Friday, June 23, 2006

Crossroads

Posted by Anonymous (as always, no relation to previous Anonymous posters. )

If you'd like to use this space to vent or rant or tell the stories/secrets/confessions of your dangerous maternal (or paternal!) mind, send me an e-mail and you too can enjoy the refuge of the Basement...

*******

This entry is so hard and so easy for me to write. Easy due to the anonymity finally afforded to me but difficult because it's still sharing stuff that I don't know I should share. But I will because I am guessing that I'm not alone here. Since I've had my baby, even before I had my child, things have been falling apart in my marriage. I met my husband when I was young. And, I have been with him ever since. When we met I had been in several relationships, both short and longer term. I think I thought I was ready to meet "the one" and I thought he was it. I should go back and say when I was young, 13, I was in a pretty damaging relationship with a guy about 10 years older and I think that really influenced my dating life as I matured. So, when I met my husband, then boyfriend, I was very determined to make it work, and I pushed for it to work. I made him what I wanted and I made me what he wanted and when I graduated from school I got married.

The only problem was, I suddenly got into this marriage and realized that marriage is a huge commitment. And, I panicked. I was young and scared. And, having grown up as "the ugly duckling" I was developing into a somewhat pretty adult, and all of a sudden there was a lot more attention being paid to me by guys. I almost cheated, almost, and then didn't. And when I spoke to my husband about that he accused me of cheating on him, and still does accuse me of that. Over and over and over. But, I did the right thing. I went to counselling and I worked on issues. I tried to become a better person, to like myself more and to be successful. The only problem was the my husband wasn't really on board. If I went to the gym and worked out and was tired I was told that I shouldn't do so much. If I had friends who were, gasp, male there was a cloud of suspiscion over that friendship. But, we plugged on and there were high points and low points typical of any marriage.

And, then I got pregnant. I loved pregnancy because for a full 10 months I was treated well. I was the beloved, and everything was good. We had occassional fights, but they were about nursery colours and baby names, not about the type of person I was or what I was doing right or wrong. But, then the baby came and after a few short months of chalking everything up to having a newborn, we started to fight again. Except the fights got worse. He would scream at me more than he ever had. Like full out screaming, not just the stupid quiet telling me off I was used to. And, I would yell too. It was ridiculous. It still is ridiculous.

We tried marriage counselling. But, that only helped in the short term. I was supposed to improve some things and he was supposed to improve some stuff. And, when the counsellor went through a check list of: did you do this, did you do that, he proudly sat there saying yes, yes, yes. But, as soon as our few weeks were over he went back to what he always did - sitting on his butt, being pissed off at me while I run around as super mom, super wife and pissed off spouse.

And, now I am at a crossroads. What do I do? Do I keep on with this? Do I keep trying to make things work? Do I accept that unless I am the parent of my child AND my husband that this relationship won't work? Why is it that I have to give him directions - constantly? Why is it that if I don't do the laundry in a week no one does. If the fridge is empty we don't fill it - we go out. Unless I take over. Why is it that I have to pick up after a child and a husband? My child is little and is learning. My husband is neither. How do you make the decision? It used to be that I thought it was in my head - that on the outside we were the perfect couple, but in my house we weren't. But, that has all changed. People are slowly seeing the cracked facade. Friends who are close keep asking me what I'm going to do. Am I going to leave? How can they help? And this isn't coming from the stories I am telling them. It is coming from them watching the interaction. Experiencing the guilt trips placed on me when I try to take some time off.

The other day a family friend who has known me a long time mentioned it. Asked if I needed anything, said he can tell I'm upset. Yet I keep on. Why? Do I love him? I'm not really sure. I wish I could say absolutely 100% yes. I love who he was, but not who he is. I can't stand the way he acts toward me. I can't stand that the spirit, the thing that makes me ME is the thing that he hates the most. But, I don't have the courage to leave. I don't know where I would go, and I don't want to face the thought of my child not seeing his dad. And, the person I should be talking about this won't talk to me. He tells me this is all my fault, that I am imagining things, that I am the one pushing him away. And, maybe I am. Because maybe I am accepting this is over. I don't know. And I don't know what to do. I don't even think I need advice because I don't know what anyone could say. I just need people to listen and to care. And maybe tell me I'm not crazy.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not crazy! Soooo not crazy.
Gasping at the powerful words you have written... so much to think about. I have no sound advice, no analogies... nothing but awe and support.
Hope others have better words to give you.

Anonymous said...

I think you're going to reach a breaking point. I mean - something is going to decide you one way or the other, finally. because right now, you're hanging by a thread with this relationship, it sounds like.

