The Next Step

There is a very good chance that I might make a very huge mistake this weekend, good intro, right? I’m so confused by my husband. I expected him to say he was going to change everything but not actually do it. He did change everything though. He found a group of guys to hang out. He hunts and goes fishing multiple times a week. He stopped playing video games all day everyday, cleaned out the garage and built himself a work bench. He’s going to therapy, reading self help books and actually talking about it and how he feels about it all. He even came to church the other day and is actually fighting for this marriage and changing the way he talks to me.

He asked me to send him a list of all the ways that I think he emotionally abuses me so he can be more aware. So I sent it to him and he didn’t get upset, he just said he would talk about it with his therapist. He said we could bullet point it and put it on the fridge. Then every time he does something like that, I can point to it and call him out.

I’m so confused because now he is doing everything that I have asked him to do.  It’s just that it’s really late to be doing everything I asked and he hurt me a lot in the process. How many time do you forgive someone? OK well obviously you should always forgive but is there a magic number for how many chances you give someone? Let’s be clear here though, I am in no way expecting a long lasting or even legitimate change. Wouldn’t you want to know though? Maybe that’s how they get you, fake it for a little bit, act like they are changing and then wait for you to get comfortable. I have no idea, I still cannot tell if he is just that manipulative and controlling or if he recognizes that he is and really wants to change it.

Either way, going back would be hard. I would have to be alert all the time. If I do think that he is legitimately changing then I would have to try and change my view of him. Right now, he doesn’t have a very good reputation in my mind. He keeps asking me to try and change my perception of him, quit making him out to be a monster and open up to the idea that he could be changing. The issue that still remains is that I don’t really love him anymore. He’s done so much to hurt me and has damaged our relationship to such an extreme level that I don’t know if anyone can fix that.

In the event that he is becoming self aware, I can’t even imagine how awful that would feel. Shutting down emotionally was his way of coping and he had no regard for the way he treated other people, no empathy at all. Why would someone want to change that. Could you imagine being able to do anything without feeling bad about it? To be able to control everyone around you to get what you want and need without remorse. It has a certain level of freedom in it as well as a sense of power. To change that, you would have to change your entire way of thinking. Open yourself up to pain, become vulnerable, constantly be self aware, learn to tell the truth even if it hurts you,  accept that others have a right to a different view point, etc…. and a big one is learn how to get what you need by being a genuine person and not through manipulation.

You would have to basically revert back to childhood and relearn how to live everyday life. I’m not saying it’s impossible but why would you do it? It worked for my husband for almost 9 years. He got everything he wanted from me.  So either he doesn’t want to lose the wife that he created through manipulation and control or he genuinely feels bad about what he’s done and wants to change his ways so he won’t hurt people like that anymore. In the event that I do come back, he’s either going to have to work for the rest of his life on changing or step up his control game so I don’t recognize it. I really do believe that the only way he can truly change and want to change is through God.

I’m not saying people can’t change without Him, I’ve changed plenty over the years, some for the better and a lot for the worse. Everyone changes throughout life. However, hardcore, deep rooted change very rarely happens unless you either hit complete rock bottom or you experience God. He hasn’t hit rock bottom yet, and as far as I know, he’s still very anti-God for himself at least. Still, that’s just from my own experiences, it’s not like I’m an expert in the field of change and what people are capable of.

Anyways, down to the real message here- I was back to the anxiety attacks, constant feelings of depression and just feeling like I was going to explode if I didn’t do anything. I couldn’t do the in limbo thing any more and I had to make a decision which, as of yet, is not a known decision to anyone but my brother and his wife. I decided that I would make my decision last Sunday, which I thought was going to be divorcing him. Which was what I had been trying to do for a while now…. Anyways, that’s not the decision that I made. I decided that I would move back in with him for a short time while still coming back to my family a couple nights a week and spending time at church and such.

This way, I can spend however much time I have left with my dog who isn’t going to make it much longer and risk losing her trying to move out completely. I can see how I feel about my husband and try to determine if he’s actually changing or not, determine if I actually want to be apart of this relationship anymore, etc…. He wants one last chance to prove that he can do this and if it doesn’t work then I can finally leave for good.

I’m extremely skeptical about the whole thing though, I don’t think he would accept it if I tried to leave again. I also wouldn’t ever ask for a separation again. It would be just divorce if this doesn’t work. There is also a good chance I would get sucked into the manipulation again. I will just need to make sure that I always make time to spend with my family and stay in contact so I can keep my head strait. I also need to keep up with the blog. I seem to understand motives a lot better when I write something down.

I don’t know if my family will read this post but I’m sure it won’t be super popular with them. I did completely cut a good majority of them out of my life for over 5 years because of this. Every one of them has helped me get away from him and supported me through this whole process. I hope that people can understand that this is just a trial run and that I will need my family more than ever during this. I do feel that God delivered me from this situation and has brought me out of a slave like mentality where I have to please and serve my husband at all times. I don’t think God is requiring me to go back to him or anything like that either. I do know though, that God will be with me and will help guide me through whatever happens in the future.

It’s hard for people to understand from an outside view because everyone hears only the bad and many wonder why I would even consider going back. I have built my entire adult life with him and I guess I just want to make 100% sure before I uproot everything and move on. I’m not excited about it and part of me feels weak and defeated but another part of me feels like I can be strong enough to deal with it and strong enough to leave again if that’s the case- as long as I don’t start cutting people out of my life again. I still told him that I would take the week to pray about it to make sure, so we will see. Who knows, some of the best relationships come out of massive struggles. While on the flip side, if your going in the wrong direction, it’s quicker to turn around and go back instead of moving forward. I just can’t tell if I’m going in the wrong direction or not.

As a side note, the worst part about it all is leaving my brothers kids. They were just talking about how excited they were about me being there the whole time during the holidays and how we needed to watch all the Star War movies, etc…. I just don’t have the heart to tell them that I might be leaving soon yet… They’re some of my favorite people in the world- going from a full house to an empty one is going to be pretty freaking awful…. Not that it’s completely empty, I do have 5 cats and 4 dogs so that’s always helpful. I also bought some empowering women books and some juggling clubs. So my goal is virtually the same, focus on God. I’m just adding some new goals now- obviously, learn to juggle clubs without knocking myself out and try to learn how to love my husband again while standing up for myself and not giving in anymore. Juggling is easy because I know I can do it, the other parts are more challenging because I will need complete faith in God and that’s harder than it sounds.

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