Two years ago I went to Houston for a Wives Healing Journey weekend. I have to tell you, I went in defensive and more than a little defiant, and it turned out to be one of the truly defining events of my life. If you can go, I recommend it. And I hope more resources become available for us, because so far as I know, this is IT and one thing simply isn’t enough.
During the course of the weekend, I cried enough to use a giant box of tissues (I, who never cry!) which in itself was a wonderful release. But I also got past the nagging anger and bitterness that have dogged me for more than thirty years to remember the boy I used to know and love. I’m not sure that wasn’t equally difficult because he seems so terribly far away, now, replaced with someone so very different, and that’s cause for a different grief.
Remembering DH as he used to be, I was shocked to realize I still love that dear, beautiful boy who is buried somewhere under all the ugliness he’s piled on over the years. And being able to love him has been revolutionary for me.
No, I don’t mean a romantic love. The time and possibility for that is long past and won’t return. I mean a love leading to an appreciation for that better self I used to see, a desire for him to be restored to his better self, a desire for true and authentic Good in his life. Good, even though I’ll probably never be able to see it or benefit from it. The Greeks called this particular type of love agape; in Latin, it’s caritas (charity).
It’s understandable and — more than acceptable; it’s necessary, I think, to be angry over what has happened to us. But when we focus on and cling to hating that person who hurt us, we trap ourselves.
The fact is, DH isn’t a monster, and he never has been. I lost sight of that for a while, too long a while.
Love is the only way out, back into peace and joy.