Last week I was contemplating an eye opening question previously posed by our marriage counselor, this week I’m defensive about an eye opening question posed by my husband
Then – 12/23/2003
“Last night was quite interesting. When ‘Carl’ came home from his AA meeting he was in a bad mood. It appears that some people were talking about their family life and their ‘happily ever after’ stories.
He said ‘I know this is hard on you but do you have any idea how hard this is on me?’ I grit my teeth and said ‘Yes, I know how hard it is but you chose this situation, I didn’t. I didn’t ask for this but I have to live with the consequences of your choices.’ Then he said the ultimate slap in the face – ‘I know what I’m doing to fix this, but what are you doing?’
How f*&%ing dare he question what I’m doing! Here are some of the things I’m doing to fix this insane situation that HE put us in:
- I get out of bed every morning instead of curling up and never getting out
- I take care of the kids and the house alone
- I go to work and stay focused so I don’t lose my job like he’s about to
- I try to continue as normal an existence as possible
- I try to focus on positive things in order to keep from screaming and crying
- I let him stay in this house instead of permanently kicking him out
- I sleep in the same bed even when I don’t feel like it
- I know my job is to keep this family together but I don’t have to be ‘in love’ to do it
- I went to his dysfunctional family Christmas to keep peace
- I try to get by day by day with some sanity
- I keep it together UNMEDICATED!!
Now – 3/6/11
After I vented in my journal that night and vented to people close to me, I realized how much I had been bottling up inside. I was doing the best I could with the situation but growing very resentful in the process. I remember feeling like I was going to explode when he questioned what I was doing to fix this. I can look back now and see that his main concern was the marriage, not getting better for his sake. He was using his disease against me in many ways and putting me on the defensive was just one of them.
He wanted me to show him that I wanted to fix the marriage, however keeping things as normal as possible for the sake of the kids was all I was interested in. We had been to marriage counseling for quite awhile prior to finding out about his alcohol addiction and nothing had changed for me. The interesting thing that I can see as I look back on that time is that as he questioned what I was doing to fix the situation that he created, I was beginning to take on a ‘victim’ role. I was beginning to keep a score card entitled ‘What did I do to deserve this?’ The more he focused on me, the greater my focus became on my ‘sad story’. Looking back I am grateful for his misguided anger because it brought into the spotlight many issues that I had ignored for a long time; his question actually created a different awareness for me than I believe he intended.
The more he pushed, the more I went inside to figure out what I had been avoiding for many years. The main question – Was this marriage worth fixing?
Next week – Pressure to feel