I’m Stingy

A lot of people may be in denial about this but regardless of how much we grow, we will always take those “things” that we got from childhood and bring it into adulthood, and Lord forbid those things follow us to marriage. That’s what happened to me…😀

Growing up, l lived with a house full of people and I had to share almost everything (whether I wanted to or not). Sometimes they returned my things in it’s original condition and other times, I could no longer identify whether it was mine or not. Then at 16, I had my first child. Either way, by the time I was 17, giving up things for the sake of others became a task I despised. I didn’t (and my husband would argue that I still don’t) like sharing my things. This is not to say that I am a selfish person. To the contrary, I am very giving. It just means I’d rather buy someone their own before I give them mine. Welcome to another unexpected dynamic in my marriage. 

One would argue that the act of marriage means “to share” and rightfully so, they should. Truthfully, when two people are married, they are expected to share a home, ideas, money, children, everything! However, there were some things I just wasn’t prepared to share. 

My husband is a very “sharing is caring” kind of man. He touches my shit sometimes without a conscience and I’m like, “What are you doing baby?” If my husband is out of shampoo, he’s reaching for mine; If he’s finished with his food, he wants mine; If I somehow laugh at something in retrospect, he has to know what it is; If I am using the restroom, he just walks in and talk to me; If he can’t find his hair brush, he’s using mine.  All the while, in my head, I am having the biggest temper tantrum, kicking and screaming, “He just won’t stop touching my things!!” In a dream, he’d never run out of things or ask for mine. In reality, that wouldn’t be feasible and it wouldn’t be marriage. 

I spend a great deal of time in my marriage chanting, “What’s mine is his and what’s his is mine.” Sometimes I am in disbelief of how much of a struggle that is for me. When we marry someone, one would think it’s second nature to just give your spouse all of you and that includes the willingness to share all you have. I’ve learned that when we have baggage, something so simple can be one of the most challenging things we can ever do. Sharing is not easy for me. I’ve had to work through all of the core beliefs I’ve acquired when it comes to that and rewrite them to fit my current lifestyle. What that looks like is, instead of telling myself, my husband will “use it all or use it against me-break it or break my heart,” I have to tell myself “Nya, he may not do any of those things and if he does, maybe he will work to fix it or give you more in return.” It may also look like being less defensive and knowing that whatever it is I have, he is going to make contact with it.    

Sharing makes me feel like my space is invaded and boundaries have been crossed. These are the thoughts that I react to and my husband didn’t put them there. My childhood did. 

The obsession of “mine” can be very toxic to a marriage or anything that requires more than one person to be successful. I still struggle with this because I’ve conditioned myself to believe that if I have something that is “mine” then I have security. To share is to be vulnerable, open and fearless. I thought I was all of those things until I got married. I didn’t expect to learn that I wasn’t.  

Author: msnyab

I'm an author, Mental Health Clinician, wife, mother and friend! I've learned that people feel their best when their feelings and thoughts are validated and they are surrounded by others they can relate to. Speaking the truth is liberating and therapeutic. I enjoy giving strangers and loved ones an outlet to do that!!

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