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Posts Tagged ‘love’

I’ve known friends who have had major events change the routine of their daily life and I’ve often wondered how they establish a new normal. Well, this is what I am now experiencing first hand.

Amazingly, it is not as difficult as I thought it would be. Granted, it is not easy. It is tragic in all sense of the word. But it is also a time of new beginnings.

I feel it and so do the kids.

I see beauty in the outcome and sadness in the death, but my Father has been teaching me that there’s beauty in the process. That while a healed and whole family is a marvelous thing to behold, the process that got us there is where He is most glorified and where He draws us to Himself. Dreams die and plans change and seasons end, but He is not done yet.

As for my husband, he has moved out of his friend’s house and is now living with another woman. I have no idea what his relationship is to her, and I don’t want to know. This decision he made regarding his living arrangements further convinces me that I made the right choice in ending the nightmare my marriage had become. I still have hope that one day, his eyes will be opened to all he has lost and all he has done to cause that loss. Then maybe, he will be able to receive the help he needs. But until then, with God’s grace, I am moving forward towards health for myself and my children.

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“We write to taste life twice . . .” ~ Anais Nin

I write so I will not forget. But some days, I just don’t want to remember. Sometimes I just don’t want to “taste life twice”. This is one of those times. So for anyone who follows my blog, I hope you forgive me, but today I am posting only a song. Like most of the songs I post, this one speaks for me.

Where I am today.

Right now.

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To say the last week has been difficult would be a great understatement.

He had been caught. He just didn’t know to what extent when I confronted him. And so he lied. Had he told the truth, would the outcome have been different? No point in wondering that now. Once I began reading out loud to him, the e-mails they had exchanged that were in my possession, my husband realized he could lie no longer and the ugly details were revealed.

He met her 18 months ago . . . It became “inappropriate” early on. I told him he needed to leave. Move out. And he needed to tell the kids why or else I would. I gave him 1 week. He refused. By mid-week he even began to deny everything he had admitted just a few days before. Why wouldn’t he? I’m sure he was thinking that we would fall back into our usual pattern by telling me,

~ “You are blowing things out of proportion”
~ “You are being over sensitive”
~ “It wasn’t what you think”

It didn’t matter. Nothing he could say at this point was going to weaken my resolve.

Despite my husband’s juvenile and desperate protests, (“I’m not going to tell the kids and you can’t make me!) we had a “family meeting” exactly 1 week after the thing that changed everything happened. My younger ones cried. My older ones were angry and demanded him to explain. He couldn’t. And then the dam burst. Every crazy, dysfunctional, hurtful, narcissistic behavior of my husband was confronted . . . By the kids. There was no blatant disrespect, but they held nothing back.

His response? He took off his wedding ring, set it on the table, packed a bag, and left the house. He was gone and I could finally breathe. We all could finally breathe. The toxic energy was gone and now our healing could begin.

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The minutes before someone is about to experience an unexpected life changing event . . . Is there any warning? A sense of foreboding? A flutter of the heart? Does the sun shine brighter or the night seem darker?

Even with 20/20 hindsight, I can not say there was a moment when I KNEW something was about to happen. That the thing which would change everything was about to assault me as I walked through the door that evening.

Maybe my mind was too preoccupied with all that still needed to be done at home after a long work week. Maybe it was the feeling of being thrown off balance when I came home to an empty house. Where was everyone? No note, no text, no voicemail.

As I stood in the middle of the empty stillness, so foreign to my usually bustling home, I immediately heard the insistent and unmistakeable beeping of an electronic device. I made my way through each room until I found it. My husband’s Blackberry. Usually locked and password protected . . . But not tonight.

My hands were trembling, and my conscience questioning as I fumbled with the phone, pressing multiple buttons trying to figure out how to open it. Not sure what I would find as I quickly scanned through the texts and e-mails, but in a matter of moments, my trembling hands turned into full body shakes.

Elaine.”

There were more messages than I could count that were either from her or to her.

