Recovery over addiction, fear and anxiety has been a miraculous, beautiful thing. I thank God every day. But when a man changes, a whole new set of problems arise.
The changes have been especially challenging for Erin. I’ll let her explain it from her perspective in a future guest post, but I can tell you this much: It’s a confusing, frustrating thing when your spouse acts one way for a bunch of years and then, suddenly or not so suddenly, ceases to be the person you married.
I’d like to think I’m still the guy she married in the most fundamental ways. My heart and most of my passions haven’t really changed. But as the priest who married us said: “You marry the person you think you know, then spend the rest of your life getting to know each other.”
As far as that goes, I’ve been a moving target, tough to nail down.
I used to eat everything I could get my hands on. Now my diet is pretty buttoned down.
I used to clam up during arguments. Now I argue back. Only I do it in fits and starts. Inconsistencies in how I argue? That alone must make her wish she had a gun sometimes. Or at least a sturdy, metal ladle.
I used to be a neat freak. Everything had to be just so. Now I leave stuff lying around the house.
I forget to take a shower sometimes. But I’ve always had that habit. Some things never change.
Sounds like a frustrating ball of slime and nails, doesn’t it?
Well, it is. But I’ve put a lot of work into finding the middle speed. Just because I CAN do all the things that used to scare me doesn’t mean I should. I’ve also tried hard to be better at conversation. On that I remain inconsistent to the point of madness.
But despite all that, we love each other. When love is real and you recognize that it takes constant care and feeding to keep growing, you do whatever it takes to stay on top of it. You fail once in awhile anyway, but you get up and try again.
And by the Grace of God, the love endures.
I say all this because I know someone whose husband is working on all the issues I’ve had to work on. She’s probably wondering how the hell she’s going to get through this.
Like I said, that’s a story Erin will have to tell. I only know how I feel and what I’m willing to do.
I also know there can be a lot of happiness between those periods of frustration.
So don’t worry about it too much. The biggest obstacle is the fear of change. Once you put that behind you, anything and everything is possible.
That too can be bad. But it can also be very, very good.