Friday, September 05, 2008

Just to Check In

My apologies for the long unexplained absence. I did not intend to be gone for this long. Our lives have been upside down for awhile now, and this space was the last thing on my mind.

First you should know that the kids are amazing. Jack is 1 now and he is so healthy and full of life, you would never know how sick he was just a year ago. Michael started school a few weeks back and he loves every bit of it- the child was made to be in an academic setting!

And now for the part you really came here for- the short(er) version:

Matt and I separated for awhile, pending changes on both sides. I made them, he did not. So I un-made them, and THEN he decided he was really serious about recommitting to the relationship. If only he had been the first time he "recommitted"- you know, we had that ceremony and all that . . . but at that point I didn't want to re-make the changes, so he's declared that he's "waiting" on me.

He has been living at home with us for a few weeks now, but we're not living together. It's a side-by-side deal. The house is, in fact, big enough for the two of us, and any communication between us pretty much has to do with either the kids or the house.

He's been an excellent roommate, doing his share of the dishes and cleaning, and taking care of the things around the house that he never would do before. He is also working less, and taking care of the kids a bit more. A large part of me says too little too late. However, there's always that little bit. I have been speaking with a lawyer, but I cannot manage to go forward with a divorce yet. I just can't make the step. I suppose there is a silly little bit of me hoping he'll finally do all the things he's promised for ages now.

I have no idea what will happen next. I'm stuck right now, waiting for a sign to move forward, or step back. Maybe waiting to see if he really changes this time, most likely waiting to see how foolish I am.

Friday, March 28, 2008


Matt is going through a big change at work. He's not in danger of losing his job or anything, but just a lot of changes to the company and management and shifts in his own schedule to accomodate the changes. This is stressing him quite a bit and has been for the last 6 weeks or so. He's downright pissy all the time.

I'm not a big fan of change myself, but I know this about myself and I try incredibly hard not to take it out on Matt or the kids. Last night he started an argument over the silliest thing. He thought he'd told me about an after work commitment when he hadn't, so when he was getting ready to leave and I asked where he was going he got upset and said, "you know. I told you about this last week." then refused to tell me about it like a pouting 10 year old. He accused me of never listening to him when he tells me things, and then after ranting and raving a bit, it dawned on him that he MIGHT not have told me. Did he apologize for his accusations? Not one bit. Did he repeat himself over and over about how I never listen to him? Oh yes... though it is difficult to listen and remember his schedule when HE NEVER EVEN SAYS THOSE WORDS IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!

I tried to chalk it up to him being stressed and nit picking because of his own stress, so this morning I joked gently with him about it and asked if he was still mad. And would you believe that he exploded all over again? I'm seriously dumbfounded. It was all big fat "woe is me" whining about how hard his life is and how I can never truly understand how difficult every single day of his life is. If I could walk in his shoes for a moment then I'd know and I'd stop ticking him off all the time.


After awhile, I said very softly, "I think I've heard enough." And he yelled at me to stop muttering under my breath. I said it again and added. "Whenever you're finished with this rampage, please let me know." I told him I didn't appreciate the fact that he was taking everything out on me when I've done nothing to "tick him off". He then pulled out the "Well, I work more than you and earn more and do more for us than you do" card... what he doesn't seem to remember though, is that I do all of our financial stuff, and funny thing- I earn more than him and the only way he works more hours than I do is because of his insane commute time. Funny how he hated that I pointed that out.

I did a very insane thing then and told him how lazy he's been and how that's ticking ME off. He's been getting home from work and literally laying on the couch or hiding in our room for the 2 hours til our boys go to bed. He ignores me, ignores the kids and does his own thing because he "needs down time". He comes in to do the good father show of tucking the boys in, but then he's back to being a lounge lizard for the rest of the evening while I finish cleaning up the kitchen from dinner and picking up toys and working a little more.

About 2 weeks ago I told him I needed more time and help from him. I thought it had been a productive discussion. All I asked was that when he gets home from work that he asked me what tasks I had left to accomplish, and that he help me do them so that we can both relax in the evening, and hopefully spend some of that new free time together. This involves him playing with the boys so that I can clean up dinner things, or helping me fold that last load of laundry or giving the boys their baths so that I can put laundry away-- nothing to strenuous, I promise. He agreed with me and said I definitely deserved some help with all I'm doing and that he would help. That next day he came home and did just what he had promised, and I thought it had worked out wonderfully. He didn't seem to mind it at all, but apparently he only agreed that I deserved help in theory because that's the only time he did what he had agreed to. I mistakenly started offering up excuses for him in my mind, a habit I am really trying to kill. I immediately went to the "Stress at work" excuse for him followed by "really tired" and "not feeling well". The truth is, he is just being a lazy ass. Of course, he doesn't call it lazy- it is well-deserved "down time".

