Friday April 25, 2014

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No wonder she wouldn’t tell me

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What started as an innocent picture post by Edrina on her Facebook page, flooded back a ton of memories for me after an innocent comment was made by an old friend.

The picture was of Edrina and our granddaughter playing in the snow. The comment was a reminder of a funny thing that happened to Edrina during winter, about 15 years ago.

It was while we were both taking a leadership retreat weekend in Lumsden. Edrina had been out on a lunchtime walk at the retreat centre, which had a landscape painted in snow. On her way back, she deviated off the path, took one more step and was waist-deep in snow. She finally got out. Once the initial shock had left her, she was overcome with laughter about the event.

After lunch, I met up with her and asked how her walk was. “It was okay,” she said. In class, however, she got up and shared about her hilarious experience. The class was in stitches as she recounted the events.

The only one not laughing was me.

This was during my pre-counseling days. I couldn’t believe she would tell the class before telling me. Why would she share something so big with the class first and not with me? Wasn’t I more important than the class? I got angry with her and made sure she knew it. There was no way I was going to allow her to enjoy that experience.

Now, around 15 years later, as I looked at the photo on Facebook, it finally dawned on me why Edrina didn’t share that story when I asked how her lunch stroll was. I was so saturated back then in my own dysfunction, and unknowingly trying to bring Edrina down to my level, that she was scared of how I would react if she told me.

Would I chastise her for being stupid enough for leaving the trail, or would I be okay? For her, it wasn’t worth the risk to share. Considering my anger during class, she had good reason not to share.

Do you live in that situation? Are you afraid to share certain things with your partner?

You may need assertiveness training, like that provided by the Envision Counselling and Support Centre. Or are you the partner who is closer to what I used to be: controlling, won’t rest until your partner agrees with you, regularly angry, etcetera.

You first need to admit there’s an issue. If you’re not sure if there is an issue, do this simple test: ask your partner and then be open to the answer.

For both of you, some form of qualified, professional help is the prescription. If, deep down, you truly love each other, you will never regret the help.


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