So, this is whole divorce thing has caused me to reevaluate the person I knew as my husband, best friend, and lover. And I’ve made a pretty insightful revelation.
Jason has never done anything truly for me, or to make me happy. He does things, sometimes super kind and romantic things, because it makes him feel better, because it makes him feel successful, because he needs to be good at things.
When we first started dating, Jason had low self esteem. He was chubby, not athletic, had acne, few friends, etc. Having a girlfriend alone made him feel successful. Then he realized he could be good at it, he would do big romantic gestures, it made our relationship better, he felt better. We saw other friends fail at relationships, but ours was better, because Jason tried to make it better.
Eventually we got married. He had won. He had succeeded at a relationship. There wasn’t much to work towards. He would still try to do big things on big days, so he could be acknowledged as being successful and a good husband. But he didn’t truly care about or work towards things that made me happy. Things I wanted and needed were frequently put aside, from small everyday things, to big things. I contributed to this. I felt unworthy, I was told I was unworthy. So if I wanted to keep the relationship I had to give up things I wanted in favor of what he wanted in order to make him want to stay with me. While there were people in my life who almost outright sent me this message, Jason was always there, subtly sending the same message. Compliments were few and far between, they were always surface level. Put downs were subtle, yet ever present. I never felt truly loved, truly safe. I always felt I was having to convince him to be with me/earn his love.
Jason is an all or nothing kind of person. He will throw himself COMPLETELY into a hobby/task/activity, until he is done. I would support him with every new hobby he came along…. exercise, diets, websites, video games, even eventually relationships that destroyed our relationship. I was always there encouraging him, getting him the things he needed, and of course, giving up things I needed. I can’t think of any hobby or ambition of mine that Jason supported. Scrapbooking, my masters, my health…. they were always reasons to make fun of me or do nothing about.
Then came our daughter. And he had a new goal, a new task, a new thing to throw himself into 100%. And he did. And as usual, he excels at it… and it makes him feel good. And he is proud. But not for one second do I believe it is actually about her. His attitude through this process has shown me that.
I KNOW this is true. He proves it to me over and over again. There have been MANY times that he has had the chance to make a decision that is best for others. And just generally the right decision. Yet he refuses, because the wrong decision is making him feel good at the time. When it actually comes down to the wire and it is time for him to put someone else before himself, he never does. He never has. I don’t think there is one person who could dispute this about him. NO ONE, God, his wife, his family, his daughter, has actually been put ahead of his needs and wants. No one. Luckily because of my selflessness that choice wasn’t a choice that had to be made, for along time…. I don’t know how or when that choice will need to be made for Emma some day, but I fear the result.