How does a stroke heal a marriage? It completely changed his attitude. Suddenly he needed me! He couldn’t drive or read or write for a month. He was so happy to see me when I came home, he was soft toward me, and was ready to do whatever I suggested! Before that everything had to be his idea.
And he didn’t remember that he wanted a divorce! As he healed he had to make a choice whether or not to go back to his old ways, and God confronted him when I asked. I saw it coming and knew I couldn’t go back to the way we were.
So 16 years later…
We had agreed to take some time to think and talk again. So after a week of no more discussion, I was ready to make something happen, but God said “No, wait for him to start.”
Then it really got hard. One day everything irritated me or made me angry or negative! I was appalled at my feelings, desperately praying for control. I couldn’t understand myself, until there was a small confrontation Saturday night when I asked, “Do you just want to be alone and do your own thing?” to which he reacted, and I went into another room.
Suddenly, I realized that this delay was for my healing, and I knew exactly where these feelings were coming from. I had dealt with it in Family Systems class 30 years ago, and written it in my first book, The Worst Evil–Losing Yourself. My mother loved men, but she was disappointed in her father who didn’t know how to be tender or show affection. Only one time, after he had witnessed a mother die in childbirth, had he spoken tenderly to her and her sister, “You poor girls.” She admired his strength but hated his weakness.
She got involved with my father and knew he wasn’t strong enough for her. So she tried to break off their engagement, but he threatened suicide. She gave in and married him. However, she never admired him. He had been the favored of nine and deferred to her in everything. She was good, smart, and strong, and he knew it. He gave her the lead, but she resented it.
Her daughters married strong men with big weaknesses, three divorced and married the same again. Good old family systems theory!
So, of course, my programming has covert hostility, resentment, and distrust of men. (At one point I moved home again, and I came to hate the way she treated my dad, which was interesting because for years I had reflected her, and disdained him for being weak and uninvolved. He died quite suddenly after I’d been home for two years, and I was so thankful for that healing time with him.)
So I knew I would be getting up early for a “come-to-Jesus” meeting the next morning and I was not resistant, but the tiniest bit afraid of what I had to face.
The truth is, it was wonderful. I had looked at all of it before anyway, here and there over the years, aghast at some of my reactions and feelings. It felt good to own it and let it all go in a modified version of HUM (Healing the Unconscious Mind–also in chapter three of the above book.) And afterwards, I felt clean and free. We healed all the generational patterns.
Now I was sure he would open a discussion that could change things. But no. And I was stretched to trust and not take the lead and force the issue!
Finally five days later he is warming a little. I guess the good news will have to wait till next week. Hopefully there will be good news by Christmas!