Letting Go Of Dreams

When I was growing up, I dreamed of the family I was going to have some day.  A lot.  I did not dream of a big fancy wedding, or being rich, or what kind of job I would have.  My dreams were always about having a happy home.  More than anything I wanted a happy, loving, peaceful home.  I wanted a home full of laughter and kindness.  I imagined my husband to be a strong but kind soul who loved the Lord.  I imagined the way this man would lead our family – with fairness and wisdom.  In my dreams my husband sat with his arm around me and smiled at me and looked at my face.  I imagined this man to be a great father to his children.  He enforced the rules, but did not yell.  He was understanding and patient.

When I read about – or see on TV or in a movie – a family where the dad leads family devotions at supper time…. I long for that!  To me, that is the perfect moment.  A man who loves the Lord will honor his wife and children.  He will respect them.  What more could a person ask for?

Obviously this dream came about because the home I grew up in was the opposite.  My parents did not show affection towards one another.  My dad was mean and my mom was afraid of him.  And we were afraid of him too – with good reason.   Those are the facts.  They fought all the time and if they weren’t fighting then my mom was running about trying to please him so he wouldn’t blow up.

I remember being very surprised when I saw a photo of my parents holding hands.  They had gone to Bermuda with another couple.  This was the only time I ever remember them going on a trip together.  My mom was showing us the pictures when they got back.  That picture is burned into my memory.  It was so rare.  I didn’t think it was wonderful.  I remember thinking it was odd and I wondered what was up.  That trip was actually near the end of their marriage.  I think perhaps it was a sort of last ditch effort to see if they could work it out.   They also bought me Fleagle on that trip.  Fleagle is a stuffed dog they gave me.  I still have him and he sits in the basket of books next to my bed.  He is so special because he was an unexpected gift.  My parents did not just give you things.  And it wasn’t because we couldn’t afford it.  We weren’t rich but we were ok.  Dad made us work for every little thing.  Even if we needed new sneakers because we had outgrown ours – or worn them out – we had to work for that money.  I’ve said it before – my parents never even bought me so much as a pencil for college. I worked several jobs at a time from the time I was old enough.  I went off on a tangent here – that is a whole different story.  :)

Anyway….

I’d say my marriage was very similar to that 2 years ago.  To a lesser degree though.  I have stepped out of that pattern now.  It has been rough.  There have been some tough days.  And there have been some amazing days.  We are still a work in progress.

Here is what is on my mind today…

How do you give up that dream?  I will not ever have that.  Ever.  This man has no interest in any of that and wouldn’t cooperate even if I tried.  And even if I divorced this man and was lucky enough to find a new love, that part of my life is over.  My kids are older now and by the time any of that would happen, it would be too late.  Those special family moments that I dreamed of are no longer a possibility.

It seems that I can’t go a whole month without these thoughts going through my head.  Thoughts like:
I don’t want to spend the rest of my life with this man!  I refuse to put up with this crap forever.  How can I tell him to move out?  How horrible would it be for us to live apart?  Would the kids be ok?  Is this man worth all this heartache?  Would God really want me to stay in this marriage?  I just want to live in a home where I can be myself.  I cannot stand his moods and how he is so unpredictable.  You never know when he will blow.  This is not fair to me.  Why should I have to put up with this?  There is NO WAY I’m living with this man until I die.  What a waste that would be.  What if I stay with him and miss out on true happiness?

Now that I typed those out – it all looks very selfish on my part.  But isn’t it ok to be selfish when it comes to something like this?

So the questions I have now are:

How do I let go of that happy home dream?  And why should I have to?

If he truly loved me, wouldn’t he care how I feel and treat me better?  He wouldn’t glare at me and hold grudges for every little thing I did that he disagrees with.  (And trust me – there is no way I could keep up with that huge ever-changing list of things that I do that he disagrees with! I don’t even try anymore.)

If he truly loved me, wouldn’t he do the things that I tell him I NEED?  Just things like sharing a bed, and discussing parenting stuff so we are in this together, and attending family functions together.  Basic stuff!

Wouldn’t he care that I hate that he swears in every conversation he has? He knows I hate it.  He doesn’t care.  Let me tell you that really messes up my peaceful, loving Christian home dream!

It’s just that this life I’m living is so far off from what I dreamed of for my life!  Was all that just a silly dream that is completely unrealistic?  Just fantasy?  Some people have that though right?  How did they get it?  Do they deserve it more than me? Why do they get it and I don’t?

So what do I do now?  Make the best of the situation I’m in – is that all I get to do?  Why cant’ we just fix this marriage?!?  Why won’t that jerk cooperate??!?  :)

Maybe I have to change my dream.  Or at least let that one go.  I feel like I’ve tried that before though and I just can’t shake it.

Here’s the disclaimer.  It’s not that bad most days.  Today it is welling up inside of me so I am typing it out.  Truth be told there are more good days than bad lately and for that I am thankful.  Also, the man I fell in love with was most of those things I dreamed of.  Well, at least some of  those things.  He got off track somewhere along the way and I want him back.  I don’t know how to help him.  Or to help us.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. rootstoblossom
    Dec 10, 2012 @ 09:53:31

    I hear you. I have no words of wisdom, just want you to know I understand all those conflicting thoughts and dreams.

    Reply

  2. Trish
    Dec 10, 2012 @ 11:21:15

    I, too, understand the loss of a dream and the conflict of what to do now. I wish we could have a crystal ball to see if ending our marriage and starting a new life would be better, or if we should just make the best of what we have.

    And I totally get your feelings about when you think of what you want is it being selfish. I’m a pleaser, and I do what’s expected, what I should, to keep the peace, to keep the family intact. It’s like why should I disrupt all these lives just because I’m not happy and want something more!

    Reply

  3. judi
    Dec 10, 2012 @ 11:45:43

    I am right there will you all ….I could have written this post. I think when i was growing up I watched The Waltons and Little House on The Prairie and that is what i wanted. I don’t have the answers….life just seems unfair.

    Reply

  4. Laura
    Dec 11, 2012 @ 16:28:31

    He sounds like the selfish one, not you.

    It is good to have a dream, and I think it can crush your soul to give up on it and to try to exist in a way that is less than your ideal. When I read this post it speaks to me. I felt very similar in my situation. We know what path I chose, and I’m not saying it’s right for everyone. I’m just saying choose a path that makes YOU feel whole and the rest, I believe, will fall into place. Fight for the life that gives you a feeling of strength and purpose, in whatever form that takes. No one can tell you what is right, but when the time is right you will know.

    Reply

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This blog is my personal journal. I am trying hard to save my marriage. No, I am trying to build a great marriage. In case you haven't heard, marriage is HARD!
I am fighting back against anxiety & panic attacks. This is year 5 of this adventure. I am also codependent. I am an ACOA. Fun, Fun. I am trying hard to become a better me.
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