I have so many thoughts swirling around in my head right now. I’ll try to write them, but I don’t know if they will make sense!
I called my brother last night to ask him if he thought there was any way the marriage, and my husband, might change for the better. The answer was, basically, short of a miracle, no. I told my brother that I still sometimes think, well, if I would do this, or if I tried that approach, or if… Still that co-dependent thinking. I told my brother I was insane. And you know the definition of insanity: do the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Last night, after I got into bed, I could tell my husband was mad. A long time after we got into bed, he finally said, I’m angry at you for not having sex with me, for not even touching me. I thought it was good that he actually said he was mad. [But I guess in reality, he was probably trying to lay a guilt trip on me.] I was quiet, trying to think what to say. I didn’t want to be accusatory. I didn’t want to be co-dependent and “fix it” for him. Finally I asked, do you understand why I can’t have sex with you? He said, no. I told him that I didn’t feel close to him. [In case there is any question, I can’t even count the number of times in our marriage over the years when I have told him that I don’t feel close to him in an attempt to try to get that changed.] He said that I don’t do anything to try to be close him. I said, what do you think I should do. [I said this to try to draw him out, to get him to talk more.] He didn’t answer my question, but said, you walk around the house without a bra on and your nipples poke through your t-shirt and I can’t even enjoy them. I repeated that I don’t feel close to him. He said, we went canoeing. Don’t you like canoeing. I told him that I like canoeing. Finally, with much huffing and grunting and bouncing, he turned over and went to sleep.
I wished there was a way I could explain to him, a way that he could understand that I need emotional closeness. He is complaining about a lack of physical closeness. I want/need emotional closeness as well as physical closeness. Oh, and about physical closeness, so often it about drives me crazy I want to make love so bad!!! But I can’t stand him touching me, but I want sex so bad! UGH!!!
Let me tell you about the bra-less thing, the one he was so mad about, accusing me of flaunting my breasts. It was his idea. Or, rather, his reaction to an article he read a number of years ago. The long and short of it is this: it is healthier for your breasts not to wear a bra. (brafree.org) So I don’t wear a bra when I am at home. And now he’s mad at me about it when he was the one who urged me to do it several years ago. Go figure.
This morning when I woke up, I could tell he was still mad. He didn’t say anything. I didn’t say anything. But my brain is going. Maybe I should try to be more affectionate. Maybe that really would help. Maybe I should make an appointment to talk to my therapist about what I could do to help the marriage. Maybe I should make an appointment with a marriage counselor for the two of us. Maybe I am heartless and selfish and cruel and am being unfair to him. What should I do to fix all of this? What should I do? What can I do to make it better?
Can ya hear all the co-dependence????
I check my email and there is a new post from “Leadership Freak,” a leadership blog that I follow. This paragraph hits me in the face.
“Ease and comfort are the enemies of growth. On the other hand, strategic disadvantage is advantageous. Make things harder not easier. Uncomfortable challenges provide emerging leaders opportunities to rise up, develop new abilities, and eventually take flight on their own.” ~Dan Rockwell
My husband has had ease and comfort because of my co-dependence, because I have filled every gap that I could for him. And you can see by my thoughts this morning, that once again, that is where my mind was taking me. Make him comfortable. Make it nicer for him so he doesn’t have to hurt. My co-dependence has been an enemy to his growth.
Last night, my brother and I also talked about a similar idea, that my leaving could be a catalyst for his, my husband’s growth, an opportunity for him to take stock of his life and see about making changes he needs to make so his life will be more successful.
After reading that profound paragraph, I read in “The Language of Letting Go.” I actually read yesterday’s piece, since I didn’t get it read yesterday. It is titled, “Survivor Guilt.” It talks about recovery, about taking care of ourselves, about feeling better in our life. “Then it hits. Guilt. … we may feel guilty about those we’ve left behind – those not recovering, those still in pain. This survivor guilt is a symptom of codependency. … we feel pulled into their pain. … it hurts to leave behind those we love. But keep moving forward anyway. Be patient. Other people’s recovery is not our job. We cannot make them recover. We cannot make them happy. … The only recovery we can truly claim is our own.”
So what did I decide to do about my husband’s anger? About my husband’s pain?
“Other people’s recovery is not our job.”