I was at work one day when I called to listen to my voice mail at my home. I was planning on taking my husband’s voice mail box off the phone when I heard he had a new message. Instead of leaving the message alone and letting my husband know that he had a message that he needed to retrieve, I listened to it.
It was a message that he needed promptly so I took it upon myself to call him and let him know.
The message was related to music, and both of us being musicians, this was some times a very “hot” topic for us and a topic in which we knew we could both definitely push each other’s buttons.
I called him and engaged in a conversation knowing full well that I was in a place where if provoked or pushed, I would react.
As it was, I was provoked and pushed and I did react.
We ended up in an argument and I said something that I knew I would later regret.
I had been caught up in my old habits. I had to admit:
I wanted to listen to his message.
I wanted to get all worked up over it.
I wanted to call him and talk to him, or argue with him just so that I could engage with him: that was my pattern.
My bad habit.
I wanted his attention, positive or negative, no matter at what cost to my serenity.
Today though, I am not oblivious to my habit.
I am aware.
Becoming aware of a bad habit helps me to break the pattern and give up the habit.
It isn’t easy… but it can be done.
“Dear God, help me to let go of my bad habits. Bad habits hurt me. Help me to break the pattern. Help me to give up the habit. Guide me out of chaos and into serenity.”
You hit the nail on the head, recognizing is the first step to change. I am with you, I have begun the recognize negative patterns, but implementing permanent change is taking longer than I thought!
Some days I think you are writing specifically for me…then I realize these are all from years ago just reposting and oh so relevant to my life. Thanks again.
I actually realized , after almost of year of being separated , that my marriage , lifestyle , and emotional fears were bad habits in themselves. Not the right place to be. I just didn’t want to give up and felt I was just going to be alone forever as well as being a failure.
So I continue to work on breaking those bad habits of “stinking thinking.” 🙂
Michelle and Patricia, I still catch myself working on implementing permanent change. I found that it wasn’t just my relationship with my ex-husband…. but that I can also carry these bad habits over to my new relationships. Change for me is assessing and correcting over time and working towards making less and less “slips!” Making Sense from My Perspective, when I was first going through my divorce I could not find a Daily Inspiration book such as Courage to Change or the Language of Letting Go just for people struggling with divorce so I decided to write a daily reader that would be continuous… repeat year after year… I have been so humbled to find so many people that have been comforted by my words and found solace in my experience, strength and hope. 🙂 D.
I am separated for almost 9 months now. I’d hoped for 6 months we could work it out,but I have seen since July it is not going to work. (Married 22 yrs , today is our Anniversary) . I seek contact with her over bills or to share the Dog for the weekend. Even if I get a negative reaction or a halfhearted response..it’s my “Fix”. If have some form of contact it sends me back to square one and I seem to not be able to help myself, but I am slowly realizing I’m just setting myself up for hurt and relapse. Need to distance myself from her more. Old Habits are to tell her what I am up to or what I’m doing. I set myself up of “no answer ” or false hope at any contact will lead to something. Which it won’t. I see improvement in myself that the hurt and obsessive thoughts don’t last as long and I get my bearings faster than before. My rollercoaster ride is not as steep as before.
Jody… my heart is with you! Sounds like you and I were on the same path. Your writing is spot on… the fix… setting up for hurt… relapse… understanding your need for distance… it is obvious from what you write that you do have clarity regarding the relationship and that you are moving forward… 🙂 I love knowing that your rollercoaster ride is not as steep as before… time will move you through this… time and awareness (but I hated hearing that when I was in the middle of it!) Seeing improvement in yourself is MOST of the battle. It really is… My life today is better than I could have ever imagined and I would have NEVER believed that when I was so terribly hurt from my separation and ultimately my divorce. You will get there… you ARE getting there! D.
We talked about how our husbands / relationships can be a habit , or like a drug .
That was true. I needed to kick the habit years back but there was just enough … Love , familiarity , shared interests , family … That made the glue hold where I just didn’t give in to change.
Thirty years … 28 married.. It was hard to watch it end.
I can so easily relate to this. I recently changed my cell phone plan just so that I wasn’t able to view his calls and texts and longer. That was a way of keeping some control but in actuality, it was just pushing my buttons knowing who he was communicating with. He continues to find ways to get to me to push my buttons and I know this. It’s going to be a long road and I appreciate these daily devotionals to help guide me. Thanks for the support.
I’m so glad the daily devotionals are helping you get through this… you were so right (and smart) to change that plan. You don’t need to be triggered emotionally. You are moving forward and getting strong again!
Trust me, one day in the not so distant future, Krista. You won’t ever care who he communicates with… I was married 20 years and today… Not even a twinge! I’m here for you. 🙂 D.