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“He’s driving me crazy! I’m not sure how much longer I can do this,” I vented to my best friend.
“Are you really that unhappy?” she asked.
“I don’t know. I’m just so mad right now, and I know I’ve been mad at him for the last few days. Why can’t he just figure it out?”
This is basically the conversation that played out between my best friend and I after about a year of dating my then-boyfriend. I was seriously contemplating ending the relationship. It seemed like every day he was doing little things to purposely annoy me. Yet something kept me hanging on, and I couldn’t figure out what it was.
“Are you willing to try something?” Sheri asked me.
“Anything! I just want to be happy!” I basically shouted.
“Great! For the next two weeks I want you to keep a little journal of sorts. Anytime you are frustrated with Andrew, draw a frown face with exactly what is wrong written beside it.”
“Ok, that sounds easy enough,” I thought.
“On the good days, draw a little smiley face. Elaborate on why it was good if you’d like. Within a couple weeks I bet you’ll see a pattern, and that will help you know what to do with your relationship.”
I was willing to try anything. It felt like our relationship was going nowhere, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stick it out. Why was he doing everything he could to drive me crazy? Why was I so unhappy? I had to give it a shot.
Each night for the next two weeks, I wrote down a smiley or frowny face on a piece of paper. (Super high tech here! HA!) Sometimes I jotted down a little note about the day.
Do you want to know what I realized at the end of those two weeks? Andrew wasn’t the problem and our relationship wasn’t the problem. I was the problem!