Short stories,

Knock, knock please let me in!!!!

November 23, 2012 Ezer Kenegdo 0 Comments


“Eyamba?”

I didn’t respond. I wanted to scream, hit him – anything to dispel the raging emotions I was feeling. How could he come back after all this time and ask this of me. Just when I was picking up the pieces of my broken heart, just as I was getting my life back on track. In that moment I considered all the hurtful things I could say to him - to give him a taste of how I felt and what I thought of him and his stupid request. In a flash my mind went over the course of events that had led us to this place- the threshold of divorce; the death of our beautiful baby boy.

The night he left, I remember sitting at the dining table thinking about how much he had changed. About how in the 3years we’d been married or in the 2years we’d dated I’d never seen this side of my husband. It’d been 8months since we lost our son and I still didn’t know what my husband was thinking or how he was feeling; in all that time I’d tried to reach out to him, but he treated me like the enemy, like it was my fault our little boy was gone. I knew I couldn’t stop trying, so I walked up to where he sat on the couch and stroked his head, like I used to do when we first got married.

“Hey baby, how are you doing?”

He looked at me with so much irritation I physically withdrew. This was not my husband; this was not the man I married.

“Nnena, you keep asking me that question like you actually expect to hear anything different from what I’ve been telling you.”

“You say you are fine, but I know....”

“Has it not occurred to you that after everything that’s happened you are the last person I would want to talk to?”

Tears welled up in my eyes

“What can I do? What do you want me to do?”

Turning away from me

“Nothing. The truth is I just can’t do this anymore”

My heart rate increased

“You can’t do what anymore?”

Just like that, in just a few words the love of my life placed the final brick on the wall that he’d been building between us. He wanted a divorce.




It’s been 4months since that night, now he sits here, telling me he’s had a change of heart and wants me back? He must be having a laugh. Maybe he started weeding when he left, or maybe crack cocaine, or maybe.....

“Eyamba”

There he goes again. Eyamba is my middle name; he’s the only one that calls me that.

“Don’t call me that. You lost the right to call me Eyamba the day you decided to stop fighting for our marriage”

I regretted the words the moment they came out of my mouth.

“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to sound so...”

“No, no, no you are right. I gave up that right when I gave up on you- on us. Please give me another chance. That’s all I ask, just 1 more chance”

I don’t want a divorce, but I also don’t want the constant insecurity that comes with not knowing if he will throw me off the ship again when the next storm comes. I know I have to take all these fears and insecurities to God while my husband’s actions prove that I can trust him to stick around no matter what comes our way.

Extending my hand across the table to shake his over the untouched platter of chicken wings he’d ordered, his audible sigh of relief brought a half smile to my face.

“We’ll see how it goes”

***************


This story was inspired by a “Focus on the Family” show I heard on the radio as I drove to work today. The host interviewed Dr Dennis Rainey who talked about his book Building Your Mates Self- Esteem.  

During the interview Dr Rainey talked about how one of the major causes of separation and divorce is emotional abandonment caused by the emotional trauma faced as a result of losing a child or having a mentally/ physically challenged child. He emphasised that instead of using the opportunity to grow stronger as a couple and face the challenge together, one (or both parties) begins to build an impenetrable brick wall leaving their spouse on the outside. It reminded me of the Tyler Perry movie “Why did I get married too”. I’m reminded of the character Patricia, played by Janet Jackson who lost her son and ultimately lost her marriage because she couldn’t cope with the grief and basically shut her husband out. What I find particularly heartbreaking is that more often than not the couple doesn’t even realise they are dancing to the tune of the devil, who is trying his best in these last few days to destroy as many families and marriages as he can in what little time he has left.

Grief is indeed a very powerful emotion, but like every other feeling- it can lie and often does; painting your ally as your foe. The bible tells us to be watchful and vigilant so my advice would be to nip the situation in the bud before it explods, but even if it does we serve a faithful God who is able to restore all that has been stolen from us – or that we have thrown away.

Snooping around on Dr Rainey’s website, I stumbled on other causes of emotional abandonment:

Unforgiveness: Emotional abandonment is unforgiveness taken to its extreme conclusion. When we feel that our spouse has hurt us and we refuse to forgive them, we look for ways to protect ourselves from being hurt again in the future.

Callous treatment: When I am careless in how I treat my spouse, it creates hurt that may start out small, but can grow into deep wounds as it festers over time. 

Lack of effort: Sometimes the problem is a little less obvious than unforgiveness or harsh treatment. It is easy, especially for men, to just assume that the relationship is going along just fine, and so don't put in as much effort as they once did, and start to take their spouse for granted, leading them to think that they are not important in their lives.

Lack of time: Many of us simply try to pack too much into a day. Ruled by the urgent, we fail to make time for the truly important: things like romancing, talking about issues and really developing a friendship with our spouse. We stay constantly busy, erasing quality "couple times" from our schedules.

Fear of talking through issues: Emotional detachment does not just happen out of the blue; there is always something behind it. If one or both of the spouses has an inability or fear of talking through the issues in their relationship, then this kind of disconnect will be the likely result.

Source: Emotional Abandonment: When Your Spouse Shuts You Out

Suggestions he made about resolution and restoration:

 Agree to talk

Be prepared: Before you have the talk, take the time separately to think through the unresolved issues that you'll be discussing

Be direct but gentle

Begin to meet unmet needs: Often a person pulls back from the relationship because, in their mind, their needs are not being met. A healthy marriage demands that both partners actively work to discern the needs of their spouse, and work to meet those needs. Seek to understand your spouse's needs and ask yourself how you can start to better express love by meeting these needs. Make your spouse and sorting things out your new priority.

Deal with your own stuff: If I am feeling abandoned by my spouse, I need to ask myself a tough question: What have I done to drive my spouse away? Now it may not be only your responsibility. Nevertheless, you have to find out what you are responsible for and take ownership for your actions

Intentionally re-engage: If you are to re-establish your emotional connection, it won't happen by accident and it won't happen overnight. You need to agree to make your relationship a priority and spend some quality time together.

Act kindly: Small gestures of warmth, acts of kindness, and efforts to rekindle the romance between you will go a long way toward renewing your bond with one another.

Love unconditionally: You cannot control your spouse's behaviour, but you can control your own. Regardless of how your spouse responds, you must choose to treat them with love. This is not easy to do when your partner is not reciprocating, but it is what you vowed to do when you promised to love each other "for better or for worse." And nothing breaks down emotional barriers like unconditional love.

Allow God to work: I'm going to challenge you to ask God to change you. God wants your best and He'll always be ready to take full responsibility for any life that is totally surrendered to Him. That also includes re-engaging with your spouse and getting attached in love again. God wants that and He will guide you in that, if you'll allow Him to.

 





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