*In a moment of weakness…. I am going back and making myself publish previously written posts… this one was written in September. I think I even published it for a few hours, then came back and reverted to draft. Maybe I’ll leave it out there this time…”
Horoscope September 04, 2012 (Today): Sometimes in life, we have to settle for good when we really wanted great. You’ve got an intensely devoted, loyal heart — and a questing, independent spirit that just won’t be tied down. This is a tough combo for some people to get, but rest assured, there are those out there who cherish this quixotic and delightful mixture. Someone who wants to blend their life with yours will understand why it is you who possess both these qualities in abundance — and won’t ask you to get rid of one or the other to satisfy them. Hang in there.
I’ve tried to sit down a write many-a-blog here in the last couple of months. I haven’t been able to finish one… the topic has changed… the mood has changed… there has been little consistency in my life. There have been highs and lows as is the ebb and flow of life, and the life of an unstable marriage. This weekend things definitely came to a head as we approached and “celebrated” our 5th year of marriage. Two weeks ago, I sat my husband down at a local restaurant and told him the following:
1. Emphatically, I do not want to end our marriage. That is the last thing I have ever wanted.
2. Our son deserves to live in a peaceful environment, a loving environment.
3. You and I have tried to work things out, and I’m finally at a point where I feel I have done everything I know to do to fix us, and none of it has worked.
4. Because we have an obligation to create a safe and happy environment for our son, I’ve researched divorce laws and think it’s time for us to separate officially inside the house until we either decide together to keep trying or figure out a way to legally separate and start the process of divorce.
Those were basically the points of our conversation. He was taken by surprise, I could tell. He said to me, “I just don’t understand why we can’t make it work.” I explained that I’ve been trying to tell him for years that we need help – I’ve come to the table with so many suggestions, begging him to come to the table with me to try to make things more peaceful between us. Each time we’ve come together temporarily, agreed that we love each other and “tried.” I say that with hesitation, because really all that comes to my mind when I think of his efforts to “try” is the way he has always reacted to my telling him that we need help, that we need to work to actively love one another. He’s told me so many times that we don’t really have problems… he’s explained, “You don’t like when people have different opinions from you…” and that’s how he’s summed up “our” problems. He’s said a few hurtful things, but it’s been mainly his method of communicating that’s been the most hurtful over the years. There’s been a whole. lot. of silence on his part. So much that it’s essentially allowed the incredible abyss between us to survive so well. I’ve told him many times that if I had the money, I’d have already been gone. I’ve explained my thoughts, my emotions, my wishes to him in writing, verbally, through tears, through anger and lately, through incredible calm. Most of the time I’ve been met with silence… no acknowledgement whatsoever of a letter, tears, a plea for discussion, a dissertation on what makes me, me and why I feel lonely and helpless at this point in our relationship.
This weekend we attempted to have a nice dinner to mark our anniversary. We dressed up and sat down, we started talking… about us. Obviously trying to keep things positive… it was very hard to do so. Right before dinner, we’d argued about getting ready. I wanted him to be excited about going out, I wanted him to have a realistic understanding of what getting ready took – with a toddler and a baby sitter arriving within 30 minutes. He wanted to drink a beer and sit on the couch, 30 minutes before the babysitter got there. I still had to finish getting ready and obviously, our baby needed to eat and be ready for bed. Somehow, we actually argued about this because as usual, I was hurt by the fact that even 30 minutes before our fancy anniversary dinner, he responded with a “don’t try to control me” tone when I told him, “aren’t you excited about going out?” I listed a few things that needed to be done, and all I got was, “I’ll be ready…” and a “leave me alone” look. So, by the time the babysitter arrived and we got into the car, I had already resigned myself to the tone the evening had taken on. I was hurt, and wasn’t going to be able to leave that hurt place just for the sake of our milestone anniversary dinner. I’m really not very good at leaving that place, I readily admit. So, as dinner proceeded and wine was consumed, I remained comfortable on my throne of “you can’t hurt me anymore” stature.
It isn’t true, that he can’t hurt me anymore. I thought it was. I thought I was so confident and ready for anything, including divorce and separation. All I have to do is look at my son’s face or hear him tell us, “Stop it!” when we raise our voices at each other and I know that separation is the right thing for him. For awhile, that made my attitude and disposition very easy. It was easy for me to move into the guest room, the guest bathroom, to tell him I had come to the unfortunate conclusion that we cannot make this work and therefore it is healthy and right to give up at this point. I felt like I was somewhat on top of the world after our initial conversation – so sure of myself and what I’d said. I felt like I was doing the right thing, period. I still think I did the right thing by bringing it to that level. When he asked me why we couldn’t make it work, I told him that I don’t know, I wish I did or I’d fix it, but the point is that it isn’t working and therefore we cannot live like this for the rest of our lives so we just need to move on and accept it for what it is for the sake of our son.
That was then… this is now. Right now, I think I’d give my right arm not to lose him, not to break up our family. The question I think I keep asking myself is whether that is because I don’t want the relationship to end, or because I don’t want to live without him. I am pretty sure I’ve been asking myself this question for almost the entire time we’ve been married. The dinner conversation resulted in a hurtful exchange – and he finally told me that he would have left by now if things were different financially as well. I brought it up, I told him, “I’m going to be very honest with you, I think it’s over. I don’t see you coming to me and trying to make it work, I can see it in your eyes and feel it in you – you’re going to just let it end.” In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t said it. I wish I’d just let the conversation flow and not put a statement with such accusatory finality sit there in the middle of our anniversary dinner. And, it went down hill from there. What I didn’t expect was to fall off of my pedestal. But, that is what I did… I fell hard over the next few days.
The reality of living without him hit me like a ton of bricks. Suddenly, all I could think of was our wedding day, the way he looked at me while we stood there promising each other that we would stick it out in the good times and the bad. We wrote our own vows, together. I love our vows. The words are framed in our bedroom; I designed a print of them and gave it to him for our 2nd or 3rd anniversary – in part because I felt that we needed a refresher. Is it normal to need a refresher that soon? I didn’t think so – the fact is we need a refresher every single day it seems. So, I’m asking myself if we’re holding on the idea of our marriage now or to each other. I think the question is the same internally now for both of us. I cried my eyes out the next day. I haven’t cried like that in years… my eyes were all but swollen shut – I just couldn’t speak without crying. When I saw him after one of my “calm” moments of the day, he looked at me and then seemingly went on with his day… showing what seemed like absolutely no concern for me. So, yes, that just made me cry harder and not because he wasn’t showing concern but because I was actually still expecting him to show concern in the way that I’ve always wanted him to. The question, “Why can’t I give up?” was like a broken record in my head and heart all weekend. All. Weekend.