When You’re Too Comfortable to Know You Shouldn’t Be

Marlboro Man

“Holy crap, that guy looks awesome. I’m going to start smoking Marlboros,” I probably thought to myself at age 15 — several years before the actual Marlboro Man in this magazine ad died from a smoking-related respiratory illness. (Image/BuzzFeed)

Sometimes I wonder whether I’ll die one day from a heart attack or cancer because of things I consume or do.

Like maybe I eat pizza or a cheeseburger or Milk Duds at the movie theater because, duh, but if in some magical alternate reality I received some type of clear signal from the future that making different decisions would save my life, I would totally NOT eat those things.

Like if former TV psychic Miss Cleo was standing in my kitchen or sitting in the passenger seat next to me…

“Matt! If you keep drinking extra-large coffees with cream and ordering pizza you’re going to drop dead of a heart attack, but if you switch to tea and up the raw vegetable intake a bit, you’ll live a long-ish, healthy life! Get your shit together!”…

If Miss Cleo told me that, and I had good reason to believe she was telling the truth, I would adjust course.

It occurs to me that I order pizza, consume the occasional cheeseburger, and rock Milk Duds at the movie theater because I’m “comfortable.” I don’t assume I’m going to die soon, so I’m comfortable making choices I understand to be unhealthy.

At best, I sometimes mindlessly coast through life breaking a few things along the way. At worst, I am intentionally doing the wrong thing.

Why?

Because I’m comfortable. Because everything feels okay, even if everything’s not.

Comfort Kills Us in Other Ways Too

This whole thing—this Divorced Guy Writes Stuff and a Few People Care thing—started in July 2013 when I wrote my first-ever blog post that was intended to serve a purpose other than me simply word-vomiting emo shit on Day 93 of my wife leaving.

In An Open Letter to Shitty Husbands, Vol. 1, I told this little story about fighting with my wife because I wanted to watch The Masters golf tournament on a beautiful Sunday afternoon while my wife wanted me to accompany her and our infant son on an outdoor hike.

I concluded that I could have recorded the golf tournament on the DVR, and regret not joining my wife and son on that hike, because I perceive that time she was out walking our son in his stroller to be one of dozens or hundreds of moments where my wife must have stewed in her disappointment over my choosing golf on TV over spending time with her and our child.

I concluded that IF I had realized in that moment that it was a contributing factor to my wife leaving and losing 50 percent of my son’s childhood, that I would have made a different choice.

That post still gets read a lot, and predictably, I’ll get the occasional blog comment from some guy frustrated by what he read there—presumably because he has the same sort of argument with his wife or girlfriend.

“You’re such a pussy, dude. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to watch a golf tournament that’s only on once a year!” says some guy standing 50 feet below the point sailing over his head.

OF COURSE choosing to watch a golf tournament over going on a hike ONE TIME is a non-issue. Of course. What level of Idiot Mastery must one achieve to read that story—then assume every other aspect of my marriage throughout its history was rosy and perfect—and conclude that my wife randomly freaked out like an insane person over one brief moment in time in which she and I wanted to spend an afternoon doing different things?

The point of that story was to convey my newfound understanding that it WASN’T the moments of conventional significance or importance that sealed the fate of my marriage. It was the collection of a million tiny moments where I disappointed or hurt my marriage partner without doing enough to eliminate or relieve that pain, or offer enough other positives to make a life with me feel like a net-positive.

She spent months—years, maybe—having an internal conversation: “Do the good things about him, or about being with him, outweigh all the bad?”

The answer to that became self-evident when she moved out on April 1—exactly 93 days prior to me thinking about and sharing the story from that otherwise-routine Sunday afternoon a couple of years earlier.

Just like eating a bunch of pizza, donuts and bacon cheeseburgers can eventually cause a person’s heart to stop without warning, our marriages and relationships can end from these moments piling up—these moments that hurt a person while their partner is unfazed. Because they don’t know or they don’t care.

And the reason they don’t know or care is because they don’t feel the need to be bothered with trying to figure it out.

