Does What I Feel Really Matter?

Today’s article is another “Share Your Story” contribution from blogger,
Jennifer of Finding Fruit 

cristee 12 (Flickr)

It started weeks ago, a quick harsh word said to me. The word itself was not harsh, I don’t even remember what it was. But my body jumped up as if burned. I walked away not wanting to disrupt the event with my anger, my hurt. I must have though, with my absence, because he found me.

“I’m sorry,” he said. He was, I am sure. 

He does not want to hurt me, I know. And he must have been at a loss for why I left so quickly. But I don’t know what he thought, because we never really talked about it again. Our son was playing a hockey game and it was not the time or place for the conversation. As a child, my parent’s drama overshadowed anything and everything. I do not want that for my kids. I am a grown up. I can wait to have an argument.

And then later in the car, I did talk a little about why I was upset. But I don’t think I ever really got to the heart of the pain I experienced in that one quick moment—pain that was absurdly out of proportion to what had occurred, pain that was not about what had happened at all but about a deep rooted belief that I am not loved.

I know that my husband loves me, his wife. He is loyal and committed and honorable. But I often wonder if he loves me, the real me I am today …

Because can anyone really love me?

Instead of just talking to my husband about all this, I stall. I wait for a better time.

 Eventually, I share a little bit but then, when he didn’t respond the way I expected, I shut down again. I got angry that he didn’t care about how I felt, but I wonder if I even gave him a chance. And instead of just saying that, I keep quiet. I move about life. We talk about the kids and life and work. I think, “Tonight after the kids go to bed I’ll say something” …

But I don’t …

Because, what if it’s true? Or what if he thinks I am being silly because, of course, he loves me? What if he is too tired to even listen? What if he just wants me to let it go?

What if …

 I kept hoping it would go away, but it doesn’t. Instead it just keeps digging deeper into me, because now I think, Why talk about it all? Why bother him with it?

Where does that come from … the idea that he wouldn’t want to know my thoughts?

Somewhere along the way while growing up, I was taught that what I said didn’t matter.

Somewhere along the way I learned that I talked too much, that I was too emotional.

Somewhere along the way I learned that my thoughts, my feelings did not matter because there were bigger more important things going on in our family.

Somewhere along the way I decided to not be my parents, to not have to dissect every feeling, every conversation.

Somewhere along the way I decided to let things go.

But I worry that letting it go ends up with two friends sharing two separate lives together, not two lovers becoming one. I am not sure I even know how to do that, how to really love and be loved.

But I want it.

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13 responses to “Does What I Feel Really Matter?”

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your heart, Jennifer. I am sure A LOT of women can identify. As our children have gotten older and the potential for conflict has increased, the more I keep my mouth shut. I live in a house where everybody feels a need to be right, so I have decided to not have an opinion. Sometimes I feel as though no one cares even if I have an opinion unless it’s a decision no one wants to make, or someone needs an ally. I am kind to myself and call myself a Peacemaker, and that it is an act of humility to shut my trap, when truthfully, I’m just avoiding conflict and building resentment. I have in the past been accused of “getting defensive”, so I have chosen to attempt to control the situation by refusing to give input and being all Passive-Aggressive. If I don’t say anything, I don’t have to defend my position. Great Post


  2. I think so many women feels this way deep down. Honest post. Love it!


  3. Thanks Kimberly. I am glad to know I am not alone. I have recently found myself really wanting to have my own persona now that my kids are older and not just be an extension of them. I think as I think more about who I am as a person, I find myself realizing how much I pushed aside when we were in the midst of caring for small kids. I know it is better to talk to my husband then to keep things to myself and yet, I still struggle with actually doing it. I don’t really want to be in conflict but I don’t want to live in the status quo either.


  4. Stacey Micklevitz Avatar
    Stacey Micklevitz

    Jennifer, your post is so very profound. I fully understand the struggle of wanting to share your feelings and have your voice be heard but feeling as though they become insignificant (relatively speaking) with the passage of time. I have been in a relationship that deteriorated slowly as circumstances and time laid brick after brick of the protective emotional wall. My prayer for you is that you and your husband find a way to reach over the wall to each other’s hearts before so much time passes that you find yourself staring into a stranger’s eyes. Thank you for your courage and for sharing your feelings. With me, they really DO matter!!


  5. Gary Stefffaniak Avatar
    Gary Stefffaniak

    Jennifer, thanks for sharing a glimpse of your inner life. I feel like these kind of honest and vulnerable conversations between husband and wife are critical to a growing marriage. But … being a typical male, I find it difficult on both ends — being a careful and compassionate listener, and also being in touch with my own emotions and able to share my deeper feelings. Reading your post reminds me of the importance of having the kind of conversations your heart seems to long for, and motivates me to stretch myself more and be more proactive in sharing more intimately with my wife.


  6. Jennifer, you are not alone in these thoughts that you experience. We in an attempt to have relationships with others share pieces of ourselves. In doing so we open ourselves up to their comments which in turn then affect how we interact with others down the way. Maybe oops!! don’t say that because we said it once and it had a negative reaction. Be patient, these things, these feeling you are expressing may be hard for your husband to hear or understand. What you feel matters and I am sure your husband wants to hear it but as someone who LOVES YOU it is hard to hear that the one you love is hurting. One last thing, there is not one thing you said that I don’t struggle with daily and it also affects my relationship with Christ. How can Christ love me and not abandon me when I feel that no one here can fully love me?


  7. Thanks for the encouraging words Tonya. Thankfully my husband does want to hear these things. I just don’t like to talk about them. I hate having to undo bad habits from my past. I do pray that you will know how much God does love you. I am thankful that I understood at an early age how much God does love me. I don’t struggle with that as much as wondering if anyone else does.


  8. Oh Gary, these conversations are critical and yet as the wife I often think my husband is just not interested. How much our gender roles affect our beliefs about the other person. I am sure your wife will love hearing your heart. Again stereotyping but women love real conversations.


  9. Thanks Stacey. I think it is that worry of becoming more and more distant over time that has really brought these emotions to the forefront. We celebrated 15 years of marriage this March and with our kids getting older I want to get back to the relationship we had before we were co-parenting and simply trying to survive those early childhood years. I just don’t like to do the actual work of talking. Need to get past the insecurities.


  10. And I love, friend, how this prayer will be answered, how the Father will keep pursuing you — grateful, in my own life, for how the intimacy of marriage forces things out into the open that I would otherwise been content to have stayed buried. Praying for our hearts, that He helps us to see Him, as we gaze at our spouses. Love this post and eager to share it. 🙂


  11. Ahhh thanks Jennifer.


  12. wow! this is soooo me! you hit the nail right on the head. but, my therapist is helping me to get away from this. my marriage is important enough to deal with the uncomfortable conversations once in a while


  13. So glad to hear you are working through this. I am trying but it is hard. But you are so right, our marriages are worth it.


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