I remember the day clearly.
My children were toddlers, busy toddlers who were investigating, experimenting and, to put it as mildly as I can, demanding. I was exhausted and realized, not too far into my tired-grumpy-downward slide, that it was best if I just went for a nap. My husband was home so it was perfect timing to slip away.
I was thrilled to climb up the stairs and into my bed feeling proud that I had chosen to meet my needs knowing that to be the best parent I could be I needed sleep.
Then it began.
First I heard banging, then things falling. Shortly after came the crying and yelling.
I paused to assess the seriousness of it and came to the conclusion there was no danger below and my husband would have it under control in no time.
But the noises continued to escalate.
“Why isn’t he doing something?” “Is it that hard to pick up a book and sit them down for a story or something, anything, to distract them??” “Doesn’t he realize how tired I am?” “Really, do I have to deal with this?” The thoughts were coming fast and furious …and my emotions escalated right along with each new thought.
I threw off my covers, stormed down the stairs with the thought, “Obviously, I’m going to have to deal with this.”
Luckily, something in me made me pause on the stairs long enough to hear and feel that there had been a shift. No more screaming, banging, crying. Instead, I heard music.
As I quietly tiptoed into the living room, I saw my husband with his guitar playing for the kids. Their attention had completely shifted now seemingly mesmerized by the soft music. They sat down listening looking calm and relaxed.
I went back upstairs.
From that moment on, I realized I needed to get the f#$k out of Nik’s business. I had to admit that far too many times, when Nik had not reacted quickly enough or to my liking, I barged in taking over and treating him like a kid who needed reprimanding.
Ouch. This was me diving into the Drama Triangle both as Rescuer (to the kids) and Villain (to my husband).
No wonder he was hesitant to jump in and help out – who wants to constantly be told there’s a better way (ie. MY WAY dammit). No wonder we were drifting apart – who wants to be close & loving to a know-it-all and bossy boots.
I got it. I took ownership and chose right-then-and-there to make noticing who’s business I was in and refocusing my attention to my own business my commitment to our relationship.
I am grateful for that moment, it shifted my marriage and was the beginning of Doing Love In a Whole New Way.
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