30th anniversary

Thank you to everyone who commented and helped me to get past my shock and pain over my daughter’s troubled marriage.  I have not beat the crap out of my son-in-law and I have not gone hysterical with my daughter.  That is in large part because I was able to vent here and then read all your thoughts.  I really appreciate it.  My online coach James has also played a large role in helping me face this, and he continued in his gracious way today.  I am so grateful.

The situation is far from resolved, but I am ready to be strong and to support my daughter in whatever way she needs.  This past weekend I cooked for her and baked cookies and generally fussed over her and made her feel special.  She really is special, and I made sure she knew that Mom and Dad thought so.  Yes, Daniel was a big help.  He babysat when I was working so that she could have some time to herself.

In the middle of all this mess came our 30th wedding anniversary.  It was last Tuesday.  We didn’t do anything.  I got him a gift and made a special slide presentation for him.  He had planned for us to both go for a spa evening, but our daughter needed us so he cancelled it.  He didn’t tell me this until this past weekend, and I went through the week thinking he had not done anything for it.  It still feels like he could have done SOMETHING.  But maybe that just shows how he feels about the day.  It brings to mind the emails where he called it the worst mistake of his life.

He did want to make a big deal of this anniversary, about a year ago.   He said he wanted to throw a big party.  I was not ready.  I didn’t think I could get through it without falling apart.  I said maybe a cruise.  He was disappointed and never brought it up again.  So we didn’t celebrate at all.

But I made the slide show anyway.  I make a slide presentation or a video for most of our family occasions.  This one was loaded with unspoken messages. I wanted to keep it short – one song – so I had to keep it to 45 slides. 30 years is hard to fit into 45 slides. So I decided to put in the sentimental moments that we shared through the years. Not the accolades, not the big celebrations and the big life changes. I put in the little things – my daughter always wanted to hug Daddy cheek to cheek before her performances. I found a picture before her first performance when she did that for the first time. .. I put in a picture of the kids riding their bikes in front of our house when they were little – just a regular afternoon activity, but one that we missed when they grew older… there was a picture of Daniel after he’d gotten the worst haircut of his life, the memory of which made us laugh for years afterwards… all stuff that Daniel buried in his past when he found her again… the rewriting of marriage history during the affair fog, as it is called.   They bury the good times in an effort to justify their actions.  I wanted him to remember our marriage the way I remember it. And he did. He cried. It still makes me cry to think of it.

The worst mistake of his life?  OK, that’s my insecurities talking.  Focus on the present… He now says he was being a dumb ass at the time.  Got that right…

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8 thoughts on “30th anniversary

  1. DFB says:

    I wanted terribly to respond to your last post. How incredibly unfair that you must watch your daughter go through the torture that you know all to well. I wanted to punch her husband even though I’ve never met him. I’ve wanted to shake her into seeing things clearly. But, as you said, it’s not our fight. So I’m glad that you were able to at least show her your unconditional love and support. Having my family in my corner was priceless… and knowing they’d support me nomatter what was the most important part of my recovery (except good therapy, maybe). I’m sorry that your husband was unable to see how much you wanted his loving gestures, especially in the wake of your daughter’s pain. Perhaps he is too paralyzed with guilt and shame to meet anybody else’s needs. I wish it could be different.

    • Not Over It says:

      Thank you so much for your kindness, DFB. You are such a blessing, and it means a lot to hear your experience with this. I hope I can be there for my daughter as your family was for you.

      I think you may be right about Daniel. Maybe it is guilt and not just him regretting his decision to stay. My coach says the same thing. I have to think about that.

      I told my daughter about your blog and suggested she read it. I hope she does. She will gain a lot from reading about your journey.

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

  2. Trials and tribulations….and yet still 30 yrs. That is quite a feat.
    This part…..”all stuff that Daniel buried in his past when he found her again… the rewriting of marriage history during the affair fog, as it is called. They bury the good times in an effort to justify their actions. I wanted him to remember our marriage the way I remember it. And he did. He cried. It still makes me cry to think of it.”…is absolutely beautiful. It is hard to break through the denial, and guilt etc. that they carry in their justifications. Sounds like you made a big dent.
    Peace to you.

    • Not Over It says:

      Hey LFBA – nice to hear from you! Hope all is well.

      Thank you for your kind words. I thought I had made a pretty good dent, but since that day, we have fought over stupid things every day. Today we fought over who left a washcloth in the kitchen. I tried to disengage, but he was so persistent that I lost it.

      I have thought that perhaps he is wrestling with the guilt and remorse over what he did to me all during those wasted years, and what he still sees happening in our marriage. I don’t know… he is very closed and hard to read. When I am feeling insecure, I think he is angry because he regrets staying. Again, I just don’t know… and I hurt because of it.

      Thank you again, my friend.
      DJ

  3. I have tried and tried to think of something to say that would be wise, comforting, helpful….but I am coming up short. You are in my thoughts and prayers. You are so strong, you continue to do the right thing. You are there for your daughter, and I am so glad that your husband is too. Maybe through his love for her, he will see your pain in hers. I pray that brings him a new perspective on your marriage and his empathy for you. In other words, I hope he connects the dots. God has something good in this, I am certain. Praying for beauty from the ashes for everyone here.

    • Not Over It says:

      Oh EG – your comment did not come up short at all. I had thought about him gaining a new perspective on things, but not concerning my pain. Seeing my pain in hers… I think I have been trying to avoid even thinking that she is really going to walk down this road. But you’re right. He is right now seeing the pain in the suspicions and doubts, seeing the hurt in the anger and justifications.

      Thank you for your thoughts and for your prayers. It means the world to me.

      Love & prayers,
      DJ

  4. We too didn’t make a big deal of our 13th anniversary recently. Well, maybe we would have if he had a babysitter =) The night before I emailed him some words about what the day meant to me, what he meant to me now and so on and he did the same too. We kept it short and emailed each other a few times that day. It was all I ever needed. I don’t care about expensive gifts or fancy vacation, at least not right now. I just need to get through the day to day without having a sad moment.

    He cried! Ha! Nice work DJ! Yes, they did what they needed to do in order to justify the horrible thing they did to us. During his fog, he spewed all kinds of bad times during our marriage and I still couldn’t think about the good in our marriage without downplaying them. I feel like they weren’t really good things, just so so.

    You always keep inspiring me with your attitude and how you go through life with what it has thrown at you. 30 is a HUGE achievement! Congratulations! And it’s so sweet how you’re treating your daughter throughout her mess, and you have lots of willpower regarding your son-in-law. I think I’d probably punched my him in the nose by now….

    Love & prayers to you and your family.

    • Not Over It says:

      Thank you, Fighter. I was pretty much a basket case when I first started writing here. Your blog helped me to muster up strength to face it all.

      Even if you didn’t have a lavish celebration, the thoughtful exchanges between you during the day were probably the best thing anyway. Sharing those loving words and sentiments from the heart are the most meaningful way to commemorate. I would have been so happy with that as well.

      Hope you are enjoying a great end to summer. I feel the love and the prayers and I send some back to you and yours, too…

      DJ

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