A few days ago I wrote a blog about feeling insecure in my relationship with Frank. I wrote about how I acted, how he did and didn’t respond to my anxious and unhealthy behavior and what happened after. If you’d like to read the first blog, click here.
I’ve had so many people ask about his side of the story, I decided to write another post and share his perspective. And, just so you know, I did talk to him about it, and he has agreed that I can post this because he said if using this information can help other people he’s all for it.
So now I’ll tell the story from Frank’s perspective – his version, but my writing it out:
Debbie came over one Friday evening. We ate pizza while watching a good action adventure film. I really enjoy her company and having her next to me.
The next morning while Debbie went to get coffee I got a text from my son. He was having some problems with his truck and we were texting back and forth. When Debbie came back in the bedroom she started asking me what we were going to be doing that morning.
Maybe I should have let her know what was happening with my son, but I thought we were finished texting and there was no need. But another text came through.
I could tell Debbie was getting more and more upset. She asked if everything was ok, and I told her yes, because to me everything was ok. She continued to ask questions and wanted to know if we were going to stay home or go somewhere to get breakfast. Were we going to stay out and eat by the water or were we coming back to eat here?
I didn’t really care what we did, as long as we were together, and I said something like, “It doesn’t matter to me.” Just then another text from my son came through, so I turned my attention back to my phone.
While reading it, Debbie, even more irritated, pushed again with more questions. It was a little annoying but I could also tell something was going on with her, I just didn’t know what. Now that my son had no more questions, I turned my attention toward Debbie and I could feel myself pulling back. It felt like there was going to be some confrontation, and I don’t like confrontation.
Deb was rambling on about time and planning. She didn’t want to waste the day. I wasn’t sure what she was talking about because it was still pretty early and we had just recently gotten up. It was Saturday and there was no reason for us to plan the day. Nothing much was going on so it didn’t make a lot of sense. Beside, the way she was talking about just felt off.
Instead of engaging this frustrating energy coming from Deb, I decided to just be quiet. When I feel confrontation coming, I just take a step back. I could tell that Deb didn’t care for that, but I didn’t know what else to do. (This isn’t the first time this has happened between us.)
Finally, after we figured out what our plans were, Debbie seemed to settle down. At that point, the frustration and confrontation left, and everything seemed to be going good again. Debbie was happy, which makes me happy. But I wasn’t really sure what made her unhappy. I figured I must have done something to upset her, but I had no idea what it was. Asking her felt like it would stir things up again and I didn’t want to do that.
A little later we had gotten breakfast and went by the water. Debbie asked me if she could share something with me. “Sure,” I said. I don’t tell her, but I love when she does this because every time she does I can see that Debbie has looked deep inside of herself to find what it is about her that causes her to react the way she does. I know some of the things I do provoke her, or trigger her, but what’s really cool is that she takes responsibility for how she reacts. Not making it my fault just makes me want to get closer to her.
I don’t mean to upset her. I don’t want to upset her. It seems that what feels better to me is upsetting to her. Like when I pull back from confrontation, she thinks I’m pulling back from her. That’s not really what’s happening, even if that’s what it might feel like to her.
Like, I never learned to explain myself. I didn’t have it. I grew up in a way that I just did what I needed to do, and everyone else did too. They did their thing and I did mine. It’s always been that way. I’m more on the quiet side, so sharing what I’m thinking and feeling doesn’t come natural to me. But, I can see that it is something that is upsetting to Deb.
I know she knows I care for her. She’s told me I do. Lol, meaning she’s told me she knows I do from the way I behave towards her. But she also told me that, for now, for awhile longer, she needs more reassurance from me.
At first that felt really uncomfortable because what does “more reassurance” mean? But, what was really great was she gave me two things I could say. One of them was to let her know I wanted to be with her and then add whatever I wanted to that, and the other was to recognize that maybe if I hugged her or asked her if she wanted a hug that just that little gesture would suffice.
Because I know in my mind how I feel about Debbie, I just assumed she did too. I don’t know why she needs this additional attention, but it’s really not that much and if doing that little bit makes her feel better, which makes our whole relationship a lot better, then I’m happy to do it. [End of Frank’s part]
Would you like to learn some ways to help you be able to better communicate with your loved ones? Wanna learn to speak in a way that is kind, but specific and authentic. It’s what people really want to hear – the truth, at least the truth as you see it as long as it comes from a place of kindness and not from a place of anger. Communicating consciously promotes a greater possibility of you getting what you really want.
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