During all the arguing this morning, I finally just asked him if there was something he wanted to get off his chest. I told him I'd rather him just be honest and get it over with, because rarely does someone get this cranky over little tiny things unless there is a big huge thing eating at them. He said he didn't want to say, and I told him that the cat was out of the bag, and that unless he'd murdered or raped someone, there wasn't really much that would shock me anymore.

So he told me that he just doesn't like me or anyone else right now, and that he'll get over it soon.

I told him he'd better get over it in the next day or two, or there would be no one here to take it all out on if he continues to treat me like this.

So he left. He said, "this is ridiculous!" and he walked out like he'd played no part in the arguing. He came back this evening, and the only way I can tell that something is wrong is that he is uncharacteristically quiet. Otherwise he pretended like nothing ever happened.

I don't know what to do. I can account for his time, so I'm not struggling with trust issues in regards to infidelity. I am NOT going to let him yell at me whenever he's stressed out though. He said he didn't like me much right now, and you know what? I'm not liking him either. I don't know what's going on here yet, but something is up.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

John, Part 3

One of the things I miss about my relationship with John was that outside of arguing maintaining our relationship seemed effortless for the most part. We went about doing whatever we did- working our jobs, seeing friends, being with each other-- without much work. I'm trying not to idealize that time in my life, but to be honest it's difficult not to. I remember that time as so easy and free. Of course, there was the trade off of all the fighting, and I wouldn't wish that back either.

I guess my question is, what is it about work in a relationship? Should you have to work this hard to maintain a good relationship? Is there never a place where a couple can relax for a bit and truly trust that their relationship is safe? I'm not talking about sitting back and assuming that life will stay grand forever. I suppose what I'm wishing for right now is to not feel the constant need to be aware of our relationship "status". We're doing very well right now, but I feel the need to take an inventory at night-- Did I listen to him when he talked about work? Did he take the time to listen to me about the kids and about my workday? Did we make time for each other? Did we show affection to each other? I wish to feel secure enough in my relationship that I could just settle in, knowing that everything would be good again the next day and go to sleep without worrying about where my place is in my husband's mind and heart. I know that I'm his priority right now, but I find myself obsessing to be sure I'm doing the "right" things to be sure there is no reason for him to think otherwise.

I have never worked so hard in my life on any relationship as I have worked over the past 2 years. I dare say the same about Matt. I'm tired though. I don't want to lose all the good things we have gained from all this effort, but I need to rest. I need to be secure in our relationship so that I can be a little selfish and take care of myself for a few days. The problem lies with me I know. God- I wish there was a switch where I could turn off the annoying part of me that worries an insane amount over trivial things.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


It seems like this life provides us with too many and too few choices. Sorry to be quizzical- I'm in a mood.

We're heading into another anniversary. The actual date is still about 2 months away, but I can't get it out of my head. I keep dreaming about things related to it, it pops up in my thoughts during the day, it seems to be everpresent. It got bad enough that I woke up in the middle of the night last night and did stupid googling of Jessica's usernames and all that. It has almost been 2 years, but I'm apparently still not above this. When I finally got back to sleep I dreamed about hunting her down at her job and having it out with her-- no violence, but boy did I give her a tongue-lashing. I'm so passive agressive it's ridiculous! I couldn't even beat the girl up in my dream...

It's times like this that I wonder if I made the right choice to stay with Matt. Most of the time I think yes. We've made so much forward progress, and we've been genuinely getting along so well that I hope desperately that we continue to improve and grow together. But sometimes I still have that "no" in my mind. Am I still going to be stressed and worried over these anniversaries years from now? Is this seriously going to hang in the back of my mind for the rest of my marriage?

This is year 2. It should get better after awhile, yes? So what is it- 5 years? 10 years? Never? I'm trying to be realistic, as always.

Friday, February 29, 2008

John, Part Two: Adult Relationship

Just before John and I moved in together there was a day that was far too perfect.

I slept in until an unreasonable hour and took a long hot bath-- long enough to get through an entire magazine. And when I got out of the tub I had a message from John: "hey-- this is weird, but I can't seem to stop thinking about you. I can't wait to see you tonight." Simple words, but I won't ever forget them. I felt so valued by him.

I remember laying on my bed and thinking that I was seriously the luckiest woman to have ever lived. We went out together that night and had an amazing evening, and that was the night he asked me to move in with him. I practically saw stars.


