This week, I helped my friend who lost her husband go through his computer photos, looking for ones to print out for the wake. I can't tell you what feelings came up when we came across one particular folder titled "Unusual Ones". It was obvious what type of photos the folder contained. My friend was aware that her husband looked at pictures, so she wasn't upset, but it really brought up negative feelings in me. Memories from finding certain photos from one year ago. .... I can't begin to tell you how grateful I am that I found out about William BEFORE his passing. So grateful I've had the opportunity to work through the anger and the hurt. If something had happened to William, I WOULD have found his stash of clothes, toys, photos - and I would have hated him. And I would have never been able to get past it. So, I'm writing about this to say that if any of you out there have NOT told your spouse - and you don't intend to, then please...please...at the very least, do whatever you need to do to ensure that she will NEVER find out. Not even after you are gone. I can't imagine what that would do to a wife who has just lost her husband. Please, don't do that to someone who loves you.
Now, that bit of sadness aside... I wanted to make one more statement. It seems to me that sometimes this piece of our success gets overlooked...
William and I are doing great, but it's not because I've accepted him and everything that comes along with AGP. It's because I have done that to the maximum degree that I could - AND because William has worked every bit as hard as I have to make our marriage work. He has really made the effort to understand MY perspective in all of this. He has learned to open up and communicate his feelings with me. He and I have actively negotiated exactly what components of his desires we will incorporate into our relationship - and what we will not. And he has been willing to compromise. He understands that there are times when I still struggle with our situation. He has been understanding when we come up against those few things that, for one reason or another, I am not willing or able to do. And he honors my request that he NOT do anything solo.
So...giving credit where credit is due. This marriage has worked because of BOTH of us, not because of just one of us. Negotiation and compromise are part of every successful marriages - and ours is no different.