to scrap this again. Mainly because I wasn't happy with my layout originally and have learned so much about design since then, I felt it deserved
to be presented a bit better. So here is my layout along with the journaling.
Check out the challenge here.
Adrian, my first husband of 28 years, a man that was and is respected, honored and loved by all. Then why did our marriage end? Mainly because of the accumulation of little wrongs that eventually grew into bigger wrongs.
October 2, 1970, the beginning of the end. I was 16 and running away from a “mother” I grew to dislike. Adrian was 19 at the time. We were married at his sister’s house with his father officiating at our wedding. I thought at the time it would last a lifetime because, even though I was running away from my mother I still had feelings for him, love, respect, and I was thankful to have him and his family in my life.
Sad to say I didn’t know what love was at that age, I didn’t come from a nurturing background. As a child growing up I learned just the opposite, to stifle my feelings and not share my thoughts with anyone, because of the abuse I went through at an early age. The lack of communication skills was to become a great obstacle in our shared life together.
Early in our marriage, Adrian and I were inseparable, we did most things together. Looking back we did things Adrian wanted to do, not what I wanted to do. To be fair I do have to say I was not vocal in expressing my wants and desires, nor did I have a clear sense of what I wanted, what 16 years does. It didn’t help when after the first year, we moved in with his mother to help support her, since her own husband of 40 yrs decided to leave her. At first it was wonderful, I loved his mother, she was more of a mother to me then my own was. But living with ones parents does not help your marriage to grow and mature. In fact it opens another set of problems to deal with. I started to feel even more insecure and not needed by Adrian. What I lacked in doing, his mother would do. I felt like a failure as a wife. I started in small ways to resent his mother in our lives. Did I ever communicate this to Adrian or his mother, no, I didn’t want to hurt their feelings, so I kept all of my hurts and frustrations bottled up inside. One of the things I always lived by and still do to a certain degree is this philosophy of mine “Don’t say anything you will regret later, you can never take back words that are spoken out in anger.”
During those years my lack of self worth was so overpowering. Adrian without realizing it crushed my individuality and spirit every time he said things like “I wish you were more like so and so”, “What do you want me to do about it, she’s my "mother”, “So and so does it this way, why can’t you”….talk about making you feel like a failure….it did. I started thinking I would never please him no matter what I did. I felt like I was constantly walking on egg shells, stress was a part of my every waking moment.
I started thinking about leaving him, since I couldn’t seem to please him anyway. But one of the things that was stopping me was hope, hope that someway we could get our lives on track and learn to love each other as husband and wife. I would look at the couples we hung out with and envy their close companionship. That is what I wanted in a marriage…I wanted us to be best friends to be able to share anything. The good things as well as the bad. I wanted a companion not a big brother. I loved him as an individual, I tried to always be there for him, to lift him up when he was down, to encourage him in pursuing things he would not try normally. I failed miserably in the wifely duties and that over shadowed any good I could have done. I believe it was his frustration in this area that made him so critical of me in other areas. When a man is satisfied and his needs met, all is well with the world. When he is not, nothing on this earth can make him happy. (Fran’s observation).
In 1999, I remember that year well, it was a turning point in our marriage, it was the year it ended after much counseling and soul searching. That Summer I went to see the movie Titanic while out of town killing time while my daughter and her boyfriend went sightseeing. I will never forget my emotional reaction to that movie, I think I cried through the whole thing. I saw how the characters fell in love and how that love grew to be a forever love. I wanted that so much, I wanted to be loved for me, the I’ll die for you kinda love. I knew in my mind that was an unrealistic view of what love really is, but my heart was so hungry for it.
I went home with a heavy heart, I knew then love would never be a part of my life. I had an emotional breakdown, I went into a deep depression, self doubt and misery were a part of my life for a couple of months, I cried all the time and couldn’t explain why, I didn’t know myself. I struggled with the idea of divorce. It wasn’t an easy decision for me, I truly believe once you say I do, you have made a vow to God and your spouse to love, honor and cherish for the rest of your life, through the good parts as well as the bad, till death do us part. I was afraid of losing my adopted family, Adrians’ sisters, all the nieces and nephews, our friends. I was worried about my daughter how would she react? Could I make it on my own. Should I turn by back on 28 years of marriage. So many things to think about! Finally I had made a decision I would give Adrian his freedom to pursue his happiness, my thought process was, I couldn’t make him happy maybe someone else could.
I found an apartment and for the first time in my life was on my own. During the year that followed I did a lot of soul searching. I addressed my abuse as a child and finally came to terms with it. I started to practice sharing my feelings with others and found acceptance. My self worth grew and I found that I am good at something. I am an encourager, that is what I am and do best. I believe in building up and not tearing down a person. Each individual has enormous worth to themselves and others. Do I still have doubts about myself, yes, but I continue to work through it. I don’t let things build up anymore, my dear husband of 9 yrs. (should have been 10), has heard me express by feelings, concerns and loves me for me….how great is that! Together we have built a love that is eternal, till death do us part…..
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