I think you're going to do what is right for you and your daughter. and I think that's what you *should* do.

and I care. and I don't think you're crazy. I think you're the definition of normal, sweetie.

*hug*

Frusty, the snowdad said...

After reading this I feel ashamed, my own problems look so small. Your situation is difficult, it appears you already have looked at every angle. What I try to understand is HIS possible point of view ... why is he so angry. Did the near cheat experience traumatize him? Is he frustrated with work, himself so that he has to find this kind of outlet? It seems that already a lot of talking and conselling had been done ... Sorry that I have no better advice .. but I can offer a big hug!

Anonymous said...

From one annonymous poster to another - you are not crazy. I had an ex-boyfriend's mother put life into one sentence for me once - and she really is right. "When the good outways the bad - it's life telling you to get off your path - find a new one." Now that doesn't always mean leave you situation - it means do what you can to change your direction. You also have to remember that if you change your direction - the people traveling with you don't always want to follow your direction and will insist on keeping on. You can only control what you do, how you behave. You are not responsible for anyone other than you or your children.

Stay strong - and if you were your child - what would you want them to do? We should never settle for less than we would let our children settle for.

Anonymous said...

His anger and constant suspicion make me wonder...did he ever cheat? I was with someone who cheated on me once, I took him back when I found out and then he became overly suspicious and accusatory toward me.

You always hear people say that marriages when you are young don't work out. The reason people make this generalization is because it is generally true. When you are so young, you barely have your own identity formed yet. Then you latch on/marry someone equally young/equally unformed identity. It is a recipe for disaster. Because sometimes, often, the people we are when we are young are miles away from the people we grow into over time and with experience.

It sounds like this has happended to you. Good luck with whatever you decide.

Annie, The Evil Queen said...

If I can be all 'Ann Landers' for a moment, I'd say, go back to counseling, either with him or without him. It might be what you need to sort out what you think with a neutral sounding board. I agree that you need to think about what kind of home you want your daughter to grow up in. I hope you find your best path soon.

Mel said...

You aren't crazy, love.
You aren't crazy!
There, now that that's out of the way: it sounds to me just exactly like you have it all figured out, what's happening and has happened, why it happened - and now you just need to weigh all of these things in the balance and decide what would be for the best.
Think of it like this: how will it be in five years - one year - ten years - if things continue the way that they are? How about if you do make that leap and leave? What will things be like for you in one year - five years - ten years?
The immediate future is always the scariest, because that's where all the hard stuff exists, right there in front of you. Look beyond that point, at what you want for your life and that of your boy in the future.
Can you make a happy life with your husband? Would you be better off trying for a happy life without him?
And whatever you do, start making an exit plan in case things progress from screaming at you to worse than screaming at you. It's just a smart thing to do.
And all that aside, one more time, you're not crazy!!!
(((((((((you))))))))))

Jaelithe said...

You are not crazy. Marriage is hard. Committing to spend your entire life with one person, no matter how you or the other person may change over time, is an enormous undertaking. Nearly every married person is tempted to cheat sometimes. Nearly every married person is tempted to leave sometimes. It's not the temptations themselves so much as how we react to them that matters.

Having a child complicates matters further, because there is so much work to be done when it comes to raising children, and unless both parents are constantly compromising and constantly communicating about what needs to be done to care for the child, it seems like one parent almost always winds up with more responsibility than the other.

You felt compelled to be honest with your husband about your doubts and temptations-- you felt that your love for him obligated you to be honest with him-- and now he has twisted your honesty into a weapon against you, an excuse to let him out of a great deal of the work that goes into maintaining a relationship. "So I don't help as much as I should around the house-- so what?" he can say, "She almost cheated on me. Nothing I do now can ever be as bad as that."

This isn't fair to you at all, because you didn't actually do anything wrong, but he may not be able to help it right now. Perhaps he still hasn't recovered from the hurt your confession, however well-intentioned, caused him.

But whatever his reasons for acting this way, it's clear that your marriage can't function unless he gets over this perceived slight and learns to trust and respect you. And stops whining about his own insecurities long enough to pick up some groceries and do some laundry, without being told.

I am all for saving marriages if they can be saved, especially if children are involved. If I were you, I would insist on more counselling, maybe with a different therapist who would be interested in making sure things kept working over the long haul. And if he tells you he thinks you're crazy and the troubles in your marriage are all in your head, say, "Exactly. I'm crazy. This situation is driving me crazy. That's why we need counselling." If he won't agree, though, you have to do whatever you have to do to save your sanity. It is terrible to have to put a child through divorce, but it is often more terrible to put a child through a sham of a marriage.

Good luck, and I hope things get better.

Anonymous said...

You are not crazy. And look at all the people who care.

