Recently I have been amongst family, and have also had really good running support from my husband. He deserves all the kudos shared to him for all his support and encouragement in my endurance sport activities. He also loves me selflessly. And I, luckily and wisely, love him.
However, a part of me feels inadequate to Carlos. Shocked? Surprised? I am not. He is very smart and loves physics. He is very analytical and can figure things out pretty well. He has few of the ‘soft’ qualities I am learning to consider a strength in me. I have basically grown up valuing being analytical and ‘smart’. There has not been a lot of emphasis in my circle of family and friends about feelings, memories, and the such. ‘Soft’ doesn’t solve math equations and find solutions to overwhelming global problems. ‘Soft’ doesn’t pay the bills.
Besides feeling inadequate, I am reminded, repeatedly, at how lucky I am to have Carlos; to have “found a man willing to put up with [me].” This from my family.
Don’t put me wrong. I love my family. And I know they love me. They encourage me in my activities. However, as a family we also tend to point out the negative and not encourage the strengths (positives) in individuals. It’s a fact – just like the earth is round (OK –oblate spheroid – I know!).
And so…I am pointing out my positives. I can not wait and should not expect others to point out to me what is good in me. I should know this. What do I bring to the relationship with my husband? How is he lucky to have me? What is valuable about me?
This is not a series of bravado statements meant to put my husband in a poor light or to pull me up at his expense. This is me pointing out my strengths and building my confidence so I can more readily accept affection and love from Carlos, as well as affection and friendship from others. And so…here I go. Today I start with the most intimate relationship I have. Tomorrow I go on to what I can bring to friendships.
My dad is a banker. From him I have learned to be fiscally conservative. I have probably gotten Carlos to save more than he sees necessary. I can, and will, say I am too conservative and Carlos got me to loosen up too!
I may have a low confidence, but I see Carlos’ strengths often – and let him know it. I see a lot of career potential for him. He needs only to go for it. He would have stayed in the classroom until he retired if I had not encouraged him to shoot for more. I asked him often if he wanted to stay in the classroom, and he said he was ready to move on.
I have encouraged him, probably by role model, to get him to take better care of himself: eat more healthfully and go to the gym/get exercise. He loves biking and golf. Now, everywhere we go (where there are people who knew him 5+ years ago) they ask if he has lost weight. Yup – just look at his driver’s license picture! He feels better too.
Just as Carlos has supported and encouraged me with running, I have supported and encouraged him with golf and to take pride in his improvements. I have gotten him lessons (which he loves), and pretty much encourage him to go. I have heard many accounts of a day on the greens – beautiful shots, drivers (golf clubs) not cooperating, et cetera. I don’t mind. It is better than watching sports all day!
I think I have gotten Carlos to ask for more from life. I don’t mean things (there, again, we see things differently), I mean experiences: travel, friends, hobbies, job, et cetera.
I am not jealous. He works with women all the time – he’s in education. He works with smart, problem solving women. He also travels a lot. I am good with that. Why be jealous? It’s wasted energy.
What Carlos sees is what Carlos gets (in me) – I do not play games and expect him to pick up on signals to guess another meaning from what I say. Given that he is analytical and scientific this is a very good thing.
Everything here I can add a caveat - that Carlos has helped me in those areas (yes – my strengths) as well. We are a couple. Neither one of us is perfect. I am thankful for him.
I just need to know that am not someone to be tolerated but actually have something to offer others. I can not let others take my confidence down. I am strong willed. I do like certain things a certain way (or see them that way), but I am not inflexible or insensible to the fact that there are other ideas out there, and possibly better ways to do things.