Over the past week or so, I've begun to express myself more with Husband. I always thought I could and did say everything to him. But I didn't.
I often didn't tell him when things pissed me off. Partly because of his response, and partly because I only knew how to be reasonable/understanding/forgiving or mean. Nothing in between. Now I'm learning about in betweens.
I'm also opening up to the idea that I can love Husband in new ways. I'm letting go of needing to love him the way I did before or not at all. I'm trying to stay in the present moment.
In the present is a healthier man who loves me. When I linger over his past actions, pain and sadness come up. It will take time for me to heal those wounds, and I want to heal, not just forget or ignore. And I think a big part of that healing is being with the man he is in the present.
Who is he now?
He's someone who has lied to me; someone who has been unfaithful to our commitment to each other; someone who has hurt me more deeply than I've ever been hurt; someone with more problems than either of us imagined; someone who loves me; a loving, responsible and committed partner in raising our son; someone who sees the greatness in me even when I don't; someone who is committed to recovery and self-discovery through therapy and spiritual practice; someone who is willing to try to build a new relationship with me despite his knowledge that I might discover I can't do that; he's funny, smart, generous, gentle, kind.
He is many things. He is human. I used to think he was Superman. My super man. Now I know he is not. Not Superman. But a good man, with a good heart.
If he weren't this man, if the pain of being with him now was as great as the pain of having been betrayed by him, I might not stay.
For me there is a difference between staying in a hopelessly bad situation and staying in a painful situation. I think the defining question is "Where is the opportunity for growth?" And the companion question: "What am I avoiding?"
One of the best things I have learned from all of this is to face what I'm avoiding, "to lean into the sharpness of life."
For access to that possibility; for the opportunity to discover my strength in the face of pain and not knowing, to learn who I can be as I let that pain and fear wash over me instead of running for higher ground; for the chance to deal with the devastation and turmoil of betrayal as a woman and do what I couldn't when I was a child, I'm profoundly grateful.
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3 weeks ago