Divorce on Tuesday; Couple’s Tattoos on Saturday

The last several weeks have been centered around chaos and turmoil in my home which has sadly kept me from my true intentions by allowing it to do so. After my crush decided he only wanted to be friends, my life began to really change drastically between my husband and myself. The night I got the news and wrote a blog about it and my husband was very triggered and we got a fight after a great night at our favorite bar. 

That night I told him his inability to allow me to do things with others outside of my relationship plutonically makes me miserable. He thought about it for a bit and then decided it would probably be better off if we ended our ten year relationship and got a divorce as he didn’t know if he could stop using his fear of abandonment against me. I stated that was not what I wanted, I wanted him to work on his emotions so that I could also continue to work on healing myself.

A few days later a family altercation on my birthday lead to a week’s worth of verbal abuse over social media between my husband and step brother, I quit my job as my grandmother’s caregiver, and my husband had a miniature melt down that slammed him with depression and self loathing. This lead to him getting a therapist through his health insurance and he has currently attended one session. Due to our fight with family, we missed our first marriage counseling session since December because we did not have a babysitter. I wish now we would have just taken our daughter with us as we cannot get back in again until mid June.

My husband returned to work as normal the next week and I had resumed talking  to my crush now friend fairly often since my birthday. He had an accident on an ATV in his front yard and sustained a concussion. After intially refusing to go to the hospital, he was acting strange for several days. He ended up having some personal issues as a result of his concussion symptoms​ and I had been checking in on him daily because I was genuinely worried about him.

This past Tuesday I asked my friend when an upcoming appointment was and he responded sometime in March. I asked if he meant March, 2018 and he responded “No, March of this year.” I told him that it was now April, 2017 and asked if he knew what day it was. He responded about his concussion and then I did not hear from him at all. I began to get frantic as I read some of the injuries that could form from a concussion and thought I should go check on him.

I knew from his description somewhere close to where I thought he lived and headed there as soon as I got my family fed at my husband’s suggestion. He asked me to just check on my friend and come home as soon as I could. I agreed to his request but soon disregarded it after my arrival and text messages kept coming every twenty minutes. I know my husband has social and anxiety issues, but after ten years of being back in his life and fully committed to him, my normal empathy for his feelings was replaced with anger.

I hadn’t seen my friend since around St. Patrick’s day or interacted with him in any flirtatious manner since the decision to be friends was made. I wanted to make sure my friend was really alright and in all honesty we probably had the best conversation we have ever had this far in our journey; except for my rising anxiety at the angry texts coming from my husband. I was incredibly irritated by this point and decided that if he didn’t trust me enough to even talk with someone I care about after all these years that he never really had and realized this happened every time I left the house for the most part.

I have never cheated on him, and I isolated myself for a decade because he would always have something negative to say about the people I choose to spend time with. When he comes along to something he is not interested in attending he makes me miserable by constantly sighing, rolling his eyes, or tapping his foot. If he stays home, he makes me miserable constantly texting me and demanding the attention still be placed on him by my rising anxiety to check my phone constantly in the hopes to not return home to a hurt or irrate husband. That night I got sick of walking on the eggshells and decided they cut too deep.

I returned home two and half hours after I left my home, admittedly at a very late time. My husband was asleep on the couch where he said he would be and I approached him to speak with him. He was madder than I had ever seen him in the seventeen years we have known one another. He asked me to get away from him because all he felt was betrayal and rage and he wanted to hit me for the first time ever, to cause me pain. He did say he did not really want to physically hit me nor would he hit me so I left and went to the bedroom.

The next morning he was very icy as he dressed for work and left with little to no interaction. We texted and fought all day long and when he got off work that afternoon we sat down and he told me he wanted a divorce. He said he would not be able to forgive me for my actions and that all trust and faith in me were gone. He was infuriated that as a mental health professional I had put another mans welfare before his and that I was unable to understand how far the depths of the feelings he had been holding inside really were. 

I was shocked and immediately started crying. I asked him to wait for a bit, to do more therapy, get a proper diagnosis, and perhaps start some medication before making a final decision about the fate of our relationship. We both agreed to work on things between now and the end of May and reasses where we are both at then. We both love each other tremendously, I would not have stayed with a man I did not love for a decade. I know that if we stay together or divorce I will always love him as a friend, father, and someone I know that will always genuinely love me back. 

We decided that we would continue to get our couples tattoos because of this reason and kept our appointment yesterday instead of cancelling as originally planned after Tuesdays events. I told my husband I no longer give him permission to read my messages but that I was not going to change my passwords. If he reads something now that he does not like, it will not be my responsibility to handle the emotions that arise for them. I will do the same in return and own my actions. This decision was made after stumbling on a post in a poly group in which most advised against this type of behavior in a healthy relationship, especially in a poly one. I also did this at his request to not vent about him to others I know after he stated that venting on my blog would even be better for him, and received this advice from multiple sources.

I need my husband to trust me when I spend time with plutonic friends or even others I love because without it, we have nothing. I need my husband to know that I am level headed enough to take care of myself and although I am still learning new boundaries, I’m stronger than I have ever been in every aspect of my life. I would not do anything to intentionally hurt anyone,  and I know I have areas to improve and my husband does as well. I’ve realized that even if my husband does not care for the people I care to have in my life, that is his problem.

I will continue to work with him on becoming more comfortable with me being away from him and check in, try to be honest as possible, and be realistic in my time frames to the best of my abilities. I would like for my husband in turn allow me the time and respect to do the things I enjoy with or without him, and without intimidating me with guilt or fear of conflict and the barage of negative comments about myself, my decisions, and my loves and intrests. 

