Monday, June 19, 2017

Microblog Monday - And for worse

We had a wonderful weekend. We truly did.

It intersected the line between fun and productive. Lotus enjoyed it. As I was putting her to bed Saturday night I asked her what her favorite part of the day was.

"Having fun today and you and Daddy not fussing."


When we first brought Lotus home, I had this idea that D and I wouldn't fight in front of her. Then we called it fussing. We tried to always make sure she saw us hugging and kissing and making up. Or at least the PG part.

Lately, to be honest, we've fought so much that fights haven't had a distinct beginning and a distinct end. Last week our fight got so intense that L sat at the dinner table with her hands over her ears.  And sometimes, when I stayed up after the rest of the family was in bed, I wasn't sure that everything was going to be okay.

I love D. He loves me. There is no addiction, no infidelity, no abuse. My grandmother, who was married to my grandfather for 65 years said that with the exception of the aforementioned three things anything can work out. I still believe it.

But the operating word is "work." Our marriage has gone from something that just "was" to something that we need to work through. Our differences which seemed to complement each other like gears that line up perfectly. Now the gears are misaligned and grinding at each other and I'm not sure how to fix it.

Most of it is D's job. He is a teacher, and it seemed that last year they set him up to fail and then pecked at him so he would. To be honest, his administration has been helping him to get better but D is burnt out. He comes home exhausted and hides from the world. I've been home either with Lotus or writing with her in pre-k and I want company. The extrovert part of my ambivert needs adult conversation. D can't handle conversation. Add to that my grief, a five-year-old who has decided to start really pushing her limits, money issues and you get the picture.

We've talked. We've cried. Again we've made the commitment to stay. But it isn't the fairy tale. I don't know how we're going to get to happily ever after. A few times the past month I didn't know if we'd get to the next day. I don't want to leave him. He doesn't want to leave me. Why is this so hard?

Before you ask, D gave me permission to write this out here. I wouldn't talk about it otherwise. Though I think that talking about it outside of the marriage helps. Sometimes you need a fresh look. We both are in counseling and might do it jointly we're not sure. I've had friends who were so good at hiding some of the shit they were going through I had no idea they were going through it.

But lately, I've been asking for help. For breathing space. For time away, for time with people.  So I ask you lot,  if you've been there and have advice for how to stay, I'd love to hear it.


  1. I'm so sorry you're going through this... it's tough, and shattering, and both mentally and physically exhausting, for both of you. I've been through it more than once in a marriage and a very long term relationship, and it nearly did me in. The best thing I can say is keep going to your counseling (I think my counselor saved my sanity - really), and keep asking and reaching out. If one counselor doesn't work, try another. One book I have found tremendous is 'Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay' by Mira Kirshenbaum. It was recommended to me by a counselor, and I'd already researched and decided to get it myself. I'm so glad I did... she is a long practicing and much lauded therapist in the area of relationships. The book itself is practical and eye-opening (at least it was for me). I still have it on the shelf in case I need it in the future. I'm a teacher too, tired and exhausted at the end of most days. I also need time to myself just to renew my spirit and cope. It's a job that's not very forgiving. I've just decided I'm going part time next year (even though I can't really afford it) as my life is suffering at the moment. Dropping to 4 days instead of 5 might mean I don't have to go in and plan anywhere from 3 to 7 hours on a Sunday and do as much work at home! I'll just need to be a bit more frugal. Hopefully I'll have more time to be present in my life with my family and friends, and actually live! I wish you the very best of luck and hope you find a way through this difficult and challenging time. Keeping a gratitude practice going has helped me a lot too. Linda. xx

  2. I'm also really sorry you're going through this. The combination of issues you're having to deal with at the moment make life and relationships really hard, and it's not surprising you're all struggling. Don't beat yourselves up too much about it. Struggle is normal in a relationship ... as long as the commitment is there.

    You said, "But it isn't the fairy tale. I don't know how we're going to get to happily ever after." I've been married 30+ years, and there isn't really a happily ever after. Yes, there are good phases in a marriage, and these can last for years, and are to be treasured. But the marriage needs maintenance and effort, and sometimes when everything else builds up, it's really hard to do that. We certainly have been through ups and downs. The thing that always helps me is simply being kind, as I find that pretty soon, the kindness comes back to me.

    And when words didn't come, or would be problematic, I took great comfort - and I think he took great comfort too - through touch (a hug, a pat on the shoulder, a brush of the arm, or just physical closeness).

    Finally, another thing that has helped is knowing my husband's limits, and looking for support (of a particular type or with certain issues) elsewhere. I don't know if you can do that, given your situation at home, but it might help if you can. For me, recognising that my husband couldn't fill 100% of my emotional needs was liberating (just as I can't fill all his needs) - it helped me let go of resentment.

    I don't know if any of that will help. But maybe it'll help you know that you're not alone. Wishing you the best.

  3. I am sorry. :( It's my 32nd wedding anniversary later this week, and I'd be lying if I told you it has all been sunshine & rainbows. On top of the usual husband-wife areas of conflict, my dh has struggled with anxiety & depression on & off for years. He FINALLY agreed to talk to our family dr about it and give anti-depressants a try. This was right around the time we moved from our house into a condo (which was much more his idea than mine and a source of a lot of stress & conflict for a while) & I'm not sure which has made the most difference, the drugs or the move, but he is (and we are) in a much better place these days, thankfully. He worked at a very stressful job before he was pinkslipped and then retired, and that also added stress to our marriage for many years. I have had to learn to give him some space when he's in one of "those" moods -- which can be hard to do, because we are together so much and because I don't drive & can't just take off on my own for a few hours (and our condo is only 874 square feet, lol). I'm glad to hear you are in counselling, and I hope it helps. The good thing about being married 32 years is that you develop a long-term perspective... we've ridden out a lot of storms, and (so far, at least...!) the sun has always come out again, eventually. Sending (((hugs))).

  4. Hi, so I know I am late to comment, but I just wanted to say, I hear ya! I have been married for 17 years now, and it is HARD! We have been through a ton of hard times, and even in the easy times it's never easy. Stress, kids, money, all adds up and sometimes gets to be too much and so of course that affects your marriage. We have hard days (weeks) where we just can't seem to get along at all and where everything we do annoys the other person. We fight. We yell. But we stay. Because at the end of the day we have a love and commitment for and to each other (and our kids). Sometimes it's just a process. There are always going to be rougher times, it's just the nature of life. What helps us is to finally just sit and spend some time with each try to seek solace in each other, even if it's just bonding over a shared TV show.
    I don't know if you are the praying sort, but when we were at rock bottom several years ago, we did a book called The Love Dare that was recommended to me by a couple different friends who had used the book. Each day is about 2 pages of reading and then a "dare" or challenge that you both do. It's one day at a time and just goes back to basics. Chapter 1 is called "love is Kind", and I was just amazed at how much you can just forget the simple things like how far being kind just really goes. Anyway, we did that book and the foundation of our marriage is so much stronger because of it. We have a better understanding of what "for better or worse" means and we know that each of us is here for the long haul, no matter what.
    Things always get better, just hold on to that!