I have been pulling my hair out for the last week trying to figure out how to change how I talk to my husband. We have fought a lot lately. I’m not going into details, but seriously, I was about to call an exorcist; still considering it. But yesterday I was at the end of my rope. As a Catholic, I am married for the rest of my life to this man, if that means living in different houses so we don’t kill each other, then so be it. But we will still be married. There is no “finding someone else” for me. The priest that married us went through all of this when we were in marriage prep. From my first try at marriage I was well aware of how bad things can get and I meant it when I said “for better or for worse” on October 7, 2010 to Stacey Adams. And this is mos def, the worse of times (so far).
The biggest problem is my mouth and my anger, and my mouth moving when I’m angry with no filter and no respect for the dignity of my spouse. I’ve always been that way. I used to do this to my mother when I was a teen. I have always been full of anger. I can’t really say that I didn’t have a reason to be filled with rage at my mom for many reasons, one of them being her denial that I was ever raped as a child by the man we lived with. But I am no longer a child. Sunday’s readings included the reading from St. Paul that says that God did not give us a spirit of fear but one of self-control. Then Father went on to talk about domestic violence in his homily. I’ve never heard a homily on that subject. At first I was so ready to sit there and be the “I have been in abusive relationships” victim. There really does come a sense of self-pity with that role. The problem is that Father didn’t really go in a direction that would allow me to wallow in my past abuse. He began to talk about verbal abuse and how when you call your spouse names and insult them you are an abuser. Rude. It didn’t help that the Psalm was “If today you hear His voice, Harden not your heart”. That’s what I get for saying “Yeah, You don’t really have much to say to my on Respect Life Sunday, I know allll about abortion and birth control.” HA!
After Holy Communion I just broke down in sobs. I realized that the way I have treated my husband is so wrong. It’s also part of the reason he feels so beat down and stressed out. You would think that I would come straight home and apologize and try to change my ways. Nope. Monday was our anniversary and I kept up the angry attitude thinking that he didn’t really care about what day it was. Little did I know that he sent an email to the wrong email address and then a text message to tell me that and how much he loved me that I never got. So, while he was reaching out in love, I wasn’t getting the messages (literally) which meant I was sulking and getting more and more angry until it blew up into this big huge fight.
Again, I’m not getting into details, but it was bad. I woke up yesterday thinking that the only solution would be for us to split up to live in separate homes or something. Something had to give. Like I said, I was at the end of my rope. Then like always God answered me in this crazy way. A book review came across my newsfeed. (I have cheated terribly at being off Facebook) The book is by Dr. Greg Popcak called “Just Married: The Catholic Guide to Surviving and Thriving in the First Five Years of Marriage”, and I read an excerpt which made me realize that it’s normal for marriages to go through what mine is going through, especially in the first 5 years; even more so if it’s a second marriage, which this is for both of us even though it’s our first Sacramental marriage.
It really changed how I was looking at things and I ordered the book today so that I can read it. I went downstairs and began talking to my husband. I still was not willing to budge on whose fault everything is. The government shutdown has nothing on the shutdown that has gone down in this house. Nada. In the end we both decided that getting counseling might be a good place to start. I realized that maybe I do need to change how I approach problems and that I really need to watch my mouth. With that, we went to bed. The kind of going to bed that happens when you are in that awkward fighting moment when you are no longer angry as a hornet, but you’re not ok either. The big giant space in the middle of the bed kind of awkward.
Then it happened: I turned off the TV and sat in silence. Silence terrifies me and I’m scared of the dark. As soon as the TV was off I started hearing God talk to me. Not a voice, but that special way that God pulls at my heart. It’s as if He was just waiting for a moment of silence to talk to me. And it hit me. That is how God works. He doesn’t wait for us to change before He comes to us. He always comes down to us to love us and have mercy on us, even before we even ask for it or even want it. Here I was staring at my wonderful husband in the dark realizing that I’ve been holding mercy for him hostage. He is so handsome and kind to me. He bought me an iPad mini and gave it to me at Burger King because he knows that I love whoppers and that would make giving me an iPad better. What kind of spoiled brat needs that kind of attention? Me. All I could do was cry and wake him up to apologize for the mega bitch that I have become to him. Instead of a self-righteous “yeah, I know you have been!”, this man said “What wrong baby? Are you not happy? How can I love you better?”. WTF is wrong with me? I don’t deserve a husband like this.
I made a choice right then to quit calling my husband names, to quit leading with my emotions over EVERT.THING and to go to confession. Again. I also realized that I need more time in silence to listen to God. Without that, I get lost. I get lost all the time. Every time I look around, I’m lost. I need more silence to find my way so that I can be the gift that God made me to be to my husband and my children. I’ve lived so long being sharp around the edges. Making sure that nobody gets me first and living on the defensive. It is time to stop that. It is time to be merciful and kind; like my husband is.
I will fail, just like I failed to get off Facebook forever, and thank God that when I do, He will come and find me anyway.