Issue Finding my way home #15
I am a 50 year old woman who lost herself in the relationship maze. Our marriage of 14 years ended in divorce ten years ago. Unfortunately the power struggle continues: it seems to have taken on a life of its own. Our children, now young adults, are like the rope in the middle of a tug-of-war. I always wanted a relationship: it was the subconscious template etched in my brain. It was what I expected without discussion, exploration or articulation – a given. Trust, loyalty and the faith that love will prevail is pretty much where I started, the foundation. A man that would be a good husband and father.
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I would like to believe that I am always respectful, that I treat everyone with dignity; however, experience seems to tell a different story. Our relationship derailed for many reasons, but the one that sits at the very top of the list is respect. I did not understand, respect or listen to my own body, didn't really know much about physical chemistry or attraction. Over time my husband became Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde; the nice guy I thought I had married surfaced at the office or out in the front street talking to neighbors, but at home he was a bear. Miserable, critical, hostile, angry. Managing his stress became the focus of my life, something I felt was necessary to protect the health and well being of our children. In hindsight, if I truly respected him or myself, I wouldn't have gone more than one or two steps down that path, but I did. Passively accepting outrageous behavior, I maintained a physical presence but checked out emotionally. Eventually, when his words could no longer penetrate the shell of my cocoon, he attacked physically with his fists. Trust was broken.
This is really a sad story unfurtunatly it
s the story of your life. I dont know your husband and I don
t know if he ever regretted what he did or if you ever talked to him about what kind of relationship you wanted. I think you were both very frustrated. Your story reminds me of my sister's marriage. I dont think my brother-inlaw ever hit her, but he has turned to alcohol and they don
t have to much to say to each other anymore. He is an intelligent man and works in the computer system but in the evening he just sits there and drinks one beer after the next. My sister is also 50 years old and each time we talk on the phone I can tell how frustrated she is. Ive tried to tell her some of the things that work for us, but I don
t go into personal details. She knows that my husband and I treat each other different, but she doesnt know just how deep we are into a relationship. I
ve tried to give her some advice but she insists that the things that work for us wouldnt work in her marriage. I can only tell you, it
s never too late to find the man who you can really trust. You know now what you want and you dont have small kids to look after and I suppose you are financially independent.
Give it a try, you have nothing to lose. There
s something we didnt have 20 years ago: To meet a guy you can go online. You can be careful, but you can go on dates and get to know different men before you jump into a relationship. It has taken me a long time to find my way home. I think I am on the right path but trust remains an issue. Where I once jumped in head first without hesitation, fearless, now I hesitate. Home is trusting myself. I sincerelly appreciate your comments, I tend to see it as a chapter in the book of my life, rather than "the story of my life" but it certainly forced me to have a look inside. I am sure it is difficult for you to see your sister struggling. In my case, a relationship would never have been possible with the man I was married to. Over time my respect for him eroded, I think for the most part because he did not respect himself. He is not a bad person, but he got stuck, stuck in the past of an abusive family. He is scared, over emotional but absolutely refuses to open the door and look at the skeletons. There is much that I don't know and a great deal that I will never understand, but the end result is that I have three adult children who are in many ways more mature than their father.
My ex-husband never saw his way to apologizing, his words were that it was my fault. I 'provoked' him. The fact that he was totally out of control and dangerous, our children called the police and he was escorted out of the house, never registered as his problem. We got back together for a couple of years after that incident, it was a dream that finally cleared the way to a better life. I dreamt that we were all in a boat, common enough we had a cabin that was boat access only. Anyway, there is a storm, huge waves rough waters the boat is breaking up, we are in the water. The children without question are swimming to shore, instinctively, there is no discussion, they know what to do. Watching my children I hear my husband yelling at me to hold on to the trunk, it is a trunk full of stuff, junk, old dishes, a heavy burden. He is holding on to the trunk, he wants me to grab hold of the other side. The trunk is stuff, baggage . . to me unimportant in the overall picture, but I can only choose for myself. I can swim to shore with my children, or I can hold on to the trunk with my husband but his choice is his own.
Physically impossible for me to drag him and the trunk to shore. I focused my energy on taking care of myself and our children, I read a great deal, went for councelling and we grew further and further apart. I tried to talk to him, suggested counselling but he said there was nothing wrong with him, it was me, and that if I quit reading all the books, things would be just fine. When he finally chose to leave, I had the locks changed in the blink of an eye. I do believe I made the best possible choice for myself and our children, but it has been a long, rough and bumpy road. It has taken me a very long time to get to the point where I feel ready for the challenges of a new relationship. This time much more conscious of what I truly want and why. I would love to hear about your relationship. Where and how you got started, if you would like to share your experience.