Hello all, and thank you for following me to this new place.
Right now is a time of tides turning, seasons changing, all that scary/new/exciting stuff. I've thought so much about how to present all this, but I think I just have to go straight from my heart.
If you've read my previous blog you know that my relationship with my husband has never been complete smooth sailing. And I know every relationship is flawed in some way, I do - but we've had way more than average flaws. Throw into that mix crazy job schedules, two kids, a dog, a cat, two fancy rats; depression and anger issues (him), simmering resentment and unfulfillment (me), two VERY different outlooks on life, and a serious breakdown in communication ... and my friends, you get a very messy situation.
Long story short, he came from an unhappy home and grew up watching an unhealthy marriage. I grew up in a fairly happy home with parents who adore each other and are each other's best friends. When all of our issues started piling up and the few times we tried to talk it out ended in screaming matches, we just stopped talking. Or looking at each other. This has been going on for the better part of a year. To him, we were living in the same house and raising our kids together and were able to be civil when we were around each other. He thought things were fine. To me, everytime I was around him I was in turns angry, hurt, sad, or frustrated. I couldn't relax, I couldn't truly enjoy my kids, I could barely concentrate on anything for a minute. This all came to a head when he discovered I was having an emotional affair. I honestly was at a point that I didn't think he would care, that we were both strictly there for the kids. First lesson: don't assume. Second lesson: always, always be honest. Not just in marriage - once you have children together, you've created something greater than yourself and you have a higher obligation to a moral standard, no matter your beliefs.
The full range of his anger and his simmering depression came out, and he said a lot of thing that I knew he would say. He called me names and told me he was only there for the kids. That he would never forgive me and that I was a horrible person. That the person I was having the affair with could care less about me. Then he took my wedding band back and told me to leave.
I went to my parents house (the girls were there, thankfully both napping) I spent the day talking to them and my sister and crying my eyes out. I physically hurt all over and was nauseous. I couldn't stop asking why - WHY was he not satisfied, and not working harder to appreciate his wife? Yes I did something wrong. But as a friend said to me "You jumped off the cliff but he pushed you right to the edge". When I returned to our home that night with the kids we put them both to bed and then stayed up talking and crying until 2 in the morning. I got up the next morning and made the girls pancakes and had to get ready for work. He was civil to me in front of the kids and then would whisper an insult. I went to work and spent the day in my office with the door closed, trying to work but mostly sobbing.
He called me mid-afternoon and said we needed to have a real talk, and I arranged for my sister to watch the girls that night for a few hours. He and I went to the reservoir in town and walked around it for 2 hours. All the anger had left him and he was confronted with the fact that he had been a shitty husband. And that there is a real possibility that our marriage may be over. That I've spent the last 12 years of my life trying to help him emotionally mature and there have only been baby steps on his part, and that I was fed up and tired. We cried, we talked like friends. Because we have been for the last 12 years and will always be very, very good friends. He shocked me by saying he knew he needed individual therapy and that he was going to start going. We are also in couples therapy because no matter how this turns out, we are NOT leaving our marriage with any issues between us that will cause our kids stress.
Neither one of us knows what is going to happen. But we have come to a place of honesty and communication, to the friendship that has always been our base. We have committed to always being there as a united front for our girls.
Marriage is weird. I've always thought it was just one big leap of faith. So should I ignore what's in my heart and plow along, and hope for the best? We've been in therapy before with limited results, will this time be different? Can working at a marraige long enough replace something that's not there, or do people just become complacent and get comfortable?
I don't even have some of the answers. For now I'm taking every day slowly, and trying to keep my eyes and heart open and believe that everything will work out exactly like it should.