It’s been a whole year now. A year since my amazing life was shattered like a vase dropped on concrete. The shards of glass went everywhere; some pieces may be gone forever and I am not sure yet if the vase will ever be like new again.
My husband knows better to approach me with a celebratory smile and say “I have a year of sobriety!” He did that at month 10 and it ruined my day and led to a fight. I told him that would be like me coming home and saying “I haven’t robbed a bank in year!” He would rightfully look at me and say, “You shouldn’t have been robbing them in the first place. This is no celebration, it’s a time for quiet reflection.”
So on the eve of my husband’s year of sobriety, here’s what I am “celebrating”.
1. It’s been a whole year of tears. Tears on my bathroom floor, tears in the shower where I can wail and my children won’t hear me, tears on my pillow, tears on my knees, tears of anger towards my husband’s lies. Tears at church, tears at the temple, tears as I told my parents, tears as I yelled at my Bishop for letting my husband off Scot-free.
2. It’s been a whole year of waking up and remembering, “Oh yea, this is my life now.”
3. It’s been a whole year of education and learning a whole new vocabulary to words like boundaries, triggers, betrayal trauma, etc.
4. It’s been a whole year of going to church and trying not to cry at all the lessons on sin, priesthood, and forever families.
5. It’s been a year on my knees pleading and begging God to please heal my heart now and wondering why healing is so very slow from one who is perfect and omniscient and omnipresent.
6. It’s been a year of making up excuses for the kids as to why dad is gone so much every Tuesday and Wednesday night now.
7. It’s been a year of mourning the loss of my marriage. The marriage I thought I had for 19 years has been replaced by a broken one.
8. It’s been a year of mistrusting my best friend.
9. It’s been a year of praying for the gift of discernment, telling God that obviously my liar meter is broken so I need discernment, I need a spiritual gift, if I am going to stay in this marriage.
10. It’s been a year of avoiding most friends and acquaintances and slowly deciding to confide in a few.
11. Its’ been a year of crying with my new friends, my fellow sisters whose hearts have been broken as well. The “sobbings of their hearts ascending up to God against (their husbands.)….hearts dead, pierced with deep wounds.” (Jacob 2:35)
12. It’s been a year of looking in the mirror and saying “I’m still standing, I am strong.”
13. It’s been a year of realizing that true peace comes from trust in God and in his timing and knowing that my future is bright, no matter my husband’s choices.
14. It’s been a year of counting my big and little blessings. From realizing I have amazing supportive parents and siblings to thanking God for a jacaranda tree in all its glorious purple blooms.
14. It’s been a year of realizing that as humans we can sure mess up our lives and the lives of innocent and knowing that Jesus Christ is our only hope. Only he can fix the messes we make.
I wish I could live out a real life choose your own adventure book. For my marriage I would want the scenario to go like this. I make my man move out because he doesn’t deserve me. I love him, I would ache for him, he’s my best friend, but he really should be with someone he deserves. He doesn’t deserve me. He deserves a woman who is unchaste and a liar, one who struggles with integrity. For a month or a year, it doesn’t really matter, he should have to be married to this woman. After a period of time maybe he’ll truly understand what he had with me, go back to the beginning of the book, and choose a different adventure. The adventure of sharing his life with me. He would truly appreciate my talents, abilities and, yes, my integrity–my strong moral principles–my uprightness and honesty. I want him to understand how unbelievably lucky he is to have married “up”.
I know this scenario is impossible. I also know this is my pride speaking. I feel superior to him right now. This is never a good thing, I am not superior, I am a sinner as well. Today I started praying that God would take away my pride. This was so hard to say because in a way I don’t want to give away that pride, that moral superiority. I am justified in my feelings and my hurt. But if I’m going to make this marriage work I have to let go of my pride–about this problem and any other problem really. I need to become humble. Most of the time I want mercy for my husband, but sometimes I want prideful justice.