Well, J and I had a talk when he got home from his date the night I posted this. I told him he was no longer able to see her everyday (he usually goes in to see her on her lunch break and she goes to see him on his). I made sure that he understood that it wasn't because I was putting a demand on him like a child or something, but that he needs to cut down on the NRE and allow himself to start pulling away from her. So that way, when she leaves for school in 2 weeks, he's not just left with an immediate cut off. I explained to him how hard that would be on him, and in turn the boys and I because we have to see him sad. He completely understood and agreed.
She's been out of town since yesterday morning and won't be back until later tomorrow for a school camp thing at her new college. So, this has been a great past couple of days where his stepmom has seen him spend a lot of time with us. We haven't talked to her yet as we've all been having too much fun together
So, hubby has acknowledged the overdone NRE and is working on it now.
On the empathy note, that's a difficult one for J. Compassion and empathy are two words that are almost unknown in his mind. He was never taught them growing up. His parents fought all of the time and have always (still do) tried to turn the kids against the other parent. It was a very hard upbringing for him. They finally divorced when he was 14. We were at his older sister's wedding 10 years ago. At the reception, the people that had set it up had accidentally placed their mom and dad's name tags next to each other at a table (even though they had seating charts to follow). It was a disaster!!! Mom was throwing a huge fit saying that the older sister did it on purpose just to get at her (not true) and was crying and whining for weeks. Dad saw it and made a clear statement for everyone around him to hear (Mom included) of "I'm not sitting next to that prickly cactus of a woman!" That was his only statement about it and then he quickly moved on and enjoyed the rest of the night. But, the war was already started and the bride was left very hurt that night
Every family occasion (child birth, weddings, etc.) is filled with Mom getting hurt or being upset about Dad being there and Dad playing the avoidance game all night because he just doesn't want any part of it. It's horrible!! We all try to alternate the holidays with them to be fair, but it's never good enough for Mom. I love her to death, but she has really let hate and anger eat away at her for far too long.
All of that said to say, J doesn't know what it is to sacrifice for someone he loves or to really communicate all that is going on his head. He's always scared of being judged (his mom's favorite thing to do) or berated in one way or another. He's come a long way in our marriage and does understand a lot more, but he still has some very deep seeded trust issues as a result of his parents. He tells me all the time that he's just amazed at how much he can tell me and really express to me, because he never thought he'd have someone that he could be honest with like that without the judgments following. I really wish that I could just reach into his heart and take away all of the hurts and pains that he has suffered growing up. I didn't have the greatest childhood either (my life growing up could be on Jerry Springer or have a soap opera made after it). But, I tend to let things go instead of hold on to them, and really allow forgiveness to work in my life. J has a really hard time understanding that, but he says it's one of his favorite qualities about me. He says I am his joy and inspiration during the rough times of life, 'cause I always just know it's going to work out and be just fine.
I love my husband so much!!!! *blushing*