Don’t Assume What He Is Thinking

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As the meeting went on…past the scheduled ending time, I felt my stomach clutch into a knot. Knowing my man was waiting for me and yet wanting to stay until the end of the meeting, I found myself feeling tense and uncomfortable.

I knew he would be upset and I find myself bending over backwards to keep that from happening. I felt pressure in my throat. Wait a minute here. Haven’t I felt like this before? Only a thousand times. Wait another minute, how old am I? Thirteen?

I can’t remember the first time I felt the fear that somehow I was “in trouble”, that something bad was going to happen and I couldn’t stop it. But this was that same feeling. And I am 55 years old, for pete’s sake.

OK, regroup. My wonderful man loves me. He may be inconvenienced and he might even really be annoyed, but the truth is, I don’t “know for sure” that he is upset with me. Actually, it is my own thoughts that are upsetting me.

I took a couple of deep breaths and purposely picked some different thoughts. I interrupted the hamster wheel fearful thinking with:

“He is an adult and he can figure out what to do with himself while he is waiting for me.”

“I want to stay at the meeting. I am having fun and even though it is running a little long, I am having a spectacular time and that is great.”

“I am not responsible for his feelings.”

“Everything is going to be ok.”

“He is not like the boyfriends in my past. He loves me, adores me really, and he will get over his disappointment about my schedule.”

Out of the blue, a solution popped into my head. I grabbed my cell phone and texted him my favorite transitional statement for those awkward times:

“It sure is lucky I’m cute, isn’t it?”

Smiling as I sent it off to him, I felt relieved. I am changing. Sure I have thought habits from back in the day that still show up from time to time but at least I am recognizing them and choosing different ones. I know for sure that when I am calm and confident I am more likely to come up with a bit of humor to bridge the gap and get us back into good rapport.

Sipping our wine at dinner after the meeting finally ended, I enjoyed his warm attention and conversation. Had I not relieved my own anxiety, I would have projected an entirely different mood and he would have felt my fear instead of my love. I am changing and step by step I am learning to leave my past in the past….where it belongs!

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7 Comments

Filed under Walking The Walk

7 responses to “Don’t Assume What He Is Thinking

  1. Julia Mattern

    Catherine,

    Great way to reframe your thoughts to create a positive outcome. A good reminder to us all that we can only control our own thoughts, not our man’s, but that our thoughts will directly impact our relationship.

    And now back to my own perfect man.

  2. Hi Catherine,

    I love the story you told in your post, it really came alive for me while I was reading it. Kudos on your master storytelling! 🙂

  3. Catherine, this is a fabulous affirmation of your work. I agree with you, it’s important to keep ourselves in a positive state of mind…and the truth is, it really DOES change our lives. Keep up the great work!!

    PS The other good news…your writing is definitely NOT only beneficial to single gals! I’m a happily married gal and find your stuff very inspirational!

  4. Catherine Behan

    Thanks Angie,

    Your comments make my heart sing!! Walking out my relationship knowing what I am learning as I go is helping others is what floats my boat!!

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    We really ARE all in this together!
    Catherine

  5. Catherine Behan

    Hi Nan,

    Thanks for your kind post. I love what you said about walking around the house telling yourself things out loud!

    I do that too, sometimes even when Larry is around. He gets a charge out of me and especially when I am just naturally myself.

    In my other relationship I was teased alot….it was his way of expressing love but it hurt my feelings a lot…or better said, I allowed my feelings to be hurt.

    We do create drama for ourselves, don’t we???

    Catherine

  6. I believe you’ve found a way that works for you in your own eyes, but somehow each essay of yours sounds like your relationship is unhealthy to me.
    If you’re always having to look after yourself 100% then what is the point of relationships? Do you really believe you can make it without any emotional support from your partner?
    It actually makes me feel sad and worried for you that you have to tell yourself these things instead of acknowledging your emotions and finding a constructive way of expressing them.
    You teach a way in some places, but how long can the relationship last when all you’re doing is covering over the problems instead of dealing with them. You only make your partner think you’re creating unneccessary tension if you let your negative feelings go unexplained.
    Don’t get me wrong, you’re entitled to your opinions and your own way of doing things. I just feel you could have alleviated the above situation just as easily by appologising and then pointing out an instance where he did the same thing if he doesn’t let it go. To me this is true intimacy; When negative emotion is given the respect it deserves and turned into a moment of resolution.
    Being that you’ve been through a divorce and your essays leave me confused as to why you actually remarried we can’t be expected to agree. For example when I tell myself the things you tell yourself and others in your essays I see it as a sign that something is horribly wrong in the relationship. If I see my partner as being at fault I wait for a good time to tell him and I expect him to tell me too, not to behave as though either of us is perfect, because we aren’t and need to improove as something that we do for each other.
    Is there really any point to being married if you can only maintain it by being shut off from each other and denying any responsability to each other?
    I can’t help but worry that you’ve let your divorce burn you from being vulnerable, and it’s only a matter of time that you end up being prescribed depression meds because deep down you didn’t really know that someone loved you.

    ps: Sorry if I come off “preachy”. I’m only worried about what you’re teaching.

    • Catherine Behan

      Wow, Shona, that is an eye popping point of view! Proof that there are so many different ways to look at the same circumstances. I love my relationship. I am finding my way to being more open and vulnerable with my man and it is working for me. I am grateful for the ease and comfort as well as the challenges and communication snafus. It is all good!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Catherine

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