One partner keeps hinting at a problem, but nothing feels wrong to the other.

Because the non-hurting partner is COMFORTABLE.

Everything’s fine. She’ll (or he’ll) get over it.

These people—too often men—can’t understand why it hurts when she sees him expertly adjusting his schedule to attend two different fantasy football drafts where he’ll drink and joke with his friends all day, assembling a fake team of players to “manage” for an entire football season.

“How is it that he can’t be bothered to make a dinner reservation for our wedding anniversary or adjust his schedule to come to our daughter’s dance recital, but he’ll jump through hoops to draft and manage an imaginary football team? one might think or say.

Defenders and apologists will accuse me of being overly harsh on the fantasy-football crowd (of which I’m a proud member), but they’ll have to be disingenuous in order to do so. A wife or girlfriend who feels loved, included, thought about, cared for, valued, etc., will NOT ask these questions on fantasy football draft day.

For the rest of us: the truth hurts, I guess. Sometimes, fantasy football is something men seem to love more than wives and children.

I don’t think as much as I used to. I don’t drive around thinking about a new blog post, or contemplating life’s deeper questions.

Because of that, I haven’t been writing often. It’s not that I don’t want to. I do.

I just don’t have much to say.

I don’t like it, but it’s true.

Why?

Because I’m comfortable.

My ex-wife doesn’t hurt me anymore. Enough time has passed and enough circumstances have changed where I don’t feel the sting of rejection like I once did.

I felt alone. Abandoned. Unwantable. Unlovable. I was worried about dating. I was worried about finding someone that would like someone so apparently unlikable.

I was worried about finding a long-term partner to fill the cavernous hole in my life. What’s going to happen now? What about my son? I can’t even breathe.

But then I could breathe. And our son in grade school is growing into a smart and handsome little man. And everything’s, just, okay.

And that’s all I wanted back then. When everything hurts and you think you might die, all you want is to feel like yourself again.

You just want to be okay.

You just want to feel “normal.”

And here we are. Now I do.

I’m okay. Fine. Totally.

I’m comfortable.

There’s merit in comfort and contentment.

There’s real value—physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally—in feeling balanced enough to just BE. To just be able to sit in a room at home alone, and be so comfortable that you’re not even really mindful of it. You’re just living on autopilot.

I think that’s how most of us do it. Autopilot.

It’s easy on autopilot because everything is habit and routine. It’s familiar. It’s comfortable.

And of course, you never grow or evolve or learn anything.

You don’t get smarter.

You don’t get stronger.

You don’t get better.

And now, in a moment of irony that almost made me laugh out loud as I type, I find myself wondering if it’s really such a good thing when “everything’s okay.”

The fear and pain pushed me to a place mentally and emotionally that truly helped me evolve into a wiser, more-capable human being.

And now?

Static. Still. Plateaued. Treading water.

I got what I wanted and naturally it wasn’t enough because of the human condition.

Maybe getting uncomfortable will get me writing again. Thinking again. Growing again.

Maybe comfort will doom me to a life where I never actually accomplish anything that matters.

Maybe getting uncomfortable can help people recognize unhealthy choices that might be slowly killing their relationships or their physical bodies.

Maybe comfort blinds us from truth, and prevents us from being who we were meant to be.

I don’t know.

I just think.

Because I want to be someone who thinks.

Even if it means battling a bunch of discomfort along the way.

Happy New Year, everyone.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

48 thoughts on “When You’re Too Comfortable to Know You Shouldn’t Be

  1. Michael says:

    I’m kind of in the same way, but busting through “comfortability” with some new risks. Some times you can’t bite it off in one go. It’s oftentimes a “building toward” with little steps and deviations. It’s different for everyone, you just gotta know your own style and pace. Happy new year, man. MM

    Liked by 2 people

  2. asewalson says:

    This is such a great post! Your honesty regarding “comfortableness” is spot on. I think a lot of us are going along in life just a bit too comfortable. Thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. openhearttin says:

