Cleaning Up

Cleaning up glass from a Unilock patio, to say the least, sucks.  There were shards everywhere.  Finally, in desperation as the sun glittered off the larger jagged pieces, I hauled out the shop-vac.  And, no, it is not silly to shop-vac your patio when you know that the kids will be playing outside later.  Breaking glass may have been a an act in releasing negative energy, but the task of cleaning was frustrating.

During the entire clean-up process, I replayed DB’s attempt to mollify me the night before.  Really, the conversation just added to the roller coaster situation.

DB:  I love you and I don’t want to leave.
DB: We should work things out. I told SB on the phone that I really think you want out of our marriage.
ME: I am so glad you are having this conversation with SB.  Please just leave. Pack your things and go. We can work out the details later.
DB:  But, I don’t want to leave.  I want to stay here.
ME: Then, you have a choice.  You’ve already drawn so many lines in the sand.  Choose what you really want. Make that decision.  Let me know when you do.  We see Dr. X this week.
DB:  I want to stay.
ME: Then let’s figure this out together.  But we both need to think this through.

At this, DB took his phone and went upstairs.  What was a girl to do?  What I couldn’t figure out was/is why he’s staying.  How many outs does a man need?  Seriously, I mean it.

I know that our marriage needs work, but that means we both work on it. No more of the one sided-talk to a brick wall kinds of conversations like we’d been having for the last few years.  There was no way I could continue to pour out my heart while he CHOSE to make decisions that were destructive to us and our family.  There were a ton of choices here…so why wasn’t he making his and choosing to leave?  Why did he stay here, with us, making me wonder what his plan was.  If he truly loves SB then he should leave….and make it quick for minimal pain on both of our parts.  But he just sits around with a million ideas of how I should change and talks about what I need to do.

Marriage is a two-way street.
We need to be on this road together or not at all.

Because certainly, there is no need to cause anymore accidents.

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Sleeping with his Cell

It was an exceptionally strange evening with DB.

He tried to engage me in conversation and was generally in a pleasant mood.  I had no idea about what was going to come next.  At nine we started to watch my favorite TV show…..during the commercials we talked and discussed what was happening in this new show.  I figured it was easy to go with the flow tonight because who knew what was going to happen with our next meeting or in the next ten minutes???

Without warning, DB got up with about 15 minutes left in the show and went upstairs.

WHAT????  Where was he going with time left in this super confusing show that you actually have to pay attention to? Why would he leave me alone when we were actually trying to communicate and having an ok time?

Then it hit me.  There was a pattern here. It was 9:45.

What the hell? Who did this man think he was?  Seriously, did he really think I wouldn’t figure this out????

BRING IT ON BUDDY!

Pausing my show I marched upstairs to the office, DB’s current place of residence, and threw open the door.  There he was looking shocked and guilty, with his cell hidden under a blanket.

ME: Give me your phone.
DB: No.
ME:  This is it.  I thought we were making progress.  But you’re CHOOSING to talk to her every night.  You do this on your way home from work and before you go to bed.  Do you know how ridiculous this is?
DB:  I don’t care what you think and you can’t stop me from doing what I want. (his phone vibrates)
ME: Turn your phone off and come downstairs. We can finish watching the show together.
DB: I don’t want to and you can’t do anything about it.
ME: Then, you are making a choice right now.  You are choosing SB over me.  You are choosing your relationship with SB over your family and our relationship to you.  Please leave.  Don’t stay here if you making the choice.
DB:  I can do whatever I want.
ME:  Fine. You’re making a choice.  You are not choosing me or our family. You couldn’t make that any clearer right now.  Stay with SB, live with SB, have a life with SB, but LEAVE US OUT OF IT.

With that I closed the door, stomped down the stairs and realized how angry, pissed, and frustrated I was.  I’ve taken this for too long!  I don’t deserve this crappy treatment or roller coaster lifestyle.  I have been especially patient!!! Other than the out of body experience I haven’t freaked out at all….not it’s all going to push me over the edge.

So I opened the cupboard and grabbed a bunch of classes we were given for our wedding shower.  Because, hell, our marriage didn’t mean anything so why should these glasses mean anything.  I also grabbed some bud vases and headed out to the patio.

One glass after another I smashed it on the back patio blocks.  I threw a vase at the siding and broke a piece off.  I couldn’t stop myself.

In the middle of my tirade, DB yanked open the sliding glass door and shouted “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING???”

