Abuse Hides in the Dark. Turn on Your Light.

My Husband's Advice

In the previous post, I mentioned that my husband had some input concerning the content of my blog

First, let me tell you briefly about what’s happened since I was in panic mode over him reading these blog entries. Soon after finding my blog, he said that he would try to read them in order to learn from them. He said that he genuinely wanted to change, and if he turned his emotions off while reading my stuff, then he thought he could learn how to bring peace to our marriage, at least the peace he could bring by changing.

I was skeptical. I mean, I’ve heard the change story over and over again without seeing any measurable change after some time passed. Our history works against what he says, and as much as I wish I could just erase the doubt, it’s still there.

But I’ve got to tell you, the doubt is shrinking. He’s been reading the entries and discussing them with me. He’s not really discussing the subjects of the entries with me and he admits to me that just because I write it doesn’t make him believe it. He has reasons as to why what I write “isn’t true” for him, yet he is not falling into the usual trap of lecturing on why I am “wrong” to feel or think the way I do. He’s making an effort to learn my language, so to speak, and honestly, my defenses are coming down.

The act of lowering my defenses puts me in dangerous territory in relation to my husband. Historically, when I lower my defenses I have suffered the most damaging results. But shit, I’ll try it one more time. Maybe I shouldn’t write that, but it’s my blog and I’ll give my secrets away if I want to. So there.

Now, to get off of the personal aspect of my husband’s advice… He also has a valid point about what I want to accomplish by creating the site and this blog. I want other people to be able to read about my experience, then learn from it or disregard it. I hope my readers learn, but I can’t force it. Anyway, if I only share my turmoil, my readers won’t get the entire picture.

For example, I’ve just stated that I’m choosing to lower my defenses and share “secrets” about my lowered defenses with my husband (who is reading this blog). Now, no matter what consequence my decision has, my readers will also share in it. If I’m right for trusting him, you’ll know. And if I am wrong for trusting him, you’ll know. Either way, you readers will have another experience to help you make your own tough decisions in your own abusive relationships.

In addition, because my husband says he is trying to learn from my blog, he’s using it as a source of feedback, and desperately seeking to read about some of the good things he’s doing. Like I said before, my “crisis writing” style does not support “the other side of the story” – the side that keeps me here. He says that if another man who wanted to change his behavior read my blog, he’d really only read about the times my husband (and possibly the other guy) have been assholes.

Like my husband said, “I pretty much KNOW when I’ve been an asshole. I need to know when I’m doing something good.” When he extended that logic to other men like himself, he said that my site and blog would only teach them what they already knew – how to be an asshole. A blog that illustrates “good” behaviors along with any “bad” behaviors would give guys who really want to change an idea of what works and what doesn’t.

His opinion perfectly intersects with my intentions. And his sharing of it took courage…after all, my husband didn’t know what my reaction would be to his idea, but he is sincere enough about making positive changes in our relationship that he went out on a limb and risked it.

And that, to me, shows true change.