Insecurity in Marriage - Conslusion
Therapy was very helpful to Lindsey on a number of different fronts. First, she became honest with herself about her feelings. In the past, she had always thought her emotions were a sign of being crazy or dysfunctional. The idea that emotions were normal and healthy was a real relief. She no longer had to hide her true self. Emotions were less likely to build to a breaking point because she felt free to express them as they emerged. When she began to address her emotions more immediately, she noticed they were resolved much quicker without the fall out. The conversations brought her closer to the other person, rather than widening a gap. She felt more connected and supported. She could feel the love in the relationship.
She was addressing her emotions, she no longer had the stress involved with suppressing her emotion. Suppressing her emotions almost always fueled stress eating. With fewer suppressed emotions, she noticed fewer regrets around eating. When she did engage in stress eating, she began to look deeper. She would ask herself, "Am I suppressing emotion? What was I thinking when I made the regretful choice?" Over the months she was engaged in therapy, she noticed a slow and steady weight loss without any conscious attempts at dieting.
But the most revolutionary change came from the distinction between caring and caretaking. Lindsey had always been a caretaker. She had never considered the idea that she could care without caretaking. Her children were grown and she didn't need to take care of them. She began to realize that her caretaking was actually detrimental to her children. They were at the point in life where they needed to be responsible for their choices. Bailing them out was not allowing them the opportunity to learn. When she did bail them out, her kids didn't really appreciate it because it always came with a serving of resentment and a side of "I told you so." When she stopped trying to fix everything and allowed them to fix what they needed to, she was more compassionate and understanding. She felt closer to her children and they were more likely to reach out to her for advice. They appreciated her more for doing less.
With her parents, she realized she was not an inspiring caregiver. She was annoyed by her parents' demands and they felt it. She noticed that she spent as little time as possible because she felt overwhelmed by their needs. She realized she wanted her parents taken care of but didn't want to caretake. Somehow she had taken on the responsibility while her siblings stepped aside. This required a heart to heart conversation with her family where she let them know she would no longer play the role of sole caretaker. To her surprise, they all understood. Truthfully, they never fully understood why she took on the role in the first place, except that she always seemed to like being in charge. They agreed to share some of the responsibilities and to bring in some outside help. Lindsey noticed without all the responsibility of caretaking, she actually enjoyed spending time with her parents. She really missed them and for the first time in a long time she felt connected.
Last but not least, Lindsey's relationship with her partner improved. She felt like she was back to being the person she used to be before life got so heavy. She had free time. She had moments of feeling carefree. And she had an extraordinary appreciation for her life and the people around her. She felt deeply loved and she loved deeply.
"Yeah, life's about the people who surround you. Love's the only thing it all comes down to..."
Jason Mraz - I'm Better with You