On the flip side, I had convinced myself that the kind of passion and attraction we had for one another required all the arguing we did. I mean- passion in the bedroom carries into life, right? So because we were so intense with each other when we liked each other, we had the same level of intensity (if not more so) when we fought. We both said really stupid hurtful things to each other while we were upset, and that is why we were not able to keep ourselves together. We couldn't be respectful in an argument, so we drove ourselves apart.


Matt and I have been quite the opposite. I think a strong factor in my decision to marry him because I was attracted to the stability and his even-tempered nature. He generally is extremely calm. That was part of how I knew something was going on leading up to my discovery of the affair-- he started having these crazy temper tantrums that were so out of character for him, and then when they continued as long as they did I stupidly assumed that it was something I'd done to cause it.... why do some women do that to themselves? Why do we assume it is us to blame at all times?

We have been talking in therapy about recreating passion, and it has been a hard topic, because to be honest, "passion" is not one of the words I would use to describe our relationship-- at any point in time. I can now say that I love my husband again, but I don't feel that "can't wait to see him" thing. I suppose that is what we are trying to recreate.


So how exactly does one define an "adult" relationship? How do you balance that need to have someone desire you with the need for comfort and stability? It is always a work in progress, I'm learning, so what do you do in your relationship that works or doesn't work?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

John, Part One

Mind if I talk about my past relationship in pieces? I need to sort through some things, and as I've started writing about it I realized that there are a bunch of different aspects to this. So here is the first part.

Before I met Matt I was engaged to someone else. Just to be nice and plain, we'll call him John.

It was a bad relationship. It was too fast and we were too young and stupid to manage an adult relationship. We had amazing fire and passion, and while that was really good when it was good, it was also really bad when it was bad. We fought quite a lot in the few months we were together and in one bad fight he hit me. I left and never went back. I talked to him a few times after- once to arrange to get back into our apartment for my things without him being there, and another time when he called me drunk a few months after everything was over and told me how sorry he was and how I was the best thing to ever happen to him and all the drivel that sorry drunks say.

This is the story that Matt knows. It's none too exciting. I think a lot of us have a bad relationship like this in the past. I haven't told Matt details about it, mostly because he hasn't asked, and a little because there are parts of that relationship that I keep to myself. I felt really good in my relationship with John until those last few weeks. I was confidant in myself, I felt sexy and desired and amazing. Don't get me wrong. The fighting was awful. I hated that part. But when things were good between us, I felt like John would put the world at my feet if he could.

If I could cut and paste from past relationships, I would use Matt as my template. I would cut some things from him and from John I'd paste that passion and devotion.

I know Matt loves me, but I want more than that.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Back Again

Sorry it's been a few weeks since the last post. To be honest, there has been nothing to write about. It's nice to say that! We had our ceremony and everything went well. We went away for the weekend after the ceremony and it was nice to just be a couple for a few days. We want to make more time for that.

Life has been, well, normal. I'm getting back into work, the kids are doing well, Matt and I are great. We took a short break from counseling and started back last week talking about individual issues rather than couple issues. Last week was just the prep work- talking about what we want to discuss at future visits. Matt specifically asked that I speak with the counselor about a past relationship of mine. I don't know that I can yet- I haven't even really told Matt much about it. This whole thing has me really nervous. It's so weird to be moving in a different direction now. I know these things have to be talked about, but that doesn't make it any easier.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Looking Up

For the last year and a half the world has looked progressively dimmer, save the one bright point of Jack being born. He is such a sweet kid by the way. He's really catching up developmentally to where he should be. His doctor is hopeful that he'll be at just the right development points by 15 or 18 months. He is such a happy kid-- what a joy! And Michael is doing well right now. He's finally adjusting to the new routine of not being in a care program and sharing me with work a little bit. He's doing much better about playing on his own for little bits of time or playing next to me while I work. I'm so proud of him.

And then there's me and Matt-- since we set a date to get "re-married" it's been a little like a second honeymoon and we haven't even had the ceremony yet. We're trying to talk with each other only once a week about problems that come up and kind of address it like our marriage is a business. We both understand the business world more than anything else and this has helped us tremendously. First of all I know that there is definitely going to be a chance for me to be heard about any issues I may have, and secondly Matt doesn't feel like we're *always* talking about the relationship. Both of our very different needs being met in that one evening. I never thought we'd resolve that particular recurring issue, but we have!

Matt has really been helping me out with getting time to work. I didn't think he'd be as receptive to watching the boys more as he was and it's been a huge weight off my shoulders to just have 3-4 dedicated hours to really dig in and get into the harder things for work without fear of being interrupted! I must trust him more with these things instead of just assuming he'll shoot me down. He often surprises me in this way, and I need to just assume that he will help me.

There has to come a point where everything starts to look up, right?

Maybe this is it.

