Archives for posts with tag: feelings

One year ago today, I drove away from my home for the final time with the last of my possessions loaded in the boot of my car.

“I’m off now” were my parting words to my ex; with those simple words, 32 years of marriage ended.

As I drove away, Al Green was playing on my CD, just like the theme song to a movie:

Don’t look so sad, I know it’s over
But life goes on and this old world will keep on turning

In the movies, the heroine would be driving off to new and better times, but life isn’t like the movies…

Or is it?

Since then, I’ve successfully bought, moved into, and done up my own home; I’ve expanded my business and increased my savings; I’ve had some lovely holidays; I’ve spent time with my daughters, my sister and my friends; and I’ve been having a wonderful time with a new partner.

Each time I return home, it’s not with a sense of overwhelming dread and crippling stress, but with feelings of contentment and pleasure.

Oh, how I am happy ‘for the good times’.

And for dancing with another.

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It’s my birthday today. A time for celebration?  Well, yes, but…

I feel sad. I feel happy too, but I also feel like crying.

I feel like crying because I’ve been thinking about my birthdays over the past few years.  In 2011, a significant birthday, I went to a London show, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, with my husband and daughters.  I got a deal for a meal and best available price tickets and, would you believe it, they gave us a box!  It was a great night, but I organised it and paid for it and had to persuade husband to come, but who cares?  It was good.

In 2012, it my birthday fell on the day of the Christmas party at the dance studio where husband and I had been having ballroom lessons.  By this time, husband had stopped attending the lessons, but I was hooked and kept going on my own.  He very, very reluctantly agreed to come to the party. He sat in the same seat all night, looking miserable, and refusing to socialise, making it quite obvious that he didn’t want to be there and had only come because it was my birthday. I enjoyed myself because I’m that kind of person but it’s not a good feeling to be out with someone who obviously isn’t enjoying themself. It darkens the evening.

Last year we were supposed to be going out, where I don’t know. But a couple of days before he started making noises about him having to finish work early and the expense.  The expense!  I don’t need money lavished on me to have a good time. Anyway, to put him out of his misery, I told him not to bother. So he didn’t.  I had lunch with a friend and went dancing with another friend in the evening.  Husband didn’t even ask me what I’d done or if I’d had a good time. When I raised that with him later, he said he hadn’t asked because he didn’t care.

And presents?  He asks my daughter to get me something from him.  My daughter and I went along with this charade of her buying me something and us both pretending it was from him.  Until last year.  Last year, she gave me ‘his’ present of lacy underwear and I knew this wasn’t from him because the last time I put on lacy underwear, he asked me what the f**k I was doing and switched on Sky Sport (that was on a weekend away!). Then later on he saw the bag from the shop where she’d bought the gift and asked me who’d been shopping there. You, I told him, for my birthday present. He later chastised my daughter for not warning him. Should we laugh or cry?  Who knows.

So these are my past few birthdays.  Yet I am responsible and completely to blame for the failure of this relationship.

Little wonder I feel like crying.

But I’m also happy.  Friends who know about my situation have sent me cards and I know the messages have been chosen especially to show me their love and support.  And people I’ve only known for a short space of time show me such kindness when they really don’t have to at all, they have no obligation to, but they do it because they care.

And who knows when my divorce will come through and what I’ll be doing this time next year.

At the moment, I’m out having breakfast on my own and thinking about the past and thinking about the future and feeling sad and feeling happy and feeling…

Alive.

 

It’s 10 days since I instructed my solicitor to proceed with my divorce.  It was the most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make in my life: it’s final, there’s no going back once the wheels are set in motion.

I was afraid: afraid of what I might unleash, afraid of the impact on my children, afraid that I was being selfish and thinking only of myself, afraid that I would regret it. So I kept postponing the inevitable. Even though I knew it was inevitable.

And then the moment came when it couldn’t be postponed anymore. I’d kept waiting for me ‘to come to my senses’ as I referred to it; to take up the fight for my relationship once again, to try harder, better, stronger to make it work. But it takes TWO, and there was only one, me.

I felt sick at what I was doing but there comes a time when you have to say enough is enough.

And so I did.

