I realized after this session that there is a period of my husbands life that I know very little about. Embarrassing almost. But through no fault of his own. It was an extremely painful period of his life that he wants to forget about. Unfortunately he’ll never be able to do that and so long as we are treading choppy water, those memories will remain closer to the surface then he wants them to be.
His parents divorce was hard on him. He was 5. He remembers the day. He remembers the time leading up to the day. He also remembers the time following that day. All very painful. He remembers everyone crying. He remembers being very sad. He remembers being very angry. I’m not sure he’s let go of that anger yet. His Dad and him were not close at all. He never took him anywhere. He never really did anything with him. He remembers very little about any time they spent together. His Mom started dating someone a year or two later. This man would become his stepfather many years down the road. He was more of a Dad to him then his real father. Taught him to fish and hunt. Brought him to his boy scout meetings. Attended nearly every game or match ever played. They are still real close to this day. He has a relationship with his father now but it’s not close.
When we started talking about this in therapy I realized I didn’t know much about his growing up years from divorce until high school. I had high school & college figured out but I never took the time to ask about grade school. He never talked about it. I had not ever taken the time to realize how painful that time of his life was. I was almost in tears hearing about it. Our therapist was as well. The role he took on as a child of 5 was greater than anything anyone could ever imagine. Now, mind you, it was not a role anyone forced him in. His Mom was very strict and taught him well and took care of him well. But to think you need to fulfill a “man’s ” role at the age of 5 and take that very seriously is a huge undertaking. His Mom and his step dad married years after my husband graduated high school and went to college. It was only then that he felt he could leave his Mom and know that someone else would be able to be a man for her. In fact, he said if she had gotten married while he was still living in the house, the whole relationship between his step dad and him would be changed. He would have never been happy with that decision. I was floored at this.
I also learned that in the passed few years he’s lost his faith relationship. I think I knew it but to hear him say it made me incredibly sad. I feel as though I actually played a large part of that. I have a tremendous amount of guilt because of it. I am a Christian woman. We attend church mostly every Sunday. I pray a whole lot and am comfortable in my faith. He was a Catholic. I am a Lutheran. We attend a Lutheran Church. He’s forever not liked the church for various reasons. He gets nothing from this church. How can you go that long in your life with no faith enrichment?? He didn’t & still doesn’t think it’s that big of a deal. I know it’s a huge one.
In the end I’m trying to change my perception of him. I’m looking past all of the flaws that cover him so much. I am studying them and trying to find out why they are there in the first place. I’ve made some pretty grand discoveries; both with him and myself. I am not immune from said flaws. I have many. I just want to understand how we got so far into this and that maybe I can use that to pry us out.
That said, we went on a great date the other night. It was just us. No friends or family. We had an incredible meal and shared lots of fun memories with each other. We talked at great length about some really fun stuff. I loved every minute of it.