Sometimes we get caught up in old behaviors.
My favorite one was “going to the well.”
I had spent years trying to get what I needed emotionally from my husband and…
Sometimes… I got it.
Sometimes… I didn’t.
He was never consistent with his emotions.
I never knew from one day to the next if he would comfort me or make me feel worse.
One day, a person that I greatly respect, said something that made me become aware of what I was doing.
“Your spouse is like your drug. He is very intoxicating because you never know what you are going to get. So, you keep going to the well looking for more.”
I asked him to explain his statement.
“When you are addicted to alcohol and drugs, you go to the “well” again-and-again to drink or use and make yourself feel better. But sometimes… you go to the well and you can’t get your “fix.” You feel horrible. You keep going back hoping that finally… your magical well will be full again and when it is, the rush is so much better because you went so long without being able to quench the thirst for your fix. The agony of not getting what you want enhances the pleasure when you finally get it.”
He was right.
I was experiencing the negative rush.
A false sense of satisfaction.
I finally understood completely.
When I went to my spouse and expected sympathy and comfort…and received it… I felt great. It felt great.
But, it felt even better if he wouldn’t give it to me… if he made me wait for his affection, wait for the slightest bit of emotional comfort and then finally gave in… it would soothe me in a way that nothing else could. It would provide me with a false sense of calm until… I needed to go back to the well again.
I realized that never knowing if I would be soothed or left behind to feel miserable made my spouse a very intoxicating drug.
I gave all my power to him.
He had the ability to make me feel good or bad with his words and actions.
I allowed him to manipulate me.
I willingly went back to the well again-and-again to get my drug.
His emotional distance only made me want him all the more.
I was willing to sacrifice my whole “well-being” just for one drink from his well.
But I learned over time that the well would not provide me with what I needed on a permanent basis and would only cause intense pain.
And now I know: Don’t go drink from the well.
I cannot continue to drink sand because I’m so thirsty for water.
The well will only give a false sense of security…a false sense of calm until I need to go there again.
I will never quench my thirst from that well.
That well is a mirage that will bring no comfort or solace.
“Dear God, help me to break my old, destructive patterns. Help me to see that going to someone to meet my emotional needs when they don’t have the ability to do so, will only hurt me. Help me to find the strength inside myself to meet my own emotional needs.”