Monday, March 23, 2009

The Edict

The last thing I had to do was go to the apartment and tell him why I was leaving.  It couldn't be a surprise, I have brought it up a million times in our marriage and we'd been in counseling.  But he was.  He was surprised that I didn't think that things were as great as he did.  He couldn't believe that I didn't have the same hopes for our future as him.  And because I hate to hurt people I stayed with him.  We talked all night and and I tried to explain to him how we could make it work.  We could live close, we could still be friends and spend time together with Cade. He would still be welcomed by my parents at our barbecues during football season.  He didn't want to sleep alone, so I told him that I would stay with him that night and then he could pick Cade up the next night. And I told him that he could finally get a dog, and the dog could sleep in bed with him at night. That actually seemed to comfort him some.

But the night was long...and there were tears.  Mind you, when his mother passed away suddenly almost four years ago, I never saw him shed a tear.  But he cried and my will broke. He is such a sweet man.  And I love him.  Sure, it is the love that most feel for their family members, but that is what he has become.  He is family.  And so, without him even having to ask, I said that I would stay.  We made promises to change all manner of behaviors between the two of us. And of course, step up the counseling.

Since then, things have been better.  He has been more involved with Cade, complimentary of me, and extremely helpful.  Those eyes that drew me in the first night haven't lied.  He has a sweet heart and a kind nature.  I truly believe that he has never been in love in order to know what true love feels like.  No, it's not easy, but you put yourself behind those that you love.  You sacrifice so that they can be happy and you work to show them that they are important to you. While he is able to do so when times are easy, he cannot see past himself when the going gets tough.  And really, I have not been perfect.  How would anyone like to live with someone who has mini-breakdowns every year or so?  I don't cook and I don't clean.  These are all things that I have to work on.  I just want to do it without the weight of an unhappy marriage.  Is that me just being selfish and giving up too easily?

So, as I mentioned when this story started, we had our first post-divorce scare counseling session.  I can only tell you what I perceived from the session.  I was told that even if I did separate from my husband, life would still be a struggle.  Besides, our counselor said, there is no guy in his right mind that would want to hook up with me considering my history of mental illness and inability to control my finances.  So, what I gathered was that I'm pretty lucky just to have a man in my life at all.  I was told that my idealism about our separation and divorce were not based on biblical principles, and thus, will not work.  Our counselor asked me to give it another six months (he asked me for three more months four months ago).  This time, we are going to meet 3 weeks together and one week with just me, because I apparently need the most work. See, I had the indecency to question the applicability of biblical principles to our marriage. I was given books that will help me to understand.  And I am to start going to church regularly and pray and read the bible so that I will be in a better frame of mind and realize that God can make all things possible.

Forgive the tone in my writing.  I am trying very hard to subscribe to my new life as a Baptist.  I simply have issues with having my life dictated to me.  Our counselor told me that he never wanted me to check my brain at the door, so if I had questions, just ask.  But the skeptic in me wonders why, so that he can tell me what to think on that matter as well?

The thing is, in January I started a life change.  I began eating well and working to find happiness in myself.  After visiting another therapist to make sure that my bipolar disorder was in check he told me that it seemed to him like I had a great grasp on things and was making the effort needed to improve my situation.  I have the support of my family.  I love my job. I am finally feeling somewhat strong and stable.  But I am unhappy with my domestic situation and I can't see a light in the tunnel up ahead.

So the questions is, what if my motives really are self-driven and wrong?  People can change.  I have to believe that because I have to believe that I can change.  In turn, doesn't that mean that Patrick can as well and I owe it to our family unit to give everything I have to getting to that place and time?  And is sex in a relationship overrated?  My parents haven't had sex in over 20 years and they are still married, though they sleep in separate rooms.  Am I doomed to something similar?  

The biggest question of all, in the long run, might I be doing more harm than good for my son? Because the bottom line is, everything I do is for him.  He is what kept me alive in the worst of times and what gives me hope about the future.  So, what now?


  1. Your story is so amazingly breath-taking.

    I'll tell you one thing. The only thing that I feel I have even the slightest bit of right to comment on.

