i think i have a good girl complex. in that complex, i want to please. i want to be liked.
i also do not want to be scolded.
i remember bouncing out of bed this morning just before e came back from kickboxing and hanging up the wet clothes. the washer had already stopped prior to his leaving. i said i would hang it up. i took another nap and happened to wake up just shortly after noon, when i knew his class was ending.
i got up and hung the clothes. they were not all hung by the time he got home. he asked if i’d napped again, and i said yes. somehow, fearing inside, that he would get upset that i slept in. maybe this is something kicking in from my childhood. we were never allowed to sleep in as kids. waking up at 10 was very late. and maybe it is for some. it certainly was in my household. you were seen as lazy for waking late. maybe it’s why i took so many afternoon naps. you know. to compensate.
and it’s not just this. it’s being criticized in any way from e in particular. i want him to respect and admire my intellect. i’m not sure how much awe i inspire in him. sometimes, i think none. or is this due to low self confidence. (very likely.)
anyways. i looked up “being afraid of being scolded by your spouse” on google and found nothing on subjects like… social psychological research about child-parental complexes in romantic relationships (though i’m sure that type of work is out there). but i did find this that i thought was worth considering.
from Psychology Today:
How then can we respond responsibly to criticism? First, by stepping back. Observe the situation as would a neutral observer. To what degree is the criticism accurate? This is the hard part. It might take a lifetime to achieve just this: Discern to what degree your critic is correct, and to what degree he or she means harm. Inasmuch as your critic is correct, resist the urge to lump this criticism in with all the other criticisms you have ever received in your life, from others and especially yourself. Resist the thought that this lone rebuke reveals or proves anything conclusive about you. Breathe. Resist the urge to fall on your sword.
Inasmuch as your critic is correct — this time and only this — is it too late to right your wrong? To what degree can you play reasonable catchup? Breathe. Apologize, but briefly and sincerely — not as if you’re begging for your life. If time permits repairs, then do your best. This is the meaning of humility, that healing space between screaming and sulking and seppuku. Do your best, then move on, facing straight ahead.