One year ago this weekend, my beloved husband, the man of my dreams, the light of my life, broke my heart into bits and turned my life upside-down. Because I loved him so much and wanted so much for our family to stay together, I responded with compassion and forgiveness. I tried extra hard to be the best wife I could be; I obviously had plenty of flaws.
In response to my efforts, my husband closed himself off from me. I cried. A lot.
Weeks went by, and I started to wonder why I kept trying when he seemed so uninterested. I still wonder.
One night he slept in the basement and I found a note in a woman's handwriting giving directions to another woman's house. It could have been innocent. He says it might have been. He doesn't really know, though. Apparently, he's given up rational thought.
That was only the beginning of what I found. In the next 12 hours, I had enough to start divorce proceedings. But I didn't. I threw the bum out, and when he called later, I chewed him out, too.
And then I took him back. Well, he'd confessed and said sorry, he'd gotten medical and psychological treatment, and he'd actually taken some steps to return to being the man I loved. I thought he meant it. I really wanted it to work.
It's not that I don't know that wishing doesn't make it so. I do. But it was more than wishing, I thought.
We started marriage counseling in January, and he started experimenting with his meds. I could tell instantly when he wasn't taking them, but he didn't see the difference. Therapy went poorly as he remained uncommunicative and unapologetic. "It's in the past!" he'd say, "Can't we just move on?"
I hear that's a typical cry of unfaithful husbands. I hate that I had to hear it from mine.
But I kept trying. My beautiful little boys kept me trying to hold the marriage together, no matter what. Seeing what #1 Son has gone through with his divorced parents over the past 11 years kept me resolutely opposed to putting my babies in that position, ever. I'd suffer if I had to, but I couldn't let that happen to them.
Finally, I realized that I couldn't shield them anymore. For starters, I overheard Pirate Boy saying to his little brother, "Daddy's a little crazy." More than once. And my husband was neglecting not only his family, but his work and school. When he did work, half the time the money never saw our bank account. It was getting desperate.
But you know what? I could have dealt with all that if only...
...if only my husband still loved me.
But he doesn't, and I can't take it anymore. I just can't.
And yet... like a hopelessly romantic idiot, I'm giving him one last chance. He has one year. One year to become the man the children and I need him to be. One year to be a decent husband and father. One more year.
Think it'll happen?