I have a problem with black and white thinking. This is not new information; I have been well aware of this fact for quite some time.
I work on it, though. On not seeing things/people/situations as either all good or all bad. Some days it’s more difficult than others.
I do this in my marriage, too. (Gosh, I find it weird typing that, since our marriage is still such a relatively new development. But since we’ve been together for just shy of 5 years, I’ll cut myself some slack). Still….weird. Marriage. Me.
Sometimes when CBG and I encounter problems, or when I’m feeling particularly negative about life in general, I have this tendency to go down the “all bad” road in my mind when it comes to him and I. When we were a long distance couple, this would inevitably turn into a “what-the-hell-are-we-doing-we-should-just-end-this” thought chain.
A few weeks ago I was in a bad head space. It happens every now and again, when I just get overwhelmed with negativity. It’s never usually triggered by anything specific, it’s just a dark cloud that descends for a little while, that causes me to see my world (and everything/everyone in it) with a negative filter.
And it happened. I found myself going down that negative, “What-in-the-hell-did-we-get-ourselves-into?” road. Like an old familiar pilly sweater, I slid back into that without any problems at all. There were even moments when I began to work myself into a bit of a panic over the whole thing, imagining all kinds of worst case scenarios.
I lived in that head space for several days. Wallowed in it. Bathed myself in its stench. I wasn’t very pleasant to live with, as CBG can confirm. I was sullen, irritable, negative.
I’d like to say that there was some magic moment that caused me to give my head a shake and wake up to what I was doing and how to pull myself out of it. I’d like to say that the sky opened up and I received a message from the heavens. Or at least an image of Jesus in my morning toast. Something.
However, this is not the case. I simply allowed myself what I was feeling and then little by little, I came back out of the emotional hole that I was in. Thanks to CBG, not only for his love and patience, but for giving me the space that I needed to work through my shit on my own. Because that’s what I do. That’s what WE do. What we’ve been doing for the past five years together.
A solid marriage isn’t built by two people who are perfect, who never encounter problems and issues, who never have any dark negative times. A solid marriage is built by two people who give each other space when they need it. People who feel safe enough to entertain their darkest, most negative thoughts, safe in the knowledge that thinking something isn’t the same as acting on it. I do feel negative sometimes. And there’s a pretty good chance that I always will, from time to time. And I know that when these times happen, CBG will continue to love me — from the gentle distance I need him to be at…but also swooping in when I ask for it.
Because that’s what he does. He loves me just the way I need to be loved. And that, more than anything else, tells me that we will always be okay.