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…