“If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory you gained you will also suffer a defeat”.—Sun Tzu
The wisdom that Sun Tzu gave in the Art of War has allowed for us to learn about various facets of our lives. What we applied to battle applies to other important things in our lives like business and “romantic” relationships.
I often have talked about my lack of professional prowess or how I let my brain torture the outside world. But I seldom if ever talk about my “romantic” relationships. (I sure as hell don’t like to). I think it was time to mine nuggets of wisdom.
Today; I will focus on the common denominator in my relationships; me. Many years ago; I was quick to criticize my ex-girlfriends. I would point out the worst in them, the “shit” tests, their bad reactions, continual bad decision making, etc. I was indignant at best. I refused to admit that I had wronged. I stayed bitter and years later I smacked myself after I read about men leading healthy relationships. I wanted to give you guys a few examples in my stories.
After I decided to forget about my dangerous run in with Mona (https://freemattpodcast.wordpress.com/2019/10/24/mala-flos-my-false-rape-accusation-story/) and a subsequent near hit; I was introduced to “Freya” through a spouse of my shipmate. I ignored the fact that this shipmate (and his wife) seemed to be perennial losers. They meant to be kind people. I also over looked that she was a young woman that worked for a shipyard. (Shipyard workers have an unearned reputation of being drug addicts, uneducated, and sexually irresponsible). Not exactly high society level people. She was living with relatives at the time. I had gotten her to tell me all the information that qualifies as red flags in a short amount of time. I had been guilty of the crime of carrying it on too long. I easily could have put weight to the fact that our views of the future didn’t align and I had more value for things like education, family, etc. I lead with the fact that I enjoyed screwing like weasels and stress relief. It wasn’t that she was wrong. It was the fact that “we” weren’t right for each other. I was wrong for not noticing red flags.
Before I was introduced to Freya; I met “Etna” at a concert. She was the one that was acting spastic. I saw that she had a friend with her. I didn’t know much about the music and I liked to meet people. I didn’t have that many people categorized as “friends” outside of my shipmates. After the show; we ran into each other outside. I asked for her number. It was a week or two later that we got an opportunity to meet up with each other. She slept in four hours and was late by that much. She told me I had no right to be mad because she was “OCD” and cleaned her room the whole night. (red flags?). We met up and spent the weekend together. She spent the vast majority of the time badmouthing me in front of her friends. (red flags?). I attempted to keep our mess together through a visit down to her place. She got upset when I got lost and I got berated bigger than before. (red flags?). We pretty much ended an uncomfortable visit where she tanked us. Bad mouthing my military service, etc. Long story short, I never established boundaries. I didnt screen her. I never set parameters for time, etc. I didnt speak up.
The two biggest lessons: )a) I was the common denominator that didn’t communicate. I didnt verbalize disapproval. I didn’t say no enough. (b) I didnt stop when I saw the red flags. I thought that abhorrent behavior was something that happened. Now it is something that I stop. I dont accept jacked up people in my life to begin with.
I now accept my errors in the relationships. I had a lot to do to begin with. I had no reason to be bitter. I could move on to the people that should be in my life.
In my failures; I learned about me. I became a better me for better people in my life.
I owe it to the future to be the best. Only then; I could expect the best.