In the past three weeks I am happier now than I have ever been simply because I know that I am healing, I’m not afraid to be alone, and I’m tired of living my life according to everyone else’s feelings. I will continue to put my husband and household before my free time, but I will start doing things I enjoy with people I enjoy being with and hope it works to a satisfactory compromise with my husband.

I do not know if my husband has been checking my messages at this point, but I also no longer care as I never had a reason to hide in the first place and I still do not. It feels strange that the week your husband tells you he wants a divorce is the same week you get a couple’s tattoo and write about how you still feel happy about your life, but it is the life I live. I do love my husband, and if he choose to leave, I would be lying to say it wouldn’t be reluctantly on my part. 

He is my best friend and support system, he is the one that has gotten me through the pits and cracks our traumas have caused us and always stood by my side. I know we are very different from one another and it takes so much work for me and him to remain together, but so far it has been worth it and I’m committed to continue working on it until we determine what is truly best for us and our children. I hope he feels the same and that we are able to overcome the obstacles placed in front of us.

Communicating for You

My biggest fault in every relationship I’ve been in life thus far has been in the area of communication. I struggle with it daily, although improving my skills is one of my goals. Sex, money, friends, kids, extra curriculars, plans, appointments, doing what you say and meaning it; all are areas of communication in which I have aimed to increase their effectiveness. I learned a long time ago that people pleasing only leads me to misery, yet I still find it hard to communicate my desires.

As a child I was taught to be respectful of others and treat all with the golden rule in mind. I was passive as it was and excruciatingly shy, and terrified to hurt anyone else. These are admirable traits for one to have but when they begin to errode away at the core person underneath it all, it can set the course for disaster. I’m not sure when my insatiable desire to be the peacemaker came into play, but I’m assuming it was sometime after my parents got divorced when I was five.

Of course I was too young to understand the situation but looking back now I can see how I lost an extreme sense of security in my life. I remember the pain in my parents eyes as they asked me and my brother who we wanted to live with and the intense terror that filled my body when forced to give an answer. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t still live with both. My dad had spent the majority of my childhood helping to care for me during my mom’s working hours and we were more than close.

The day they asked us I was watching the Care bears with my little brother at the house on Thompson Street in McGehee, the only house I had ever known. My mom and dad came in and turned off the tv to tell us we needed to talk. I don’t remember anything that was said other than my mom asking me if it would be OK if we lived in another house while daddy stayed in ours. Being little, I just wanted to avoid the conversation at all costs and quickly blurted out, “sure.”

The next thing I can remember is packing our belongings and moving into a big older home across town. The house was pretty and it had an enormous yard, but that is when I stopped sleeping at night. I would lay awake for hours starting at the shadows, the hedges, and rose bushes outside my window that were cast across the ceiling of my room. I always felt scared there and my brother had a cot in my mom’s room where they slept together. I always wanted to seek comfort from my parents like I had when I was little, but now it was just Mom in their bed in a room that wasn’t theirs.

I would remain in my own room until morning thinking I was a big girl now, life was changing rapidly and then the sun would rise and it was almost the same again, I got ready for school and made my way to Mimi and Paps for the day. My best friend lived next door, and a lot of kids were in the neighborhood to play with, but when night crept back in so did the insecurity.

I began to find it difficult to handle conflict of any type and would basically do anything to avoid it. This set a precedent that followed me throughout my life and lead me to make many eronos decisions simply because I found it too difficult to hurt anyone, for any reason. Now that I think back perhaps I was punishing myself for the hurt my parents felt during their divorce. We were told it wasn’t our fault, we had nothing to do with the dissolution of our parents marriage, that we were good kids, etc. But I wonder, deep down, if my codependent tendencies began to occur after the divorce served as it’s catalyst.

I know divorce is prevelant in our society, and as a young child in the eighties, it was more common, but I did a lot more growing up in the five year old body than I ever realized was taking place. In a matter of weeks I went from having what I perceived as a loving family, the only home I had ever known, to my parents at odds in a home across town in a strange bedroom. Within months, my mother transferred to another city for employment and we moved into my grandma, Beebo’s house, and by the end of the school year I was living in Crossett.

I liked our new house on Pecan street but I missed my dad and my old friends. I had a new day care to go to, which I honestly hated with a passion, but my room wasn’t as scary. I slowly began to make friends but would panic at the first threat or sign of discord. I would do anything to keep someone from being mad at me and I would put myself between friends to keep the peace without hesitation. I know now that this set me up for disaster later in my life, but the pieces only started making sense recently.

Through custody fights, seeing the police in my front yard and the terror I felt when I thought they were going to take him away, the journals of cruel deeds done to one another unknowingly read while cleaning the house, all of the things they did to one another because they were hurt. It made me vow to never get married to a man I didn’t think I could spend eternity with if kids were involved. I never wanted my kids to deal with the trauma of having to choose which parent to live with.

In the last year I have learned, as most adults do, the real reason my parents divorced. Surprisingly, I was never told by either of my parents, but by bits my brother and I pieced together or stories I was told from other relatives. I learned that many events, no longer important, lead to the dissolution of my parents marriage, but the largest part of their downfall was a lack of communication. Not being able to communicate effectively was the cause of their demise and subsequently the demise of many relationships in my life.

Yesterday my husband and I had a long conversation about communication. He was frustrated about our finances, which is understandable. I realized my fear of conflict, my unwillingness to handle rejection with grace, and my fear of doing and saying what I wanted was ultimately going to be the demise of my relationship if I didn’t stop hiding behind my fears. I vowed to stop living with my impulsive decisions that seem to offer temporary satisfaction. Instead I will own my thoughts and behavior and defend my actions as choices I made for the better good and most importantly for myself and my needs and even wants. I am worthy of that, and so are the people I love.