Thursday, August 6, 2009

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder?

My husband and I have been married for almost 6 years... as long as you count the 1 ½ years we were separated. Now I know what people say about abusive relationships: If you keep going back, he is not going to change.

Let me be clear. My husband never hit me. I have very strong feelings about physical violence that I won't get into here. But when my husband was mad, the whole world was going to know about it.

After about a year of weekly screaming matches I'd had enough and kicked him out. At that point in our relationship, we were 2 different people, with very different views on how life was supposed to be lived.

I was very serious about this. I went to court, got custody of the kids and restraining orders. I took him to court for child support. We mediated about visitation. And he, grudgingly, went to anger management therapy.

Some other significant things also happened. He lived on his own for the first time in his life. He was responsible for his own bills, and getting them paid on time. He made friends outside of our relationship, and interacted with their families. It was during our separation that he began to understand that the only person accountable for what happened to him, was him.

A lot changed in that year and a half. I found the no nonsense, not taking anyone's crap, girl I used to be. He saw that I didn't need him to provide for me. Finishing his anger management along with some other changes made him a much calmer person.

I had the opportunity to see him change. Not for me, but for himself. Because I had made it plainly clear, I was not going back to him.

Through all that, I never stopped loving him. And there came a point where we were friends again. Our relationship grew without the expectations of getting back together.

We started living together again almost 2 years ago. As a married couple. I can probably count on 1 hand the number of fights we have had in that time. We just deal with things differently now.

Our separation was painful and stressful for everyone involved. It was an uphill battle that, for us, proved to be worth the work in the end.

What do you think? Can separation be good for a failing relationship?



According to Ana said...

wow good for you. I really Liked that story. I think the part that I liked the best was how I could tell that you two really make a great team, and are perfect for one another since neither of you were very easily replaced. I can see how separation could work wonders in a troubled relationship. I some times want to leave my husband in charge of the home and kids for the weekend to help him get some perspective.

April said...

I really think you went about it the right way. It sounds like both of you found out who you are deep down inside. That is awesome!!!

Anonymous said...

sounds like it worked for you.

If both parties in any disagreement are willing to work on it and compromise then usually everything can be worked out.

Missy said...

Yeah, it worked for us, thus far. I just hear all the time about you can't change someone, and if you keep going back...

Anjeny said...

Good for you Missy. Thank you for sharing. You did the right thing and glad it worked out for you guys.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Okay normally I would say no. Usually when a couple is at that point in their relationship... it is probably best that they end it. That's as long as they have tried all other avenues (I mean if they are married) to try and save it.

That's just me and couples I have seen. Usually by the time they are separated it usually ends without them wanting or getting back together.

But one of the coolest things about life is people CAN change... and yet one of the saddest things in life is that people don't accept that people can change.

They can't let go of the old person to get to know the new person... mostly from fear.

SO YOU guys have an incredible story... and I'm so glad it worked out for you two.

I do know that in marriage it is really good to have time away from each other, once in a while... it does help you to re-group and sometimes remember why you love them in the first place.

And I think in your case... you husband didn't know what he had until it was gone... which probably helped in his process of change!

Seriously such a great story Missy!

mother goose said...

I think each situation is so different. In your case, it was the best thing because I don't think your husband would have ever been able to truly seen how to change his ways.

Almost like he needed to find himself.

Seperation in other instances can make people feel helpless and just have them give up. So, they find another and most times screw another relationship up.

I am going to say seperation can be good for an already failing relationship ONLY ONLY ONLY if they have exhausted all other efforts.
prayer, counsel, temple attendance, and prayer again.
therapy too, if needed. However, both parties have to be willing

mother goose said...

HOLY FREAKIN CRAP!! The heavens have just opened but i read the comments and I AGREE with SAGE!!

and umm.. sage to answer your question. the color belt would be black of course!

Missy said...

Shelle and Mother Goose are right.
We all change throughout our lives. It's part of the process of growing. I think it's unreasonable to try to get someone else to change for you. They have to do it for themselves.

He did need to find himself. But he had to do it for his own well being. Sort of like "I can't love you, when I don't love myself"?

Cookie Crums said...

Wow! That sounded like a very difficult time for you guys. I'm glad things worked out for you.

As for separation being a good thing for a failing relationship..... I don't know. I would say each person has to have the desire to change and make it work. If it takes separating to figure that out, then yes. Sadly, I think a lot of couples would just rather call it quits and not go through the hassle of figuring out what's wrong. Divorce is the easy way out, and too many people just go the "easy" way.