It’s weird how unexpected, random things can leave you shaken, hurt and angry.
Last night I received an email from a friend in regards to my separation. The tone of the email was almost “my husband and I have decided you guys will be our pet project and we will fix your marriage”. Maybe it wasn’t like that at all – but that’s how it felt.
They took things I had said completely out of context and even completely reversed the meaning of something I had said. They then quoted this random relationship book repeatedly and tried to diagnose us both and if we just used this book all our problems would be fixed.
Part of it, I guess, is my fault. I have gotten to the point where, apart from this blog – which is as close to anonymous as I can get, I try very hard not to bad mouth him too much. When they asked why I gave a basic, toned down version of what happened and why I left him. I also said that if things changed – if he really decided to make an effort- I would consider a reconciliation. At the end of the day I don’t want my marriage to end. I would love to be able to pick up again and really make a go of it. But honestly, that’s me dreaming. I can tell you from first hand experience – a relationship won’t work if it is just one half trying to make it work. It takes two people.
I was already having a crappy night. I was mopey and headachy and just feeling generally crap. Sitting in bed watching pixar movies and this email appears. It was all downhill from there. I stewed on it for a bit before returning a pretty blunt email. I don’t resent the wanting to help, I don’t resent them wanting us to make it work, but I do resent them thinking they have all the answers to a problem they don’t fully understand. I would never presume to know why someones relationship ended. Even if they had told me why – you never really know what went on behind closed doors.
My marriage didn’t end on a whim. We didn’t go out with a bang. I wasn’t just bored and looking for something or someone better. It was a thought out decision that I tried to make several times over the the years – I even physically left a few times….but fear, doubt and loneliness saw me come back every time. I once even threw myself head first into a new relationship just to not end up back with him…totally backfired. I got pregnant to this new douchebag, he offered me large sums of money in exchange for an abortion and dumped me via sms the day I miscarried and I ended up with an infection and was nursed back to health by my husband…at that point I was greatful for a) someone seeming to care for me and b) clearly the rest of the men in the world were more fucked so this was as good as it gets. Not really the basis for a healthy relationship.
Back to my email response. I was probably a lot more blunt than I needed to be, and I didn’t want to come across as rude, but I figured I needed to be more clear. I married a compulsive liar. A cheater. A lazy, lazy man who couldn’t be bothered to work, shower or make any sort of effort in our relationship. A man who constantly put his old school mates before our marriage. Someone who blew off work to go play lego with a friend (when he was almost 30 and married with 4 kids…and yes, he got fired). Someone who would not share even the tinest part of himself with me. We saw a few couples therapists over the years…each one told me to my face there was NOTHING they could do to help unless he underwent some serious and intense therapy of his own. I went for almost ten years feeling disgusting because he not once instigated sex with me (but the night I was admitted to intensive care for attempted suicide – he slept with someone else…after he had been told I was in hospital). A man who walks around pretending to be this uber feminist type guy (his blog is filled with feminist issues) – and yet on more than one occasion when sex physically hurt and I wanted it to stop…didn’t.
I asked for less and less from him as the years went on. Every time he had a complaint about the way I was acting or who I was as a person I did everything in my power to change for him – to the point where I don’t even recognise the person I am any more. In the last six months of our relationship I asked for two things. 1. To come to bed with me 2-3 nights a week (instead of staying up and sleeping on the lounge). This was not sex related…I just want to fall asleep next to the man I loved. and 2. A date night once a month. Nothing fancy. It could have been sandwhiches on the school oval at the end of the block for all I cared. I just needed for “us” to be important just 1-2 hours a month. Not only did none of these happen – he actively refused to do it. He went along to the first date night (as I organised it and took him to see a movie he wanted to see) but next month he didn’t want to do anything. I thought they were pretty reasonable requests and he turned me down flat.
Most people see him as this awesome guy. He seems to love his family, he hangs out a lot with his kids. He does almost all the cooking in this house and the laundry. But that’s kind of it. He won’t even help with the rest of the cleaning of the house. He takes very little interest in homeschooling (and yet tells everyone he is). But because he is a man who cooks and can be left alone with his children for more than five minutes I am suppose to be grateful??? Are there no qualities of mine that made him lucky to have me?
To make things even clearer – I do not regret having children with him. He is a great dad and genuinely loves his girls. He would probably do just about anything for them. He can nurture and give discipline. He can play tea party and burping games. My only real criticism is that sometimes he forgets our daughters are not his little brothers…but even then I think thats my issue, they don’t seem to have a problem with it.Our relationship failed because our relationship failed. It had nothing to do with parenting which I am pleased to say we still agree on almost every parenting decision. United front!
I just feel defeated, you know? I am trying to be the nice guy. He is still living on my lounge and is still unemployed. But I let him because I don’t want the father of my kids homeless. I try not to bad mouth him. I try really hard to be nice and polite and civil even when I want to slap him for humiliating me yet again. I just don’t know how long I can keep this up without going insane.