    I was thinking about this the other day. I want peace, but then I get peace and I’m uncomfortable. It’s like peace means death.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Loura Shares A Story says:

    Beautifully written, Matt! Thank you for you insightful posts. I am coming out of (hopefully, I think) a years-long battle with my back and chronic pain. All I wanted during that time was to regain “myself”. Now that I’ve achieved that, I am terrified! I don’t quite know how to proceed in life: I am a different person now. The choices before me are wonderfully overwhelming; I can really do just about anything I want. But what I want scares me and everyone I love. And I don’t want to make them uncomfortable…

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thalea says:

    I have found the most pain and also the most intense joy in discomfort.

    There’s also something to be said for enjoying life somewhere in middle-land. It’s where you get to breathe out.

    At the same time, I wonder if living in the extremes – which do cause growth but are, well, EXTREME – is some sort of mental instability on my part. Like being uncomfortable is it’s own weird comfort zone. That can’t be healthy either.

    So what I’m actually saying is I have no freakin clue.

    Good post. Good to read your stuff again :)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Staci says:

    Great post, as always!
    I’m sure you already have, but you should try online dating.(think…needle in a haystack) That will introduce a whole new level of uncomfortable. I find myself reading new material and ever evolving all over again just to try and keep up with this whole new world that I was never exposed to before! Some days I feel like I’m winning and other days, I feel like a complete failure. Totally uncomfortable, but ever growing!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Sue says:

    I have missed your posts, Matt … but I am happy for you that you reason for not writing is that you HAVE gotten more comfortable. I think you (and the other commenter whose name I cannot remember) are right that it IS periods of turmoil and pain that spawn deep pondering and significant insights … but I would not trade your personal happiness for more insightful blogs that help me better understand my own situation and motivations. I think that as dangerous as being content with the status quo can be, life sometimes gives us ‘comfortable’ as a place to catch our breath and slow down a little to ponder course corrections or new directions/ goals/ opportunities … and I hope (as much as I would miss your insights and musings) that this resting place helps you determine the focus that will be in YOUR best interest to pursue next.

    Just know that you have made a profound difference in MY life, and I will always be grateful that I stumbled across your blog. So whatever the future holds, I just want to say THANK YOU!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Matt says:

      These kinds of notes mean more than you might imagine. Thank you so much, Sue.

      It is not my desire nor intent to stop writing. But to do so, I need to feel like it matters. It can’t just be me writing for the sake of taking up internet bandwidth.

      And if it’s not a little uncomfortable for me to write, then it probably doesn’t matter much.

      I hope I can find a way to manufacture discomfort for the sake of growth (and writing) without bringing unnecessary chaos into my life.

      We’ll see.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Natasha says:

    Happy New Year and seriously, who the hell smokes Marlboro Reds? Might as well inhale fire the way those burn.
    One evening a long time ago I was hungry. I had restarted weight watchers, was out of points for the day and I was just sure I’d die without more food at 10pm that day. Someone told me something that I’ll always remember. Embrace the discomfort. It means I’m doing it right. It really stuck with me and not just because it got me through that night but because I feel it can be a general theme for life. Sometimes comfortable is great, and sometimes it can destroy our chances achieving that great kind of comfortable.
    Anyway, great post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Matt says:

      Back when I was willing to inhale burning tobacco (I quit nearly 10 years ago), I considered Marlboro Reds the champagne of cigarettes. I was a Lights smoker, but would “treat” myself to Reds.

      Probably because I wanted to be a bad-ass Tom Selleck-looking sonofbitch. (Didn’t work.)

      Happy New Year, T.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Natasha says:

        The only thing I can think of when I hear the name “Tom Selleck” is that my mother used to have a pillow with his face on it. Him and Julio Iglesias.
        Yeah, totally cool.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Matt says:

          Tom Selleck is the all-time supreme ruler of a crass and juvenile sexual act/term I don’t feel comfortable typing here because my mom will probably read this, but just between the two of us, Latin swine refer to it as a Ustache-May Ide-Ray.

