I want to be able to love my husband even when..

I want to feel love for my husband even when he has shouted at my daughter.  Why? Because I get that the love is for me, I am the one feeling either that or anger. I’d rather love.  More than even that though, is because I also get (and have experienced enough by now) that telling him to be different simply doesn’t work. It either results in more anger or, even if it crescendos and he really understands, it is temporary, because here we are today – him having shouted again yesterday.

And so yesterday I moved myself and my children away (we were all in the car together). I actually said to my husband first “go take a walk” which he said no to, and I immediately realized the boundary needed to be what I would do – not try to get him to do. So, I removed myself and the kids from him instead.

And I spoke to them. And told them that his shouting was a reflection of him, not them. And I talked to them about what we’d just done in not trying to make him do something different but in what we did as a consequence of his action (our boundary). They got it very well. And, I got back in the car and after a few minutes stroked the back of his neck as he was driving us all home. Because in that moment I had compassion for him, knowing it was his thoughts and how hard it is sometimes to think differently. I truly get that, and can feel compassion with that T.

I did all that. I’m happy I didn’t cause myself more pain and frustration by trying to get him to do or undo anything. And yet it’s still hard because I have Ts that the children shouldn’t have to go through this (his anger/shouting) and that they are being impacted and there is nothing I can do about his actions.

My daughter wanted me to “tell him it’s not okay” about a comment he made to her about a dress she’d just bought. He said “of course, she has a beautiful body for it”.  She was immediately offended/disgusted (yes by her thoughts) and told him he couldn’t say that, couldn’t make comments about her body. He looked at her and she looked at me and said Mummy, don’t you agree, and I said “yes I don’t like it either”. At which point my husband left to sit in the car. And when we got to the car they did not talk. When we got to the next place, my daughter did the one mistake (in my opinion) and telling him to “take it back” (his comment). Which he said no to. And she later told me (I walked ahead with my son at this point) that she said “if you don’t take it back that means you hate me, and he said I hate you right now).” (This is what my 14yo daughter told me. He may have said “I hate what you’re doing right now” I didn’t hear it.

Frankly, I hate that he said that. I hate that he later shouted at her and said the words “she is really getting on my nerves right now”.  And I understand the only part I have control over is my actions which are my boundaries and what I can teach the children. I did both of those things yesterday and I also found compassion for him in terms of knowing how hard it is when old Ts come flooding in which cause anger and result in As. I see that that was what was happening for him yesterday. And for that I can feel compassion.

And yet… I still have the T “this is wrong”. What else can I do. The answer to me, is nothing, in terms of changing his behavior. Only mine.  I don’t want a divorce (I’ve thought I have many times and I don’t right now. I may choose that one day, but not today. And I see the changes both of us are making).

But I guess I just want to share that it is hard 🙂 I’m so friggin proud of myself for the changes I am making. And – it is hard. It is hard to still think T’s that leave my frustrated, sad, or angry. And I suppose mostly the T’s that lead me to thinking it’s not okay to not “stand up”. But maybe it’s that I am not quite at the space where I can “stand up” without also losing my composure at him. And I think I’m working towards that.

I want to see that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing, “divorce or condoning” and that my boundary of leaving the car with the kids, talking to them, further talking later with them, not losing myself, and NOT taking any of it to my husband because history has taught me better – and because I understand the manual, could actually be speaking volumes more than maybe I’m realizing.

Update – he just came in as I was writing this, and asked me what I was talking to the kids about yesterday. And what our daughter was thinking that triggered her. And I thought about it, but I ended up saying I didn’t want to talk about it. And that feels like a boundary I’m honoring for myself right now. I didn’t get angry with him yesterday. In in fact was affectionate with him. But, this morning on the day he is about to start a new job (yes, I was also factoring this in yesterday when I thought about what was triggering him), and when I am aware of my limits on where I’m currently at in managing my mind, I didn’t want to talk about it, right now. He walked away, ignored, shouted yesterday. I managed my mind, talked to the children, didn’t ask him to do anything. Today, I am honoring that I don’t want to go there at 7am on a Monday morning.

I guess this is the grey area between condoning and divorcing. It’s “accepting” that he will be how he will be, managing my own mind so that I don’t retaliate, but also create a little distance – not wanting to get into a quick 2 minute conversation with him about it on Monday morning before school runs and work, taking responsibility to manage my mind around it, come to AAC, etc.

This has been more of a share than a question I suppose. But if there’s coaching/feedback/or questions for me to take this further or differently, I’m so here for it. Thank you. Work of our lives, for sure….