ME:  What the hell do you care?  I’m not hurting anyone or anything. (I continued to break glass as he stood there with his mouth open.)
DB: Cut it out!
ME: Get the hell out of here and leave me alone. You’ve made it quite clear you’re not interested and you don’t care.

I smashed all of the glass, came back inside, and unpaused my show.  WOW! did I feel better.  I have a mess to clean up but who cares….this is the first time I’ve felt free and relieved in a loooooong time.

As I settled into the last 15 minutes of TV, DB came down the stairs, and walked into the family room.

DB:  I feel like I’ve lost you tonight.

Standing up and the Compromise

Promptly DB entered the house, glared, made a snide comment about the door, and dragged himself up the stairs and crashed in our bed.  Discussion over.  It didn’t matter that I tried to talk to him.  In hindsight talking would have been futile anyway.

In the morning he decided to sleep in so I handled everything with the kids.  We went to tutoring, sports, and ran around in the morning.  Much to my surprise DB was upset when I came home. He didn’t understand why I hadn’t woken him up to help in the morning and asked why I hadn’t called to let him know where we were.  This was pretty much how we ran our lives.  Two separate people living together.

Seriously here, who was this man kidding??  If he couldn’t call and ran his own schedule – shouldn’t he be treated the same?  Our lives weren’t going to be on-hold just because DB decided to rearrange his life.  You can’t just decide to stay out all night with another woman when you are married and expect life to remain normal.  Did DB not realize that he just drew a huge line in the sand?

No he didn’t.

While DB watched TV with the kids, I chose to read in another room.  I couldn’t sit with them anymore and pretend that life was normal.  My stomach turned constantly wondering if this would be the last time he played with our kids in our house.
DB did take time to come in to talk to me about what happened.  He even offered an apology – for threatening me on the phone.  However, he didn’t say a word about spending the evening with another woman.  During this time we laid out some ground rules about where we would like to see this “relationship” and how we should treat each other.  What the rules are doesn’t matter – it’s whether or not we both want to work on this relationship or if he is done.  It’s difficult to still want a relationship with your husband, but realizing that he doesn’t want you or your family anymore is unbelievable.

Our final compromise is that DB lives in the office, we stay in counseling with Dr. X, and I hold dinner until 5:30 – when he returned from work.  But how long would these silly, but perhaps needed rules even hold?  And does it really matter?  I am too exhausted to think about it….

Taking Charge and Standing Up – the Middle

After returning home DB refused to talk to me.  He sat on the couch and seethed in his anger.  He stared off into space as I tried to get him to talk to me or engage him in conversation.  Nothing. Nothing at all came out of his mouth.

Okay – fine.  This is not how I wanted things to go, but I will give him a few minutes.
I went upstairs. There was no way he was going to talk to me right now.
He just didn’t get it.  People at work KNOW!!!!  Does he have any idea about what this means??? How our entire family could be seriously and negatively impacted??  It was bad enough that this was happening to ME and US…but now he was going to drag the kids into it – directly.   UGH!
I tried to get ready for bed.

Then, out of nowhere, my dad, who had been babysitting and hadn’t left yet,  came upstairs about 10 minutes later.  He looked worried and concerned. Then, he asked me if I was okay.
I didn’t understand what he was talking about – until I went downstairs.

On the counter was a note from DB.  All it read was “Leaving – Not sure when I’ll be home!”

Oh my God!  Where the *^%^#### did he go?

HE JUST CHOSE SB OVER ME – OVER US – OVER OUR FAMILY!!!

This is a defining moment for us and he chose to spend it with SB.  I plugged in my phone and called Lisa. I knew it was late, but I needed some back up and support.  Lisa was right there for me.  We talked through a million and a half scenarios.  We both knew DB went back out with his co-workers and that he was with SB.  But what was I going to do about it? How should I handle it?  What did I want to do about this line in the sand that DB just decided to draw?

I changed the locks on the door, plugged in my cell next to my bed, and went into a fitful sleep.

At 5:04am my cell phone rang.
DB was on the line.
DB was shouting that he couldn’t get in the house.
ME – I hung up the phone.
DB called again and began to spew horrible things out of his mouth about how I was an awful mother, wife, and person.
ME – I hung up the phone. I didn’t need to deal with this.
DB started to bang on the door. DB called again and threatened me, my father, and that he would take the kids away.

ME – I have never been so nervous, upset, and felt out of control.  I started shaking…my insides a jumbled mess.
I know that if I called the police DB will lose his job, the kids would be dragged into everything and witness more than I can ever allow them to see, there would be very little money, and serious repercussions to and about our marriage – pretty much it would never heal.  My entire stomach was in knots.  I didn’t know what to do because there was no real right answer here…there just seemed to be so many wrong ones.

