I find it interesting when I introduce my wife Rochelle to people that I know, how they usually say something like “you must be lucky to have such a great guy”, “he is always so nice”, “he is so funny”, “he must be a joy to live with”. My wife suddenly gets this terribly confused look on her face and I am sure she is wondering “who the hell are you talking about?”. but she just smiles and nods, never one to blow my cover. Now, I am not going to deny that I am a bit of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by that I mean, what my family sees normally is not what the public sees. Why do I give total strangers my best and my family my worse? Are they just targets of opportunity or are they casualties of friendly fire?
I seem to have this sense of obligation to those who really should not be a priority in my life, to always put on a smile and a friendly facade, to make sure that they find me likable, only to remove that mask when I get home to reveal an ogre. I have only, on extremely rare occasions directed my disappointment, frustration, or anger appropriately to those who should be the target of my assault. Instead, I bring it home to my family and loved ones and unload on them. No wonder Rochelle gets a funny look on her face when people talk about how nice I am. Not only do I unload on her, I seem to allow it to intensify and fester and then she gets twice what the original offender deserved. If I blew up at work the way I do at home I would probably be unemployed but yet I am still married. I am not sure how my loving wife puts up with it or why, but I know that she must be a saint and I thank God daily for her understanding, patience and unending love.
I have read a lot of material on ways of handling stress and achieving peace within but have yet to find a cure for my predicament. How do I channel my feelings appropriately, and how do I deal positively with the frustrations that haunt my self being? How do I stop the relentless bombardment of my negativity towards my family when they are the least deserving of it? How? Maybe by being open with everyone about my feelings, maybe by taking a chance at offending someone who really wont care that I did offend them. Maybe, by writing out and discussing the ways that I should act I can start to practice what I preach. Saying one thing and doing another might at first make me look like a hypocrite, with time I can learn new ways of behavior by keeping the positive thoughts and appropriate actions fresh in my mind. It will take time to learn new habits and it won’t be easy, and I may have more than a fair amount of set backs and failures, but my family is worth any effort I put into making a positive change no matter how much the cost to me. Everyone deserves to see me at my best but maybe the public can tolerate being given a little less than my best so that my loved ones get a lot less of my worst.
Love you Rochelle!!
p.s. I am always looking for some good ideas, post em if you got em.