Thursday, August 14, 2008

Anniversary reflections - a Confession of sorts

I haven't blogged in a few days. Anniversaries hit me rather hard, and Tuesday, the 12th, was the 32d anniversary of my wedding to the man I now refer to, in my nastier moods, as "the Faerie Prince." We can also call him DH - because "Dear Husband" also shares those initials for his name.

DH was one of my best friends in high school, and I simply could not bear the thought of ever facing a future in which he was not a central figure. We dated for a year, and married.

We both had our issues. I was the daughter of a mentally ill mother; he was fighting a secret issue that I didn't learn of until later. I was wounded, emotionally. I saw him as strong, decisive, heroic. I expected him to fill my "love tank."

He couldn't.

When we returned from our long weekend honeymoon, he took to a chair in the evenings and hardly had a thing to say to me. Suddenly, this beautiful boy who had been my best friend became a cold, silent, almost-hostile stranger. For years the memory taunted me, infuriated me; I didn't know how to fight back against such neglect and contempt.

But believe me, I did my best. I became consumed with thoughts of "justice" and "right." DH wouldn't be warm or companionable to me? I shut down. I became, I'm sorry to say, more passive-aggressive in the things I refused to do to be a good wife and friend to him.

I didn't know what his struggles were. What's worse, at that point in my life, I didn't care. I'd married him so I could be dear and important to someone; if he wouldn't give me that which he'd promised, then I'd be damned if I'd stick my neck out for him, either.

I was no help to him in his struggles, in his sorrows. I made his journey even more difficult than it had to be.

I do not absolve him from his part of the failure. He ought to have been honest, before. Of course, we were young, we were ignorant; that kind of honesty was simply not possible for us at that point in our lives. But later on, he ought to have been. Instead, he sat in the counsellor's office and smirked and said, "I know a good marriage takes a lot of work, but frankly, I don't want to be bothered." (I ran into that counsellor, ten years later. She remembered us vividly because of this one comment.)

But I'm sorry, now, that I wasn't a better, a more mature, a more independent woman. I might have done him some good, and in that, I failed miserably.

I am praying for him, and for his deliverance and his conversion. It's a small bit of restitution that he'll never see or know of - but I deposit it "on account" with my heavenly Father Who does see and know all, and Who will distribute it rightly, in His own way.

3 comments:

Adrienne said...

"But I'm sorry, now, that I wasn't a better, a more mature, a more independent woman. I might have done him some good, and in that, I failed miserably."

NO, NO, NO!!!! Just stop that!! You cannot fix anyone. You just stop heaping all that blame on yourself! That's an order!!! Don't make me fly up there and pop you a couple in the head:)

just another convert said...

Perhaps you had some part in the blame department, but Adrienne is right. You can't fix anyone...especially if they don't want to be fixed. It is very apparent that he didn't want to be fixed. He liked the way he was. The therapist was able to see that, can you?
Reconciliation is a part of our faith for a reason. Once you confess your sin, the Lord never holds it over your head again. Can you accept that part of our faith? It is a Grace He bestows on us. Give Him the power to heal you and take the guilt from your shoulders.

Laura said...

I'm sorry - I wasn't as clear as I ought to have been. If you go further into the blog, you'll see that I've posted about DH before - blaming him 300% for the failure of our marriage and for my subsequent pain.

What is remarkable about my present awareness of the situation - not that I think I could have "saved" him (I do know better!) but that I can see my own fault in the matter.

It wasn't 300% DH's fault.

And I don't think I had a responsibility to "save" him - but I do believe I am being shown by God that our selfishness has farther-reaching consequences than we realize. I was selfish; I inflicted unnecessary pain on a man I thought was invincible and impenetrable, but who was weak and vulnerable and suffering. It's a major revision of my blame-him-for-everything attitude.

Does that make sense?