Saturday, February 25, 2006

Script for Teenage Trouble

Saving your teenager from themselves; Self Destructive behavior is something kids don't see as harmful, either to their morals, their health, or their well-being in general/ here is a conversation I found that offers some good explaination to your kids as why we do what we do to protect them:
"You're my son/daughter, and I love you. I want you to love me, but that's secondary to my job as your parent, which is to get you through these years without hurting yourself. Don't underestimate my resolve. If you think for a second that I'm willing to believe "Everybody's doing it" and let you pursue this behaviour, you're wrong. I want you to have fun, freedom and the opprtunity to find youself, but I'm setting up narrow boundries and tall fences to contain you until you prove you won't violate these privileges. You can like me or not-my job is to do for you what you're not doing for yourself. I will never accept these self-descructive behaviours, so let's make a plan we can both be excited about."

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Fierce Independance

Coming from a young widow's home I consequently dont remember much interaction between my parents. My other influences, sadly, were only snippets of say, boyfriends' parents'; which were neurotic at best. I do recall one pathetic example of a best friend's drunken, leering stepdad, the mom yelled and nagged constantly and was sarcastic and disrespectful to all. Seemed like everyone in that house had their own kind of contempt for eachother (including the spouses.)
So. My own view of healthy marriage relations were at best tainted.
I did have grandparents whom were halarious to watch, they were respectful, loving, constantly teasing eachother good-naturedly. They had some kind of unspoken mutual truce or secret shared by little winks at eachother. But after 50 years, you wonder how it all starts and how it evolved.
As a person, I am compassionate and very very sensitive to others' needs. I am extremely forgiving. And I forget easily. (This particular trait is extremely advantageous to my husband. ) Let me tell I'll let this one go for now.
These traits, consequently, have been excellent for our marriage. Can you imagine what happens to a partnership when the opposite of these traits are applied?
My point is not to brag. Trust me. (I'm humble too :) But to point out that even that is not enough. I am learning through research and reflection that there is much more to me that gets in the way of a happy, c0ntent relationship.
Such as; Independance. My mom was a young widow. So, consequently, I was the surrogate mother to my sibs; had two jobs in highschool; payed for my own clothes, car, fun etc; found my own way, did my own thing, basically.
I also watched as my mom did it all; worked full time 50 hours per week. Had innumberable hobbies, had multiple time consuming jobs in our church, fixed things when they broke, solved all problems; She was her own revolving self supportive world of endless resources.
So. I saw feminism at it's best. Though mind you, it wasn't her choice or by any means her plan; she just had to take the reigns and do it. "I can do anything, I don't need anyone, watch me go, oh, and get out of my way."
To her credit the "I don't need anyone" Thing, didnt' refer to her lack of a man status. She chose to focus on us and her responsibilities, not her personal needs, or desires for companionship, this would've added an element of drama for us kids that we did not need. Bless her. It just means " I can do this for my kids, get out of the way if you think I cant"
A Feminism mentality with a fierce sence of independance is not the best combination for a healthy marriage. Sharing, cooperating, cohabitation, staying at home with kids, relying on someone else??? These are traits that were foreign to me. Even with the afore mentioned positives going for me. I still had quite the adjustment period.
I think I just took over when I got married. I wasn't 100% sure things were going to work out at all. So I made them work. I didn't sit back and let things happen. I had them happen. I think my hubbie needed some pushing and encouragement to succeed ...while I would take none. I could do everything on my own.
Now, as married persons. we were 19. Not exactly the age of maturity. And you know women; 2 years more mature emotionally than men at that age. So, this was quite an adjustment for us both and I just went with what I knew. I was mature for my age. Hubby was really not. I'm being honest. not funny here.
I think my man told me a few times to stop and let him take care of things for once, let him help me. Ah oh....HELP ME??? IS HE HE NUTS??? Does he think I'm going to just sit back and fan myself while he gets all the glory? I don't think so honey. I will do it myself, take care of myself. Handle it myself. Finances, Jobs, child care, housework, social life, spiritual life, extended family. All of it. I will take care of it; and you, hubby, follow me and do what I say.
Now here's the clincher.... The question of my newly reformed life.....
Was I sabotauging hubby's chance to become the man he was destined to be? Would his maturation have been brought about earlier than it actually was if I had given him the oppurtunity to be the man of the house? More freedom to figure it out and grow on his own. Given him my trust, faith and, let's face it, the respect that he deserved?
After much pondering and reflection and more pondering, some reading and some more reflection I have concluded....
1. That I am not as heartless as I have made myself out here. I was only trying to take care of everyone at once with no malicious intent at all. I wanted love and peace and happiness. I just thought It was my job to make our lives perfect. To make us work, to bring harmony and order and perfection.
2. In my defense. He did have certian issues we had to address to ensure success. Issues of repeated unemployment, depression, attention deficit, low self esteem and a silver spoon complex to work through first. So there.
3. It took 7 years to battle through and "solve" these issues, that is another story. But we had to handle HIS stuff first before we could move forward at all. I just now have had time to deal with MY stuff. Now notice, I said I had to figure out MY issues myself; Hubby has never pointed out any of my faults. Never. I have to find them on my own. That makes him a much better person than me in this regard. He is so good to me.
4-I am certian that I am becoming a better person after these rehashing sessions of my past. I had a really hard time admitting I was wrong. Still do. But I'm better at it.....see growing every day!!
My conclusion is that the peaceful, respectful circumstances that he and I find ourselfs in now, could not have been forced to happen any quicker than they did. There were certians steps that had to happen sequencially: A huge fallout. A recognitian of what could be lost. A certian surrender and total commitment later...and after way too long; A perfect token of dedication and trust. And then the acting on these principles every day; Never taking eachother for granted. Never blaming, never taking unrelated things out on eachother, never punishing, never disrespecting eachother. Never. Always love, always affection, always support. Always.