I took a lot of responsibility for my spouse's stuff. It was how I developed my marriage into a parent/child relationship. For more than the past year, I had - HAD - to let go of him all together. His anger. His ADHD. I made my plan to love him as a person and the father of our children - but plan my own life going forward without him. His stuff says NOTHING about me, but everything about him. I chose to work on my stuff. My spouse has to work on his. A broken relationship is just that - a broken relationship. If each side does not do their own part, it cannot be a "relationship." It is a lopsided mess of one person doing both people's work. I had that. And never want that again.
I am in college. My goal of getting an associate's degree in business has evolved into working towards my bachelor's degree in early childhood education. By fall of 2016, I can be student teaching. I feel odd at times. I am 55. All the meetings and events surrounding my education involve many young people assuming I am one of the professors! Sort funny. Sorta awkward. Sometimes, I feel like I am nuts.
This forum, and Melissa's couple's seminar has been a catalyst for me. I started posting here over 4 years ago. Then shortly after, did the marriage seminar with my spouse. AT THAT TIME, I did not get the result I had anticipated.
Last fall I erased all my posts as I saw how much my thinking had changed. Then I was asked to allow my posts to be restored. And . . . . my spouse who knew I was part of this forum, but had previously refused to participate, decided he wanted to read what I had posted. Oiy. I highly suggested that he not read my posts.
He read them.
And the result? I watched him crash. And burn. And it was excruciating - for him.
But I had to step away. It fully seemed to destroy my ability to participate in this forum. However, what Liz thought was a total disaster, changed something.
My spouse, the man with ADHD, who was not fully diagnosed until a few years ago, is moving forward.
I am more amazed than you can imagine at what has transpired over the recent month. I have shared many a harsh thing my spouse has said to me. I find it important to share the positive thing my spouse said to me. This is a snippet of the what I hold dear to my heart. Words from my spouse, written to me in a letter:
".....I need time to regain the once peaceful spirit within myself - not letting go of the aspects of wisdom and knowledge dotted among the spiney realizations and anger-born false conclusions I have allowed to creep in. . . . .mostly, I need time to overcompensate the nurturing of you, lost in the wasted years.. . . ."
Will this really happen? Only God knows. It CAN be. I continue to do only Liz's part. But I can honestly admit that the possibility of my spouse's words causes me to feel a bit giddy for our marriage. I am continuing to take each day as it comes. I am hoping he will continue to choose happiness over bitterness. The proof will be in the pudding. I am not counting my chickens before they hatch. I am seeing a glimmer now of a positive outcome of these past 4 years of hard work - Liz on herself, my spouse on himself - and the hope it can create for our marriage.