Friday, December 23, 2016

Perspective

There are two sides to every story...  and my side has been fairly quiet in comparison to the other.

I left the home I shared with my husband in early November.  I didn't take everything I had...  I left several of my belongings and my dogs in hopes that some time apart would clear my head and help me solidify my decisions to make the separation permanent or to want to try harder to save my marriage.

Only a handful of you know that I spent much of the last six years of my life doing just that...  trying to save my marriage.  I realized early on that there were issues that needed to be addressed and worked on together as a team...  as a partnership...  yet, those issues were never met with a sincere desire to fix anything.

In the past 3 years, I mentioned "divorce" to my husband on 3 different occasions...  all 3 times were about a year's time in between.  Each time, I had talked myself down from the cliff and just resided to try harder.

Last year, in August, I was starting to feel that urge to run again...  but instead of lashing out or trying to run, I pushed myself harder into my marriage.  I tried to spice things up in and out of the bedroom.  I asked my husband constantly what I could do better.  I pleaded to see a sex therapist and do some marriage counseling...  all my efforts were thwarted and our issues were downplayed into something smaller than they really were.

I think around November or December of last year was when I just quit fighting...  I didn't realize it at the time, I just quietly allowed myself to melt away into the background of our mundane life together.

I had resorted to Craigslist to entertain the idea of having an affair.  I made friends with a few random men for flirtatious banter and attention via text messages.  - But if it got to the point where there was an expectation of sex, I would shut that down immediately by blocking phone numbers and deleting email accounts.  I didn't want to be "that girl" who cheated on her husband.  I just wanted the attention and conversation I wasn't getting at home. 

Believe me, I realize how awful this sounds...  but in all fairness, and for the sake of being transparent, I wanted to share my shortcomings and failures as a wife as well.  I have shared all this information with my husband already, so he's not finding anything new out via my online blog.    

Anyhow...

I worked like crazy, then I'd come home, cook dinner, love on my kiddos and dogs and then spend the rest of the evening in a separate room of the house from my husband.

This had become our normal day to day routine.  Some days he'd even leave right when I'd walk in the door or vice versa.

I'd leave for out of town work for several days -- we would barely speak on the phone during my time away.  I'd come home and most times he wouldn't even get off the couch to come greet me after my return.

My husband had become my roommate and live-in babysitter...  except he wouldn't cook or plan dinners... that was always my responsibility.  In the 6 years we were married, I can probably count on both hands how many times he actually cooked dinner.  Even on the days where I worked 15+ hours...  I'd come home exhausted and the first words out of his mouth would be "What do YOU want to do for dinner?"  This became a very big point of contention in our relationship.

- But alas, I digress...

We had become roommates.

He made no effort to date me or spend time with me.  The only time he'd ask his parents to watch Xander was when I was out of town so he could go do things.  - Which is funny now, because in the last 2 months, Xander has spent more time with my in-laws than he has his ENTIRE life.


- But, again, I digress...

This August, I got tired of waiting around for my husband to want to hang out with me, so I started doing things that I liked doing.  I started going to get massages.  I started going to the gym and working out.  I started getting regular manis and pedis.  I figured if he didn't want to spend time with me, I'd fill my time with things I wanted to do and spend my limited free time with friends that did want to spend time with me.

I think the real wake up call for me came when a long-time friend visited in September.  This friend has known me for over 20 years.  - After a day or two of being at my house he said, "Your husband doesn't hang out with you."  It was almost more of a question than a statement.   -- And my immediate rebuttal was, "Yeah, I know, but it works for us."

Wait...  What?

Let that sink in a minute...

When did I become THAT girl?

I've always been one to be super affectionate and cuddly.  I've always been one who needed lots of attention and reciprocated that back to my partners.  I've always been one to talk and share my deepest thoughts, feelings, dreams and aspirations with the person I chose to share my life with.

- But I haven't been that girl with my husband. - Like, not at all.  - Why not?

That changed everything for me.

Over the next month, I mentioned that to my husband.  I told him on several occasions that I felt like we never spent any time together, that he didn't like to do anything I liked to do, that he didn't talk to me like he talked to other people.  I suggested things to do with my husband.  Activities we could do together.  Asked if he needed time to go out with his friends. - And even the day before I left to go out of town for a week for my nephew's graduation from basic training, I mentioned again the need to go to marriage counseling and my request was met with a simple "What for?"

So I left town for a week...  and found the only reason I wanted to come home was to see my kids and my dogs.  I didn't miss my husband at all. 

The very next day was when all of this officially started.  - 2 weeks later, I moved out.  - And now we're here.

I think we're both at the point now where we're done.

There's no hope for us getting back together.

Too many proverbial plates have been shattered.

Too many "I'm sorry, I should have / could have handled that better"s have been tossed about.

 It is done.

He's spending time with his friends again.  He's writing music again.  He's working out everyday again.  He's doing all the things I encouraged him to do while we were married...  it only took me leaving and tearing my family apart to make him a better man for the next girl who comes along. - So to that future next girl: "You're welcome."

I tried.  God knows I tried.  I tried until I was completely depleted, desolate and numb.

When I was done, he finally decided he was ready to try.  - Too little too late, I suppose.

When my actions weren't what he wanted or expected in response to his recent "changes" he was making "for me" - he'd act erratically by hacking into my personal email accounts, reading messages and conjuring up "proof" of what he wanted or needed to hear from those messages and then shared it with MY friends to make me out to be the villain that he needed me to be.  I guess it's easier to believe I left him for some reason other than his shortcomings as a husband.  He unleashed unkind and hurtful words.  He did blatantly disrespectful things like inviting an ex-girlfriend who had been a point of contention early on in our relationship to my son's birthday party.

All these things he did and then just nonchalantly apologized for later.

So I call "Bullshit"... 

You can throw a plate against the wall and watch it shatter.  You can then apologize to the plate but that doesn't fix it.  It's still shattered.

That's how I currently feel in regards to my marriage.

It's shattered.

I left for me.  I left for my happiness.  I left for my kids' happiness.

I left because my children deserve to see what real love looks like - what a true partnership is supposed to look like - for them to not just accept that a marriage of convenience is normal.

I left for all the right reasons.  I didn't leave for or because of anyone else.

- Ironically, I left to achieve happiness, but I haven't felt this much sadness in a very long time.

Even though it was ultimately my choice to leave, it doesn't mean that I don't hurt.

It doesn't mean that I don't spend every night crying myself to sleep.

It doesn't mean that I don't mourn the loss of the years I spent in this relationship.

It doesn't mean that I don't pray every night for direction, answers, change, and peace.

It doesn't mean I'm exempt from experiencing the five stages of the grieving process:
1) Denial
2) Anger
3) Bargaining
4) Depression

And finally, 5) Acceptance...

My marriage is over.

I will be stronger on the other side of this.

My kids will respect me more for fighting for my happiness.

I wasn't ever just given anything, I've worked extremely hard for everything I've had in my life.

I will not settle for a love that's less than I deserve and be complacent just because it's the easier road.

I will find my equal.  I will find my match.  I will find my steadfast partner.  I will find my happy place.

It's just going to take some time for everything to fall into it's place.

- But until then... I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward.

Much Peace, Love and Light, My Friends.