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July 29 • Good for Nothing

Day 751


Sometimes I'm just a real putz, and you can apply whichever dictionary definition you prefer for this Yiddish slang word. I know I'm not supposed to call myself names or intentionally put myself down. However, in the name of undefended honesty, I must admit that I can be a genuine jerk and have proven it many times, even before acting out.


When I think back on how I've treated my wife, how I made everything about me day-in-and-day-out, I can't believe she's still here. I thought disclosing my sexual unfaithfulness would run her away and was so grateful when she stayed and committed to working on our marriage. The more I work on us and my defects, the more I admit that my passive-aggressiveness and pouting and isolation and vindictiveness may have actually been the greater sins and done the most damage. And all that time, I thought I was the good guy giving her grace for not treating me right. This is painful, and it is a wrong I cannot right.


What do I do about the things I cannot change? Is that a self-answering question? Is the answer, "Nothing"?


All I know to do is to be a better man today. I'm learning to call myself out when I sink back into those shadows and giving her permission to do the same. I must stop expecting either of us to be perfect, and to be gentle with both of us when we are not. I cannot confuse anger for strength, nor equanimity for weakness.


According to the results of my Enneagram, I am given to overthinking the emotional aspects of my life. Does that mean that there are people who do not do that?? Amazing.


Today I will try not to over-analyze my thoughts, but neither will I shame myself for that tendency. At the same time, I will be grateful for the woman I married, and for her patience in waiting for me. It grieves me knowing what I have done to her, and knowing that I do not think I could have survived the shoe being on the other foot.


–JR

 

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