Smiling and Nodding

One of the things that I sometimes have a tough time with is allowing people to fight their own battles. It goes back at least as far as my first marriage, when my ex-husband and I were so codependent that I honestly didn’t know the difference between HIS battles and MY battles. Most of the time, it seemed like they were one in the same. When he found himself in bad situations or bad relationships, I was right there along with him for the whole thing, feeling just as hurt and angry and insulted as he did.

And now, with CBG, I find myself in situations where I get very upset when I see him being mistreated by others. It’s not like it happens all the time or anything, but he has one relationship in particular where he is constantly being trampled on. This trampling has weighed him down his entire life, and continues to weigh him down today. It’s got a lot to do, in my opinion, with many of his issues with self-worth and self-esteem.

I recently found myself getting rather upset over a particular turn of events between CBG and this certain someone. I find myself frustrated because I am able to look at this relationship as an outsider and see it for what it really is. While CBG is choosing to “take the high road” and let things go, I find myself hanging on to anger toward this person and how they are so blatantly disregarding his feelings.

Worst of all? CBG is doing nothing about it. Well…by “nothing”, he is making the choice to accept and love this person anyhow. He is choosing not to put up any kind of boundaries with this person, knowing that they would likely be disregarded or trampled on anyhow. He is simply shrugging and saying, “This is how this person is.”

And I’m not going to lie, people, it is maddening.

Maddening because this particular dynamic is continuing to cause hurt to CBG. It is affecting how he views himself, and how he views the world around him. His self-perception is leading him down all sorts of self-destructive paths, that have become particularly evident in the last few months, particularly. And yes, it is affecting our relationship as well.

But here’s the harsh truth. It’s none of my damned business.

Alright, so that’s not entirely true. It IS my business — a bit. To the extent that this is my husband and he’s in an unhealthy relationship and continuing to make unhealthy choices. To the extent that this is trickling down to affect our marriage. So yes, in that way, it definitely involves me.

The truth that I have to face is that it’s not my job to manage CBG’s relationships with other people. All I can do is love and support him while he figures it all out for himself. Encourage him to do what is best and then just let it go. Smile and nod through my frustrations.

And you know what? It’s hard. It’s tough knowing where my place is and isn’t in all of this. It’s tough standing back watching this happen. It’s challenging to try and deal with the after-effects that this unhealthy relationship of his is having our marriage. It’s difficult to not unleash my own (very strong) emotions onto the offending party. Smile and nod, Sunshine, smile and nod.

I just don’t know how much longer I can continue doing it.

2 Responses

  1. While it’s true that you can’t help someone in their relationship with someone else, you TOTALLY have a right to point out where it’s affecting your marriage. How someone reacts to someone else becomes habit… and unless that habit changes, the relationship never will.

    It sucks… just like watching someone struggle in anything else harmful. All that you can do is support and love. And try to keep yourself from getting roped into it too!

    Love you!

    • Yeah, it’s the “getting myself roped into it too” part that I have the toughest time with. Practicing compassionate detachment (is that from Melody Beatty, btw? sounds like a phrase she would use) is one of the things I have the most difficulty with.

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