We'd already had a ugly argument earlier in the day where I, enraged, shouted threats, hung up on him and threw the phone across the room.
Um... yeah, I haven't done anything like that in years.
We were in attack-defense/counter-attack mode. We were no longer seeing each other. We were using phrases like, "Yep, there you go! Just like my ex!"
Ugh. I don't wanna see my ex. I wanna see my love. My sweet, sweet, man.
"What I see is a form of vengeance: Today's idea accurately describes the way anyone who holds attack thoughts in his mind must see the world. Having projected his anger onto the world, he sees vengeance about to strike at him. His own attack is thus perceived as self defense. This becomes an increasingly vicious circle until he is willing to change how he sees. Otherwise, thoughts of attack and counter-attack will preoccupy him and people his entire world. What peace of mind is possible to him then?"
~ A Course in Miracles Lesson 22
When we talked later that evening, after a nice long cooling off period, I explained to him my state of mind. I was "what iffing" myself into a frenzy. The uncertainty was causing fear. And fear was causing me to see nothing but negative. In that negative state, I was pushing and reacting and hiding and spiraling big time.
What if we spend all of this time together and end up not being a good married couple?
What if we never get to the marriage point?
What if I can't handle the man I love 24/7?
What if we never get a 24/7?
What if... what if...
"Hey, I get it. I'm scared too," he admitted.
But again, even though we're frightened of the same thing, we handle it differently.
I obsess on the uncertainty. He won't even try to look too far ahead out of pure fear.
I had to figure out why the uncertain future scares the crap outta me.
That was the only way that I could see out of the cycle of fear. I knew if I could change the way I was seeing this, it would make a world of difference in my relationship to my man... who asks nothing more of me, than I do what it takes to make myself happy.
When I was dating seriously the first time around with my now-ex husband, we had nothing BUT plans. Our future looked bright. We planned the things we'd do before we married. Then we planned our marriage. We planned our careers, babies, building a house, retirement. It was all planned out.
Ya know, divorce happens.
Ever since then, I've realized, I've tried grasping at some sort of future plan. Maybe the kids and I would make it on our own? Maybe Soldier and I would get married and I'd be an Army wife? Maybe the kids and I will make it on our own and I'll be a bisexual eternally polyamorous single woman who does triathlons and has a rockin' bod? Now... I'm stuck in the maybe's and sometimes the negative, horribly scary what if's.
What I'm trying to remember is that even when my future was planned it didn't work out according to the plan. So maybe life isn't supposed to be plans. Maybe life is supposed to be surprises and lessons and happy moments and going with the flow.
Gentleman Jack asked me to change around my negative what if's into positive ones.
"What if," he proposed, "our relationship never ends? What if we don't end up like we did in our marriages? What if we grow old together, happily and crazy in love? You never know. All that I know is that as hard as this is, I'd rather have you in my life than out of it."
Because when I ask myself the two questions he asked me the first time I almost broke things off:
Do you love me?
Are you having fun?
The answer to both is still yes.
"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at... change."
~ Dr. Wayne Dyer