guilt is a funny thing

Have you ever actually tried to fit a round peg into a square hole? Is that how the saying goes? Round peg, square hole? Or square peg, round hole? Either way; I’m the round piece in this analogy.

Let me explain…

I feel like squares are rigid and obviously have four distinct sides with four sharp corners. While those aren’t bad traits, they don’t describe me at all. I’m round. A little more forgiving and understanding, less set in my ways and not rigid at all. I’m probably too soft and have had my kindness mistaken for weakness a few too many times. But thats another story for a different day…

Feeling like the round peg isn’t exactly new for me, if I’m being honest. I have found myself attempting to fit into places I don’t belong more times than I would like to admit. BUT…I’ve always done it with the best of intentions. I know, I know…the road to hell was paved with good intentions…but for real…my intentions were always good.

Especially since my intentions were always to love. I have always chosen to see the good in people and have easily fallen in love with things probably not meant for me. Like our cat OJ when I was little. I’m super allergic to cats and I knew that attempting to care for the little thing wouldn’t be good for me. But it needed me and I needed to take care of it. Of course the itchy eyes, constant hives and endless sneezes quickly took its toll on me and OJ was forced to remain an outdoor farm cat. As did every cat I tried to rescue after that. Some lessons take longer to learn than others.

Apply that analogy to my first two marriages and your conclusion as to why those marriages ended probably wouldn’t be too far off. They just weren’t meant for me.

My present round peg/square hole situation was supposed to be less complex and involve fewer hives. And I think it does…but he’s really square and I’m really round. So there are constant issues. And my round sides might have some bumps from trying to fit where I didn’t belong in the past. Those bumps are likely caused by my inability-or refusal- to conform to things that don’t make me feel accepted or even wanted.

But dang it if I don’t love this square hole with all of my round little heart. And my intentions are good. I believe his are too but we just can’t seem to get it right.

He’s pretty set in his ways and I really love some of those ways. Others; not so much. And I know he feels the same way about my set ways. Of course it’s complicated. We have kids and exes and they cause some pretty major issues. Always for me, though. Not usually for him. He sometimes has issues with my exes but its different. I don’t typically have to consult my exes daily for parenting issues and I’ve never really had to.

But that’s just one example in which we are not the same….we are very different people. Even so, the ex issue for me is definitely our biggest problem…for him its the fact that I never admit guilt or say that I’m at fault.

In my defense, it’s really hard to admit guilt when I’m never wrong.

Ok, ok…I’m wrong. Sometimes. Maybe a lot. And I hate myself for it.

But that doesn’t change the fact that I don’t want to be where I don’t belong. Again. I don’t want to love what’s not meant for me. Again. And for quite sometime now…its a feeling that consumes me. He says he doesn’t understand why and when I try to give him reasons why…he shuts me down. He says its constant with me…and maybe it is…but thats because I feel unheard. My feelings and opinions aren’t valid during our conversations. And from where I stand; they aren’t even considered.

I’m able to give examples as to why I’m not considered but my square peg refuses to have his edges rounded so I just have to drop it. And he expects me to admit guilt for feeling the way I do.

But guilt is a funny thing. I don’t feel guilty for trying to make him see why I feel so unheard or not considered. I don’t feel guilty for being so constant in bringing up the issues that he refuses to talk about and won’t attempt to resolve. I feel like issues that aren’t resolved or at least calmly discussed will haunt us for far longer than they should. And they have. Admittedly, I don’t always say what I’m feeling in a way he feels is appropriate. And he’s not wrong. But after a while, it gets hard to not say something out of line because nothing else gets his attention. He has mistaken my kindness for weakness so I give him reminders of how strong I can be…but never in a good way. It’s shitty of me and not something I’m proud of so for that I feel guilty and sincerely admit fault.

My toxic trait in this relationship is feeling unheard and insecure and making inappropriate jabs to make sure he knows how I feel. My inappropriate jabs are always exaggerations as to why I feel the way I do. Unfair reminders that I’m not weak. They frustrate him and I know that.

His toxic trait is playing on those insecurities and reminding me of exactly why I need to feel insecure. It’s always personal and meant to hurt. His words are intentional and make me question my worth and my place in his life. They are hard to forget and even harder to come back from. I try to believe he doesn’t mean all of those things but I know there is truth behind everything he says. That’s just him. He’s brutally honest. A quality of his that I love…until he turns it on me.

We both attack and its wrong…but we attack differently. I never want him to question his place in my life. My whole goal…and the reason for my constant jabs…is just the opposite. I would give anything for him respect my place in his life. Put me first. Consider me first. Take away my jabs and my feelings behind them are completely warranted. If he weren’t so stubborn and afraid of being wrong…he would admit that he sometimes sees how his actions hurt me. And I admit that I don’t think he does it intentionally. He’s just used to doing things in his set way. As his partner, that tends to leave me feeling left out and unimportant. I know there is a period of adjustment but at this point I’m not sure thats a valid excuse for either of us.

It’s the most vicious cycle. I know my capacity for being told how awful I am as I’ve heard it all before. And I can tell that his capacity for my jabs is pretty close to being maxed out too.

So we are at this stale mate…and it sucks. I want to fit so badly but his edges just don’t allow it. My peg is far too round and his hole has really sharp corners. I know he wishes we fit without so much struggle…and, God, so do I. But I can’t compromise that much of myself. I know me and I know I’ll never be happy if I do. I’ve learned my worth the hard way; unfortunately for him. I feel bad that he’s left with the bitter pieces of me and I’m difficult, no doubt. I admit fault there, too. And I apologize as he doesn’t deserve all my broken pieces. But they are all I have to offer sometimes.

He deserves better. More, for sure. I’ve told him that lots of times. Maybe I just can’t give him what he needs. But I have really good intentions….

There is no doubt that the bumps on my round peg are a big reason we don’t fit together all the time. I admit that. I always have. For that…I’m deeply sorry.

But we do have moments of fitting perfectly and those moments keep us holding on. But who knows how much longer either of us can endure the pain we inflict on one another. We are both tired. And that fact makes me sad. I would never blame him for being tired of the struggle; or constantly feeling like I’m forcing my round peg into his square hole. That’s how I feel. And love isn’t supposed to feel forced.

And God knows I don’t need to love something else that isn’t meant for me. It would probably be easier to just quit trying at this point. But I can’t. Not yet, anyway.

This struggle to fit feels different. At least for me. Almost like its purposeful or necessary. Like it’s meant to be. Maybe we are supposed to figure it out because we both need our bumps smoothed and our edges softened? Probably. Lord knows I’d be better if my bumps were smoothed. Hopefully he can admit his edges are still a little sharp, too.

Regardless….I love that square hole. And even if my round peg never fits like its supposed to; my intentions were good. And we both know that.

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