          Tom Selleck’s upper lip is not to be trifled with.

          It makes sense that your mother would have his and Julio Iglesias’ faces on pillows. All heterosexual women with good sense did.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Natasha says:

            “Latin swine” hahahahahaha! Im pretty well versed on crass and even I hadn’t heard that one.

            I see your point and I suppose there may be some bad assery present with them both.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Natasha says:

              Just so you’re aware, when you type “Must” into the search bar when looking for your page, the mustache booth app pops up right below it. Coincidence?

              Liked by 2 people

              • Matt says:

                Obviously not. A more likely explanation is that everything full of power and meaning in the universe converged in 2018 to loosely connect a sophomoric and perverse joke to auto-suggest tech people might randomly see while looking for this blog.

                There are a lot of big and important things happening in the world, things that deserve the attention of God. Of the powerful forces affecting the Universe. Whatever language you’re most comfortable with.

                But I think it’s fair to say none of them are more important than our mustache-ride joke, and I’m relieved supernatural forces are at work to make this an actual thing.

                I’ll continue to search for deeper meaning in all of this while I binge-watch old Magnum P.I. episodes and quit shaving my upper lip.

                You think I can find Julio Iglesias pillow cases on Amazon?

                Like

                • Natasha says:

                  If you don’t, I know how to make one. If I’m being completely honest, I may have recently googled this item to give it to my mom as a joke for Christmas. No luck but never underestimate the power of a woman with google images and an iron.
                  Good luck with that stache. In the meantime you can always run your photo through that app to see what to expect?

                  Liked by 1 person

                • meridda says:

                  uh…remember when chandler and joey tried to grow mustaches on Friends to be more like Tom Selleck? not good….unfortunately, tom and sam Elliott are just about the only men who actually look good with staches…

                  Liked by 1 person

  9. surlyquill says:

    You know, I’ve been in the habit lately of stumbling across the right posts at the right time and you sir have provided me with much clarity today. Thank you for writing and sharing these thoughts with us. It’s such a relief to know that others can be in the same boat as you. I’ve been on the fence about “change” and stepping out of my comfortable bubble but you’ve brought up a lot of good points. Especially about being on auto pilot. Sometimes all it takes is the right person saying the right words to get your ass in gear.
    So, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Lisa Gottman says:

    Happy New Year Matt!

    This is one of those weird things to read this post. I have been thinking a lot over the last few days that the next step I need to take is to build up my tolerance to feeling uncomfortable and unsafe.

    Exposure therapy but in my freaky head.

    My New Years resolution is to keep doing harder and harder things to tolerate the way others, mos especially my husband, are entitled to feel and think and be completely different than me.

    It is hard.

    It feels physically uncomfortable and safe. But I know it is the only way for me to be healthier and to have a healthier marriage and all kinds of relationships.

    Allow or even encourage people to think and say wrong things without protest but with curiosity. “Oh I see you think I am completely wrong and ps an asshole? How interesting tell me more”

    I wonder what posts you would write if the goal was to write uncomfortable things? (And let me say I am in awe of your ability to be vulnerable already). Just a thought. Feel free to tell me it’s completely wrong and ps I’m an asshole ha ha.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Matt says:

      I know Glennon Doyle Melton has, for some, fallen off of the pedestal a bunch of people had her on.

      Everyone has a different take, and that’s okay.

      But she often writes and says something that I’ve latched onto since the first time I read it:

      We can do hard things.

      We spend most of our lives eliminating as much difficulty and discomfort as possible, and once in a while something difficult and challenging comes along. Maybe it’s a personal challenge like a career change, or renovating a house, or running a marathon.

      Or maybe it’s just bravely navigating the difficult moments Life inevitably throws at us when Death, Sickness, Money, Work, Love, Sex, Etc. deliver us a shitstorm.

      The kind that make someone like me instinctively want to enter a Fetal Position Contest.

      But, when we emerge from those, we’re always better versions of ourselves. One could argue we SHOULD be seeking them out.

      Maybe.

      Regardless: We can do hard things.

