Friday, December 12, 2008

With Dignity and Grace

Today I kept my head high as I went about my daily tasks. Hanging Christmas lights, making chicken soup, wrapping gifts. Always on my mind are the worries of the week: four of my five children going away for Christmas, and a husband who doesn't love me anymore, but who is ever-present, sitting in the living room, playing on his computer, ignoring me for the most part. I walk around him to hang the garland; I pass him by when I bring Play Doh to my daughter to make "cookies" together. This whole situation has the potential to be quite volatile. But I keep my peace; I maintain my dignity.

I remember once when I was riding my exercise bike, watching TV as is my habit. We only get a few channels, so the options for a midday ride are soap operas or court shows. I am not a soap opera fan (I feel like I am living one half the time... and I don't need anyone else's drama to add to mine). Anyway, I was watching Divorce Court. There was a woman in court whose husband had cheated on her, left her, left the children... the usual Divorce Court case. The man was prattling on about his needs and his complaints, but the woman stood there with her head held high, calm and unshaken. She let him rant without interruption; she was in full control of herself. When she spoke, she was dignified. She never resorted to name calling or insults, and she presented herself in a very respectable manner. So much so that the judge commented on how she handled everything with dignity and grace, even when she was being disrespected. I never forgot that women.

Now it's my turn. I am presented with not-so-pleasant comments as I go about my day, trying to remain calm. It's hard sometimes not to just blurt out, "what is your problem??" or some other unpleasantries. But I don't. I want to have grace and dignity. I won't let him take that away from me. When this is over, I'll have to live with how I handled things. I want to be proud of myself and remain respectable regardless of how he behaves.

Today I rode my bike for 30 minutes. I ate well and I enjoyed my children. I am starting to see how pleasant life can be when I turn my focus back to my kids and myself. That's where it should have been all along.

Scale says: 223.


Sally said...

Dignity and grace - well done. I feel honored just to read those words. You know how to be true to yourself. Keeping up exercise could power you through this trying time. In my weekly Weight Watchers group I hear the most amazing stories of strength and perseverence, almost every week, told my women who are so inspiring, and are not aware of it. You are not alone!!!

eyeslikesugar said...

Yes... no one can every take that away from you. Wishing you the best! Here's to hoping we can all eat well in the throes of stress

Hanlie said...

You are an amazing woman! Well done for keeping your cool and your dignity.

That scale of yours is amazing!

MizFit said...

dignity and grace are ways I, too, try and live my life.

you are inspiring and I totally recall how difficult it is for you to find that bike time (ahh todders :))

have a good calm relaxing healthy fun weekend.

new*me said...

as someone who lived a very similar situation over 10 yrs ago......I know exactly where you are. My ex wanted both worlds......and thought he could honestly have it. I had to take the big step and leave him.......he never would have left was too comfortable and safe.

You may end up having to make the decision for yourself instead of waiting around for him to decide your future.

You are a great mommy and I know your kiddos are going to miss you terribly!

LastJourneyDown said...

Dignity and grace... Wow - your thoughts are full of wisdom while your heart goes through this sad time. What courage! The exercise is a wonderful prescription - I send you wishes for a peaceful weekend!

Katschi said...

Under the same roof, yet. Unbelievable how you're handling this, Lyn. My heart goes out to you.
Scale says it all, doesn't it?

TNelson said...

You are a much better woman than I - I would have thrown his b*** out the door so fast he wouldn't have known what happened. The first time he left to go some place, I would have had all his junk stacked on the front porch when he came back. Good for you for handling this with such grace.


moonduster said...

Good for you!

when is he leaving?

Dinah Soar said...

Good for you! It's hard not to take the bait and loose it when your husband is being awful but it can be done.

And ignoring his nastiness shows him he has no power over you--that he has no control--and he will hate that more.

It makes you win in the power struggle--and that's what it is--he wants to manipulate you..but when he finds he can't-- you win, he loses.

Either he'll move on quicker or begin to see things in a different light.But I wouldn't get my hopes up. Be willing to accept that what will be, will be. That's not resignation, that's grace.

If you're husband is not a decent human being--and that is in question based on what I've read here--you'd be better off not having him in your life.

But never lose hope. God can change the leopard's spots should He desire for his purposes.

The most important thing you can do each day is "do the next thing" and ask God to show you his will and way for the day--don't run too far ahead into the future--"sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof". And offer yourself to God, yield your members as instruments of righteousness.

When I was going through a very hard time, my daily prayer was "Lord, show me"...and I'd literally raise my upturned palms toward heaven and say "God I yield my members--meaning my hands, my feet, my heart, my mouth et al--to you today. Do as you will."

In doing that I found strength, peace and God extended grace sufficient for the moment.

Paula said...

You've lost 55 lbs! I'm very happy for you.

sonia said...

Congratulations on the weight loss under such uncomfortable circumstances. When is he moving out?

oxo -

Dutch said...

I think you have the situation under control the right way and a great head on your shoulders. Congratulations on the weight loss. You are doing fabulous and you are an inspiration to me. Have a wonderful weekend.

