I normally have nice, fun dreams. Lately, there have been times in my dreams that I have broken down crying. They almost always stem from dream interactions with my husband. In my dream I try to tell him that he always puts me down, makes me feel stupid, is very unkind. In reality, he is not always that way. In fact, right now, we are at a good place. He is not overly drunk, therefore his interactions with me are nice and courteous. He is even washing the dishes almost every day.
Washing dishes is one of those tasks that I would start, pause, and come back to later. Sometimes my husband would get mad at me for putting the dishpan full of soapy water and dishes in the sink and leave them there. His reason for being mad was that the sink would be blocked. I didn’t see it as a problem because one can always lift the dishpan out of the sink. He, on the other hand, washes dishes by putting them directly in the sink. Then he will walk away, sometimes for hours, leaving the sink blocked. One has to remove all the dishes and drain the water to use the sink. (Writing it out now makes it very clear that this is all really petty stuff.)
Anyway, this morning he filled the sink up with soapy water and dishes and prepared to leave the kitchen. Very nicely, I asked him if he remembered all the times he used to get mad at me for blocking the sink. I wanted him to see the double standard he was living. Of course he didn’t remember getting mad at me ever and saw no problem with the way he was washing the dishes. Right after that, I immediately regretted even bringing it up. Why do I need him to acknowledge my hurt? Why should I try to punish him or push him into guilt? Blocking the sink is such a minor thing and certainly not something to fight over. Have I been hurt in the past? Yes, it even shows up in my dreams. But, that does not mean that I should try to hurt him now. I need to forgive my husband to the same extent as I have been forgiven by God. That certainly isn’t easy unless I focus on what I have been forgiven of. Even so, I find that it can be a very long process. I am not there yet. I can be kind to him and sometimes initiate conversations. But, for the most part, I do my best to avoid and ignore him. Not very Christ-like. Right now it is the best I can do.
A song by Keith and Kristyn Getty has been going through my mind. “The grace of God has reached for me, and pulled me from the raging sea, and I am safe on this solid ground, the Lord is my salvation…” There is no need for me to jump back into turmoil. Forgive. Forget. Move on.