I was talking to Jessica last night and she had asked how therapy went earlier that morning.
Well, you know how the night before I was mad at you because I thought you weren’t paying enough attention to the television?
She remembered. It’s hard to forget your boyfriend nearly yelling at you for keeping you eyes on your plate of food instead of up at the television. I am so nuts I literally watched her watching the tv. I counted twenty seconds of her staring at the plate without looking up. For some reason this was totally unacceptable.
Please understand that I know this is nuts. And cruel. But yet, in that moment of anger, I can’t see past it. Somehow what she’s doing is not only an affront to the television show, but a flat-out attack on me. Yes, this is why I frequent a shrink.
My therapist, who rarely dresses me down, flatly said, “You can be a real shit to your girlfriend.” Then she listed all the stuff Jessica has done for me lately.
- Drove up from Atlanta 13 hours with her dog
- Made my dinner several times
- Stayed home while I flew to NYC for BlogHer and took care of house, my dog, her dog, and my cat
- Completely rebuilt my master closet
- Bought me a dress shirt at Nordstrom’s
- Various trips alone to Target for things she thought I would like
This is what we can all agree is a good woman. And yet I can be a shit. It’s distancing and damaging to the relationship.
During therapy we talked about where it came from in childhood and what feelings were present. Then my therapist said something I never thought she would say.
You have anger towards women.
I laughed at the absurdity of that idea. I had just spent three days in NYC with five thousand women and had a great time! Most of my readers are women. I celebrate Women’s Day in late October. Okay, I made that up.
But then it hit me. I really am angry at women.
Not toward you. And hardly any of the time does this anger manifest in real life. But it can come out, albeit subtly and unintentionally.
As I was telling Jessica all of this I bragged about how self-aware I was and how clearly nobody she had ever dated be this adept at knowing their own psychological makeup.
Yes, you are the most self-aware man I’ve ever dated, and that’s a good thing. However, you also act out the most of anyone in ways that make me feel dehumanized.
I’m a glass half-full guy, so I did a celebratory fist pump to the sky. No, actually it was horribly depressing to know that I say more mean things than anyone she has dated. Now, I’m not beating myself up here. I’m just owning my shit. I’m clear that 99% of the time I am a compassionate, loving, and fun person to be with. At least my mistress says so. Zing!
So, I am working on taking this self-awareness of crazy and trying to limit my shitty behavior. It just takes time, sadly.
To end on a positive note, tonight I made Jessica a spicy peanut thai noodle dish from Bon Appetit. Then I yelled at her for clanking the fork against her teeth. I was right to do it.