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Stephanie is right – I do love my family.  Stephanie, thank you for your note and the gentle rebuke.

Your comment has made me realize that I’m actually still quite mad at him (and I’m not at all offended with you!).  I have read your advice over and over again and I can see that I’ve become very selfish.  I’ve grown tired of waiting, I wanted him to do things for me, my way RIGHT NOW because I deserve it  and am tired of always giving and giving and never getting much out of this relationship.  That, however, is not unconditional love so now I’m finding myself wanting, ha!, demanding what I am no longer willing to give.  Oh the irony…

Now, in spite of having spent the last 7 – 8 years watching the slow, gradual change that God has worked in his life to bring him to the place he is today I had stopped trusting God to complete the work He started in my husband and decided it wasn’t fast enough to suit me anymore because “I deserved better than this”.

Essentially, this most recent bout with discontent can be tracked to one particular disagreement that happened almost two years ago now:  For various reasons I wanted to leave our church and attend a different Charismatic, Christian church.  I didn’t have any particular church in mind, just any other church, preferably closer to home so our girls could get to know other Christian kids that hopefully lived in the neighborhood and could connect at both school and church.

Now my husband is of the stay-where-you’re-at-until-you’re-given-new-directions-by-God-Himself opinion, basically he believes that until God speaks to him in a loud, booming, audible voice “You will start attending church such-and-such  at the beginning of next month”  then we are to stay where we’re at.  My reason for leaving is logic-based, that if we are not continuing to grow as individuals and as a family then just maybe we’ve learned all that we can at this church for now and should go somewhere else where our learning can continue to move forward.

We went back and forth over this for months.  Why did I want to leave, why did he want to stay.  Finally he told me we would go and try other churches just to see what was out there.  He was serving as an usher and they asked for a month’s notice to replace him so he gave his months notice and on our last Sunday we sat in the sanctuary for a really long time after the service ended.  Almost everyone had gone home before he turned to me and said “I can’t do it, we’re not leaving”.  With that statement and decision he broke trust with me.  He had made me a promise that we would go look for other churches and then decided that this church has a higher priority in his life than I do so that promise to me wasn’t worth keeping… and it made me feel like I was insignificant to him and to our family.   When I look at it carefully I see that what’s really happened over the last two years is that I became angry with my husband and I have let that anger build to the point where I was one conversation away from kicking him out of the house about two months ago.  We did manage to reconcile that day and avoided a messy separation but my anger stayed in it’s crock pot, tucked into a quiet corner while it slowly heated up again and all I could see were his faults, magnified.

This is what I need to forgive him for, and I need to ask his forgiveness for my staying angry with him for all this time.h

Once again, Stephanie is right – I need to forgive him and stop judging him so harshly.  He is as God made him, warts and all, and he is trying the best he knows how to love me, warts and all.

The fact that I haven’t had mushy, ooey-gooey or passionate feelings for anyone or anything for a super-long time probably just means that my “feeler” is broke.  I think I buried it along with my heart in self-defense a long time ago and the fact that I’m “missing” having feelings is – hopefully – a positive sign of something deep inside starting to heal.

Oh – and Hiddinsight, I have been referred to a psychiatric counselor who does both counseling and medication management while keeping my primary doctor in the loop so hopefully that will be more helpful to me than my previous counselors have been.

I’m going to wrap it up for now, my pills have kicked in and it will probably be hilarious to read tomorrow what I wrote tonight but the pills don’t seem to change what I think, they just free me to write more than I usually would .

Have a fabulous 4th of July, I plan on spending as much of it as possible in bed getting lots of rest before I have to go back to work on Friday.

Again, comments are always welcome, I’m learning and growing and I’m sure I can’t be the only one out there going through this kind of stuff.

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Oh Lord, help me.  My husband went out-of-state Friday and will come back late today (Monday).  On the phone he asks me  “Do you miss me?”

