I am 33, and I am about to separate from my husband of 7
years. For 7 years, I have twisted myself into a pretzel trying to
find a way to make my husband not angry. I now know it had nothing
to do with ME.
Gosh, it took me a long time to get here. It has taken years of
therapy. And I am sure I still have years to go. :) But I am
willing to put in the effort to work on mySelf. I feel it is my only
hope for a happy and fulfilled future.
I grew up with a brother who was a sociopath. He hurt me many times,
often seriously. When he would hurt me, my mother would tell me that
it was my fault because I got in his way. Ouchhh!
I was taught from the start that I was to blame. That is tough
programming to change.
So, I spent 7 years married to a man who was angry, yet would never tell
me why. He would silently rage. The tendons in his jaw would
work, his hands would be clenched and he would never look at me.
And the whole time I would desperately try to figure out what I had done
wrong. I spent so much time consumed with making him not angry that
I allowed a big part of my life to pass me by. I feel like I missed
my son's infancy and young childhood. I was always worried that his
noise would wake daddy. I sat day after day in sadness, wondering
what I could do, not really enjoying my son and his wonderful little Self.
I stopped going places because going out meant that I was punished in some
way for something that happened while I was gone. Many people were
uneasy around my husband, so we had no friends. My husband sank
deeper and deeper into alcohol and depression. We went to
counseling, we took classes on communication, we separated for a period of
8 months, during which time he harassed, stalked, abused...then would
I went back into the relationship 1 1/2 years ago when he agreed to quit
drinking and had started doing therapy on his own. I was so tired of
seeing our little boy torn apart by his fathers selfishness, I felt I
needed to try and make our family whole again. I felt if he could truly
do the work on himself, then we could make it. His
"change" lasted 3 months. :( But
I tried for another year. I continued in my own therapy to learn why
I react the way I do, and learned new ways to deal with things. I
also learned about boundaries... something I had very little of before. :)
I have learned through my therapy that I am not always guilty. I
have learned that I cannot control his anger. I have learned that I
am deserving of receiving the love that I am so capable of giving.
It has taken a lot of work to "re-program" those voices in my
head that tell me I am bad, or not good enough. I still have days
where I fall back into those old doubtful, codependent habits. I am
trying to make my new voice louder than the old ones. I am
looking forward to the journey into peace.
Congratulations! Time to change your
name, I think. Maybe "CourageousHeart?"