I no longer see the face of the man I married…no longer see the eyes that captured me from the start or the soft features that showed me love. Alcohol has turned my husband’s face into another one all together. It was not age that changed my husband, not years of life effecting his good looks but rather the face of alcohol. This is one that, I believe, many others have seen take over their loved ones. Eyes darken becoming more direct and accusing…mouth becomes stern, free flowing of insults and negativity…cheeks tightened with tension. This is the face of alcohol that I see…when my husband has left, checked out with the bottle in hand.
When my marriage is on the verge of divorce every day…I asked my husband, is it us? Or is it the depression? Us, we can fix…work harder…talk sweeter…be kinder. With depression, it doesn’t seem to matter how kind I am, how positive I can be, how hard I try…the depression rears its ugly head at every turn. Good days turn to bad in the blink of an eye over a simple word, the wrong gesture or the absence of thought. How do you save a marriage when depression is your biggest opponent? Can I? Will he? Does it? Can I fix it? Will he get help? Does it matter? Too many unknown variables to decide. But I am here, day in and day out, still fighting my battle with depression…my battle with my marriage to depression…my battle having a husband with depression.
How many times do I need to be called a f**king selfish b*tch before it doesn’t matter? To be honest the first several times hurt like hell…then the next many times, you become numb to the cruel words. Name calling is done when an individual doesn’t have the tools to provide a better argument. Does that make it hurt less? No. Does that make it mean so little? No. Abuse is abuse in any form. How many times does it take before it hurts again. Hurt, numbness, hurt…that’s the pattern. I can let it go and numb myself to the words, knowing it is his own insecurity that allows him to be mean, but once an awhile it cuts to my core. When things have been good, it hurts more…it matters more. So how many times do I have to hear it before I don’t care anymore? I wish I knew…time will tell!
Some people think the generational difference in my marriage may be a challenge. While other’s might think that race may be a factor in my marriage. Or some may believe our economic family backgrounds could be an obstacle in my marriage. But none of these issues are hard for me, or even a thought for me or my husband. I have fun when he tells me I have stuff in common with his mother, since I am older than him, I laugh, I don’t take offense. I don’t even think of being in an interracial marriage, I truly don’t see the color, never have and never will. Having my husband come from a background where poverty, abuse and life struggles are commonplace versus my middle class upbringing, offers us a different point of view of each and of live in general. But when I am married to a man who is broken, who is deep down insecure, who doesn’t know how to overcome life obstacles because of his insufficient emotional development.
I have stayed through cheating, lying, drinking, and verbal abuse, not because I am weak but because I am strong. I am stronger than he is, I have a healthy emotional foundation that does not shake easily. My biggest fault may be that I am unconditionally loyal. My strength within is something I have had to pull on in order to be there for a man that is not strong, he is broken.
For those who love a broken person, you will understand. From the outside, we look weak, we look like we are being walked over or taken advantage of but on the inside, I know this man holds onto me for salvation. He has messed up, he has hurt me, he has lost my trust. I still continue to be his light, his strength, his saving grace. This is loving a broken man.
I once read that you shouldn’t judge someone on their actions or choices if you are unaware of their resources. That’s how I feel about my husband’s verbal abuse. He has no resources, he has no options, he has no way out. When being involved in an upbringing that provides limited resources, it offers no options for individual’s choices. Is he just out of resources, out of better options? Does he abuse verbally because he knows no better, because he feels trapped, unsure, limited, etc? Maybe…
It doesn’t excuse it, doesn’t justify it, does’t make it better but maybe to a small degree it explains it. I am not broken but I am married to a man that is broken. He is limited on his ability to do better, to know better, to feel better. Is it my responsibility to understand this and support or is it my job to stand up and defend myself?
Have you ever been a spouse of depression? It effects every word, mood, facial expression, thought. When a spouse suffers from depression, it effects you to the core!