Keep the hard work, make effort, read and think… and act.
I’ll keep working. I’ll keep praying…