Thursday, September 2, 2010

"What if" I see this differently?

Gentleman Jack and I had to have a serious talk the other night while I fought my way out of the darkness.

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.

Then *CRASH*.

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."

I agree.

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


  1. Does Rascal have a brother? I heart him. I LOVE how he turned the what if'ing around into a positive. A keeper.

  2. That's awesome! I have the same problem--wondering on the negative somewhat, especially since in just over a month I'm walking down the aisle again---eeek! Anyway, I think changing your perspective makes a TON of sense and good for him for talking you through it!

  3. Now that is an awesome way to think of things. I what-if things to death too and I am going to try this positive spin on it!

  4. I hate the What If's. I really do. You could dwell and dwell on all the awful things FOREVER.

    What if a bus falls on your head tomorrow?

    What if an alien lands on your front lawn?

    What if you stop asking what if and embrace the fear? :)

    Hugs T.

  5. For me, the most important things are:

    Do you love me? Do you respect me? Do I like who I am when we're together?

    If the answer is yes to those three then we can work through anything else.

    I think changing the negative thoughts to positive ones can be hard, but it's so worth the work and effort.

  6. I'm with Jolene ... definitely a keeper. You have to stop sabotaging yourself.

  7. I love the way he encourages you to be happy in your own world even if he is afraid of not being in your world with you. I love it that he encourages you to just try even when things are hard and you are afraid of the what if's. You are afraid of things falling apart, and that is normal because you love him and realize that he is a treasure.

    But is it possible that what you are really afraid of is success? Some people are just as afraid of success as they are of failure, simply because with success there is nothing to fear and that would feel weird.

    Try to embrace your confidence and his love for you, even when things are hard. Talk to him even when that's hard. If you love him right now and he loves you, if you value him in your life the way he values you in his, then the good memories you make with him right now will be worth any future, whether it is good or bad. And if that's the case, then don't be afraid of the future ... just enjoy living in each and every moment, one by one.


  8. I so totally get this. And you know that I do.

    When I'm not in this place that you are (like right now) I just want to grab you and shake you and tell you that you're totally sabotaging yourself! You're overthinking! You're unable to look at this great thing that you have and appreciate it for what it is!!! I won't do that because, well, I'm sure I'll be in the same spot sometime soon. ;-)

    Hang in there, T. This Rascal guy is good for you. Try not to forget it.

  9. "When I was dating seriously the first time around with my now-ex husband, we had nothing BUT plans..." I can totally relate to this. Also, the part about constantly trying to come up with a new plan, because it makes us feel better. But, you're right, sometimes we kind of just have to go with the flow and have no plan. Why is that so hard to do?

  10. D does this to me. I see the "negative" and he refuses to. Yes he gets scared but doesnt see it like I do. He sees his fear alot more positively!

    We will get there my friend!

  11. This is a very touching post for me. I can totally relate. The second time around we have both a knowledge and some fear that make it different. I find that it is freeing to stay in the present. What a gift you have to be with someone not out of obligation but instead out of love and pure enjoyment. Milk that for all that it is worth.
    How fortunate you are to have a man who is also seeking the positive. And I love the Dyer quote. It is so true. We have a choice to think either positive or negative. The positive is a bit more challenging at times, but way more fun!

  12. Both of your are very strong together, and that's awesome. You two have a balance that definitely works, even though you can both get stressed out and upset.

    It's great that you two could things smoothed out after it got heated. And it's great that you can talk these things out.

    Muah T!

  13. T - as always a wonderful post. I find myself in a similar position a lot of the time.

    At the end of the day there is a lot to be said for living for today!


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