My ex-husband would react negatively to some things I told him. It might be a story about something at work, or something that happened in a bar, or something that just happened. Oftentimes, he would react negatively and it was usually the same. It would be a disapproving stamp, followed by a sulk, followed by a character assassination – my character and how I should be better.
In the beginning, some of the things he reacted to were fair enough. It might have been my teenage thoughtlessness, or my naivety, or ignorance or lack of social grace. I cant say that in the beginning it didn’t help a little to have an air of strict.
I can tell you that in the end, it went too far and I edited too much – to the extent that I had fabricated a person that he could tolerate, rather than being the person that I am.
I still keep her mostly under wraps even though we are separated, although my guess is deep down he knows. He knows exactly who I am, and I feel he doesn’t really like me.
Here is an example: he did not want me to see a male tantric shamen. I mentioned it and he said “no”. Unfortunately, I have never been very good at doing what I am told. So I did see the male tantra. To compound things, I have never been very good at holding in the big things, so it slipped out, which resulted in him actually having a meltdown and throwing things around. An adult tantrum. I just stopped talking about it so much, and edited out some of the detail. Really, I just wanted a quiet life.
I could tell you that he taught me to tell lies.
But that’s not really true is it? Actually, I taught myself.
The weakness was not in his iron fist, but in my willingness to mould to it. On some level, I must have wanted to make him happy. I must have wanted to be the person that he needed. This is a problem. The desire to please someone else, or at least to not disappoint them.
I find disappointment difficult to deal with, so its not surprising that I try to help others avoid it. Would you be disappointed if it turned out I was not the perfect girl you thought I was? Would you be disappointed to find I am only human?
The only way I can stop telling little lies, is to stop fearing that the other person in my pair will be disappointed. To reject their judgement of me. This doesn’t mean that I can’t hear their feedback, but I can absorb it more functionally.
In other words, to stop telling little lies, I have to change myself, not find a person with a softer approach that can accommodate all of me.
To be honest, I don’t know how to do it properly – tell the whole truth. Maybe you can show me your disappointment and then show me that you still love me anyway? I’ve never felt the two go hand in hand.