When I next post Matt and I will be starting over. I'm so excited for this ceremony!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

New Rings & Stress

Matt and I got new rings this week. We've been talking in counseling about what we need from this ceremony to really feel closure and for me it is new rings. I'm not a big jewelry girl. I'm home most of the time between work and kids, therefore no one to show off to. But I want a new symbol. I haven't worn my original rings much since everything happened. I've gone through periods of wearing them and then not, but now I want to wear rings to symbolize my marriage, but not the old ones. I don't even really know why that's so important to me. I'm supposed to think about that this week so that we can talk about it next session.


I'm trying to re-learn how to cope with stress. I've dealt with it in a multitude of unhealthy ways in my life. I was anorexic as a teenager, I drank stress away as a college student, after I got out of college and became a responsible adult (you know-- with a real job and a marriage and a mortgage) I started pretending it wasn't there for the longest time and then I'd be super stressed out for the short time I had to actually attend to the problem/test/situation and then it would be over-- like super compressing the stress into a few fun-filled hours instead of stringing it over several days. Since the affair I can't sleep when I'm stressed. I used to be able to tell myself that I'd deal with it in the morning. Now I worry that if I look the other way for even a second that I'll be missing a vital clue to something big.

So I don't sleep. The boys have both been really sick and I've actually got Jack sleeping in our room the last two nights because I'm so nervous about his respiratory stuff. I think Matt is starting to get it too. He's trying not to let it show, but it's hard to hide a cough.

I'm stressing mostly about work. This time of year is all about what you can offer that is new and exciting for the client, and I'm worried about to being able to keep up this time around. It only takes one season of being "off" to kick you out of the business and getting back in means completely recreating yourself. I've been trying to put as much extra time as I can into the business without sacrificing the boys or Matt too much. I think we've actually come up with a decent compromise. Matt needs to work late 1 night a week for about the next month and then he's going to take care of the boys 1 full evening for me so that I can work in a solid block that night. He's already giving me two nice chunks of time on weekends, so between those 3 times I think I'll feel more confident about getting things accomplished. We've talked about finding someone to come to our home part time next fall when Michael starts school... maybe we'll move that up a bit and see how it works out. I don't know-- childcare is just another of many mild stressors in my life right now.

How do you manage stress? I can't seem to manage a healthy response. I'm trying to be better about it, but it's just not working yet.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

In Response

Comment left by "Mistress":
If you aren't in love, why marry him again? I don't understand re-committing if
there is no love left. It seems like a big lie. Wouldn't you be better off going
your separate ways?

Who said there is no love?

If you're recalling several posts ago, I think it's been awhile (and quite a bit of counseling and progress) since anything like that was said. And another change-- now that I'm being treated for PPD and my hormones aren't wacko anymore I'm feeling like a normal human being with normal emotions again. Weird how much that changes things.

The thing about recommitting ourselves is the fact that there is no lie. This is very much a "take me as I am" gig. I think we both see the ugly parts of each other and we're walking into this eyes open.

And another quote from "Mistress":
"no starry eyed 'so in love' wedding"That phrase, to me, does not speak of
certain love. It sounds, on paper, like a legal commitment - and maybe that is
all it is. I hope, for your sake Naive, that I misunderstood. I am just curious
as to why someone would want to recommit so quickly unless they WERE starry eyed in love. No offense was intended.I don't know you Kate, but you certainly
presume to know me. Fortunately for me, you have it all wrong. Happy new year!

I understand where you're coming from and I appreciate the concern. To me the phrase "starry-eyed" expresses that all that person is thinking of is the feelings of that moment and not reality of loving long term and maintaining a good relationship. I'm figuring out this love thing again. So no-- not head-over-heels yet, but working on getting there. I'll just say that Matt is doing a great job convincing me that I can get there again.

Now on to the more philosophical portion of this post...

"In Love" vs. "Love"

These two ideas (and the differentiation between them) have caused me more trouble than anything in our recovery since the affair. There is of course that good old "I love you but I'm not in love with you" phrase that most wayward spouses tend to utter at some point- mine included. It's been one of the few things that still hangs with me. How can you love someone and do something like this when you know it's going to break her heart? Is that fleeting "in love" feeling worth it?

I'll admit that after we'd been in therapy for a few months I had this week or two of jealousy building up in me because he'd gotten to experience that "fresh love" feeling. How long have we been married? Ages it seems, and longer than that since I've felt the butterflies of thinking he just might be the one for me and the excitement and tension leading to a first kiss... And I was jealous, because I wanted that again. "In Love" is so very different than "Love".

So we're doing the "in love" things, and god is this marriage different. You can't hold on to the feeling all the time, but if you can create it once or twice a week, it sure works a miracle.