He Loves me, he Loves me not, he Loves me...
I’m a firm believer in divine timing. When you are facing a problem the right teacher, book, words or feelings will appear before you. You have a choice whether you would like to pay attention to the message or struggle some more. This whole “living my life with feelings” can be quite a roller coaster.
My husband Rog has been one of my greatest teachers in life. Currently one of my biggest lessons is about control. I go through phases of throwing a hissy fit over my his addiction. He has been a smoker for over 20 years now. I’m a habits and addictions coach, I should be able to help him feel better, right? I forget that he doesn’t need to be saved. My feelings of inadequacy are definitely suited for another dedicated blog post later on. He doesn’t want the help but I hate his habit.
Sometimes I can accept his smoking and go on with life. Other times I tell him how much it scares me and that I’d like him to stop, but that I’m willing to compromise and if he wants help I’m more than happy to assist. Some days I get angry that he stinks and my lungs burn and he’s wasting time and…etc.
Why can’t you just do what I ask of you?
I continually attempt to control his behavior. On occasion I have even convinced myself that his cigarettes are more important than I am and that he doesn’t love me. That will usually result in the silent treatment from me so he can see just how hurt I am.
I do all of these things out of fear. I’m not even conscious that I’m trying to get things my way. It’s an ingrained habit of mine. If I’m not in control of a situation I am panicked. I make myself feel even worse because my mind runs away with crazy thoughts. I’m not worthy, I don’t deserve anything and I am unloved.
I’m getting better at realizing when I’m being nutty. One emotion at a time. I see it and I want to change MY behavior. What now?
Take a step back. Breathe. Allow myself to see what’s real.
- Take a step back: I notice that the insanity is already lifting and all of the crazy thoughts running through my head are starting to slow down. They’re running out of energy. When I’m not caught up in the moment or in the fight it’s easier for me to think.
- Breathe: Deep cleansing breaths help me feel better. It’s soothing to my frazzled nerves. I concentrate on my breath or positive things. I like to do my breathing around people so often I will go to a coffee shop or park and just relax for a bit.
- Allow myself to see what’s real: When I have calmed down and I’m thinking rationally I notice some important things:
- My husband loves me. He is a slave to his addiction. I remember how I was with my gambling. I couldn’t help myself, but I never stopped loving the people close to me. I gave up on myself, not them.
- I have connected his smoking with the way my mom treated me as a kid and a lack of love. That’s huge! No wonder I throw tantrums and panic about it!
- This next one is so obvious and yet hidden at the same time: My husband is NOT my mom.
I am safe. I am loved.
Since I am a reader, I turn to books that will feed my soul. A brilliant little pamphlet titled “Letting Go of the Need to Control” by Ann M. helped me move forward in my learning process. It explains what control looks like and what you can do about it. It’s a Hazelden publication that can be found here on their site. Be sure to go there…I checked for it on Amazon and it’s $5 more. It’s a tiny publication but it is packed with great information. I am certain that it will help you feel better. While you’re on Hazelden’s site make sure you shop around. I’ve found that they have incredible, encouraging and uplifting products.
If you would like further assistance please check out my Gambling Coach and Life Coach pages. There’s nothing like one on one support and encouragement!
Certified Life Coach and Author with experience on Gambling Addiction