Tonight I laid in the guest bed nursing my 10 month old daughter. And instead of praying desperately for guidance and peace, instead of turning over thoughts and worries and words in my head, I simply felt my little girl's warmth snuggled up against me and breathed in her sweetness. I stroked her head and paid attention to the smoothness of her downy hair. In just a matter of weeks, moments like these will be a thing of the past, gone forever. She will be weaned and grasping a bottle instead of my hand. Oh how much I have missed over the past 6 months.
It is one thing to say, "I am detaching. I will not do x, y, z, anymore! I will not!!!!" And another entirely to DO it. It is one thing to say, "I will not let this consume me. I am letting go. I am done!" and something entirely different to actually LET go.
Yes, I have had good moments and I like to believe that I have been taking steps in the right direction, but after 6 months of turmoil, the past two days, I am feeling something MORE.
Yesterday I read a post on Dan's blog that said, "...I realize that one thing satan never does is give me a feeling of peace." As I read that, I strongly felt the Spirit confirming the truth of those words to my heart. No, indeed. Satan does not give us peace. He cannot give us peace. We feel confusion and rationalization and excuses and blame and a million other things, but never peace. Who DOES give us peace? The Savior taught in John 14:27: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
Even though letting go of my investment in the relationship is not a NORMAL thing to do, I think it was the RIGHT thing to do, for now. That is what my peace is telling me.
In the past, my MIND was still filled with constant worry, constant concern. It was as though I could squinch up my eyes and repeat over and over, "I will not think about this. I will not think about this." And by the end of the day, I had repeated the phrase thousands of millions of times, never NOT THINKING about it.
My worry, my fear, over those things that I could not control still lingered in my mind and heart. "How can I get him to be honest with me?" I would wonder. "Will it EVER happen?" I would obsess over how I could get him to realize that he would need more. I wondered when and how he would hit rock bottom. I worried about when our marriage would finally be whole and healthy. Yes, I let go of some things, but NOT everything.
Now, I am letting go and it feels different.
Our relationship was consuming me. It began to matter more than everything else. More than our children. More than even me.
Now, I've sealed up my vulnerability. I had to, to protect myself from me and my fears. Lack of trust isn't an issue when there is no concern for maintaining the relationship. Lust and unhealthy views on sexuality aren't an issue when my body isn't available to him.
Is a marriage sustainable like this? No. But it is sustainable for today. And that is what matters.
I feel lighter. I enjoy my children more. I enjoy living more.
I know my journey is not over, but I feel different. I feel lighter, as though a giant weight has been lifted. I feel as though God has lifted me up, above the mist of confusion and reminded me of who I am. The best part of all is that my mind is no longer consumed the way it used to be. At least today.
And as I've taken these steps, I've been able to see more clearly what needs to happen. I've been trying to repair my relationship from the outside in. In truth, the outside needs to be torn down and thrown away. If trust is rebuilt, it will be from the ground up, but not by me. Our marriage will need to be repaired, starting at the core.
But I can't do that on my own. And so I've taken off my hard hat, left my husband to sort it out, and walked away.