Another from Uncle that hits home...

"Do whatever it takes to be happy, for it is hard to know what life will bring you." "If we do not rise to the challenge of our unique capacity to shape our lives, to seek the kinds of growth that we find individually fulfilling, then we can have no security: we will live in a world of sham, in which our selves are determined by the will of others, in which we will be constantly buffeted and increasingly isolated by the changes round us." I take it as a challenge and as a matter of personal pride that whenever something happens to me in life, I work hard to seek out the answer as to how I can grow, what I can learn from the experience. I have learned much about myself and others over the past few months, and right now my challenge has been to recognize that not everyone sees things as I do, or reacts to them as I would. I have learned that no matter what the circumstances, we should not give up, we should not lose hope. We have to communicate our feelings and thoughts, and negotiate satisfactory compromises and boundaries in our relationships. My pain comes, not from the surface issues or even from the fact we did not communicate very well, no the pain comes from Tam just deciding it was not going to change without even trying. That hurts more than any other single or collective thing, she just made a decision without even discussing with me what she was feeling and trying to correct it. She told me, quote "I just don't see it changing", but how can a person make such a decision when they didn't even try? I will never understand how a person can just say, this is not working for me so lets end it. Good grief, of course it is not going to work if you don't communicate your feelings. And she knows this to be true. I am hurt because my love for her, my desire to spend my life with her, was not enough. Something was missing and I just don't have a clue what it is. Of course relationships change, evolve, grow as time passes and you are together for longer periods of time. They are supposed to. But you are not supposed to lose sight of what you loved about that person to begin with. I think she did lose sight. She was so concerned about Jessica coming to visit me. Hey, I understand her position, but I guess again she just did not love me enough to overcome any other obstacles. I chose her as my wife, I took the vow, and I forsake all others to be with her. I will support my daughter, I will visit her, even if I was still living in RC. But unless my wife was comfortable with my daughter being there, my daughter was not going to be there. My daughter threatened her, my daughter is not stable, and that is why she is where she is. If my wife is not comfortable with my daughter coming for a summer visit, then my daughter does not come. I am not even comfortable with my daugther coming for a weekend visit to see me right now. I just do not trust her to not run away and hang out with old friends or get into trouble, so I think Tam was worried about things she had no reason to worry about. Let's face it, Jessica is not coming for a visit any time soon, so to worry about it is to put energy into something that was/is not going to happen. All I was doing was a little out loud daydreaming. I know my daughter was not coming, but Tam did not allow me just a small pleasure of daydreaming. She says, "I think you should go to Arkansas and help raise your daughter", well that was not her choice to make. There is not enough work in Arkansas for me to make a living. Besides, I have a life to live also and that is not where I wanted to be. I wanted to be wherever my wife was. I loved it in RC, but if Tam wanted to be in TX, then that is where I wanted to be. If she wanted to live in Antartica, that is where I wanted to be. To forsake all others, in sickness and in health, till death do us part. I thought those words were supposed to mean something, that we were supposed to find a way, a solution, a compromise to any and all things that come up. I guess I was wrong. Why do we take those vows if we are not prepared to honor them? If you marry and he/she is abusive, by all means end it. But if you are 2 people that love each other beyond belief, if you are so wonderful as a team, then why can you not find the answers together? Why can't you at least TRY? I am sure Tammi feels she tried, but if she looks deep, I think she will discover she did not even begin to try. She never sat me down and just laid it all out, without the threat of ending the relationship. She never said, "I know you have issues about this or that, but this is what I think we should do about this." I never got to hear what she thought about it. And you know what? That is Alton's doing. He burned her, he never listened to her, so when it came time to express her issues, she just lumped me in with him and decided on her own, without even giving us a chance to work toward a solution, a compromise, that it was never going to work. That hurts alot. Compromising with her on issues is NOT the same as "kissing her ass", it is giving a little ground for the overall good of the relationship. I talk about her guilt over how Laura's attitudes reflect alot of Alton, but I too feel immensely guilty. I have a tremendous guilt about my daughters attitudes. I feel completely responsible for Jess's attitude. But I also know I tried to be a good father, I know it is not all my fault, and I know that at some point Jess too has to be held accountable for her actions. I beat myself up wondering, did I abandon her? Could I have done things differently when she was younger? But I cannot dwell on what has passed, just focus on that which is right now, in front of me. Tom is is not her flesh and blood, so he does not see her the way I do. Jess does have a heart, but for some reason she is very angry with the world and all those in it and she is beyond what I can do for her. One of the things I have learned and maybe this is the biggest but hardest to learn is maybe Tam just is not capable of learning to communicate with me. I took that for granted, that she would after the amount of time she was with me, that she would know how to communicate with me. If I knew 6 months ago what I know now, I would not even be writing about her doing a better job of communicating with me, I would simply be communicating with her in a different manner. At the time I wanted to be met halfway, but now I realize that not everyone can look at something from a different angle, think outside of the box, see the bigger picture. I would have still had my concerns, I just would have approached them in a different manner. At the time I felt Tam just did not care about my feelings, but now I see it, not as a matter of her not caring, but that she either did not know how to communicate her feelings with me, or did not realize just what she was feeling. Had I known/realized this, I would have used a much softer, more subtle approach to communicating with her about my concerns on various topics. So we failed each other. I failed in not recognizing her pain, not seeing her struggle to tell me what/how she was feeling, and she failed me in not believing in me enough to tell me what she was feeling, not having enough faith in my love and support for her to compromise, to listen to her concerns. I guess she just did not realize or believe in the depth of my desire to be with her enough that I would work with her, not against her, to solve anything that came our way. She was wrong about me, my love for her, and the strength of my spirit. I love her, forever and always.

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