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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Confidence

When I was in the military, I was going to be an officer, once.  I would read many things on leadership, just as I did when I was completing my MBA.  One of the things that I read was that confidence was more important than being right.  When you are in the midst of a battle, you don't want someone that is so preoccupied with picking the best option that they don't make any movements at all.  You want someone that finds an option and goes for it with commitment.  

I have mentioned a few times that there were many things that went into my last divorce, but today I was realizing that a lot of it centers around confidence... or particularly my ex's lack of it.  I don't say that to condemn her.  I feel bad for her, as I did for a lot of the marriage, but let me explain.

My ex had a bad history with men... beginning as a child.  Yes.. that.  She couldn't shake that for a long time.. really ever, but I will get to that.  She felt guilty, even though she was a victim.  That isn't the only thing that she would be victimized with... it continued with her ex and her mother.  When I met her, I remember feeling that she deserved to have a good, happy life, and I was committed to giving her that. However, I didn't predict that the emotional wounds would end up robbing her of that.

Despite my giving her affirmation and telling her on many occasions that I didn't find fault in her physical challenges or such, she was fixed in her self esteem issues such that it didn't matter what I said.  She always felt that she was not good enough for me or continued to go back to believing I felt that she was not good enough... again, no matter what I said.  She also would not initiate things with me, because she didn't have the confidence in herself to do so.  And, since I was not dumping her, she took the first opportunity to call it quits, refusing counseling, because, as she said, "I don't think it would change anything."  Then, once I left after she ended it, she would present herself as... ding ding ding... a victim, again, all because she could not believe in us or herself.

As I said, I feel bad for her.  I did the whole way.  Even at the end, I realized some of this, but here's the thing.  I didn't marry a therapy patient.  I wasn't her counselor.  I was her husband.  It wasn't and isn't my job to GET her to express her emotions or show care.  It wasn't my place to make her believe her herself.  You can only give someone the tools with which to believe, but they have to make that choice, themselves.

I've made a lot of mistakes in my life, but I'VE MADE a lot of mistakes... meaning, I took the steps and gave it a shot.  In The Lost City, which I just saw and love, there is one scene where Sandra Bullock said about taking a risk at finding a treasure, "What if I go and there isn't anything there?"  Channing Tatum replies, "So what?  At least we can say we tried."  That is very true.  Yes, I've made a lot of mistakes, and I will continue to do so.  But, that's because I believe in myself enough to try, and I will continue to have that faith and courage.

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