How do you love someone who’s emotionally shut you out?
Sounds painful, huh?… It is. More so than I’d like to admit. But it’s possible. I promise.
I’ve been married for a little over a year to the love of my life. I’ve also been suffering from active alcoholism and semi emotional abuse (from both ends of the relationship).
What I have to remind myself of constantly is that some of the things that we’ve been through and the fights that we have are what caused him to emotionally retract. But I also have to remind myself that he, too, has been part of this roller coaster.
I am not the only villain in this story; however, I will not play a victim either. He is the man I put a ring on for, and the man I want for the rest of my life.
The problem is, he’s not only shut me out, he wants out. And after promises made and past mistakes forgiven, he’s turned into someone I’ve never known before. That in itself is the most painful part of it all.
So, how do you love someone who’s abandoned you? It’s not easy. But like I said.. it is possible.
Every morning for the past few weeks, and sometimes throughout the whole day, I hit my knees and pray. Not for my will but for God’s to be done in my marriage. I pray that God will cover my husband in protection and love and I pray for forgiveness for my own selfishness and that God will help me forgive him. I do this EVERY day and as often as it’s needed.
I usually also send him a text saying that I love him. (of course in the past and even recently – as a woman lol – I tend to blow him up with texts.. which is the wrong thing to do because I’m learning it drives him away quicker). I look stronger if I keep a healthy distance.
Usually, he doesn’t respond. And those responses have gotten thinner and thinner, and that’s okay. It hurts, but it is OKAY.
As an alcoholic, I have to remind myself that I am powerless not only over alcohol but over many things in my life. One of those things is my husband’s thoughts, words, and actions. That is super hard to accept! But with the strength and goodness of God, I’ve been able to get stronger and stronger in this each day.
If the 12 steps have taught me anything, it’s that God is in control, and that God only wants his best for my life – whether that’s with my husband or without him. The pain I feel inside is temporary, and because of my persistence in prayer, the pain is slowly subsiding and peace is being placed there instead.
Love isn’t just a word or some kind of feeling. It’s an action. And sometimes that action is to let that person go. Holding on too tightly will most always run them away. I know that I can’t capture my husband in a box and keep him there. He would be miserable – he says he already is. But I can pray for him and I can love him within myself enough to give him away to God’s control.
Without God, all of life is unmanageable.. Not just my alcoholism. This goes for anyone – alcoholic or not. My foundation in Him will be what makes a difference in the end.
Damage has been done – so much damage – in my relationship that it seems as though there’s no way to bounce back or for us to heal, but God is the ultimate Healer and Miracle Worker. It is in Him I rest my heart and to whom I give my spirit.
Through God’s love is how I love.
That is how to love someone who has shut you out. Silently – in prayer.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails…” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8