Husband Won't Let Go Of The Past
Dr. DeFoore, I'm a 37 year old mother of 3 children, and I have a loving husband but he has a lot of issues in his life. His mother gave him up as a child because he was the result of a drug-using affair she had. Her husband told her to give up the kid or get out so she did.
His mother died when he was a adult and she ask him to forgive her, and he said he did. As a result of his mother's drug use he was born with a lot of illnesses that he still has. He recently also found out that he has M.S.
He talks about how he hates what his mother did to him. He says it's good his real dad got killed because he was just a drug addict, and that he was worth nothing. He's glad he's dead. He hates drug addicts.
He doesn't trust me to go out with my girlfriends. He thinks I might go out and cheat and leave him. He thinks drinking is bad. He says it's just like using drugs, that anything that alters your brain is no good.
He's already deaf in one ear and blind in one eye from the M.S. I know he needs counseling--look at all the built up anger he has from what his mother did to him. He hates drug addicts, people who drink, me going out--I can't take it any more! Please can you give me some kind of advice?
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. Your husband's story is very difficult, and so is yours. There's no question about that. I will try to help.
First, I want you to consider that your husband's past trauma, as bad as it is, is no excuse for treating you badly in the present. You are his wife and the mother of his children, and you are worthy of respect, regardless of what has happened in his past.
I don't want to minimize his situation. It is clearly tragic that he has to suffer so much for his mother's choices. Yet, that does not justify his hatred or his bad treatment of you. It certainly explains it, but it does not justify it.
As a mother of 3 children, I realize you are very challenged about what to do next. The very best thing would be for your husband to get some counseling and begin his healing journey. Emotional healing from his past would lower his stress, which could also help with his M.S. symptoms.
I'm sure it was a good thing for him to forgive his mother before she died. However, forgiveness for what she did to him is huge, and takes a very long time. It is much more than just words. If he's open, the two of you might benefit from listening to my CD program entitled, Love, Anger and Forgiveness. It explains the process of forgiving, and how it requires also the full expression and healing of anger.
Meanwhile, to manage your own stress, I suggest you start journaling your thoughts and feelings daily, just to give you some release from your own emotions. You will find three journaling processes on this page. Pick the ones that seem to fit best for you.
Believe in the goodness in your husband, and take very good care of you. For your own sake and for the sake of your children, you can't let yourself be damaged too much by what your husband is going through.
This web site is full of helpful information and resources for you and your husband. Spend some time reading and searching, until you find what you need.
Believe in yourself, believe in the best of your husband, and believe in healing.
(By the way, I listed your name as "Anonymous" because you gave only your last name and first initial. I protect contributor's anonymity by only using first names.)
My very best to you,