Aren't those the words that we all would like to hear whenever we're faced with a challenge in life? Don't we all just want someone to stand beside us, put their arm around us and tell us that THEY'LL be strong for us once in a while?
Over the last 14 years, I've changed immensely. I've gone from a person whom hated life, complained about everything and never really experienced joy other than the joy of watching, and being with, my children to someone that FEELS joyful about 90% of the time. Over the past decade I've done A LOT of personal work - focusing on the blessings in life rather than focusing on what wasn't so great and it changed my life dramatically! No longer did I walk around feeling as if there was a black cloud over my head! I no longer believed in 'The Carmella Curse' as so many of my family members did. Nope! I had awakened! I could see beauty EVERYWHERE and actually began to notice it! I no longer wanted to complain about everything that seemed 'wrong' with the world and everyone in it; I preferred to sit and watch the sky, the birds or the butterflies fluttering around the flowers or my kids doing their thing completely unaware that I was gazing at them with love.
Being in a marriage is tough on its own, if you ask me. Try it when one of you evolves and the other remains stagnant, negative and angry...it's even MORE difficult! After my health issues began a little over three years ago, I had a renewed lust for a joyful life. Through multiple emergency room visits and stays in the ICU, I realized that we're only here for a little while. This is my time so I want to ENJOY it. Sure, there are money problems *especially with my health problems and no insurance* but you do what you can do and don't stress about what you can't, right? That's my attitude, anyway. It's the times of trouble that you rely on those closest to you THE most - support, love, strength. It doesn't cost money to laugh, right? Having someone to laugh and be silly with is FAR more valuable than money, in my opinion. But, what happens when the person you're with doesn't grow or evolve? How do you decide when it's time to stop trying and just start over? If there are kids involved, it's even more difficult to make the decision; one one hand, staying together and working things through shows that love endures and is strong enough to survive the hurdles - or - on the other hand, do you stand up and say 'that's enough' because you KNOW that your life will be better not having to expend your energy repelling the constant flow of negative energy from your partner while you wait for their promised 'changes'? Tolerance or self-worth? Which is the better lesson? Just last week, my 13-year-old daughter came to me and said "You know, you're never going to find the 'perfect' husband." My reply to her was that I'm not LOOKING for a 'perfect' husband. All that I ask for is honesty, loyalty, love and respect from someone that WANTS to be a part of a family. Someone that will put us FIRST and be proud of who we are and what we've accomplished. I don't NEED to be rich. I don't NEED perfection. Just a simple life that's joyful and can be shared with someone after my kids go off to live their lives.
So, I ask myself; where did I go wrong? Where did my daughter get the idea that I'm demanding perfection? My husband *her father* is an alcoholic - an addict. If it's not alcohol, it's pot. If it's not pot, it's coke...it's ALWAYS something. Always SOMETHING that will numb him of ANY feelings that he may experience. He promises to 'never do it again' and 'never lie again' but NEVER holds true to his word. EVER. In 14 years, he's lied to me COUNTLESS times. Runs off and gets drunk and lies about it; like I'm too stupid to know. It insults my intelligence. 14 years ago, he was cute, sexy and fun....now he's pathetic, old and his body is starting to show signs of the decades of abuse. I'm not amused by it anymore. I haven't been since our daughter was born. Am I wrong to want to be in an ADULT relationship? Am I the 'bad guy' for wanting a better life for myself and my kids? I feel that I have a right to a happy life and, if that means living alone, than it shall be. I'm not afraid of being alone because I feel as if I HAVE been alone for years now. There's no conversation. There's no planning or talking of the future. There's not even fun family outings anymore because of his anger outbursts and anti-social behavior; he embarrasses us in public.
So, what do you do? How do you KNOW when it's time to throw in the proverbial towel? For me, I guess it's when you threaten to bash my head in with a rock speaker because you're angry over being called out for doing something mindlessly stupid. I just hope that, one day, the kids will understand that you can't force someone to change for YOU, they have to want to change for themselves. Had he only WANTED to become a better man, father and husband rather than promising us that he WOULD and never, ever making an attempt to try.