I'm not sure when I completely started putting myself aside, but I did. This caregiving role makes it really hard to not lose yourself. I try really hard to take care of myself too, but sometimes that isn't as easy as it seems. I always think of how something is going to affect Allen before myself, and often even before my kids. Somethings just have to be said, in a respectful way obviously, without my fear of causing something negative for Allen. I try to protect him from so much, but really, in all honesty he is stronger and more resilient than I give him the credit for. He's ok and he's going to be ok. He can handle it. I just have to find that balance.
It's hard in any relationship to decide which battles to pick and which ones to let go. I've recently, very recently, discovered that this applies to husband and wife as well. We always talk about it in relation to our kids, but it also applies to us. I have to learn that it's ok for us to not agree on everything. Or for me to be able to tell him when something is bothering me without fearing that it will cause a negative response in him. I have to learn to trust him.
I've been doing this on my own now since 2005. It's hard to give up that control and learn that I can count on him for certain things. I think that we really do a pretty good job of communicating with each other most of the time, but I just have to build my confidence in him that he can handle it. It's time that I let him have some control back and shoulder some responsibilities. He definitely has taken on a lot more of this since coming home this time, but it's still hard to find that balance.
Just like everything in life, I am still a work in progress. I try to balance it all, but it's really hard sometimes in many ways. I have to trust that Allen is in a good place and really can handle more than I give him credit for. We can't work on us, if we can't talk to each other.