I get to write about hope. I get to write about hope!
Both Pete and I rememeber hearing or reading somewhere
How will I know if my husband is in recovery?
He won't shut up about it.
I went through that phase. Over a year ago I went through my zealous recovery where I felt like I couldn't get enough. I talked about it to Pete non-stop. Pete hated it. He felt like it defined our lives. He was still reluctant to acknowledge that the "problem" in our marriage necessitated the response I was giving it. He resented all the attention, even obsession, I had with all things recovery. He usually just listened quietly while I pontificated about my many insights and epiphanies. But once in awhile he expressed his frustration that he felt like it was all I ever talked about. I didn't really care, I was in it deep and loving it. Eventually I backed off from sharing everything with him, and eventually I backed off of recovery in general. It was discouraging and my initial flame of enthusiasm and motivation was burning out.
Last night Pete and I had a conversation that was the antithesis to the horrible, repeated conversation we've been having for months.
In place of blame-shifting, minimizing, victimizing and a general lack of empathy, there was empathy. And personal responsibility. And genuine remorse. And honesty.
Gun-shy and nervous, in the dark of our bedroom, I tentatively expressed an idea. I was still unsure if any minute the conversation would turn and he would go back to being defensive. But I timidly tested the waters.
"I feel so relieved that we both understand that the sexual problems in our relationship aren't my fault."
"I'm sorry" was all he said for a minute.
Pete used to say he was sorry all the time. Until at some point along the way either I screamed at him that his words were hollow, or he just realized that those words were grossly inadequate as consolation to my pain. Regardless, he quit saying it. When he said it last night it was the most genuine and profoud apology I've heard in years.
We talked more. He owned more. I was relieved of a huge burden. I couldn't stop smiling. I fell asleep smiling.
Last Friday night Pete and I went to dinner. Across the table from him I started to chuckle.
"What's so funny?" He asked.
"You won't shut up about recovery." I said.
I'm not even going to put any disclaimers about what the future may hold on my hope. I'm just going to let it shine brightly before me.
But you don't have to take my word for it. Read about Pete's recent and raw recovery here.