I was talking with a coworker today who is struggling with the loneliness of our career and the distance it creates between him and his wife. As he talked, I could sense and feel the deep pain of disconnection that resonates within him.
I’m reminded of my own personal struggle all these years, trying to make the best of what I’m passionate about, and yet, the loneliness of being gone from my family creating a depth of loss so deep that I ended up medicating to avoid that discomfort.
As we talk, I hear the same two beliefs come up that I used to tell myself daily. These were the beliefs that eventually fueled my anger, my actions, and were the catalyst to what caused the break down of my marriage.
My Two Beliefs
- If only my wife would give me attention, I would not be lonely.
- My career takes me away from my wife, preventing us the ability to connect.
While the second belief does make connection difficult, it’s the first belief that is faulty.
I placed all the burden upon my former spouse to provide for me what I needed to make me happy. And unfortunately, due to actions that I had done prior to our wedding, she had already walled herself off from being able to give me her full heart.
I didn’t know how to show love to my wife, because my lack of self love provided no model for me to follow.
My beliefs continued to add fuel to a fire that was already raging. Every time I left for work, the fear, the pain, and the anger I had, would seep into my body. Not knowing how to manage these feelings, passive aggressively I launched those emotions at my wife in volley after volley of blame, shame, and resentment missiles. She became the punching bag to my sorrows, the destruction of my inability to love myself.
Her wall, once built of sticks, became a wall of bricks; layers upon layers of protection. And the barriers she put up to protect herself from me, as she has said, eventually blocked her from experiencing joy and love in life.
Around and around we went in our marriage, becoming more and more lost. And all the while, I still held onto the faulty belief that my career and my wife were to blame.
When I got back to my crash pad this afternoon, I was once again all alone.
It was different. I wasn’t lonely.
In fact, with the processing I’d been working on today, I cherished that there was no one else here. Just Phoenix and Little Phoenix together.
I texted my co-worker.
The lifestyle of a pilot is not for the faint-hearted.
I used to blame my career and my wife for my loneliness. “If only” she gave me attention. “If only” I was not gone and was at home everything would be OK. Those were my deepest beliefs.
“If only” has us looking at something outside ourselves to make us feel better. I found that the career and my wife were a symptom of something much deeper.
We need to look inward to heal the loneliness or else it will pop up once again.
I pray, wherever your journey takes you, that you find peace.
We need to remember we can’t look outside to help us find peace. Peace is only found within us.
The journey to find peace can be a painful one, but the rewards at the other end are miraculous.
May my Fledglings find peace and solitude on their journey to self love.
Together We Can Heal.
For any couple who has a traveling spouse, please take the time to read these two blogs from The Pilot Wife Life.