We are simply trying to decide where to go out for dinner. We don’t have a fight about it or anything like that, but the way she talks to me makes me feel down. I can’t understand this woman. All I want is to make her happy, so I let her choose. I ask her where she wants to eat, but she wants me to pick the restaurant. I really don’t feel confident about making any decision lately. I start picturing being in the restaurant, eating lousy food, dealing with an angry waiter. I imagine Melanie with a long face thinking that if she was married to somebody else she would be eating in a better restaurant.
So I don’t want to choose. I don’t want to be blamed for a disappointing evening. But she insists. I ask her if she would be into sushi. Her mouth twists in a weird way that makes her look like she is disgusted by something. Well, if you don’t feel like sushi, why don’t you pick a place? So she does. She decides she wants Italian food, and so we go. But she is still not happy about it. The only goal in my mind is to please her, but it seems it is a hopeless pursuit. I’m just not man enough for her. I can imagine what she is thinking. That she is the one that wears the pants in the relationship, that I am a burden. I feel a knot in my stomach. I am worthless and she knows it.
I know thinking all these negative thoughts is not helpful. I understand my state of my mind makes me see things negatively. But it’s hard to stop. My therapist tells me that a first step is to write things down, so I write this Stress Log (see the picture). I write down separately the stressful situation, the negative emotions I am feeling, and my negative thoughts.
I must admit I didn’t even know I had some of these thoughts in my mind until I wrote this Stress Log down. And I do see how it is obvious that thinking like this is very depressing and not necessary.
Thinking that she has no respect for me and that I am not worthy of respect has a lot to do with my feeling so bad. But am I? I will certainly do a Thought Challenge about this.