Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Cautious Optimism is Key

Once, in my previous life, I was an extremely optimistic person.  I was trusting, kind, believed in the good in people and always thought every deserved a second chance... or third... or fourth.  In the life I lead now, I'm a firm believer in being cautiously optimistic... And there is a key difference.

The difference is that being a steady optimist, you always think good thoughts.  Being cautiously optimistic is a way of guarding that optimism and those good thoughts from hurt.  Example:  I'm always cautiously optimistic when we have too many good days in a row, because history tells me that we are unlikely to keep that up for much longer.

Case in point, if you read my post yesterday, you saw the cautious optimism of how I was going to hold things together through the hurt.  When my husband came home from work last night, he was having one of his bad days.  These bad days do not always follow a pattern, but one pattern that has managed to emerge time and time again is that any time he is away for a prolonged service related reason, he comes home and has trouble adjusting back to our life.  It's like a mini re-intergration each time.  This means, that since he's come home, he's been nearly unbearable to be around.  Last night, he began to say the most hurtful things he could to me.  He began to nitpick and look for things in the past, quite literally, to be mad at me for.  When he does this, it's beyond painful.  It's very nearly kills our marriage each time.  Imagine what it's like to have to thoroughly think through everything you say, you put on FB, your tell a friends, you email, and do around the house because it's likely going to be something that your husband uses to tell you how you have failed him.

I can never be too optimistic about how things are going, because when I am, things like that happen, and it makes them hurt 100 times worse when they do.

Some days, it's harder than others to tell myself why I stay.  I keep telling myself, "If he were physically wounded, I wouldn't leave him.  This is just a different type of wound. I need to be here for him, supporting him."  But some days, his words are so devastating, that it's hard to feel that way.  And those devastating words are why I live a life of cautious optimism.  It's easier to forgive him and easier to buffer against the hurt, if I never get my hopes or expectations up too high. 

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