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When you don’t hear what’s really being said

Tonight, my husband is coming to therapy with me. This isn’t a particularly unusual occurrence, he’s been with me several times before…but for some reason, I’m nervous about this one.

While we’ll likely end up talking about just whatever comes up, the topic at hand is “avoidance”. We both, but probably more so me lately, have a tendency to avoid conflict, and to avoid things that are stressful, or that will create tension between us. So the goal of therapy today is to talk about the things we’ve been avoiding talking to each other about.

Honestly, I really don’t have anything, and I’ll likely just be there to rebut anything he says and defend myself. At least, that’s what it feels like. I know he has a few topics he has in mind, we’ve discussed them briefly…and I think I’m going to get hit pretty hard. I think he has a lot of things to get off his chest, and I’m worried about it.

None of it is bad, like “I don’t love you” bad, or “I’m not happy and want a divorce” bad…I think it’s more like “I think this could be improved in our relationship, and I’d like to see these changes happen so we can both be happier”. But…still. That makes me nervous. I don’t like change, I don’t like conflict, and I don’t want to hear that he’s not happy.

So, I’m nervous. To be honest, therapy usually goes well. It usually helps, and we usually get something positive out of it.

But right now, I’m not hearing what he’s saying in a logical way. I’m hearing everything that he’s trying to say in a positive and constructive way, and I’m hearing “you’re not good enough”. I feel like I’m failing, I feel like I’m letting him and everyone down, I feel like my best isn’t good enough.

He’s literally sitting right here next to me telling me that he “loves me and doesn’t have any complaints about me”, and yet, that isn’t what I’m hearing. I’m hearing how I’m not good enough, how I’ll never be good enough, and how I’m just a fuck up. How I’ll never make him happy.

I think a lot of it boils down to another thing we talk about a lot in therapy, my internal belief system. I know that that is incredibly messy and fucked up, and we’ve been working on that, I think…but that’s been a slow and arduous process as well.

Lately, it seems like I don’t take criticism all too well, and I shut down rather quickly in its presence. I think that because I’m more physically limited lately, I’m feeling a lot more sensitive about all of my shortcomings. And even if they don’t seem like shortcomings to others, or if they can’t perceive the differences, I can definitely feel them within myself..and I guess I have become kind of sensitive about it.

It’s hard not to feel like a failure when your body is quite literally failing you.

I know that my husband is committed to being with me and loving me, and I know that a lot of his concerns have to do with him wanting to spend more time with me. More time with me, with the kids…he just wants more. But what he can’t fully understand is that, when he is home, I see that as an opportunity for a break. I’m with the kids 24/7. So when he’s home, I do tend to detach and want to be alone.

But I also need that.

We’ll see how it goes. I’m expecting it to be difficult and stressful for me, but I know we’ll leave there loving each other.

This morning, I asked him if he’s still going to love me after therapy tonight. And he said “I know I’m still going to love you, I just hope you still love me”.

And I always will…but that doesn’t mean I’m ready to face the things that I’ve been so carefully avoiding.

Especially with the incorrect way that I sometimes hear things.

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