      Really good to hear from you, Lisa. Glad you’re here. To 2018. Cheers.

      Like

      • Lisa Gottman says:

        I think that is the silver lining to going through something horrible like your brokenness after your wife left. You KNOW you can survive horrible things. I don’t know if I agree with some who say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. There are parts of me that are forever vulnerably weak and not stronger after surviving.

        But the weakness can make you feel for those in pain in ways you never could without it. You have taken your pain and helped a lot of people. That’s a great thing. I’m glad you are getting a little comfortable breather lately.

        Here’s something I’ve been thinking about too. It’s important to find a way to push myself out of comfort but not push myself too hard where I break. You know what I mean?

        Sometimes when I see the goal of being all kind and loving and mature I think I have got to just push myself to get THERE. Because I am aware what a sad piece of shit my average maturity level is.

        Relatuonships are humbling. Being a good parent and spouse is just so humbling. Luckily I’ve got my roadrunner Acme relationship scheme catalog to consult for the latest maturity upgrade. Uncomfortableness for 2018! Not too much, not too little.

        Like

    • Donkey says:

      Lisa Gottman! I’ve missed you on Facebook. Hope to hear from you soon, and that you’re doing ok.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Max Hamilton says:

    Love your writing, Matt. Although I’ve been happily married for 50 years your posts have reminded me that leaving dishes on the bench instead of putting them in the dishwasher (and other apparently trivial acts) can have unintended consequences.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Matt says:

      This was very cool to read, Max. Thank you very much for sharing. Congratulations to you and Mrs. Hamilton on 50 years. It’s inspiring for many.

      To many more years, sir.

      Like

    • Rebekah says:

      Congrats on 50, quite an accomplishment! My husband and I are looking at 10 years this summer and we like seeing Matt’s phrasing and angle of approach, even on topics that are…well traveled…in our house :)

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Rebekah says:

    Some assorted thoughts generated by an as-usual well-written post:

    -BIG difference between crucible discomfort and self-improvement discomfort. I would describe it as kind of like an injury vs childbirth…something is going wrong and needs to be put right in one case, and not exactly fun, but definitely productive and worthwhile in the other.

    -You have written before about the idea that if something is uncomfortable to think about, then it SHOULD be pondered. I would add that mirrors, while frequently not fun to use, are exceedingly useful in making one presentable for human contact.

    -One thing my husband and I have talked about a ton over the years is ‘why settle?’ Yeah, things may be fine, but friction brings coasting to a stop eventually every time (science nerd residents in this house!).

    -It is interesting to ponder the balance between the familiar and adventure. Home and travel. Comfort and feeling just a bit off balance. How to be comfortable with where/who we are at the same time as recognizing there will always be a better version of ourselves possible.

    Here’s to us all making some strides in 2018!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sharon Oakey says:

    Great post

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  14. Louie says:

    Semper Vigilare”, ….ever vigilant…..Happy New Year Matt

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Happy New Year, Matt. LOL, don’t get too comfortable.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Manetta says:

    A person can get comfortable and neglect anything really. I know I could be doing so much more if I got uncomfortable.

    Like

  17. Donkey says:

    Happy new year Matt! I hope you’ll keep writing every now and then. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  18. The Guat says:

    Happy New Year!!! You know I think it’s been about a year since I first discovered your writing and uncovered the awesome nuggets of wisdom and strength behind the Husband letter Series. I took some of your phrases and saved them like internal post-it notes as reminders that made for a stronger year. The setting boundaries was the best one. And just as I was wondering where you went off to you drop the auto-pilot comfort post. Yeah. It’s good to feel ok. I actually just wanted to feel peace. And for the most part I get it. There were moments where I got comfy but I didn’t get a chance to go on auto-pilot for long because something would happen or someone would say something or I would read something that would help me shift gears. Stuff like blog posts. I was exhausted at the end of the day but a good exhausted for the most part. Thanks for the post! Hopefully you’ll keep them coming.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. nights7 says:

