My husband's cousin once encouraged me to stay in my marriage by saying, "Hold on there is another side." I had a man in his 70's tell me, "It took me 47 years to grow up. Hang in there." Well my husband will be 50 in November and he is just this year showing the most continuous growth.
I sit in awe when he gets something I introduced to him 20 years ago. Our relationship has truly forced me to learn to meet others where they are. He had so many issues, (abadonment, neglect, institutionalism, low self-esteem, inferiority complex, and male brain syndrome.
Believe me, I had my share of issues, but I was working on myself when I met him. He would get angry because I would cry and fret over trying to figure it all out. I would do all I could to try to understand why the things happened to me that took me so far away from who I really was. My family and environment forced me to be someone I did not know. When I met him, I had been away for almost a year. It wasn't long enough for me to be over anything. He would encourage me to just not think about it, or ignore my desire to be someone better.
He lived his life that way for a long time and now he is paying dearly, because not only does he have to deal with the stuff he ran from, but he is also dealing with his chronic illnesses. He tried to use to "just ignore it," mindset, but what he found out is the body has its own timetable. Now he is paying dearly for taking that approach.
I, on the other hand, am pretty balanced and very healthy considering I've been fat all my life. All I can do is have compassion for him and be grateful we are on the other side.