Marriage is so so hard. And what your going through is awful. I agree with one of the commenters above, if you can get back into counselling with him that could help. If he won't do it then it might help for you to go on your own.

At the end of the day you need to prioritize your happiness and sanity for your sake and the sake of your child. Whatever decisions you make those things should be paramount.

Sending lots of good and hopeful vibes your way...

Michele said...

Let me be the 10th person to say you are not crazy. At all. Marriage is hard work and having a child muliplies it so many times over.
I have no advice, just want you to know I understand and I wish you peace in whatever you choose to do.
And I agree with the commenter that said this probably has to do with his anger at the almost cheating. He needs to resolve that and stop being so angry at you.
Hugs.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, everyone, for your kind words. And just for listening because I needed to say that and truly be told I wasn't crazy.
And, Frusty the Snowdad. Please don't feel ashamed. Your courage to say what you did made me willing to write mine. Nothing is small - we all need support. Even if it is anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Once again, you're not crazy.

Your post made me think of a book/website that friends of mine have recommended to one another - www.divorcebusting.com. I haven't checked it out personally, but they have raved about it, as it really helped them get their heads together as they figured out how to address their marital problems.

Andrea said...

Not crazy. Reading over the comments here, I can't add much more (and I second everything Jaelithe said) other than to offer up my support. He has to get over your confession and at least attempt to try to reconcile the problems, or your marriage is just a veneer, and a cracking one at that. There are TWO people to every marriage, and he can't seriously expect you to be the one to fix it all without his help. Trying through the duration of counseling is not enough. I agree that more counseling should be considered, because obviously there are issues that have yet to be resolved.

bubandpie said...

It sounds as if the counselling you did had a behaviorist focus, but didn't really tap into whatever is underlying your husband's aggression. When you say that you "almost" cheated, do you mean that you considered it but then decided against it, but your husband refuses to believe you're telling the truth about that? Or is your husband angry about physical intimacy that was shared even though you didn't go "all the way"? Either way, he needs to deal with whatever feelings that incident unleashed if your marriage is to survive: that needs to be a focus in any counselling you do. I agree with Jaelithe that at some level your husband is choosing to hang onto this grievance because it gives him so much power, so much license to treat you poorly. I'm concerned about the verbal abuse you've described. That can't continue - you can't let your child grow up with that.

Anonymous said...

if you're angry about no help on household chores, then mayve you should revisit how those have been "assigned." if you're angry because you think you do everything around the house, then you either have to change your flexibility with timelines on when they get done, or do them yourself if it makes you happier to get them done then be angry about them not getting done.

obviously, ideally, the partner would agree to compromise on who does chores and when they get done. being supermom seems to make you resentful, so you should quit doing the chore-y stuff that makes you resent him.

if it's about chores, let 'em not get done and see if he notices. he might and he might not, but it would be helpful to know exactly how much time passes before he notices/does something. however, you have to be willing to let go during that experimental period. also, do your own and baby's laundry and let hubby do his own on his own time.

after my baby was born and i was home taking care of him and the house, i got really worked up about things not getting done (according to my timeline). then hormones wore off and i went back to work and i didn't care about chores anymore.

SUEB0B said...

Not crazy. Not crazy. You deserve better than this, and I hope you get it. I have SOOOOO been there with the lack of help, the lack of appreciation, the lack of loving kindness.

I moved out. If I had kids, I know it would not have been that simple. I wish you all the best.

Anonymous said...

My daughter is 11 years old now. I stayed with her father for more than 9 years too long. I was staying for her. I am out of that relationship now. I am in a new relationship where I am treated with respect and love and acceptance. Now I know the damage that the emotionally abusive relationship caused. It will take a long time to heal. I don't think it was good for my daughter to see her mother criticized and yelled at, I also don't think it was healthy for her to see her father constantly annoyed and angry. My self-esteem was shattered. Please deal with it within the relationship or get out. People told me to leave - but I thought I could fix him. As long as I was there it was my problem not his.
Good luck. My heart goes out to you.

Anonymous said...

I could have written this post, I'm in a similar situation and I too don;t know what it will take for me to finally say ENOUGH. I wish you well, I wish you strength and for both of us, some respect and happiness.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone ever thought to ask the Father whats up??? Not tryin to say that what you are saying isnt true, but it seems a little far fetched, i dont know, i dont know you, but it seems that there is something missing in this story. i wish you well, and personally if its that bad, get the hell out! get out now, while your kid is young, it wont scar him cause he is too young to blame himself. plus, that gives the father time to get used to not seeing him every single day. i know it sucks, but, get the f**k out!

Al_Pal said...

I hear you, I care, you're not crazy.

I'd love to see a follow-up from this author.

Wishing well; peace.