I felt lousy and I expected this feeling to continue and get worse.

But so far it hasn’t.

How do I feel?  Relief, strength, excitement for the future.  I feel as if a burden has been lifted from my shoulders, a shackle has been removed from my leg, chains that were holding me back have been cut. And now I keep waiting for these feelings to pass and for fear and dread and despair to replace them.  But they haven’t so far and perhaps they never will.  And if they do, then I will remember what led me to my decision, and how I did not make it lightly, and I will take responsibility for my life and my happiness.  And I know I have the resources and the resilience to do this. So I needn’t worry.

And now I’m wondering why I was so scared and why I waited so long.

When I knew it was inevitable.

I’ve said all I have to say. I’ve told him how I feel, I’ve explained why I feel like I do, I’ve asked him why he’s shown me no affection or companionship for years and yet doesn’t want us to part, I’ve told him I just want to be able to understand.

His response: he doesn’t know.

So if he doesn’t know, then how can I understand?  There’s no more I can do or say and so finally I feel I’m ready to let go of that need to understand. What’s the point?  It won’t change the situation and so I’m wasting no more time analysing it and seeking explanations. It is what it is.

My daughter’s been on holiday and so we decided (me, older daughter and younger daughter) to go out for a drink and a catch-up. I told a friend I was doing this. Why can’t you just sitting in the living room and open a bottle of wine, he asked. Good question. Why can’t we?  I put that to older daughter.  She looked at me like I was crazy and laughed. Sad but true.  But it was a wake-up call – it’s what ‘normal’ people do.  Yet it would be so abnormal for us that it doesn’t even enter our heads as an option. And I got to thinking how nice it would be if I could just invite my friends over for coffee, or lunch, or dinner, and if the girls could have their friends round, and I imagined a house full of friendship, and love, and laughter.  And I know that’s what the girls and I want – an open house, which although poor financially, would be rich in love.

I told the girls I couldn’t live like this anymore, that I’d been to a solicitor and was going to take action, that my priority is to care for them. ‘Don’t worry about me.  I’ll be ok,’ said older daughter. ‘I want to move out,’ said younger daughter. She hates the arguments. But I’m not wasting no more time on pointless arguments. I showed older daughter the list of unreasonable behaviours; ‘100% true’ was her verdict.  I’ve been so uncertain at times, wondering if I’m making too much of things, imagining them.  They almost seem trivial. But they’re not: their impact is immensely damaging. The one that had the biggest impact on me when I saw it in front of me in black-and-white was that he doesn’t appreciate what I do for him and the family. I didn’t say that to the solicitor; she took that from other things I said. And it brought tears to my eyes, and I hadn’t even realised I felt like that or how important it is too feel appreciated for putting everyone else first and ignoring yourself, and yet being called selfish. I’d dismissed it as being trivial.  But it isn’t. It most definitely isn’t.

Yesterday he blamed me for ‘wrecking’ the relationship. I pointed out that you can’t wreck what is already a wreck.  I also stated emphatically that I wasn’t accepting the blame because I knew what I had done to try and keep things on track. He’s going to blame me – so be it. Deep down I know how hard and for how long I’ve tried.  And if he searches deep inside himself and confronts the truth, he’ll know that too.  But if he doesn’t, so be it.

Yesterday I picked up my new glasses.

And now I can see so much more clearly.

I’m not wasting no more time.

I have an appointment with a solicitor next week. I’d been stuck for ages, getting frustrated that I couldn’t take the action that I knew was necessary.  Ironically, when he told me he’d taken advice, I was spurred on to take advice of my own.  He’s done me a favour.

For  longer than I care to remember, I’ve been trying to make sense of the situation: why he wants us to stay together but doesn’t want ME.  Something he said made things clearer: ‘I don’t want to live in a flat’.  It’s not about me, it’s about his lifestyle.

So I predict he’s going to make this difficult. And this seems stupid to me. It’s over.  Lets move on with our individual lives because there’s no going back to what we once had many moons ago, in another life.  Why won’t he accept this reality and make it easier for us both?

I’m tired, worn out, exhausted from living in a constant of stress and tension.  I’m existing on less and less sleep.  I’m struggling to function a lot of the time.  I can’t continue like this.