Anonymous said...

I had such a strong visual image as you described the Divorce Court lady and your own self-control. Images of women doing what they need to do in hard times. And you will come through, because you have a strong spirit and you're a great human being.

I was reading a story in the paper today of a single mom who is the sole support of her two kids (the dads pay zip in child support or emotional support..da bastids) on a $7.50 an hour job plus her ailing mom's disability. She was profiled because she's one of the Christmas Wish cases--the community encouraged to give to a fund to help folks get their wishes. Hers were all about her mom and kids, nothing for herself. Her daughter has sickle cell anemia. Her son bad asthma. Her mom multiple diseases. And she's the one who has to handle it. And I so admired how she didn't cave or buckle or whine. Just was so loving and dignified about her very tough situation. I mean, her own glasses were cracked, and she didn't even say, "I need a new pair please." Wow.

So, it's a lot of head-held high women of dignity--and my mom, who suffered much early on in her life was one--out there reminding us how very very very powerful a woman can be, even when others wanna mash her down.

You ain't gonna get mashed, baby.

The Princess

p said...

just keep going exactly like this. you can do this. strength, dignity, grace. you have them all.

Phil said...

Lyn, that's really all you can do under the circumstances - behave with dignity and grace. I had to keep living with my ex husband briefly after we made the decision to separate, and it was truly horrendous. There were so many times where I really wanted to lose my temper, because he was such an a***hole!! (signing up for dating sites before I'd even moved out and leaving the profile open on the computer for me to accidentally see, for example!) But it was so much nicer for me to eventually leave, knowing that I'd always been the bigger person in every situation, and I'd never let him have the satisfaction of knowing his pathetic behaviour had got to me.

The first thing I would say to the guy tomorrow morning is "so, when are you moving out?!"

I know how much you're hurting right now. But it will get better, I promise!

BIG hugs! xo

redballoon said...

I too am concerned about when your (ex)husband is moving out. It's not good to have him around and see you dealing with this blow. The more he sees of your strength the more he may want to hurt you.
I would not ask when he is moving out. I would set a date.
I know this is all complicated by the children but they shouldn't see this either. Be careful that strength and dignity are not confused with passivity. They can be. Not all dignity is calm. Oh, no. It is often the ability to become wildly self-protective at the time of a personal attack.
Please be careful.

redballoon said...

Oh, and to clarify. I am NOT saying you are being passive. Not by any means! I'm saying that children looking on can misinterpret this.
YOU are a rock.

ryry the adventurous said...

Lyn, you rock that dignity and grace. There is no WAY I would be able to. His things would have been divided between the woodchipper and the trash and he'd be at a motel by now. Seriously? He presents you with "unpleasant comments?" Tell him to get out. >< What a waste of space.

But in all honestly, dignity and grace play =way= better for divorce court, you're absolutely right. :)

End rant. I just want you to be happy. That is all. :)

Karyn said...

For sure, dignity and grace are your best options in dealing with this situation.

But taking the high road does not mean you have to be a doormat for him to abuse - verbally or emotionally.

BTW....I'm so excited to see your scale numbers still moving downward!

Paula in VA said...

It was the right moment for you to bike because you were meant to see that very episode of Court television to view the strength of that woman for later circumstances.

I remember when my Aunt was going through something similiar to your situation, and her husband at the time tried very hard to make her angry and say mean things back to him. He even cornered her. She did not given in. She knew if she got nasty it was easier for him to leave-him leaving was justify. Continue acting classy and let his guilt eat his @$$ alive! After 4 years guess who realized he made a mistake and wants to come back?

Keep your chin up!

Betsey C. said...

You are so awesome. I love your attitude, your strength and your intelligence. Keep on doing what you're doing, taking care of yourself and your health, and you will be just fine. Wishing you the very, very best.

Carol said...

Actions of dignity and grace are never looked back upon with regret. It's a good plan. Now, don't give this man your power, take charge and tell him you want him gone at YOUR time, not his time. My theory: Better to be in control, than to be controlled. I'd tell him to hit the road! Life is too short to not be happy. You will be happy because you're already on your way . . . you just gotta make it past this "problem". You're a strong, powerful woman. You will do fine.

Tena said...

You are so right to handle this the way you have chosen. Words can never be taken back so it's best not to say something you'll regret later.

Still losing! You are amazing!

Ria said...

I am amazed and inspired by the strength you are bringing to this situation. I hope your dignity and grace will inspire your husband also to meet you halfway and make this time a little bit easier.

Congratulations on your loss - if you can keep the scale moving down at a time like this, there is NOTHING that will stop you from reaching your goal!

Chubby said...


I respect your attitude, and your outlook. I wonder, however, if it might be worth taking an occasional moment to document (somewhere secure and private) some of his behavior patterns. It might be useful to have that information - dates, and details - if things get unpleasant. Will you be discussing the plan of action for the separation and divorce before he leaves? I would hate to see him blindside you down the road with a lawyer you didn't know about.

I have no experience with these things - so these are just two things that popped into my head. I wish you the very best.