DB stomps around the garage and calls again.  He states that he will take rocks and break the front windows to get the door open – this was his house too!”

ME – Worried that a neighbor would call the police or the kids would witness DB acting like an idiot – I made a decision and hoped to God it was the right one.

I opened the door.

Taking Charge and Standing Up! -the beginning

DB had a huge function at work last night.  He asked me to attend, but didn’t mean it or think I would show.

I did.

After much discussion with Lisa we agreed that I would show up dressed to the nines because SB would be there and it was her night to shine….she was responsible for half of the function and would really be in the spotlight.
So I left the kids with my father and drove all the way across town.  Lisa was my constant companion on my cell as we
plotted and planned about what I was going to do, what I would say, and how I hoped it would go.  When I arrived, with
some amazing confidence that I didn’t know I had, I walked straight up to the admittance table.  *^*%$@#@# I thought to myself, I didn’t know that you needed tickets. So I put on my biggest brightest smile and explained that I was DB’s wife and he was having a ticket held for me.
ME: Is there a ticket for me?
Door greeter: No, tickets were presale only.
ME:  Really, DB told me that I would have a ticket available at the door.  May I make a donation for the cause?
Door greeter: No, go right on in.

Step one – I am in.
Step two – find DB

I walked around for a few minutes and then located DB in the distance.  Shoulders back, I walked right up to him with a huge smile on my face and said hello.

DB was stunned and SEETHING with anger.  He could only spit words out through his teeth.  It was the first time in the 12 years I’ve known him that I was afraid that he would physically hurt me – he was that angry.
DB: What are you doing here?
ME:  We discussed that I would be here? You look great in your costume.
DB: I don’t want you here.
ME:
DB: I can’t believe you are here. What are you thinking?
ME: Well, I told you I would attend and you always say I need to support you more at work. So here I am.
DB: Leave.  How did you even get in?  You never liked my work. You don’t belong here.
ME: I told everyone I was your wife.
DB:  Leave.  I don’t want you here.
ME: I thought maybe we could go out after – for a drink – or coffee.
DB:  I have work to do.  Do whatever you want, but don’t expect me to pay any attention to you.

And with that I was dismissed.  DB turned around and left me standing there alone.
THANK THE LORD for cell phones…because I don’t know that I would have had the courage to stay there if it weren’t for the amazing technology of the text.  I immediately sent a  text to  Lisa…she told me to stay and that I could do this.

Okay –

Step three – locate at least one friendly face.

Step three accomplished.  I saw a co-worker who I was friendly with, Kerry, and we began to talk.  She invited me to sit with her and another of DB’s co-workers.  We chatted about nothing – all the while I wanted to throw up.  I have NEVER been so nervous in my entire life.

Then, SB walked by.  She looked straight at me – utterly shocked, turned on her heel and immediately ran over to DB.  DB and SB had a whispered conference with pointed fingers and all.

I mean seriously, is this middle school??????

With Lisa’s help, I stood my ground.  I watched DB interact with SB and look at her while she was presenting.  I never in a million years thought that this would really be happening.  They looked like a couple and watched each other like a couple. She took pictures of him, looked directly at me when she walked by, smiled and waved to her friends that were sitting near me.  DB just continued to glare from across the room.

I sat through the entire two and a half hour function.  At the end, I was so mentally exhausted that I wanted to just go home and die.  BUT, Lisa wouldn’t let me.  She told me to wait by DB’s office because he had to go back to his office and get his things.
LISA: After all, you are his wife.  He needs to deal with this and you cannot let SB take over.

Step four: Wait for DB and take a stand.

So I went to DB’s office and waited.

He rounded the corner with Chris, another co-worker, and you wouldn’t believe the stunned look on DB’s face.  In an instant it switched to vivid anger and even rage.  Since DB refused to introduce me to Chris – I introduced myself.  At that moment, in the eyes of Chris I knew that people at work knew what was going on between DB and SB – and holy #$%@@$% the repercussions of this were monumental for me, us, and our family.

DB: I have to stay and clean up.  Then I’m going out with everyone.
ME: Okay – we can go out. Which car would you like to take?
DB: I don’t want you to go.
Well, of course not you tool – you want to hang out with SB – how stupid do you think I am???  I’ve already come this far don’t you even think that this is going to end without you coming home.
Something must have clicked for DB because he told me he would be ready in about five minutes.

