Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Manage Not

I don't know what's going on.

My husband is being sweet.  He's thoughtful.  He's aware.  He's empathetic.
He's putting an arm around my shoulders.
He's crying when I cry.
He's letting me sleep in and packing a lunch for our daughter (and feeding her cake for breakfast, but hey.  I'm good with that so long as I finally get some degree of precious sleep).
He's reading recovery materials.
He's seeing a counselor (!!!)
He's praying.
He's initiating family prayers, family home evening, family scripture study.
He's apologizing.
He's asking me about work.
He's offering to pay.

And I'm standing by the side wondering WHAT on earth is happening.

'You made it happen,' comes the sly whisper of the serpent, 'Look at his tears, look at his pain, look at his efforts... you made it happen with your words.'

I fight off this lie.  Satan plays on my co-dependency.

My husband tells me he's thinking of quitting his job because the environment isn't conducive to recovery.
He shaves his rough facial hair off.
I see his face for the first time in ages.
He sells his violent video games and inappropriate DVDs to pay for counseling.
He uncovers disclosures that he's buried under a mound of rationalization.
He confesses everything he possibly can think of.
He asks me if I hurt, if I'm okay, what I need.

And I'm standing by the side wondering WHAT on earth is happening.

'You're falling back into his arms,' comes the sly whisper of the serpent, 'Look at your old patterns coming back.  If you fall into old patterns, so will he.'

I fight off this lie.  I have NO CONTROL over my husband.  I do not make choices to influence or smartly manipulate my husband.
I didn't tell him I was done so he would change.
I told him I was done BECAUSE I WAS DONE.

Not ONE week after I told him I was done, the Stake President called me into his office.  He wanted to call my husband to be a counselor in our ward's Elder's Quorum Presidency.
"Can you support him AS A WIFE?" he asked, and his words cut right to my soul.
I had to examine immediately examine myself and face his very pointed question.
"Yes," was my reply.  My husband has leadership gifts, he can see situations with clarity, he can see what needs to go where and when and how to make it happen.  He would do well.  I knew he would.
And it meant more time away which I was okay with.

The meeting with the Stake President feels like something the Lord had planned all along.

I drove home a mess.  I thought I was done with wife-ness.  But it turns out... I wasn't.  Apparently, I wasn't.  APPARENTLY, I was still attached to this relationship.
Anyway, if I wasn't I just promised the Stake President I would support my husband and in so doing anchored my lot to his.

A week or so later, my cousin was facing death -and you have to understand that my family is like the mafia.  We are enmeshed.  I see my cousin at least twice a week.  I know what's going on in his life, who is girlfriend is, what sports he's playing, what classes he's taking.  He teases my kids and blesses my Sacrament and dates my cousin (on the OTHER side of the family).
I hit my knees and then run straight into my husband's arms.

What is happening?!

Someone recently put it very succinctly, "If he's in recovery, you will be drawn to him even while wanting to claw his eyes out."

I leaned over my sink today and washed a dirty pan to make breakfast in.
My husband had just made my daughter's lunch.
"How do I even MANAGE this?" I asked myself.  How do I manage this?  Is this a honeymoon phase?  Honeymoon phases always bring me pain eventually.  I don't want anymore pain.
I have to protect myself from pain.
I'm getting to close to him. 
Pull back.
Don't invest.

"Are you okay?" he puts on arm on my shoulder, "If you need to talk, you can.  Are you upset?"

Get thee HENCE! What do I DO?! with THIS?!  NICE PERSON!?!?!


Ah..... the key word that seems to keep popping up.  I somehow still believe it's my job to manage my life.  After all these years and tears and lessons... I still somehow feel like my life is mine to manage.

Forget living day by day.
I'm living moment by moment, trusting the Lord to guide me and help me know when to attach and when to detach.
Maybe it is a honeymoon phase.
Maybe I will get hurt.



I'm sure my husband will hurt me in the future, and I'm sure I will hurt him... I'm sure I DO hurt him, in fact.  But it's not my job to manage any of the hurt or the pain or any. of. it.

Today, I'm going to cast it all on the Lord.
And go to work.


  1. Ugh! Alicia, I feel your pain! My husband is WAY too nice, and working WAY too hard, HOW am I supposed to feel, because I am being torn two different ways! You put into words exactly how I am feeling. exactly. thank you.

  2. Oh, this is EXACTLY how I've often been feeling lately. Thank-you for giving me some clarification on my thoughts. Still not sure what to do about it though. This addiction in marriage stuff stinks!

  3. I could relate to this post, and in my situation, I put up with a lot of #$%@ for 10 years. So even though I do not know what the future holds, I am allowing my husband to be nice to me today.

  4. My husband was just "nice" too and I hung up and thought, "whoa. huh?" The funny thing is until I read this post I didn't even realize that I had called him prepared to tell him all of the reasons why I needed to leave him AGAIN for ANOTHER weekend so I could take advantage of the opportunity to fly off and see my grandma. I called him all of the reasons why it WOULD work and he said, "I think it sounds like a great idea. You should do it. I really need to get back to work though, is there anything else you'd like to talk about first?"

    Um, no. Whoa. Huh? No "but I'd have the kids again." or "how much is THAT gonna cost."

    What just happened?


  5. I CAN TOTALLY RELATE!!! This is awesome. YOU are awesome. Don't let the lies deceive you.

    Love ya, girl!

  6. Niceness. Hurt. Love. Doubt. Pain.

    It is all hard.

    Time will tell what path our husbands are on. Sadly, it is a path and not a destination (at least in this life). Sometimes, I just wish I were there already!

    You are amazing!!!

  7. Wow Alicia. Have I ever told you, you're amazing ;) You're amazing! Seriously, to realize with such clarity what is happening, to discern between falling into old patterns, and satan trying to use your fear to force distance- that's a hard call. Good for you! Love and prayers! T asked me the other day if there was anything on my mind. He noticed I was detached. That's a first for us. I don't think he was actually open to hearing any of it, but he did at least notice.

  8. This is such a great post. It describes SO well the string of thoughts that many of us have had after detaching.

  9. Letting go and letting God. You are amazing! ♥