1 Year

by adustyframe ~ April 16th, 2012

Recently, I shared that it’s been 1 year since Lee moved home.

Lee said, “Only 1 year?”

James said, “That’s all?”

We feel a little like we’re in a time warp around here. It feels longer than a year to me too.

Things are way better right now. Lee’s job is providing enough for us to actually pay our bills–ON TIME! We still have a LOT of debt messes to clean up, but we’re making progress and trying to get things cleaned up.

I feel like I can be a little more “myself.” I’m able to be more organized. I get birthday gifts and cards prepared on time or early! I still tire easily and don’t know if that will ever change. But I can find time to experiment with recipes, or spend time with friends, or run errands without feeling like I’m going to die.

So, I’m personally feeling more like myself.

Financially, we’re trying to dig out of the pit.

Relationship wise? Well, I’d say now we’re doing better.

This past year was ROUGH! A dear friend of mine said that I said something on the blog that made her worried for us. I wonder if it was when I said, “I thought things would be more dreamy.”

I didn’t think it would be difficult. Dad coming home is what we lived for, prayed for, and dreamed about–all 3 of us. So, it should have been a piece of cake right?


When my friend Gigi‘s husband came home, she told me she went through a lot of anger. Yes, she had been angry at him for putting her in this impossible situation, but she worked through that and was ready for him to come home. She did not feel anger towards him during the incarceration–just “I have to get through this.”

She said when he came home she was explosively angry at him. She didn’t know why. I didn’t know why either.

And yep, when Lee moved home, I was so mad. I don’t know why. I don’t know if it’s one of the stages of grief or if it was a result of holding it together for so long.

Now that he was home and I finally wasn’t all all alone and doing everything by myself, I was furious.

I carried horrible churning anger in my heart and could feel it in my body. I prayed and prayed. I wondered “WHAT IN THE WORLD IS WRONG WITH ME?”

I think I was a raving lunatic.

I said horrible things–HORRIBLE things.

Lee said horrible things.

There was a lot of fighting. A LOT. I mean A LOT.

Many times, I laid in bed asking God why He carried us through all that only for us to crash and burn now. I wanted to end this marriage more times than I can count last year.

I think a lot of it was the stress of the years.

Some was that Lee wanted to come home and move on.

Some was that I wanted Lee to pay for this.

Some of it was that I had done everything and had complete control for years. I rather like being in control and it wasn’t easy to let go and figure out how to work together.

We had to learn how to parent together. James was 3 turning 4 when Lee was incarcerated and almost 10 1/2 when Lee moved home. James was a completely different child and a 10 year old needs different parenting. Lee hadn’t been here to grow as a parent along with James’ aging.

We fought about everything–including stupid things that we NEVER argued about before.

He said that I had changed. Yes, I had and honestly a lot of that was his fault. I had also changed with my weight loss.

We did have some counseling. Then we fought about counseling (yikes huh?).

Our first year of marriage, we didn’t fight at all. It was a complete dream.

Our first year of freedom, we made up for the lack of fights our first year of marriage.

Why am I telling you this?

1. If you prayed for us–or still pray for us–THANK YOU! Your prayers probably helped more than you know.

2. We still have lots of adjusting to do, but we’re doing better. PHEW!

3. The reason I blog is to share the process of going through a trial, learning, getting through it,  and being honest about how difficult it is.

I didn’t blog about this during the past year even though you may have read between the lines? The reason is that I was completely caught off guard at the intensity of my anger and I really didn’t know what was going to happen.

Do I know what’s going to happen now? Not really–none of us do. But I can say that things are better. We’re communicating better. We’re parenting better together. We are enjoying each other better.

Lee is listening to me when I share things I just need. For example, he used to bring James a little something home when he came back from a haul. I felt so left out–whether or not that is mature I did!

One of my love languages is gifts. It doesn’t matter the size or cost of the gift. When I told him that I feel left out, he started bringing me things–a little candle, lip gloss, a sweet card, flavored coffee–little stuff. The fact that he listened means a lot to me and made a big difference in my heart.

The other thing that made a huge difference was when he invited me to go along in the truck last fall. (When we went to Florida and the Creation Museum.) I was feeling like he didn’t want to be around me–well you remember me admitting that I was a raving lunatic?!

Anyway, when he invited me along, something broke loose in my anger and I realized that he wanted me. He wanted to be with me and be stuck in a semi cab with me for a week! I went and we had a really nice time.

This post is a lot of rambling and a lot of honesty. I’ve said all along that I don’t love being so honest here! It’s hard to admit some of the things I’ve shared. It’s hard to say I was a raving lunatic. But remember when I said that so many Christian books on trials don’t seem to share the hard stuff? It left me wondering what is wrong with me?

