We are trained, in relationships, to play our part.
My husband and I had been together for many years. I had been with him since I was very young.
When he took an action in an argument, I knew where it would lead and of course, I would take my usual course of reaction.
We had established our patterns very early on and they were patterns that were not easy to break.
I had a very hard time learning to take opposite action in my relationship with him.
In fact, looking back, I wish that this was something I had worked harder on.
Taking an opposite action can defuse a heated situation.
If my husband yells in an argument, do I have to yell back?
Will that really make the situation any better?
If he drives off down the road in anger, and I choose to follow him, chase him down to get the “final say,” is that going to solve all of the problems in our relationship?
Our divorce was causing our emotions and tempers to run hotter than it ever had in our marriage.
This was the time to put opposite action into practice.
If I wanted to call him… I didn’t.
If I wanted to see him when he was scheduled to come and pick up our son… I left.
If I wanted to help him, “fix him” in some area of his life… I stopped myself from jumping in.
I had spent years doing the same thing and expecting it to yield different results. It hadn’t.
Our marriage had failed and continuing on with this same type of behavior during our divorce wouldn’t “magically” make it all work now.
I had to take opposite action.
It was one of the most difficult things I ever had to do.
Many times, I slipped. I would revert back to my old ways, the same actions that caused me pain in the first place but, I became aware of what I was doing and my awareness lead to the realization that if I didn’t want to put myself in painful situations any more, than I was the one who had to stop. I had to change my actions.
“Dear God, help me to learn from my past actions. If I continue to do the same thing and expect different results, I will only hurt myself again and again. Help me to take opposite action in a difficult situation.”