    My mom divorced my father when I was two. She remarried my "dad" when I was 5. I _could_not_be_happier. He is more of a dad to me then anyone ever will be. As far as my father goes? I love him, but I would not have been the same person with him in my life. I don't like him for my mom. I like the way my mom and dad work together, I like the fact that EVERYONE loves their relationship. It gives me great hope, and makes me realize that I can hope to achieve EXACTLY that. If my mom was still married to my father, their marriage would have been (and would still be) horrible, and I would probably think to myself "that's the closest to a happy relationship that I can hope for."

    I mean...aren't you questioning YOUR parents' relationship?

    Otherwise...I absolutely love reading you. It's like a suspense thriller. You just want to know what happens next.

    Hopefully there's happy ending for you somewhere in there erin.

    Either way..I'm going to keep on reading you.

  2. The best thing that has ever happened to me so far in life was my parents splitting up.

  3. Wow. You know, considering my son keeps asking me if we can get our own place and let Daddy have his own place, I think he might benefit as well.

    Thank you guys SO MUCH for your input!

  4. Erin--you are not alone. I felt so many connections with this post. I hope everything works out for you and your family--in a way that's the best for ALL of you : )

  5. The question I ask is do you want that for yourself? Only you can decide. Does it make you sad knowing your parents don't have sex? Everyone is different. I, like many others, feel very connected with this post as I just left a 3 year relationship because I simply didn't want to marry him. The lifestyle I would have in marrying him was not where I wanted to see myself, so I changed it. Of course, he wasn't a horrible boyfriend and I ended up thinking I wanted him back (see whats wrong with you, on SIAM) and he no longer loved me. I had never been so devastated but in reading this post I realized this is the best thing in the world that could of happened. I didn't want him to be my husband, I didn't want to have sex with him the rest of my life, I didn't want to marry a burnt out loser. I thank him for not taking me back. Thank you for posting your struggles, as hard as it is to put yourself out there, you've already made a difference in a 20 year old girls life.

  6. That is great woohoo! It is hard to decide not to settle. Sometimes I feel like I am pushing him away when no one else would want me anyway. But I realized that I would be happier alone than in an unfulfilling relationship.

    What I am realizing is that I have always taken the easy road. Anything in my life that has been hard has been inflicted on me by others. But you can't grow without pain, and I am definitely stagnant right now. Running yesterday hurt like hell, but I just kept telling myself that most of what I do to fix myself isn't going to feel good.

    As for my parents, I have always thought of it as the norm. My dad's parents had separate rooms, my parents do (they say it is due to his snoring). And anymore, sex IN marriage just seems odd to me. When my married friends mention having sex, I'm like, "Seriously? You guys still do that??"

  7. It is so hard to decide not to settle. Its amazing what you can talk yourself into believing isn't it? The stagnant mind is a dangerous thing.

    The last 3 months have been the most horrible of my life, I have never endured such hardships. I will not give up my dreams though and I HAVE to continue school. I need to stay away from boys as well, which is easier said than done, as we know.

    My parents do the exact same thing. I have never seen them in the same bed. After 3 years with my ex I felt "bored" too. I'm sure a little boredom is normal but I just don't think I could have sex with only him, for the rest of my life.

    I understand how hard it must be to have a son in the mix of things as well. I can tell you though, if you are fighting all the time, he will be a much happier child if you are divorced. I remember having friends call me when their parents were fighting and just wishing they would divorce.

    Remember, you are NEVER selfish for wanting what is best for you.

    There is a quote I am getting tattooed on my ribcage in the next few weeks from Joan of Arc that helps me a lot..

    "I am not afraid, I was born to do this."

  8. Actually, we don't really fight. There isn't enough passion to muster even an argument. But there is palpable tension in our voices at times. We are both extremely calm, so when we are angry we talk more slowly and quietly. I think Cade gets that.

    Let me tell you something, if I have one regret in my life, it is that I always followed the guys in my life. I made all of my big life decision based on a guy. I was either running from or to someone. Even though 31 seems way too late to me to begin, I want to start making decisions based solely on my child and myself. But right now, I don't have the strength for that.

    Hang in there woohoo. I would give anything to go back to 20 and know what you know now.

  9. Thank you for the advice Erin. I have already started a horrible path of following boys (I remember the days when I would dream I would attend a university in Florida) but I am trying with all my might to change that. I have started counseling, reading all the books, now its all on me. I know at the end of the day the only person who will be there with me is, well, me so I better love it and get used to it, right?

    You hang in there too, life is definitely not easy but I've heard it was worth it. =)