Everything is different, but still the same

I still feel calm and peaceful, better than I have for years. Telling him to back off and respect my boundaries, and telling him how I truly feel was the missing link in my healing process.

I don’t feel lonely anymore. I think I understand this, but it is still surprises me. Now that I’m not looking for approval and attention, I am totally content to just be me. (What?? Seriously?? Yes, it has surprised me too)

So it has been about 2 weeks now since I told my husband that I do not love him, and that I will no longer accept his verbal and emotional abuse for myself or for our kids. The first week he went nearly manic trying to fix everything around the house and showered me with affection and kisses, and stopped yelling. The past few days, though he is not yelling, he is criticizing us again. The difference is that I stop him mid-sentence with a “What daddy meant to say was . . .” He is not yelling/raging at us, and I do wonder what he is doing with the anger. I am proud of his efforts to control the yelling. Mostly he seems more tuned in to us, and will ask a question rather than just yell about what he thinks is going on.

But I can so clearly see the subtle criticism now, that would always just leave me feeling badly and I didn’t know why. He blames us for so many wrongs and has never allowed any of us to freely express thoughts or emotions. Amazing how my new view allows me to see it without feeling it, and before I could feel it but not see it.

Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman, displaying her a...

Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Example: We were all sitting around the table eating dinner. My daughter had asked to get her ears pierced, and I told her we could go on Saturday. (We did this and had such a special girls only day that I will cherish forever!) She started talking excitedly about what else we might do at the mall, like maybe we could get a pretzel, or – This is where husband cut her off (because the nerve of this girl wanting a treat too) and said she was being rude and never thought of anyone else when she talked, and that she wasn’t going to get a whole special day just because she wanted it. So I stopped him, and said “Daddy meant we should talk about our plans another time, but that those are all good ideas” I stopped her tears before they even formed. I turned around his hurtful words, deflected them like bullets on Wonder Woman’s bracelets. Ba-Zing! Ba-Zing!

I realized right then that everything he says to us is like that. His message is always that we are rude, greedy, demanding, unsatisfied. We are never free to express any emotion without getting scolded, and allow the raw emotion to show and we get screamed at. Even when we express joy, we are supposed to contain it. Well, no more.

So even though I see some changes, my heart is still completely checked out. I have no desire for him, or to be with him. I have no respect for him. I actually resent him. He is trying to be more involved with me, but I don’t want him there, so I am torn. I know I supposed to be ‘trying’ to give him a chance. But I guess I’m not sure what my role in that is exactly. Am I supposed to be affectionate, or even intimate with him now? I can’t do it. Am I supposed to respond warmly to his pleas of forgiveness? I can’t do it. I’m not trying to push him away, but I can’t let him in either.

We had a few nice evenings where he sat with me to watch TV while held held my hand. It was nice, but only nice. I have no rush of feelings, no desire to make up. I still feel relief that I don’t ‘have’ to respond to him.

But the thing that hurts, is he continues to say “I love you” a dozen times a day and I can not say it back. Not the way he wants. I tried, but my mouth opened and nothing came out. This makes me sad a bit. I wonder how long I have been saying that without fully meaning it. I know now I started saying it before I actually knew what it meant. We were together and married before I had a capacity for love. The childhood abuse had left me so altered, and I was so young, 17 when we met.

And now that I know what it feels like to fly free, not sure this bird can be caged again.

So I feel like I grieved for our marriage already, but I agreed to counseling and to give it a ‘try’, so I will continue to ‘try’, but I’m not sure what that means.

 

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5 thoughts on “Everything is different, but still the same

  1. My husband has a negative perspective a lot of the time and I am constantly fighting back. I always have and that seems to be part of our relationship. If he’s rude to the kids I point it out to him and if he goes off the wall, I will talk to the kids alone afterward about the importance of being able to express emotions without bottling up and exploding. But, he’s not really verbally abusive like you describe your husband. The difference I guess, with our relationships, is I love my husband and he is the one I dream about. He still lights my fire and I his.

    But, anyway, enough about me. I’m so glad to hear you are getting stronger everyday and finding your voice. By all means, do not say I love you if you don’t mean it. Do not have intimacy if you don’t want to. That would not be a good thing for this healing journey you are on. Stay true to yourself and your kids. You are doing great!
    –Daylily

  2. It is amazing to me that you can correct him like that and he doesn’t flip out. That right there shows progress! Good for you :)

  3. Pingback: Boundaries in a Healthy Marriage | Roots to Blossom

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