Someone whose name he had never even mentioned to me, but apparently was communicating with daily.

My emotions were spinning and swirling with the power of a hurricane, but my mind was functioning in the eye of the storm as clarity of thought possessed me. Not knowing how much time I had before everyone came home, and knowing that I had to be sure before I confronted, I began forwarding the e-mails to myself.

I knew I wouldn’t have the opportunity to read the e-mails thoroughly until the following day when I was alone, but before I did, I wanted to give him one chance to explain.

***

It was a simple question. Asked that night before bed.

“Who is Elaine?”

My husband blinked several times in surprise, but recovered his composure quickly as he responded nonchalantly,

“Oh, just a friend that I met through work.”

“Is there anything I should know about her?” I asked, making direct eye contact as I spoke.

“What do you want to know about her? . . .”

I shrugged my shoulders.

“She’s someone who I met through work and we have been exchanging prayer requests.”

And with that, he rolled over, turned out the light and ended the conversation.

***

The following morning, during my first moment alone, I opened my inbox and began reading. The endearments, the familiarity, the inside jokes. It was obvious this was more than a casual friendship. And, of course, there was not a single “prayer request” to be found.

(to be continued)

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” ‘I will not let You go until You bless me,’ was the tenacious, passionate motto of my youth. It was the ultimate challenge to God of how much I really wanted the things I said I did.”

I read these words from the blog “Mindspace” and everything stopped as I thought of the implication these words had for me. Yes, I have spent years praying for my marriage, but God knows my heart, and He knows I have not prayed for my husband with conviction, passion or faith in a long, (long) time.

“God then challenged me to acknowledge that as long as I didn’t pray for my husband, I had no right to complain, or be dissatisfied, or demand change . . . “

“It was like God was saying, ‘What kind of marriage do you really want? What kind of man are you really seeking for in your husband? How serious are you? How much do you really want it? Enough to go to therapy, read books on marriage and self improvement . . . But how about pray? You complain, analyze, are disappointed, disillusioned, ready to give up . . . while it is much more work to trust God’s timing, to stand your ground, to stay alert to Satan’s lies . . . Pray. Pray for the fathers you never had, the intimacy you’ve never seen modeled, the honesty and wholeness that is foreign to both of your families of origin.’ “

“He challenged me ┬áto never open my mouth and complain if I am not willing to spend even a fraction of that time on my knees praying.”

” . . . And so I will pray. Not just for the sake of myself and my husband, but for my children, the new generation, I am praying for a new family history, a break in the sin of the forefathers, and a new level of health and wholeness for my family.” ~ Mindspace

Wow, huh? I am humbled by her words. How can I not be when they cut to the core of everything?

” . . . And so I will pray.”

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On this journey, there is nothing quite like meeting someone on the road whose experiences have resembled my own. Whether we cross paths in person, through a computer or a book, the result is the same when their words resonate with my own feelings.

The affirmation that I am not alone in my situation, that my story is understood by another and to be able to relate to someone else’s story, is like balm to my hurting and confused soul.

The following statements came from a couple as they shared how their marriage has been (and continues to be) affected by ADD.

He Said:

“I felt that no matter how hard I tried I could never do well enough for my spouse, even when I was successful elsewhere, such as at work. It didn’t matter – I still felt like a failure at home.”

“I often responded with anger and defensiveness, when it was shame that I was really feeling.”

“I had to anticipate my wife’s response to every single thing I did. I lived my life trying to second guess her because I really did want to please her, but most of the time she was still mad.”

“I sometimes felt that the easiest way to deal with my spouse was to simply leave her alone.”

“Our marital issues left me feeling unloved.”

“Even if my ADD made me see or remember something ‘not right’, it still was my reality, and that was not respected.”

“I learned to lie to cover for mistakes. I learned to deflect criticism, to shift the blame to anything or anyone other than myself to protect my ego. I avoided being decisive, because in deferring the decisions to someone else, I could also defer the blame.”

