When things are going well

Sometimes I find myself hesitant to relax, even when things are going well.

The last few weeks have been notably better. There have been minor arguments, but I can see that my husband is working on his part in our relationship. The notable improvements include:

  • Good partnership at home
  • Increased communication about mundane things.
  • When we have argued, he has initiated a specific apology about his part in it – before more than 24 hours have passed.

We still argue. Please know – normal couples argue. In a class I took once, I was informed that they argue weekly. So with that as my gauge of “normal,” my marriage has been very normal as of late.

So why don’t I let it go, and enjoy the normalcy? Because in abusive relationships, the normalcy doesn’t stick.

“Eventually there will be another blow-up,” says my wisdom and experience. At the same time, I am trying not to kill that still small voice of hope that sometimes whispers – sometimes shouts – “No one is incapable of changing.” Perhaps hope will prevail.

During our last blow-up, I told my husband that marriage therapy is a non-negotiable. Behind the scenes, I had spoken with a support person for our marriage who encouraged me to do so — told me I needed to do so. Otherwise, said support, I have not adequately communicated how dire the situation is, and cannot expect that it will happen. Fair. Not the best or wisest advice, but I concede to the possibility that I am not communicating to my husband how close I am to asking for a separation.

I told my husband that failure to arrange and participate in marriage counseling would be indicative that he did not care about the future of our marriage.

Problem # 1: I married an abusive man.

Problem #2: I am not a woman who makes threats, or gives ultimatums. I hate binary choices, preferring middle ground. I prefer to leave things open-ended. I have trouble committing to taking my kids to a birthday party! Yet, there I was, being accused of giving an ultimatum.

Third problem: Marriage counseling is impractical due to certain logistical and financial barriers.

So, my husband made what I will kindly call a good-faith effort to contact a single marriage counselor who would not take us on due to her policy that she had to see us weekly for at least 6 weeks — however, she did not have a weekly availability during a time-frame that we could both be present, and we have a vacation planned during the next 6 weeks.

My husband communicated this to me, then said, “I (He) could go to counseling by myself.” He hasn’t. Nor has there been any movement toward seeking out another counselor who might be able to see us when we are both in the same zip-code.

The support who encouraged the demand for counseling has followed up, to ask if we are going a number of times. Last time, Support asked why I had not made it happen. Sigh.

So – What do I do when that next big blow-up happens?

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