I had to answer yes.  It’s a lie but how could I possibly tell him “No”?

The Truth, which in this case would make my life far more difficult and complicated rather than setting me free, is that it’s been a glorious weekend without him and I didn’t miss him a bit.  It was truly a stay-cation because he was gone although saying that would be mean and uber-hurtful to him.

Friday was a super-late night and so Saturday I slept until 3 pm – normally by noon he can’t stand it that I’m still in bed and comes to wake me up and make me “be part of the family”, which consists of me making everyone a meal and then sitting upstairs in the living room and watching movies together for the rest of the day.  Honestly, I’d rather go back to bed and sleep the day away because between my sleep apnea and insomnia I need sleep far more than I need to sit with my family and watch movies…especially when we don’t hardly speak 10 words to each other all day.  “Family time” indeed .  Sunday I was ready to wake up at 10 am because I had actually slept enough on Saturday!  I also didn’t go to church Sunday because he wasn’t here to make me go.  (I’ve noticed that when I’m out-of-town on a Sunday, most of the time, he doesn’t go to church either so I find it somewhat hypocritical of him to feel it’s necessary for me to go all the time but whenever I’m not there he stays home…but that’s another post…)  I even got to spend some 0ne-on-one time with each of my children and also with our adopted neighbor girl, which was loads of fun and something I’ve never  been able to do before.

Even though it’s after midnight and officially Monday for me it’s still Sunday night because my pills haven’t kicked in yet and I’m not asleep… but my husband comes home “tonight”.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dreading it, I’m just mentally mourning the end of my free time.  For all the smack I talk about him he is trying really hard to be a nicer guy, including going to counseling, telling a select group of men about his addiction and they are doing a good job of holding him accountable.  He’s railing in his temper more and apologizing when he fails to keep it under control – both to me and our girls.  He says he loves me more, which is nice but there’s no passion behind it, they’re just words in the same way that there is no passion in our intimacy, it’s just sex to keep his hormones under control.  He’s a pretty good roommate and I enjoy his company but I don’t miss him when he’s gone…or when I’m gone.

I think he has wounded me too much for me to have any kind of passion for him and I don’t think he ever knew how to have passion for a woman, not any of his past girlfriends and definitely not for me, his wife.  What he may think is his passion for me I’ve only ever seen as lust for sex.  He is finally, after 19 years of marriage, trying to dampen his sex drive and create some sort of passion but at the moment it’s too little, too late and I’m completely uninterested.

I don’t want a divorce, I don’t want a lover and I’m not homosexual.  I think I just want a little bit of space.  I want it to be OK that I don’t like sex.  I want it to be OK that I don’t want to spend every moment with my husband and children.  I want it to be OK that I like my husband and children…but not love them. I feel like wanting those things makes me ungodly and that makes me wonder if I’m really saved.

I think my heart must have a broken piece or two in it because it sure doesn’t love like everybody else’s does.  I am damaged and I’ve been in Survival Mode, or Self-Preservation Mode or whatever else you want to call it for most of my life that my real heart is buried so deep and so far away that I don’t even know how to find it.  And should I ever find it, how would I break down the walls I built around it?  It is too much for me, my walls are stronger than I am because I poured parts of myself into making the mortar and stones and now those parts are gone from me, they fortify my walls and no longer strengthen me.

“Do You Miss Me?”  My poor family, they deserve better than a broken wife and mother but I’m the only one they’ve got.  I deserve better than a dysfunctional family but they are the only one I’ve got…and my husband and I are equally responsible for its dysfunction just as my mother and father were equally responsible for the dysfunctional family I grew up in.

There must be more than this but I don’t even have the will to look for it anymore.  All I want to do is get the girls grown up and on their own and then we’ll see what sort of relationship can be built with their father when it’s just the two of us.

I made a promise, 19 years ago, till death do us part.  When your heart dies but your body lives on – does that count?  Dry Bones, you will live again – I have to believe…I just have to believe.

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