My heart is sad today.
Empathy isn’t my favorite personal feature and it’s not one I’ve learned to turn off or how to control. When someone I love is sad, I am sad. When I read about tragedy and total strangers are impacted, I am sad. When someone wants help, truly wanting it, I wish I could find that easy button, a magic wand or at least the right words to comfort them. The up side is when people are happy; I can find that happy for them and feel it myself also. Those feelings I don’t mind so much… but today… My heart is sad today, but full of love.
2 am rolled around this morning and I heard my husband’s phone go off. Mid sleep, I thought it was his alarm until I noticed he was saying “Hello?”. The words to follow, “Are you ok? Are you ok? What’s wrong?”, caused me to sit straight up. I wasn’t ready for whatever tragedy was going on. My first thought was it was a fellow firefighter. All I could hear was sobbing and instantly I thought it was someone on the brink of suicide and I was terrified, yet ready to jump up and head to whoever it was, no matter who it was. My mind was racing and no matter how many times I asked who it was, my husband couldn’t hear me. The more I woke up, the more I realized it was a family member on the phone, in the middle of a mini meltdown and was ok, for the most part. My heart was sad for them, sad that they were in such a sad place at that moment, even if it was exaggerated by alcohol.
They were alone and had been drinking. I personally know what happens when you’re sad and then decided to drink alone, no good comes from that but that doesn’t stop us sometimes. We all have coping mechanisms and sometimes, we’re just too tired to fight the urge. I’m not saying this is the case, they may have just had a few then got to thinking too much. Sometimes we wake up and realize that life has moved so quickly, we’ve wound up in a place that we were never heading in our plans. I know this feeling well also. Sometimes, in marriage, we go through the motions and slip away from each other, becoming almost robotic.
***I’m not a licensed mental health professional, but I do want to share what works for ME when I am having problems with my other half. Granted, it isn’t a fix all and it certainly will not work for all types of people but when you’re lost, it is a good place to start. You can always work your way up to a psychiatrist or couples therapy, and there is 100% NO shame whatsoever in any type of counseling.***
I have a blog, no shocker I like to write letters, so when I feel like there are things I need to hash over with my husband and either can’t bring myself to physically say it or am afraid we’d fight before the point was made, I write him a letter. It’s rare, we tend to talk more than most couples I know. I ask “Is there anything I am not giving you, or that you need from me.” Sometimes because I know I can be a distant woman and sometimes my husband likes more attention than just holding his hand… He tells me, more so now, when he needs something. I’d rather feel like a failure for two minutes listening to how I am not filling his love tank, rather than months of years down the road see my marriage fail because he bottled it all up and then unleashed it all at once. I don’t mind hearing when I am wrong. It stings, but that passes. Please be open to honesty in your relationship, it is well worth it.
If you have an issue that you think you cannot have a physical conversation about, at least not to begin with, start with a letter. Dear Love of my Life,….. A proper letter. You begin by telling the person how much you love them and how much they mean to you. You tell them that there are a few things that are bothering you and that you want “US” to work on, because it takes two. Don’t use the word “YOU” or “I” so much as using the words “us” and “we”. Try “When we aren’t spending enough time together, it makes me sad and I miss you.” vs “You spend too much time away and I’m tired of being alone all the time.”. It makes a difference in the words you use and how you use them. You may have every right to want to rip into them and make them suffer the pain you’ve felt but, it isn’t worth it. It will only make you feel worse in the end because that will not open them up to hear anything else and they certain will not open up to you. You pour your heart and love out, a lot of people seem to really get it when they read it on paper, handwritten, that their spouse is hurting and wants to be happy, TOGETHER. Always throw all of the negative words and parts out, nothing good will come from that either. Keeping it as loving and open as possible has served me well in this relationship. My first marriage lasted less than 3 years, in my heart I was gone way earlier than that.
Sometimes, there is no help short of divine intervention. Pray. If you are a believer, pray. For your marriage. Your spouse. Your own faults and flaws. Sometimes, it falls in the cracks and never recovers. Hearts have to be open to change, sometimes they aren’t. I do not condone or encourage divorce, sometimes it is what happens. I suggest taking a break and separating and working on things that way, before even considering divorce. Even a divorce that is wanted is painful and can be devastating. A few resources that are great and I’d love to share with you because I have either done them, or trust that they are good sources for either marriages or things such as depression, addictions and thoughts of suicide). I have bouts with what could be mild depression. Days on end where I cry on the drop of a dime. Days that I wonder, why am I alive and do I even have a purpose. I get that, more than I can write, I get it. Those days do not last forever. If you think no one cares, I can promise you they do. Perfect strangers care. People around you care. Those who don’t care, are on their own dark path. Care for them.
I love you. Yes, you reading this… that I have never laid eyes on (or maybe I have)… I love you. You are important and I want you to be happy, no matter where that is in life but for some of us, happy takes a lot of work on our own end. If you have any reputable resources that you would like to drop in the comments below, PLEASE do so… just remember, I’ll delete any bull.
All you have to do is ask. Help is there waiting. If it does not answer right away, ask again. Contact me if you need to… firstname.lastname@example.org