I was talking with a fellow Fledgling this past week who told me about a coaching program for men by Steve Horsmon. I decided to check it out and enjoyed this blog he wrote titled How You Create Your Emotionally Distant Wife.
In this brief piece I saw so much of what I had done in my marriage. I competed with my former spouse, I tried to fix her, and I constantly “should” on her. In doing this, I created what I believed and when she inevitably pulled away, I felt rejected. This rejection registered as physical pain and I ended up blaming her for causing it.
The solution to heal is that we must look inward at our pain. Through pain there’s growth. Through pain there’s rebirth. Someone from the outside can’t give us what we need to give ourselves. We need to first fix what’s broken within us before we can heal a relationship with another.
Phoenix, I’m the fledgling who mentioned Steve Horsmon to you in our email conversation in Jan 2018, which I just stumbled on tonight. That’s when you were starting to go on dates with your soon to be ex again, that your daughter called “a date that’s not a date”.
So I came back, curious to see what happened, whether your path continued to be as parallel to mine as it seemed then.
Yes, it is. I’m in the middle of negotiating our divorce, after over 12 years of treatment, recovery, couples work of every possible kind, separations and reconnections. It took me a very long time to accept that neither of us could let go, but we weren’t progressing.
Your writing is spectacularly broad and interesting — so many similarities in what catches your eye, though I didn’t discover the balm of blogging it. I’m in the dark doldrums of separation + covid isolation + difficult negotiations. I just read one of your blogs where you wrote you had no energy, didn’t want to do things. Check.
I am on the journey of learning to love myself. It’s challenging when my not-doing blues gives my negative voices lots to point at, but I am learning to be compassionate. And today I went skating for the 2nd time on the now-solidly-frozen pond behind the house where I rent the 2nd floor, and it was glorious. So I’m not a useless sack of shit after all!
In reading your blogs I feel like I’ve found someone who writes down thoughts, feelings and ideas that are surprisingly familiar, similar to mine. Like, I just read your Esther Perel entry, and I recently went through a lot of her videos, trying to understand.
I noticed a recent entry mentioned “girlfriend.” I’m so far from dating, it seems impossible still. But I felt a twinkle of hope — which in my heart I believe — that someday I, too, might be grounded enough to be a safe date for someone.
Has it already been two years since we first connected? Where does the time go?
I had forgotten I shared Steve Horsmon’s website on my blog. I still receive his newsletters and love that he has branched out to having Goodguys to Greatmen coaches, especially when one of them answers a question someone has asked in those emails. Such great wisdom!
In fact, the newsletter that came out today resonated with my past where he states:
“You need to achieve a state of emotional security, confidence and independence that allows you to detach from needing to be right. The competitive instinct to defend your feelings and “win” every disagreement comes from an adolescent mindset – from fear.”
Boy, was that me for so many years!
I also enjoy the videos he ends up attaching to these newsletters and today’s response made me think of you. He says, “We need to give to receive. We need to show up. We need to offer our hearts. We need to offer our camaraderie. We need to offer our trust. Offer our point of view. Offer our experience. Offer our story. Give your story.”
I’m so sorry you and your wife are going through the painful process of negotiating divorce. While it’s easy as an outsider to point out that you’re in the middle of such a beautiful and glorious rebirth, when one is in the depths of that process, it’s really difficult to see the light on the other side.
I’m so grateful you never gave up. Try not to dip into the “after 12 years of recovery it still didn’t work” mentality. You did 12 years of HARD work to become a better husband, father, and man! How many men can truly say they went to the lengths you did to look inward, peeling the onion to heal childhood trauma and become a better person. You have the tools to share that experience with others who are still struggling. When the time is right, you will have so much more to offer when you start to date again.
I absolutely love, love, love, you went ice skating behind your house! I can visually see the wild like, child abandon where your adult connects with your inner child. Yesterday, with no roommates or kids at my place, I mimicked dance routines on YouTube while blasting music on my surround sound.
Continue to let Little Franklin play. What a way for us to be present in the NOW, not holding shame and regret of our past or worrying what the future may have in store for us.
As Steve Horsmon talked about today: Thank you for taking the time to give and post a comment on my site. Thank you for showing up. Thank you for offering your point of view. Thank you for offering your experience.
Thank you for your story.
Let’s soar together. Together we can heal.
Rising from the Ashes,