Going through therapy after my husband’s death is revealing some unpleasant surprises.
When you’re married to someone who has been through as much trauma as my husband had, it’s bound to cause some difficulties. The hard part is learning which things I’m responsible for and which things were his. When you are married to someone for almost 28 years, the line between the two of you eventually blurs. It certainly did for us.
The early years
My husband was always my absolute best friend, bar none. But our initial bond was formed by all the injustices we felt that we had suffered.
My own “injustices” were mostly that I just needed to grow up. I blamed other people for problems that were essentially my own fault. And of course, I saw all the problems in the world and wanted to fight them, which I still do. But I didn’t blame him. I figured that we were in it together, us against the world.
His issues, however, were much more serious. In retrospect, I realize that essentially I couldn’t fix him, even though I tried my hardest. I was young and naive and I thought that love could fix everything. I was wrong.
In his younger years, my husband was a walking ball of rage, which was mostly hidden and seething under the surface. He didn’t direct it at me but he was just a very angry young man in general (and for good reason.) It was hard to avoid being collateral damage from living with someone like that.
He grew into being self-sacrificing
I’ve written a lot about how great my husband was in the later years and all of that was true. He was in many ways a dream husband and my soulmate in every sense of the word. He kissed my forehead and called me his “little bird.” He was always concerned about my well-being and listened to me whenever I wanted to analyze a dream or felt anxious about the future.
I still miss him and our long conversations. Although I may not be alone forever, I find it hard to imagine that I’ll ever find anyone else who understands me as well as he did.
But in the early years, he was so angry. I knew about the hidden rage he kept suppressed, which he told me about in greater amounts over…