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.