Calamity Jennye

Sunday, April 24, 2011

To Everything There is a Season

(I apologize in advance that this is a long post...if you bear with me I have to say the end result seems so basic but this has to be one of the biggest moments of release and acceptance I've had so far! How's that for a teaser :)  )

I'm finding my current situation especially hard to deal with on Easter for several reasons:
Easter makes me feel I should be ready to forgive (I am just not) I think really that's ok, it's just more difficult in the context of Easter.
Also years ago when we were dating, Easter services were always ones we went out of our way attend together and when we had broken up it was my husbands efforts over an Easter weekend that started to bring us back together.
As this morning's service drew nearer and nearer I started to realize I was holding out secret hope that if he was ever going to come to his senses this would be it.
All of these Easter activities alone with my daughter were one more painful face to face with the truth.
Realistically these are the things that will strengthen my resolve, the things that reassure me I need to separate our lives. The things that convince me "the big D" as Becky called it, is the right direction.

Trust me, I hate that I simultaneously can't stand the thought of my husband but also am longing to talk these things through with him. I hate that I know with every fiber of my being that moving on is the best thing I could ever do, yet still hold out secret hope that there will at least be some sort of conversation before I move on. Love really is just not something you turn off and on like a faucet. I think anyone who says they had no choice but to fall into love with someone new and thus out of love with someone old is wrong. There is choice (like the turning on of a faucet) but the response is nowhere near that immediate. It feels to me like nothing short of sheer force of will (and lots of it) can enable one to move on at any pace other than a turtle's from a truly loving relationship.
So the next painful part, is that that leaves me with two options. Either my husband stopped loving me long ago and fooled me into believing it much longer than I should have, because there was convenience or some other benefit in it for him. Or he is capable of immense cruelty in order to do this to someone he does still love. Either way I have to say there is great cruelty involved. And I guess that is just one more thing I need to use to steel my resolve. Anyone capable of this kind of cruelty is not simultaneously worthy of my unconditional love.

See now I'm back in this vicious circle with thoughts of Easter and how we are called to exactly that. Called to love demanding nothing in return, called to love those who deserve it the least. I'm telling you this is a really big hang up for me.
I feel immensely guilty walking away from that kind of call to love. Just typing this makes me want to march over to my house and say "we committed to this, committed to love, neither of us gets to walk away, there are no free passes in marriage. You fucked up big time (and literally) but I don't care! My job is to love you (as a christian and as your wife) and your job is to love me. Yes it is a job (and I know you're not a fan of those types of inconveniences). But it's a job we committed to and here we are. So let's just suck it up and find a way to do our job!"
All of this seriously reminds me of a time I had an employee call up and fire me as his boss (his not so subtle way of quitting). Not at all to say that either of us is an employee in this relationship but there are just ways these things are done and ways they are not. I just don't like that he gets to walk away. That's not the way it's done!

Ah, but there's the rub it doesn't matter. He has turned off the faucet, fired me, completely walked away. And no matter how I feel I cannot make someone love me. That I guess is where I have to end it. The ultimate answer to why it is okay to walk away.

If he can choose to be done with me than I can also choose to still love him, I just have to do it differently. A variation on turning the other cheek. On this cheek I loved him as a wife and a partner, deeply and truly. He slapped that cheek (metaphorically) right hard a few times.
So now, in order to live with myself I guess the only answer is to turn the other cheek. For me, I have to continue loving him, that is the imperative. But I can no longer love him the way I used to, not if I also love myself. Now I can love him the same way I am called to love that person that makes me crazy in church or on the bus.
On this cheek husband -- on this cheek stranger who no longer bears any resemblance to the man she once loved.
This is the way I can do it. To get here completely will require forgiveness...but I really think this is a start.
And I have to say just reading this over I have a completely different sense already. I think this change of cheeks could be the hardest but most worth it thing I've done up til now. I actually feel an Easter like sense of hope at this idea.
So...share, has there been a time in your life when it seemed impossible but you still turned the other cheek? How did you do it?

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  1. Be true to yourself. I like the symbolism of the cheek on so many levels. Just remember you only have two sides and you have already been beat up on one of them!
    Take it a moment at a time. Some times that is all the longer I can commit to good behavior.

  2. As a woman and a wife I think we'd all like to say - oh if he ever *insert horribleness here* I'd walk away so fast . . . but when it's you, in your situation, and your marriage - it's really a different ball game. That's why it was easy for me to say it's time for the big D, but I don't think I could let go easily. No one truly knows what goes on in someone else's marriage, we can only see what's on the outside, whether good or bad. I think it's totally rational in your loving wife and mother hat to still love him. Even after all that's happened and in the long run all three of you will benefit from it. It seems today divorce is too easy, to just end a marriage without much effort to fix it is too easy - but when that's how one person wants it - then it's done. Like you said you can't make him love you. And I don't know if it's as much as him falling out of love or being cruel it's more about him being extremely selfish which = cruel. I wish for your heart you could slap him - literally - and some sense would be knocked into him, but as you have realized it doesn't work like that!!