Archives for the month of: June, 2013

I saw a life coach last year.  We were talking about why I stayed in my job when it was causing me so much of a problem.  I said I couldn’t understand why I didn’t leave.

She told me to rate my job on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being very good).  I gave it a 5.  “That’s why you haven’t left,” she said.  “Once it falls below 5, you will leave.”  She was right.  Three months later it fell to a 3 and I handed in my notice.

So, why don’t I leave my marriage?  The situation, not the quality of the marriage, is probably around a 5.  All the time, I can find the strength to maintain the situation at this level, it is easier to stay than to go.

Leaving would create a very difficult situation.  It would break up the family and cause distress to my children, even though they are in their late teens.  I wouldn’t want to live separately from them.  I would need to find somewhere to live and earn more money to support myself (two can live as cheaply as one, they say).  There’s no doubt that my life would become far more difficult so the costs and the benefits of staying are generally balancing each other out.

And so, for the time being, I stay.

Advertisements

I’ve worked really hard the past few days to achieve some kind of equilibrium.

Thoughts of my dissatisfactory marriage had been taking over my life and permeating my well-being.  As a distraction from this negativity, I’ve been redirecting my thoughts elsewhere, to things that interest me.  I’ve kept myself busy: busy in the garden; busy on my writing; busy on my reading; busy with my friends and family; busy with my dancing.

The result is that I am in a much better place.  Nothing’s really changed in my situation; things are just continuing in the normal way.  What has changed, however, is my attitude.  Now I’m more balanced, I feel much stronger and in control.  I’ve stopped feeling guilty – I realise I’ve been feeling incredibly guilty that husband’s refusal to connect with me has resulted in my building a life without him – and I’ve stopped feeling to blame for this.  Consequently, I feel a lot better.

Maybe it’s because the weekend away, with its strained atmosphere, avoidance of issues that need to be discussed, and disappointments (no physical or emotional connection, despite my efforts), is out of the way.  Maybe it’s because I’m going away soon, for three weeks, to our holiday home that he no longer comes to: the home that now feels like its just mine, just my responsibility, but also a place where I can now completely relax.  Daughter comes with me and we just chill out together and enjoy each other’s company: we chat, we laugh, we eat when we want to, sleep when we want to, go out when we want to, return home when we want to, and do exactly what we want to.  It’s a really easy-going break.

So, whatever the reason, I’m more balanced.

Now I just have to keep up the good work.

 

“Someone who figures that taking a step backward

after taking a step forward

is not a disaster,

it’s a cha-cha.”           (Robert Brault)

 

That’s me!

I feel like all I’ve done recently is wait for my feelings to change.  I seem to spend all my waking hours dwelling on my situation, mulling it over and over, thinking and re-thinking and over-thinking.

Quite frankly, I’m fed up with this: it’s exhausting and getting me nowhere.

Consequently, I’m trying to keep myself occupied and focus my thoughts elsewhere: on building a less debilitating life.  Not that my life’s been bad: it’s just that the thinking’s been draining.

Today I’ve focused on positive thoughts and making plans for the future.

I’ve had a really good day.

 

(The title of this post comes from the Will Young song ‘Jealousy’.  Fortunately, that’s one feeling I don’t experience.)

I survived the weekend.

But I’m not sure our relationship did.

 

By the time you read this I will be on our weekend away.

Although I initially didn’t want to go, I’m now looking forward to it: a change of scene, a new experience, a boutique hotel, a top class restaurant – and it’s all free.  I know I’ll enjoy myself because that’s the kind of person I am.

The hotel looks lovely.  It’s got a cocktail bar and music and is in a central location.  I’m packed and ready.

But husband’s been narky today when it would be better if he was at least trying to get the weekend off to a good start, so I’m slightly concerned about ‘us’ when we’re there.  Hopefully, we can maintain a level of civility, but at the moment I just don’t know.  Things seem to be so unpredictable: a bit like good cop, bad cop.

My wise child said it could be make or break.

How true.

 

I think that one thing that people seek is understanding: understanding of how and why they have got to where they are.

One thing that we got wrong was losing our identity as a couple when we had children.  I thought we were doing the right thing in putting the children at the centre of our world, and of course to a certain extent we were.  However, in doing so, we neglected to give any priority to ourselves as a couple; we made sacrifices with the best of intentions.  I now see that this was a mistake.

Now that the children are more independent, I thought we would pick up where we left off as a couple and start doing all the things we hadn’t been able to do.  Husband, on the other hand, seems to have become quite comfortable with our new existence and doesn’t see any need to change things.

Consequently, unbeknown to each other, we had been heading off on different paths and now we are staring incredulously across the canyon that divides us, both wondering how the other person has ended up on the other side and having no idea how to bridge the gap.

This is one possible explanation for our current situation.

And then this morning I came downstairs and it was as if nothing had been said last night.

What am I to think?

I asked husband to come dancing with me tonight.  I haven’t done that for a long time because he gets annoyed, but I know that if I don’t ask him, then at some point in the future, he will turn this round on me and say I exclude him.  Sometimes when I ask him, I don’t actually want him to come: it feels like my space and my life and my friends.  At other times I wish he would.

Of course, he didn’t come.  And tonight I was disappointed.

But when I thought about it, I decided he’d probably be shocked: shocked at how relaxed and uninhibited I am when I’m dancing as I always used to be quite self-conscious; at the ease with which I chat and laugh with people, many of whom I’ve known for over a year, whose names he has never heard because he doesn’t want to know anything about my new friends; at the way I dance, because I’m in the advanced class now and whilst I’m by no means brilliant, I can certainly give it a good go.  I used to be fairly quiet and live a bit in his shadow so I think he’d be surprised at my confidence.  Perhaps he imagines, rightly or wrongly, what my nights out are like, or perhaps he doesn’t even think about them.  Who knows?

Then, when he came in from his night out, drinking down the club, he had a go at me for having asked him, accusing me of playing some kind of game and saying this didn’t bode well for the future.

How can asking your husband to spend the evening with you, to share part of your life, be ‘some kind of game’?

The gulf widens.

It doesn’t bode well for the future.

 

We’re having a weekend away, for no other reason than husband won a competition.

In the past, I would have felt excited about the prospect but now my desire for a change of scene and the novelty of a new experience and the opportunity to spend time with husband are clouded by my emotions and feelings.  I feel I am going with a stranger.  I feel sad but, more than this, I feel guilty, incredibly guilty.

I don’t know what we’re going to talk about.  So many subjects, ie my life, are taboo. He doesn’t want to know about my hobbies and interests or my new friends: it’s understandable, it’s the life I’ve had to create without him, that he’s chosen not to be a part of.  We could talk about us, but that feels like the most dangerous topic of all.  I could tell him about a friend who took me to lunch, a friend that I dance with, but I don’t think I will.  I suppose we will make polite conversation about the place, the weather, the children and work – safe subjects – but subjects that just avoid the issues and give an illusion of normality.  When I feel far from normal.

The problem is I don’t feel he likes me or wants to be with me.  I don’t bring him any happiness, only misery.  It’s really difficult being with someone you feel is disapproving of you.  We normally avoid people that we get negative vibes from and gravitate to those who seem to like us.  He’s only taking me out of habit and because he doesn’t have the guts or imagination to take anyone else.  Saying this sounds awful, cynical, and I hate myself for it.

But that’s how I feel.

Anyway, I will go and I will enjoy myself, because I am resourceful and resilient and seem to have a bizarre ability to be happy even when I’m sad, and who knows?  Maybe he will romance me and seduce me and thaw my frozen heart.