Last night I had this crazy revelation that my marriage to WH (pre-A discovery) was beginning to look a lot like my parents marriage.
My dad grew up in an emotionally and physically abusive household with an alcoholic mother and a father in the air force who was never home - my WH's mom used to physically abuse him until she abandoned him and he was left with his dad who remarried, his step mom was completely emotionally abusive and told him at one point that he was a mistake that his parents didn't plan for him, but just kept him anyway.
My dad suffered from depression, was out of work for a long time, my mom supported us financially, my dad was resentful and eventually my dad ran away from my family. I have a very strained relationship with him now. - My WH suffers from anxiety and panic disorder, is struggling with finishing school, was working at a job he hated so he cut back his hours, we relied mostly on me to support us, he became resentful more with himself than with me that he wasn't the provider he always wanted to be. He wanted to run away from his problems too but instead of physically leave, he decided to engage in a "fantasy world" of the A.
The difference here, is that my WH is realizing the mistakes he has made and is digging deep to find the root causes for everything and learn to use me to communicate his pain so he doesn't have to bottle it up anymore. My dad never faces his own demons and continues to run away and prevent himself from creating deep and meaningful relationships with anyone. It hurt to have this realization last night, but I am glad I did. I am just like my mom, I am a "fixer". My mom thought she could "fix" my dad, but they never got the appropriate help. I have felt (and still do) that I can "fix" my WH but I am realizing that this is something he needs to do for himself. We had a painful talk last night about this, he was hurt by the similarities to my parents situation, because he knows how hurt I am by that, but we both made a commitment to give our (future) children the family that we both wish we had for ourselves. We want to stop the cycles of pain and grow together. It's definitely a long road, but I am glad that we caught onto these emotions early enough in our lives because I know (as with my parents) that things can fester for a long time under the surface. We have had to face a lot recently, but I am cautiously optimistic that by being broken open and burned down we can build something better up from the ashes.
Me: BW, 28
Him: WH, 28
DDAY 7/4/14 TT till 7/18/14
"Reconciliation means working together to correct the legacy of past injustice." - Nelson Mandela