    Hey, Matt, I’ve got a great idea. You should run a marathon!!!
    Or maybe a half for starters.
    It would definitely push you out of your comfort zone and you learn a lot when you’re purposefully making yourself uncomfortable just for the sake of achieving a goal. Plus it would help counteract all the Marlboro Reds in your past. Just sayin. ;)

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Kid Charlemagne says:

    Sounds like 2018 will be an interesting year.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Peg Beebe says:

    I’m curious if your ex wife ever admits to fault. I love your perspective as the male in the relationship but it would be interesting to hear her side or at least a female perspective of the faults in the relationship.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Louie says:

    As I have mentioned repeatedly I’ve been married for 33 years and have always loved my wife. I don’t recall ever posting this respective in my collection of true dat stories but here it goes. The sad thing about long term relationships is that you become Too familiar with your spouse and although you do love them deeply and in a heartfelt way you become casual casualties. You see life gets ahold of the people you were and wrings out the closeness and companionship you once shared regularly. The essence of what brought you together gets diluted in the day to day doldrums of life. My wife and I tolerated each other for many years… Closeness, fun, sex, and just plain enjoying each other’s company was put on the back burner. We had kids, careers, extended family, business interests, volunteer commitments,and a host of minutae that consumed our together time.. I got involved in some community issues that required my family’s support…It was taxing, caused us to argue and fuss…We lost friends and family over our efforts…My wife became somewhat distant..I wasn’t feeling the same about us …I wanted to get out,leave,live on my own…I was done spinning my wheels with someone who I didn’t know anymore. Then in a moment of silent reflection I thought about our life and the joys and struggles we had been through. I realized she did things for me no other would have. She was on my side all the way and quite frankly I was an asshole for not seeing it. I sought individual counseling and talked about what I had realized… I loved her so very much. I needed to fight for the love that seemingly faded and bring my heart back to the true love of my life.. I worked through some of the issues that plagued me and I came to the realization that she is my love and I wanted to resurrect the feeling from back when. Walk hand in hand ….The road is better traveled together… God bless you all

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lisa Gottman says:

      Hi Louie,

      Maybe you have said this in previous comments but I was wondering what your wife was feeling through all that. Was she resistant to the efforts to change things, skeptical that it could really be different?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Louie says:

        Hi Lisa . ..sorry for the long delay for this reply . At this particular point In time she was feeling the aftermath of some significant losses . ..her step dad (who was more of a dad to her than her biological dad was ) passed away . …my dad ( who adored her and visa versa) passed away . ..her biological dad ( who she fought to have a relationship with for 50 years ) passed away .1 beloved uncle .2 beloved aunts and 2 close cousins passed away all these people in her life gone within a span of 3 years. Then came the narcissistic sister who caused legal battle after legal battle over their father’s estate causing a judge to find the sister in contempt for mishandling the affairs of the estate . A 25 year bout with a horrible condition with no cure called lichen sclerosis , dealing with a delusional mother, concerns about our youngest son’s then girlfriend who was an addict and had stolen from our house . She was ready for the looney bin . She seemed to slip deeper into her already deep depression . She had feelings of inadequacy , sorrow and general malaise . And frankly didn’t need my bullshit . I wanted more than she was able to give at the time. I saw her drifting and thought that drift was away from me . …I totally misread the situation . I talked to my counselor about it and she had me ask some specific questions to myself about this and I realized what an ass hole I was being and I quickly sat with Anne and hashed out her feelings and what we could do together to make things better . Simple kind supportive behavior on my part and backing each other up was the ticket to resolution . We are wholly united and remain grounded . Our battle now is to fight her lichen sclerosis . ..it will require quite a bit from both of us. It’s not an easy one but we’ll do what we have to do together . She’s been though a lot I have to be her knight again …..she is forever my love .

        Like

  23. dawnkinster says:

    Happy New Year. May 2018 be just uncomfortable enough.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Lisa Gottman says:

    Here is something I’ve been thinking about that maybe other people might answer. How can one wake up the “comfortable” partner?