“I have trouble planning ahead. I am notoriously late because I easily lose track of time and I’m often terrible at judging how long it will take to complete a task. I know this bothers my wife, but I don’t understand why it bothers her so much.”

“I felt the only reason my wife was insisting on treatment was so she could change me. I didn’t realize that what she wanted was the real me – without so much of the ADD baggage.”

“I don’t understand why we still have problems, even though I am now receiving treatment for my ADD . . “

“I don’t believe all of our problems are my fault . . . or the result of my ADD.”

She Said:

“There has been so much inconsistency living with my husband. I have usually been the one left to “clean up” from what was forgotten or not finished by my spouse.”

“I get so frustrated that my husband never seems to follow through on what he has agreed to do. He focuses intently on things that interest him, but never on me. I feel lonely and ignored in our relationship.”

“I am scared for myself . . .that my life will continue along it’s current path. I think about leaving my husband because the current path feels unsustainable.”

“The effects that my husband’s behavior have had on our marriage and family are much more than can be imagined.”

“At times, I become overwhelmed by sadness. And I mourn for the relationship I could have with my spouse, if not for ADD.”

“Life often seems depressingly up and down and out of control. I can not believe how many years we have dealt with the same issues over and over again.”

“I don’t understand my husband’s anger, stonewalling and defensiveness. If he is not responding angrily towards me or the kids, then he is ignoring us. I am constantly seeking any scraps of attention, respect, help and support I can get from him”

“He can be convinced that he is upset because of something I have just said, but he doesn’t recall that he was upset long before.”

“Understanding my husband’s quite different reality can be so challenging. I am exhausted and depleted. No amount of effort seems to fix the relationship.”

“I want to be able to love my husband unreservedly, without having to make as many of the horrific trade offs in my own life that responding to his symptoms has required.”

“He doesn’t see that deciding to get treatment is not the same as pursuing effective treatment that gives both of us relief from his
symptoms.”


“By the time we finally find solutions for our issues, I feel my life will be shredded beyond recognition – I have already been scarred forever.”

They Said:

Our marriage has been a progression from happy to confused to angry to hopeless.

There is more sadness than hope in their story, but it was good for me to hear the husband’s perspective. You see, although ADD is a topic I now know much about, this is probably the closest I will ever come to knowing what life is like for my own husband . . .

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My heart has been broken. It happened a long time ago. And I’ve never healed. Or maybe I have, since the wound no longer bleeds. But instead of the scars making me stronger in those broken places, my heart has become harder.

Cautious.

Calloused.

Self protective.

I’ve been told love is dangerous. I think I’ve subconsciously believed it to be true. That would explain why I keep those I love at a distance. After all, what we believe determines how we live . . .

Was it the loss of my mother at such a young age that taught me to not hold on too tightly? Or was it the rejection I felt from my father and the family that raised me (after my mother’s death) that has allowed me to easily detach? Maybe it was the trampling my self-worth endured from the betrayal of my first love that has kept me suspicious in the existence of life enduring, whole-hearted love . . .

Its only been recently that I’ve become conscious of the long-lasting effects the broken heart of a life time ago has had.

As much as I’d like to ignore it – I can’t.

I see the repercussions in all my closest relationships.

How could I be living this way for so long and not realize it till now?

But it’s not enough just to know . . . to be aware.

I have to fix

Change.

Amend.

My future and the well-being of my self, my children, my marriage, my life depends on it.

I once wrote, “there is healing and humility in authenticity”

(wordpress.com/2012/01/04/the-real-thing-is-always-better-than-a-good-knock-off/)

At the time, I was referring to my fear of letting others see what dysfunction was going on in our home as the result of my husband’s behavior. Now I am seeing those words and realize they apply to so much more.

To love authentically can bring healing.
To love vulnerably can bring humility.

Asking God to help me do both as I continue to identify and tear down all the walls surrounding my heart.

Heal my heart and make it clean. Open up my eyes to the things unseen. Show me how to love like You have loved me.”

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