So, I share in case someone comes along who needs to hear this. Christian women who are trying to serve the Lord can have a really hard time dealing with trials and everything isn’t always easy. Getting from A-B often involves long dark valleys.

I also know some of you happen to like me (aww shucks….) and may feel like I have a right to be so angry with Lee. In a way, you’re right. It’s always ok to be angry at sin and the consequences and I had to personally deal with those consequences. But, the way I was angry and the things I said and the ways I behaved were NOT ok–just keep that in mind when you leave a comment.

Alright, enough rambling….


10 Thoughts Shared to 1 Year

  1. Barbara H.

    I appreciate your honesty, and like you said, sharing these things may be a help to others along the way, too.

    I had some level of anger when my husband was traveling a lot. I think I felt partly that he could’ve gotten out of it, could’ve found a different job, etc., and I finally had to learn acceptance. And I think holding it together for so long, when Lee finally came home it must have been something like a release valve on a pressure gauge loosening.

    I’m so glad you’re both working through these things and learning and growing.

  2. TransitionGirl

    Thanks for being honest. It’s not easy to be in a relationship, esp when you’ve not grown together for some time because of the time apart. I guess maybe you both are rediscovering each other again, the quirks, the habits, etc etc. Not easy but I am glad the Lord had been holding you all, even in dark times. Will keep praying 🙂

  3. Becka

    Thank you for your honesty. I have never had to deal with the trials and suffering you have faced, but in all our trials the intensity and variety of emotions can be overwhelming. I pray your retelling of your experiences will be a great help to others who face similar situations.

  4. Lisa

    Even though our situation is not with a husband but child and sibling, we’ve had tons of anger to work thru to. And, being a guy, he sees it as “that was then, this is now, what’s the big deal?” and we (Mom & sister) don’t! It’s very hard to have your life put on hold for your actions, but it’s also hard as a parent to see the “bad” behavior of one kid forced to take center stage. I had to work with the “system” and attend parenting classes I could have taught at the risk of my job. I had to find money for mandatory visits in another city. I had to ignore my other child to deal with the one locked up. Not fun. The fallout is not fun either–seeing her do (way less “bad”) bad stuff because that’s how you get attention.

    Rational or not, I understand your anger. I still want to scream when everyone compliments him on how “great” he’s doing–doing what? Oh, that’s right! He’s now following a FEW rules. I could go on, but I know you understand.

    But, like you, we keep working on our family and it IS better–a little.

    I’ll always pray for you guys! Even when we’re all old!

  5. Trish

    Not the same at all, but my husband was in the Marine Corps and was gone (even out of the country) for several years of our marriage. When he moved home it was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. I had been on my own with 2 kids and I didn’t want him “interferring” or “telling me what to do”. I somewhat understand what you’re going through and will continue to pray for you!

  6. Pam

    Once again thanks for your honesty……I’ve heard it said
    “don’t hog the journey”…… I think it means by sharing your struggles no matter what they are can help others.

    I recently had a young man ( in his late 30)….. Say to me
    You and your husband have a perfect marriage……I wanted to
    say….have you met us 🙂

    Reading of your struggles some how gives others strength….
    I’ll continue to pray for all of you

  7. Ame

    “I still tire easily and don’t know if that will ever change.” … me, too. i look back at those ‘energy’ years before it all happened, and i long for them.

    the anger is normal and real … and you holding your marriage together is a WHOLE lot easier than letting it fall apart. i promise you. i KNOW it’s hard, really really really hard. but divorce is a hell all to its own. God told adam and even not to eat of The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. all they knew was good. when they ate, they knew both good and evil.

    that’s divorce. you don’t know the evil till you eat of the fruit of the tree of divorce. then it’s too late.

    you’re doing great. your anger is real and normal. your emotions are real, normal, and okay. you are right, though … what you do with your emotions is your responsibility.

    counseling was wise – good for both of you.

    stick it out, my friend. i know it’s hard, but it is best.

  8. celina

    thanks for sharing, you will affect someone’s heart…i just know it…

    showing that marriage is hard and you worked to save it…then and now..is important….

    glossing over the hard parts, doesn’t show the true value of the good parts….

    still and always you are in my prayers

  9. Senkyoushi

    Thank you for your transparency. When we do that, we can help others. I remember a particular trial I went through. If a friend of mine had not been transparent about her struggle and how she came out on the other side, I’d probably still be wallowing in my misery several years later. Your blog is such a blessing. I know it is not easy, but I see you trying to follow God’s plan when others would have bailed. Praying for you!

  10. Janet

    Lizzie, I really appreciate your honesty. It is encouraging to me in my trials. Thank you!

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