I have been in the place of being madly in love and super excited about all of the surprises I received this day. I’ve also been married and had a spouse who forgot most holidays or anniversaries. I’ve been single, with kids, showering them with love so they know how important they are to me.
I remember one year I was expecting my husband back from a deployment very early in the morning on Valentine’s Day. The problem was, he had multiple affairs that year and I really wasn’t feeling wifey. I had decided after hearing about the last affair that I was going to show him I wanted us to work. I hired a contractor. I made a plan based on what he loved. And we built a wonderful man cave for him. He was able to work on his Harley, have friends come over, smoke his cigars, and play his video games in his little area…away from our two toddlers & older son. I thought if I gave him that space with us he’d find a hobby that didn’t involve other women.
I remember the sobbing when he saw me at the redeployment ceremony. The hugs. The face grabs. The I love yous. I remember the tears in his eyes once he saw the man cave I made for him, even though I found out later someone shared my secret and he already knew. I remember liking the fact that for those couple of weeks he seemed happy. But, my insistence on a STD test and his help around the house made his anger come back tenfold. It was horrible. Then, even though money was okay he disappeared one day to sell his Harley. I knew then there was no repairing us. That Harley was his baby & I knew I’d be to blame for it getting sold.
You see, I started seeing a wonderful therapist to help me process the affairs, postpartum blues & feelings, and my PTSD from trauma in my past. He helped me work my way through so many of my issues. I still had a way to go but I was making progress. When the Harley got sold I had a session a few days later. I told him how everything was going and the mannerisms I saw. His next words to me made so much sense, yet I didn’t want to abandon my marriage.
He said, “you can heal your pain and fix your trauma but at the end of the day if he doesn’t fix his triggers you will never fully heal either.”
Yet I stayed. For years. Hoping one day my husband would heal his traumas and would see someone. Sadly, there were still other women. Kids would be sent to their rooms for nothing. They’d witness arguments I wouldn’t wish anyone’s children ever witnessed. And they’d get yelled at for trying to step in and protect each other, our pets, or even me.
My therapist may have told me to leave but I chose to stay.
So, when you’re enjoying the love you’re receiving today make sure you reach out to your loved ones. Your friends. Those who may be crying at the posts about Valentine’s Day.
And…candy, decor, and gifts are already clearanced everywhere. You still have time to surprise someone!