    As always I appreciate Matt’s vulnerability and owning his mistakes in his marriage. It is, in these common marriage dynamics we talk about here, IMHO a combination of one partner who is too comfortable and one partner who doesn’t know how to “stand up for themselves without making a big deal of it” as Brent Atkinson would say that allows that.

    A good marriage I think REQUIRES each other to point our things that make us uncomfortable. Common mistakes are people pleasing (too comfortable for partner) or reacting in rage or contempt (too comfortable for you because it’s immature venting).

    The answer, I think, is making yourself uncomfortable by controlling your urges for either people pleasing or rage and giving feedback and boundaries that wake up the comfortable partner into inspiring uncomfortable change on their part.

    It takes TWO “comfortable” people in this scenario to create this dysfunctional cycle. Not just one.

    Can anyone relate? Or do you think it’s always one too comfortable person that explains it all?

    I know it was a bitter pill for me to swallow when I began to realize my part in the dysfunctional dance. I suck at standing up for myself without making a big deal of it (mostly the second part ha ha). I used to only see my husbands part of being too comfortable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lisa Gottman says:

      Here’s the part of the post I am referring to:

      “And the reason they don’t know or care is because they don’t feel the need to be bothered with trying to figure it out.

      One partner keeps hinting at a problem, but nothing feels wrong to the other.

      Because the non-hurting partner is COMFORTABLE.

      Everything’s fine. She’ll (or he’ll) get over it.

      These people—too often men—can’t understand why it hurts when she sees him expertly adjusting his schedule to attend two different fantasy football drafts where he’ll drink and joke with his friends all day, assembling a fake team of players to “manage” for an entire football season.

      “How is it that he can’t be bothered to make a dinner reservation for our wedding anniversary or adjust his schedule to come to our daughter’s dance recital, but he’ll jump through hoops to draft and manage an imaginary football team?” one might think or say.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lisa Gottman says:

      People pleasing and angry venting are both forms of being too comfortable too IMHO.

      Anita talked a couple of posts ago about the bad effects of not telling the truth of how you feel about something. How much damage that can do to “lie” to your partner. That’s being too comfortable to tell the truth. People pleasing is allowing yourself to be too comfortable.

      My dysfunctional favorite tends to be the second one. It’s so much more confortable for me to think and feel and express moral superiority and anger.

      I could defintely see myself feeling “superior” if my husband put a lot of effort into fantasy football and not planning our anniversary.

      But that too is just allowing myself to be too comfortable. It’s uncomfortable to be mature and express frustration without contempt. To ask for change without toxic contempt.

      So there in my opinion is where wives often go wrong. At least it’s where this one did. I was too comfortable.

      I can say I’m working very hard to be uncomfortable now.

      Like

  25. anitvan says:

    Happy New Year Matt ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  26. julie3344 says:

    This is a great reminder, in marriage and in life, to not get too comfortable. And that it’s the little and gradual moments that cause large changes or destruction. We are all striving for something in life and if we only strive to be comfortable, then we are doomed. Thanks for the great insights.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Andrea says:

    Completely off topic of your post, and maybe I missed it in a previous blog post; but I am curious as to what your ex-wife thinks of your blog.

    Like

  28. Esmeralda says:

    Inspired!
    Ladies can get lazy too, my ex friend started the end of our friendship, the second she started manipulating the conversation, so I’d talk about myself and my problems 30% and the problems of mine would not get solved, but then we’d spend the other 70% of the time actively solving her real and imagined problems, also she kind of hit me where I was hurting, and where she might’ve known I had damage (Should I tell you my faults, so you can sharpen your sword), that hurt too.
    Truly inspiring and I hope everybody going through painful emotional relationship situations, both at fault and one person at fault situations read this!

    Like

  29. Esmeralda says:

    I think the term for this is Hubris, being over confident that the love is unconditional, but then somehow ruining it, for everyone involved. Comfortable and confident you have a good thing going and nothing will ruin it, not even slacking off, not even being unpleasant in a low key way.

    Like

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