Feelings Aren't Facts
I’ve had writer’s block lately and started to question if I will have enough to write about consistently. I can only tell my story so many times, so many different ways before needing new material. And that’s the beauty of life. It happens. So that’s what I’ll write about: how life happens to me.
If I haven’t said this before, I’ll say it now.
Love Languages are a thing. And they are a very important thing.
Knowing your own, and your partner’s, love language is so beneficial for a healthy relationship. If you don’t know what it is, please take a moment to Google it for a quick overview. I’m sure you’ll all find this completely shocking, but mine is “Words of Affirmation.” People think that “actions speak louder than words,” but for me, words, my goodness, words are just so powerful. So, one might think that this means I talk a lot. I will be the first to tell you, that is not the case. When having a conversation with someone, I find that I can offer more by listening to others than redirecting the topic to me. Active listening is critical for me. I make an effort to not just hear what someone is saying, but to participate.
For example, when Jeffrey comes home from work, he always has a LOT to talk about work. What happened that day, who quit/got fired/got promoted, what situations are arising with clients, and how he’s handling it all to name a few. He needs to vent and process his day, so I try to allow him that by listening and providing feedback (sometimes unwanted) when necessary. But I think the important part about all the listening, is asking him about it in the following days, showing him I’m interested in what he says. And hopefully expressing that I believe what he says has value and I appreciate that he shares it with me. The same goes with his game of Clash of Kings. He loves to play it and is super excited about it so when he talks about it, even though sometimes I do give him a hard time, I listen with enthusiasm. I randomly text him things that remind me of the game and I ask him how the other players in the game are doing. I made a funny meme yesterday of him and his gamer friends; just little things that if someone did for me, I would think, “Oh, they really pay attention.”
Every once in a while, Jeffrey surprises me and speaks my language. Yesterday was one of those days. He made a sweet post on Facebook about it being two years since he had up and moved to Cincinnati and the wonderful things that happen when you have a little faith. Though it wasn’t directly about me as a person, I know it was a way for him to say he loves me. And I appreciate that he makes the effort.
He also came home with flowers and said, “I thought the house needed a little color.” I took it to mean just that – that the house needs a little color. Apparently I missed that they were for me when he got offended because I didn’t thank him! It still makes me chuckle to think about when I walked in to the dogs proposing to me and he never even said anything, just handed me the box with a ring. And that’s where we’re like two ships passing in the night. As direct as Jeffrey is in every other aspect of his life, he rarely directly tells me how he feels about me. And that’s okay. That’s who he is and I don’t want him to change. I, on the other hand, am very candid, sincere, and descriptive when telling him, or anyone else, how I feel about him. It only takes reading a few of my blogs to see that I am beyond head over heels in love with the man.
Every day, even though he knows the answer will most likely be the same, Jeffrey still asks how my day was. I always say, “Fine.” I think it’s mostly because I leave work at work. My job is just that – a job. I go there because they pay me a good chunk of change to do something I’m good at. I work with numbers all day and for the most part, I’m indifferent about the day’s events. There is not much I need to decompress from or vent about work. And when I do show interest in talking about something, it must be pretty important to me. So, last night when Jeffrey gets home, I’m sitting on the computer and he asks what I’m doing. I said, “I’m making a store.” He looked at me a little confused so I told him to come look, and he did then said, “That sounds sketchy,” and walked away.
And it really hurt my feelings.
I spent a lot of time yesterday researching ways to make and sell merchandise related to the pup pups. Do I want to build a brand? Yes. Do I want to make SOME money? Sure. Do I put a lot of effort into the pictures and videos I share of the dogs on Facebook and think it would be nice to be compensated for my work? Yep. But mostly it’s because I know some people would appreciate it and it’s something fun to do. If just about anyone else reacted the same way, I would not have taken it personally or cared at all.
Who wouldn’t appreciate a coffee mug with these mugs on it?
I tell Jeffrey often that he reminds me of my dad. And how he acted last night is a prime example of why. My dad is the most supportive person and truly believes I can do anything I set my mind to, but his first response doesn’t always show that as he’s often skeptical. So, when Jeffrey wrote it off like it’s absolutely nothing, it stung. It immediately took me to that compartment I keep way in the back of my head that stores every single experience where I’ve felt unheard. Not just unheard, but ridiculed. And when I look at the other people that show up in that compartment, it’s mostly my dad. And now Jeffrey. Why just them, you ask? The amount of respect and admiration I have for these two men is unparalleled with that of anyone else in my life. That’s not to say I don’t love and respect everyone else in my life, but there’s something about those two that I just want to make them proud. So, when I get what feels like uninterest or what I perceive to be them thinking I’m stupid or silly, it makes me sad.
Now, I know you all are thinking, “No, it can’t be. Based on everything you’ve ever written, Jeffrey is perfect. He would do no such thing.” And that’s just it. He probably didn’t do it on purpose and didn’t know how much it affected me. After a few hours, I told him I was going to bed and he made a smart remark about how nice it was seeing me that evening, because we didn’t really hang out. But my feelings were hurt. And he apparently was oblivious to that. I went upstairs, got ready for bed and decided I should tell him. So I went back downstairs and though I didn’t go into as much detail as I have here since it takes me some time to process this stuff, I did manage to explain to him that he hurt my feelings. He didn’t try to justify, simply accepted what I said and apologized. This didn’t magically cure the way I felt. I still went to bed feeling sad and hurt. I would say I cried myself to sleep but tears didn’t actually roll down my cheeks. Was I being extra sensitive? Probably.
As we all know, life continues to show up whether we’re ready or not. At 2 AM, I wake up to sounds of Kain peeing all over the bedroom floor. I have no idea where it came from, they all usually sleep ALL night and he had gone out to potty before bed. As I jump out of bed, I remember saying, “G*ddamnit, Kain.” Obviously agitated, I take him outside to finish and grab some towels to clean the floor. As I’m walking up the steps, Jeffrey is getting out of bed, takes the towels from me and proceeds to clean up Kain’s mess. And in that moment, I’m reminded of all the good about him. I’m reminded why I’m here. I’m reminded why I love him. I’m reminded why I am going to marry him in 15 days. I’m reminded why I want him to be the father of my children. To put it simply: he is a team player. I know I won’t ever have to do something alone. Messy kids? He’ll help. Messy dogs? He’ll help. Messy house? He’ll help, albeit with some nagging from me. But when the going gets rough, he’s right next to me ready to pitch in.
And when I take my feelings out of the equation, I am able to see that just because he responded a way that I didn’t want, it doesn’t mean he won’t support me. I’m pretty sure I could tell him I want to go on a deep sea diving expedition and he would support me in doing that. I’ve always known that but it began to drown in my feelings. My Unsolicited Advice: Feelings aren’t facts. Don’t let feelings allow you to lose sight of what you know to be true based on experience.
Oh, and be sure to check out our store here: Dogs & Other Unsolicited Advice Shop. If there’s something else you’d like to see, let me know! I’m slowly adding designs but can create just about anything.