DB gathered his things and we walked out of the building.  He went straight for his car – didn’t talk to me, look at me, or acknowledge me.  It  was horrible outside and he watched me walk to my car as he drove through the parking lot.  When I made it into the car I realized my phone had died and there was no way for me to call Lisa.  I was on my own.  I can do this. I could do this.  My mama didn’t raise a weak and pathetic fool….I need to get a grip and fight for my family.  And damn it DB – you will not dictate what happens to me, us, or our family.

DB followed me home. We both walked into the house, but what happened next, not even I could have guessed.

Taking a Time-Out

March –
It really is the longest month…not the most depressing…not the coldest…not the happiest, but March has always been an exceptionally never-ending month for me.

For some reason,  life seems more present and real because there are shreds of hope that come forth with the blooming of flowers, the snow beginning to melt, and the warmth of the sun that affects the soul.

This is why I decided to take some time off of writing – spilling out my soul.  I wanted to wait March out.  I know/knew it was time to take stock of my relationship with DB:

Was it worth it to continue on?
Is our marriage worth saving?
How long can or will we “put-up” with the negative and demeaning behavior of the other person?
How will the kids be effected?
Will I be better off alone?
Will the kids be better off not seeing their dad on a daily basis?

It was and still is difficult to answer these questions…to know for sure…to even have a shred of assurance that what I am doing – the path that I am on is right for me, the kids, or our family.  So I spent time on self-improvement.  Improving on ME – so that even if DB and I don’t work out I can come out of this a stronger and hopefully better person.  It was important to take time for me – to sit and think…as I read during the month of March – “one should never be afraid to just sit and think.”

I want to believe in hope, in rebirth, in Spring.  However, life is rarely in tune with all of our plans or how we want those plans to work out.

In a Marriage -what is considered fair?

     Winter can be long and drawn out in New York.  It’s so very cold, snowy, and the wind cuts right through you.  Days are grey…the warm rays of sunshine are few and far between.  Winter is not exactly the perfect time for a marriage crisis, personal crisis or any other type of crisis…as there is not a lot to look forward to.  It makes me wonder if spring, sun, and flowers will be here soon enough.  Will the hope of spring be restorative?
     So here’s the dilemma I’ve been encountering…
I have some time off of work this week.  And I’ve become the nanny to my own children.  Yes, I know this sounds funny, but DB hasn’t been around for days.  That means that even if I have time off  I rarely have time to accomplish things I would like because there is not any alone or down time. 
Unfortunately, I find that this isn’t a subject that I am facing because of DB’s infidelity…it seems to be a husband/wife issue because I know I am not the only one of my friends to express frustration over this. 
But WHY is this such an issue?

So here’s the example – Lisa and I want to get together for dinner.  We haven’t seen each other since November.  Apparently the stars need to align for this to happen.  She has to arrange it on her end (with a husband and three kids) and I have to arrange it on mine.  Her husband says he will be home at 5pm.  He will then walk in at 6 or later.  This disrupts or cancels any kinds of plans we have.  I have to see if DB is around or if he is coming home from work.  He says he will be.  Then he doesn’t remember to pick up our son from school.  I am the one who gets called and has to pick up the slack.
Will Lisa and I get together in 2010?  Is it too much to ask that we see each other once every few months?
But tonight DB is at a concert…he “put it on the calendar,” he said.  Funny my dinner date was on the calendar, but that didn’t happen.

The more I sit and think about it — this is where our relationship started to falter.  DB has a sense of entitlement..that he SHOULD be able to do things when he wants and for how long he wants.  I, nanny the great, will be at home with the kids.  But, how is that fair?  Why does it extend to only activities that DB wants to take part in?  Football games, hockey games, concerts, parties with old frat brothers; yet I can’t even arrange a simple dinner.  It’s dinner.
Marriage should be a partnership..a give and take for one another and it’s not always a 50/50….BUT a bit more equity would be refreshing. 

So as I sit here watching The Land Before Time and snuggling with the kids under chunky fleece blankets (which is amazing by the way)…I can’t help but sigh and wonder….
Why am I the nanny?
Why isn’t there a sense of fairness?
What would happen if I just went out after work because I assumed DB would be home?
Are both parents really blamed if the homework doesn’t get done or dinner isn’t cooked?
How do I get over or deal with the feelings of resentment?
So now I wonder if DB and I can’t even agree on the time with our friends issue…will we be able to begin to resolve others?
 

I really hope spring blossoms soon…even the small sign of a crocus would be lovely right about now.

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