The most amazing thing has happened.......
I have occasionally posted elsewhere on MS about my faltering 33 year marraige. We have been estranged for several years, staying together in name only for the sake of the children. I take 90% of the responsibility because I have simply not been a good husband. Drinking, drugging, philandering, arrested on a felony (charges were dropped), at times unable to hold down a job for more than a year at most. I don't blame her for having enough of me. In finally facing my CSA last summer, I also had to face all the bad choices I've made, trying to numb myself to it. I've been filled with shame and guilt for the destructive way I've lived my life, and most of all the damage I did to the one person who cared about me.
I have tried diligently to change. Therapy, AA, support groups, new career coming up on 3 years in the same job. I've tried apologies, prayers, tears, begging, gifts, dates. For God sakes I've even waited on her hand and foot! None of it has gotten me anywhere.
I finally convinced her to go to marriage counseling with me. The first few sessions were pretty much rehashing all my bad behavior and charachter defects. I began to think that it had been a mistake. Why pay $100/hour when we do this at home daily, for free? Then one session the therapist brought up forgiveness. She basically said that we weren't going to get anywhere unless we (she) could forgive each other (me).
Somehow that got through to my wife and she began to forgive me. The difference has been like night and day. She says she loves me...with all my failures, problems, and shortcomings, SHE LOVES ME...ME! The guy who's been filled with anger, shame, fear and self-hatred for 42 years.
The guy who's taken all that out on her.
We still have issues to work through. My difficulties with trust and intimacy for starters. But the relief I feel from the lack of conflict and tension, and the renewal of love and acceptance is...is well...umm....better than sex! Trust me, I would not say that if I didn't mean it.
Guys, if I can succeed in something like this, anyone can. Whatever you are trying to accomplish in recovery, don't give up till you see the miracle.
"But now old friends are acting strange,
they shake their heads, they say I've changed.
Something's lost but something's gained in living every day
....it's life's illusions I recall, I really don't know life at all. "Joni Mitchell