Saturday, August 16, 2014

there is no such thing as a stupid question

Wrong!  Most questions that my spouse asks me are in fact stupid.  And most of the time I ignore him completely.  My silence says "don't disrupt my peace with your stupid question, you should know the answer to this, I am so fed up that you would even think to ask me, you are on your own with this problem".  I would also add "I think so little of you right now". OUCH!! I didn't realize just how damaging this was until a good friend of mine was telling me how much it hurt to feel unsupported.  "Take a look in the mirror D" is all I could think. I do this in spades.  And not just with my partner too.  My silence hurts worse than words.

Time to dig a little deeper to the root of my annoyance:
1) I really admire resourcefulness:  so when someone asks me what I think is a stupid question, I lose a little bit of respect for them.  We are always trying to encourage our kids to figure things out on their own and to help themselves.  Man up! is all I want to scream.
2) I feel disrespected:  my motto is 'dont ask someone to do something you can do yourself'. "Mind getting me a fork (seeing as you are up)".  A few times is okay, but it's an easy trap to fall into.  Fine line between efficiency and laziness.
3) He's not learning the lesson:  same question over and over again is exasperating.  Does he save his intellect for the office, because I see no effort on his part to actually learn from the experience.  Again, goes back to respect.

But in all fairness, maybe he's forgotten the answer or truly wants (and respects) my opinion or wants me to be a part of the process (e.g. making dinner together).  Also, sometimes it's just quicker (and safer) to ask rather than risk failure ... and suffer the consequences of pissing me off. :-(

Better to just answer the question and shelf the feelings of annoyance.  But if still pissed, I could try gently -- yes gently reminding him that I prefer he not ask me that question because "insert reasonable reason". Practice:
Q: should I cook these together in the same over or in separate ovens?
D: I don't have an opinion on that.
  ... too bitchy, try again
D: why do you ask?
  ... answering a question with a question that basically says "why would you ask me such a stupid question", try again
D: I don't think it really matters.  By the time the lower oven heats up, the first batch will be done.  If you're not in a hurry then just wait a few extra minutes.
good answer, but I am still feeling annoyed that he asked me this, try again
D:  I'd appreciate it if you would try to figure these things out on your own rather then ask me just because I am here.  Even though I may look available, there's often a million things going on in my head and I don't like to be interrupted to answer something I think you already know the answer to or answer something you could just figure out on your own.  I feel that you don't respect my time.

Yikes.  I need to work on this.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

I lost 5 lbs

Hard not to celebrate and am trying to take it in stride because it could all come back by the end of the week and I don't want to feel like a failure because I could not keep it up.  So just in case I need to do it all over again, I would like to know how and why I lost the weight -- it just sort of happened this summer.  Some thoughts:
1. got back into serious running, including speed work
2. became pescatarian and cut back on portion size as a result (only so much tofu I can eat)
3. cut back on late night snacking
4. got tired of avoiding my 2-piece bathing suit this summer
5. stopped drinking juice
6. I save my calories for desserts that are splurge-worthy (ice cream, no thank you)
7. my SIL lost a ton of weight and looks gorgeous

All of these are contributing factors, including the last one, which I am ashamed to admit.  But hell, if she can do it through healthy eating, so can I. Too bad I don't know which one of these factors was the main cause though.  D seems to think it was the juice -- says it's huge, which is great because I don't miss it at all, except maybe for cocktails.  Silver lining is that I have rediscovered beer -- so many great ones out there.
Interesting thing about weight loss is that the more I lose, the better I feel about myself and the more I want to keep losing.  ... which is NOT sustainable. 135 lbs was only 4 years ago afterall.  So I should just switch to a maintenance mentality and be grateful that my clothes fit and I feel great.  I should also feel great about what's on the inside.  I keep trying to de-emphasize physical beauty afterall.  My weight says nothing about the person I am.  Gotta keep reminding myself of that.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Mother Lovers and Mother Haters

The relationship advice out there says -- RUN, don't walk. 
It's easy to see why a man who is too close to his mother will let her interfere with your relationship.  Your relationship will also never be private and you will be stuck at #2.  Thankfully I have never had to endure this kind of relationship hell.

'Mother Haters' though are not so easy to cess out, because there are many reasons why people may be estranged from their mothers.  'Disrespectful' is also different from not being close.  Think constant bad-mouthing, blaming and complaining -- the kind of behaviour that makes you cringe. The thinking is that a man who disrespects his mother will also disrespect you.  He will be incapable of showing love, emotion, empathy, probably because he didn't receive it growing up. The mother who is hated is often cold and controlling (plus a multitude of other neurotic tendencies). Other articles I've read also say that a lack of a positive relationship with the female figure will result in him feeling threatened by you.  The behaviours sound really nasty too:  trying to take away some of your confidence in public or in private, to gain control, and to bring you to a manageable level. Any kind of 'caring' on your part will be interpretted as 'mothering/controlling' and since he hates his mother, he will soon hate you.  He will also likely want to be in control of everything himself.  You will be a big disappointment, while he will always be the misunderstood perfect guy that can’t get a woman to be the way that he wants her to be, reinforcing his very skewed idea of women.  Yikes!  Of course these generalizations make me cringe a bit -- where is the psychological evidence to support this?  Sadly, my research came from the blogsphere. #googlefail.

The key though is this: has the man worked through the emotional issues that are caused by having a dysfunctional relationship with the first woman that ever loved him?  Counselling appears to be one of the only ways.  Forgiveness.  Acceptance.  Negotiation. Thankfully, it's not impossible to overcome.  Phew.  But oh man, as a mother I really have the potentional to f-up my children's future relationships. 

When I look at my own relationship with my mother, it's typically disfunctional.  But I still love and respect her. Her intensions are the best and I know that she will always have my back no matter how badly I 'disappoint'.  We are not close though and I feel badly about that.  Is it because I lack patience and tolerance?  Or have I finally decided to put my family first?  Too often we let our parents continue to parent us AND our families long after their role as parents is needed.  I remember seeking their advice, well into adulthood.  And once involved, they would become super involved -- doling out their opinions when not asked, chastising me like a child in front of my family, undermining my discipline of the kids to win points with them.  Ugly.  So now, I've drawn a pretty close circle around my family and I only let my mother in under brief and controlled circumstances.  It's working for now.  I'm quick to let her know when she's crossed the line (k, maybe a bit too quick sometimes ... should cut her more slack).  And I don't share with her information I haven't already discussed with my partner.  I also limit what I share (not easy for someone as open as me).

As for my partner, his relationship is somewhere inbetween Lover and Hater.  He prefers to bite his tongue and let his mother believe what she wants rather than address issues with his family. "Keep the peace" is his mantra.  I guess that I'm lucky that I don't have to deal with her alone, not that she is difficult (I'm pretty lucky as far as MILs go).  Policy around here is :  your mother, your problem.  Which also goes both ways!

Ahhh, family follies.  Wonder what kind of MIL I will be?  Hopefully my kids are feeling loved enough to be able to give love to their future partners, but not so smothered that they will never be secure adults.