21 December 2011

So perhaps it's not Matthijs I'm irritated with?

About a week into our trip in Canada, I woke up irritated with Matthijs. So I started sorting through the day before to see if I could find what he'd done to hurt, anger, frustrate or annoy me. In the end, I couldn't actually find anything. He'd been actually super supportive of everything happening in my family and had been extra patient and tolerant when we sometimes excluded him and/or made plans without him. So what was going on?

One of the most important things I have learned while being married is that sometimes when I'm irritated with Matthijs, it's actually because I'm frustrated, hurt, angry or disappointed at someone or something else. But because I live with Matthijs, it's not that hard to find something that he has done or said (or not done or said) with which I can be annoyed and thus I can take out my frustration on him. Being able to let Matthijs know when he does something that hurts or irritates me is healthy (and a little irritation in my life pushes me to do that when I tend to try too hard to 'be a nice girl' whom everybody likes)  - but it is also extremely healthy to realize that I might be projecting frustration from somewhere else onto him (and thus might be overreacting). It's also healthy that Matthijs is aware of this and tends not to overreact when I'm being unreasonable but instead gives me space to figure out what's going on with my frustration.

My waking up annoyed with Matthijs during our vacation was a classic example of my projecting other feelings on him. The fact that I was significantly annoyed with him was also a clue that I was projecting. What could be big enough to cause that kind of irritation? Even if Matthijs isn't perfect (thankfully), his love for me in the midst of a healthy relationship make it extremely difficult for him to make me that irritated any more. Instead, the real source of my frustration was the illness of my mother and my feelings of helplessness in not being able to have the answers or even help her more. Recognizing how ridiculous my frustration with Matthijs was helped me see more clearly how much he was being patient with me and supporting me in the midst of the challenges.

1 comment:

Joshua R. Dewaele said...

Praying for you and your family. Also praying for your hubby not leaving him out just giving him his own prayer.