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Archive for May 6th, 2008

Tree in swamp (c) Lynda BernhardtWhen I started along my healing journey, my spouse was not supportive. He could not understand why I couldn’t “just forget out it” and “shove it all back inside.” These were statements that he made because my choice to heal brought him way out of his comfort zone.

Hub married me, in part, because of my lack of emotion. His mother was (and is) very emotional, to the point of controlling the family with her emotions. Hub sought out the polar opposite when he married me. My choice to heal threatened his world, so to speak.

Fortunately, I did not take his advice and chose to heal. I have never felt better about myself or about my role on this earth. I used to stay sick because I was using so much energy to fight the memories of my past: There was no energy left to fight off germs. Now, I rarely get sick, and I truly love myself. What a difference from the self-rejecting person I was a few years ago.

I will sometimes hear similar stories on Isurvive, my favorite message board for abuse survivors. Somebody will post that she is having flashbacks or is struggling emotionally, but her husband thinks she should just ignore it and move on with her life. My advice is always that the spouse does not get a vote. This is your healing journey, not his. He can be supportive, or he can get out of the way, but you are going to heal, whether he likes it or not.

If you have a spouse who is opposed to you healing yourself, ask what his motivations are. Why would somebody who loves you want you to stay emotionally sick? In my case, it was because hub is frightened of change. Also, he wanted me pouring my energy into “mothering” him, not myself.

Healing yourself is going to change your relationship with your spouse. If your spouse chooses to change along with you, then your relationship will blossom along with you. However, if your spouse chooses to stay sick, then you might wind up outgrowing your relationship. That can be very hard.

If your spouse really loves you, he will grow and change enough to keep you. If he only wants you when you are broken, then perhaps you need to examine how healthy your marriage is.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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