And it can’t be doing him any good either.

So why is he digging his heels in?  Part of me thinks he’s hoping I’ll leave. Then he can stay in ‘his’ house.

Because that’s what he wants.

Not me.

This evening he told me not to bother coming home because I wasn’t welcome here. This followed on from him complaining that I wasn’t home in time to cook his dinner so he could go to the club to watch football.

I was at work!

He said it was my fault he couldn’t go out. I told him I hadn’t stopped him from going out, that he could have cooked his dinner earlier.

But it’s no use.

This morning I was brave. I told him we needed to sell the house so we could both find our own places to live and get on with our lives.  He refused point blank, said I couldn’t make him sell, that he wasn’t leaving, and that he wasn’t going to live in a flat.

He means it.

He’s  not going to be reasonable about this.  He calls me a crazy woman. And oh boy, is he right. I am crazy mad at him for not working with me to put this marriage right. When I tried to sit down to talk about it because I had tried so hard to get him to be part of our relationship without success, he just kept shouting and blaming me.  When I suggested counselling, he said I should go for counselling because I was the one with the problem with the relationship.  It was like talking to a brick wall.  Eventually, I got to the point when I realised it was futile and gave up. Still he made no effort. Then I reached the point where I told him we needed to separate because I was at the end of my tether.  I didn’t get married to be alone, to be in a loveless, sexless marriage where my husband didn’t want to socialise with me or come to our holiday home with me or…  Well you get the picture and I’m sure I’ve said all this before.

So we’re in this non-marriage that is unacceptable to me yet he doesn’t want it to end.  He now says he wants to go to counselling but I’ve gone beyond the point of no-return. During the past three, four, five, six, however many years, I’ve seen no sign that he cares about ME and now I think he only cares about HIM: who will cook his meals and clean his house and organise everything and deal with the paperwork?

And so now I’m the crazy woman.

Today I asked him if he remembered all the times I’d asked him to switch off the TV (it could be on fourteen hours a day) and he said yes.  I asked him why he thought I did that and he said because I wanted us to spend time together.  I asked him whether he turned off the TV and he said no.  What is there not to understand about why I’m completely disillusioned?

But I just don’t think he’ll ever understand.  I’m so lonely in this marriage that I’d rather be alone.  And now he’s accusing me of wanting to break up the family.

When I tried so hard to keep everything together.

And so today I took my biggest step so far.

I phoned a solicitor and said the words I never thought I’d hear myself saying: I want advice about a divorce.

I am trapped in misery.

And I have to get out.

Am I wrong?

To say that the past 18 months have been difficult would be an understatement.

I slowly unfurled the truth of my ‘marriage’ and what I was allowing to happen to me.  I  voiced my concerns, tried to get things back on track, attempted to have my needs recognised, and in return…an onslaught of abuse, name calling, blaming and nastiness.

I sought counselling, I stopped concealing the truth from family, friends and strangers, I read everything I could to aid my understanding…until I felt strong again.

Two weeks ago, I told husband we needed either to devise a plan to live together separately or to actually separate.

And for the first time in years of trying to talk to him about our situation and meeting a brick wall, I became aware that he was listening to me.. He was listening because he knew I meant what I was saying and he didn’t like what he was hearing.  He didn’t want to accept it.  He wanted to try again, to put things right.  Why wouldn’t I give him a second(?) chance. It was my fault the relationship was ending because he wanted to try again and I didn’t!

But for me it’s too late.  I don’t believe he can do it.  I don’t believe he wants me for who I am only what I provide for him. In my mind, we are now separated.

He’s angry and nasty – which does nothing to suggest that he wants ME. If he wanted me, he would be kind and caring and affectionate, but he’s made it clear there will be no more affection in this relationship and he’s made no gesture to suggest that things will be different.  And if he can’t pull out all the stops when the chips are down, then he’s never going to, is he?

And so I’m getting on with my life and cutting the ties that bind.

And dancing…

 

Last night, husband loaded and put the dishwasher on. I didn’t realise I hadn’t taken my cup to the kitchen. When he came into the room, he saw it and started cursing, before grabbing it and taking it out to the kitchen.

