I once had a counselor tell me that grief was like a coiled spring. Each coil represents time that you are grieving. There are some days you will feel tightly wound, heartbroken and closely coiled in time. You may grieve for what seems like an eternity, day after day. Then there days, months, years that you are fine; the grieving seems to be over. This is because the spring is stretched out and the space between the coils is wider. Then one day, WHAMMO! You hit another part of the spring that needs to be grieved.
I guess I'm in one of those WHAMMO moments in grieving.
I am apparently still grieving the loss of my marriage.
I have been feeling very angry at my ex-husband lately. These feelings arise every time I would like him to spend more quality time with our daughters.
It comes up every holiday season like here and here and here. I have vented about him here too. With Spring Break coming up, he has made it very clear that he will not go out of his way to help keep the girls out of childcare for the week.
He enjoys his life, his time, and to get him to take time off of work, or off the couch or out of the house to actually do anything of substance with
And there it is....
I realized this morning that the reason I hold so much anger towards him for seeming so checked out of his relationship with his daughters is because that is how he was with me.
I was endlessly begging to be noticed. I was always asking where on his 'to do' list did he have my name. I spent years telling him that I wanted to get out, go on a trip, go camping, go to dinner, go spend quality time together! Anything we did, we did because I planned it.
After we had children, it was even easier for him to make an excuse for us to stay in. I was too tired to plan. Things changed and I needed more effort from him. Even when I would send a list of babysitters so that he would only need minimal effort to get us to a nice evening out, the words still fell on deaf ears.
He was always too tired or too much stuff had to be done around the house or he'd just come home from traveling and didn't want to do anything or he was around people all the time and now wanted to be left alone....
Add all of that up and you have one very frustrated wife.
The question I have been asking myself today is, "Why am I expecting him to be any different now?"
The girls seem happy with him. They love and adore their daddy. They accept him just as he is. I want to do that too.
I guess, and I've noticed this before, that I'm projecting my own pain on his relationship with our daughters. My primary love language is quality time. His is not. Whether or not that is our daughters' love language remains to be seen.
Either way, I still have to look at this and do my best to let it go. Feeling this way causes me to be disappointed, resentful and angry towards him - an emotion that doesn't help any of us.
Coincidentally (or not), today's A Course in Miracles lesson of the day was:
Love holds no grievances.
Guess I needed that, huh?
Pardon me while I work on forgiving. Again.