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Feel like I should defend my ex

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Because of course locking me away from my coat was just ONE argument. I stayed married to that man for 14 more years. And he really, really *did* like the end result of my getting healthier. He was proud of my running and was at the finish line of my first 5K, all the way through the last race I ran in that section of the country... which if I recall rightly, was an 8K in 1992.

Marriages are complex things, but the story does illustrate the need to put that oxygen mask on first before helping others. I never have been able to "help" him... and I still care deeply about him, while recognizing that the relationship in the end was not only not helping him, it was killing me, one pint of Ben & Jerry's or one bag of Lay's at a time.

Actually, this work project has made me feel a lot like that marriage made me feel: a paralysis, and as though everything I try to do is going to be slapped down by someone or another. Some folks are a lot tougher than me in the workplace.

I am a self-admitted people-pleaser: I want everyone to be happy. This project has a lot of nuances and strong personalities and missing decisions that aren't mine to make. In short, no control... responsibility without authority? You get the general idea. I won't do specifics, because face it, we all can relate to the generalities and fill in our own details.

So my mantra is to breathe, acknowledge the nasty ugly emotions that it all stirs up, and release them... let them fade... and get on that treadmill in judicious amounts, hopefully paying attention should a knee or an ankle require extra rest.

Draw that old line in the sand, and don't let my people-pleasing tendencies make me feel like a failure when not everybody is happy. Because when folks are diametrically opposed in their desires, chances are good that nobody is going to be thrilled with the end product. Hopefully, some compromise is possible, and I can stop myself from going to the extremes of being either crushed or apathetic... keep my resilience, keep up hope, a positive attitude, and keep my balance! Ah, yes! That's the ticket.

Keep my balance, remember that I am worth taking care of, whether people around me are happy with me or not. I'll never stop caring what folks think, in all likelihood... but I can stop beating up on myself if I am truly in an impossible position and have given it my best shot. emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    The wisdom the experience has brought you has been - even if it hasn't felt like it at times - well worth the journey, hon. We haven't any true ability to "make" people happy... or sad, or angry, or drive them to whatever behavioral excesses they may care to take up, or whatever.

    Those are (thinks me) reactions to circumstances, and reactions can be vented in chosen methods - such as engaging in exercise and self-awareness and reflection.

    By the same token, other people don't "make" us overeat - but our reactions to circumstances, whether those circumstances be relationships or the workplace or whathaveyou, might well result in some unhealthy choices.

    Gah, Barb, you get me to thinking too early in the day!

    Wonder if that means - you "make" me think? lol...
    1878 days ago
  • _LINDA
    So very sorry you have to deal with such workplace stress, that is the worst kind, having no authority :(( You sure are dealing with it in a healthy way, venting with exercise and blogging with great self analysis. The main thing is coming out with your skin and waistline intact, and from this peanut gallery, looks like you have all the tools lined up to do so..
    Give it your best, its all we can do, and you sure can't be faulted for that!!
    1879 days ago
    1879 days ago
    Great blog, Barb. As much as we'd like to, often there are situations where we can't "help" or "please". Healthy for us to identify those times and accept that... emoticon
    1880 days ago
    Such wisdom. emoticon
    1880 days ago
  • GABY1948
    I think this was an outstanding blog, Barb! I also am a people-pleaser so can totally relate.

    Hope you get past this project at work unscathed emoticon emoticon
    1880 days ago
    Great blog

    This is a huge life lesson that many women, in particular, need to learn...As natural caregivers we tend to put others first all the time which tends to lead to us being forgotten in the picture.

    One of the best things we as women can do for ourselves is to put ourselves first when it involves our health no matter what

    Sounds like you have it cased Barb!
    1880 days ago
    Oh Barb---no--you can't please everyone--nor should yu try----People should accept youy the way you are--love yer comment about how yer "Ex"" was killing yu one bag of chips at a time---pretty true !--Somehow I missed your blog yesterday so didn't get the jest of your work being difficult----guess you can't please people there either---all in a day's work----Lynda emoticon
    1880 days ago
    We people-pleasers need to stick together....isn't Spark People a wonderful tool for doing just that?
    1880 days ago
    I hope the situation works out. The problem with you being a people pleaser (and trust me, I can relate to that one) are the diametrically opposed people who could give a rat's ... about YOU.
    1880 days ago
    You found a perfect outlet for the stress at work
    by coming home and working out. I am sorry that
    work is wearing on you. But as one people-pleaser
    to another, you can't please everyone so you got
    to please yourself. Find that happy place. HUGS!
    1880 days ago
  • SAMI199
    emoticon People-pleasing is a hard habit to break..but gets easier with practice.-sometimes...

    1880 days ago
    You are soooooo right! You cannot please everyone, so you have to please yourself! First, foremost and always we have to be true to ourselves and be happy with ourselves.

    Wishing that things would be less stressful for you! HUGS
    1880 days ago
    emoticon Keep up the attitude and remember you need to take care of yourself first before you can help someone else. Draw the line in the sand and do what you need to do for yourself first.
    1880 days ago
  • DALID414
    Responsibility without authority, sounds like my previous job. It's no fun.
    1880 days ago
    All you can do is your best and sometimes you just need to ignore those that aren't happy! I've learned not to sweat things that I have no control over!! You can't "make" someone happy, if they chose not to be. You can't "make" someone eater healthier if they don't want to. You can't "make" someone workout if they want to sit.

    I like your new mantra! Do things that make you happy in all aspect of your, your ex, etc. You are WORTH being happy and yes, emoticon
    1880 days ago
    I totally agree with PatricaAK reply ... we all see something or we wouldnt be married in the first place, and believe me there have been times in this marriage I have wondered LOl today for a while being one LOL
    1880 days ago
    As I say about my ex, if he didn'f have good points, I wouldn't have married him.
    1880 days ago
  • ANDI571
    I am a people pleaser, and even though it isn't affecting my marriage it has my friendships and other family relationships. In the past few years I have lost friendships because I learned the word NO! It's sad, but it had to be done for me.

    Good work, you are doing awesome!
    1880 days ago
    emoticon You are worth it and don't forget it
    1880 days ago
    Hoping that impossible situation calms -- that the decisions you need to go forward come -- and that your responsibility and authority match. I love your analysis, self knowledge, and plan. Yes, yes, yes. Take care of yourself. You can do it!! And yeah, a husband that comes to your races has his good points, for sure.
    1880 days ago
    Remember to please yourself first and then you can please others.
    1880 days ago
    1880 days ago
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