I started to berate myself for causing him distress. 

Then I stopped.

If he chooses to get stressed and angry because of my oversight, then that’s his problem, his decision.  I am not responsible for his reaction and I don’t need to feel guilty because he’s feeling bad.  I don’t need to run around the house like a maniac checking that everything’s perfect in order to avoid a confrontation.

So instead of giving myself a bad time for my ‘error’, feeling incompetent and worthless, I shrugged it off, let it go, and ignored his outburst.

I let him get on with it.

And it felt like a burden had been lifted.

It felt liberating.

 

I’ve had a bad day today. I’ve been feeling very low and confused.

I HATE feeling like this. It’s not who I am. And it can’t continue or I’ll go crazy.

I need to get a grip. I’ve been trying to comply as a way of making things better but it’s no good for my well-being. The problem is that I go through periods where I believe that everything is my fault.  And then I get low, like today.

This is a dangerous path, I know that, and I need to get off of it. I need to stop dwelling on things and over-thinking.  It’s driving me insane.

I’m going to get a good night’s sleep so I can get up early for the running club and tomorrow night I’m going to the monthly social to see my friends.

I need to remember who I am and be that person.

I’m no good for anyone in my present state.

Especially me.

 

I’m feeling weak, vulnerable and tearful, and I’m giving up hope.  I feel battered by the recent storms and waiting for the next one.

This morning, I’ve been given the silent treatment again.  I don’t know what I’ve done wrong this time but no doubt I will find out soon enough.  I want to go back to bed and hide under the duvet and listen to music and cry – but I can’t, I’ve got two new clients to see.

The counsellor asked me where my sanctuary was and I told her that I go out.  She said that was wrong: I should be able to relax in my own home.  But I can’t, even when he’s not here.

So I go dancing or sit in coffee shops or go to the gym or see friends.  But while I’m doing those things, I feel guilty, a bad person.  And so I’m starting to not enjoy them either, even though they do offer some temporary relief.

So once I no longer find sanctuary in going out, where will my sanctuary be?

I wish I hadn’t woken up earlier this year feeling that I couldn’t do any more to make the relationship work.  I wish I hadn’t told him that I thought we should separate (he completely ignored this and hasn’t mentioned it – it’s like I never said it).  I was hoping this would make him see that things were getting desperate and needed to be addressed but it’s only ended up with me being blamed.  I wish I could have just gone on making the effort and getting on with things.

But that wasn’t enough for me.

I wish I’d kept quiet.

Because I’ve opened up a can of worms and they’re wriggling all over me and I can’t get them back in the tin but I can’t get rid of them either.

And so it’s the weekend and I’m feeling low; like there’s nothing to look forward to.  I can’t be me.  He doesn’t like me reading, listening to music, dancing, going to the gym, laughing with our children, having friends and family round, visiting friends and family, wearing bangles.  The list is getting longer and more bizarre.  And I know this is stupid, but I kind of go along with it to a certain extent, or if I rebel, I feel guilty and that’s eating away at me.

Did I mention that he works every weekend and has done for the last thirteen years?  I’ve supported him; I’ve not complained; I’ve made it easier for him.  I got on with my life, making the best of it, but now me getting on with things has become the problem.  When really I was just trying to be supportive and accommodating.  It feels so unfair.

I say very little about what I do now, as if I’m denying my naughty existence.  I mentioned this week that I was going to rejoin the gym’s running club because I’d seen the coach and he was asking why I’d given up.  Husband had a look of disgust on his face.  I can’t challenge him because he’s not actually saying anything.  He defends himself with “I never said you can’t do it”.

But I’m fed up with the disapproving looks or the tone of voice that makes a nice statement into a nasty one.

And I’m so fed up with feeling like a bad person for wanting to live a life.

I stayed in last night.  Our communication was practical and non-committal – like talking about the weather.

And I looked across at him, and he stared at the TV news, and I thought: Is this the life you really want, husband? It’s just an existence waiting for death.  And the thought that this would be my life filled me with dread, sadness, misery.  And I just can’t understand why he wants us to live this life.  Or why he wants to live this life because, forgetting myself, surely it can’t be any fun for him.

Can anyone explain?