Hope

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you are facing the collapse of your marriage, it’s a pretty surreal moment. For me, it felt like I was standing on the side of a cliff. And here was my husband failing miserably at a variety of mundane tasks- but I couldn’t save him anymore. I reached a point where I had nothing left to give. It was like I was watching a comedy of errors with regards to his behavior. But I stood firmly planted on solid ground, unable and unwilling to give him any further rope.

After I published my last post, he read it and was ashamed of his behavior. We talked that night and then the following day, things seemed eerily quiet during afternoon. We banned the children from our room and calmly talked about our relationship– from beginning to end, rehashing every major pivotal moment in between. It ended with me saying, “I deserve to have a husband that I can rely upon. I need and want a partner who will lead this family and our marriage. I can’t fill every role, while you sit idly by acting like an irresponsible twelve year old. Your behavior is appalling. I don’t respect you when you behave so irresponsibly. And I’m not attracted to you whatsoever when you behave like this. I no longer wish to have sex with you. I don’t want to share a bed with you. I’m done.”

And that was that.

He slept on the hardwood floors of our living room for three nights, until I finally said that was insane. At the very least, take the bed in our daughters room. I will move her into our bed, after she falls asleep each night. So that’s what I did. She’s a lot heavier these days, so this wasn’t the easiest of tasks. Every morning, I awoke to her angelic face. I had forgotten just how lovely she is sleeping next to me. It made me think back upon all those naps we took together when she was an infant/toddler. And how quickly the time was passing by us. Quite honestly, I enjoyed the renewed bond I felt those evenings and her presence became the highlight of my day. She would awaken each morning, and we would get just enough time to cuddle and have girl talks before Zane crawled into bed too. It was nice and sweet, despite the undercurrent which brought her into my bed.

The following day, I had tons of work to do, so I left for the day. But when I came home, my husband was dressed in his Hugo Boss suit, as if he had a conference to attend. Only, he didn’t. I must have looked at him bizarrely because he offered up right away, “Everything I have done before wasn’t working. So today, I am doing everything different.” Normally, he would be working in casual clothes but recently he had stayed in his pajamas, that’s how lazy he had become. So finding him dressed to the nines, and sitting working on his laptop, taking conference calls–well it was just funny to see. As I began washing the piles of dishes he created that day, I couldn’t help but smirk. A wave of pessimism washed over me.  If putting on a Hugo Boss suit makes you feel better about your crumbling marriage (and if that somehow is going to change directions for you), knock yourself out there buddy.

But I didn’t say that. I’m not that cruel…but the cynic in me certainly thought it. Call it years of hearing words but never seeing actions. It seemed as if he was grabbing at straws.

We went to bed that night, barely saying a word unless it was regarding the children. There was an obvious tension between us with minimal eye contact exchanged. The following night, he slept in the other room and truthfully, I was grateful for the distance. I needed space away from him. His presence honestly repulsed me.

On my daily run, I kept seeing For Rent signs everywhere. Considering we live at a high demand beach, you don’t see many of them. It felt like a sign: that I was meant to move out. As I ran, I would dream of a little beach cottage. Just me and the kids. Even if it meant living in a tiny one bedroom, I would make it work to stay where we live. To keep the kids lives the same. Schools etc. But then the realist popped back into my head and screamed, “There is no way you could handle living in a tiny apartment, even if it was at the beach. Having neighbors resting upon neighbors- so close like cockroaches. You know that would drive you nuts. You need space. Solitude. And peace and quiet. Not the sound of bottles being smashed at 2 am every weekend by inconsiderate beach dwellers.” My fantasy quickly evaporated into reality once I reached the last mile of my run.

That evening I went to bed, much the same as I had before: mentally exhausted and forlorn.

The following day, my husband seemed driven. Exuberant in his conference calls. He had a pep to his step and he was acting like a man on a mission. It was borderline annoying and somewhat delusional as I thought,” Doesn’t he realize our marriage is kaput?” As I made fresh grapefruit juice, he stood in the kitchen and asked, “Can I use your car this afternoon?” Before I had a chance to respond he added, “I made an appointment with a therapist. I have an appointment during my lunch hour. She’s covered by our insurance and highly rated online.” I’m not going to say I was impressed because after years of becoming so disillusioned, it’s going to take a helluva lot more than one appointment to reverse this marriage. But I felt hopeful in that moment. And thats a huge thing friends. Because this has never happened before.

As I walked through the kitchen, I noticed it was cleaned. Dishes done. Counters wiped. Dog fed. Sticky notes were put on cabinets with reminders to buy grocery items that he used the last of. And the trash cans were taken to the curb. All of them.

I could see he was truly trying. He’s always “tried” in the past too, but only for a few weeks and then it was back to the lazy habits. I recognize his efforts are certainly better than nothing. But truthfully, I wasn’t holding my breathe. Real effective change is a long term result which won’t be seen for a long time. I am however, quietly optimistic.

And hopeful for a redeemed marriage.

 

 

 

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12 thoughts on “Hope

    1. He has at least demonstrated his attempt to change. It takes two, making a real concerned effort to make it work. It is NOT a 50-50 thing, it is whatever it needs. Don’t be stubborn and stay your course. Start making efforts to let him know that you see it, and reward him for it.

      If he falters, well then………….pull the plug.

      You can’t beat a dog forever. It works both ways.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Funny you mention 50/50. I met his therapist yesterday for the first time. And I spoke about all of our issues, plus all the positive changes I have seen in him over the past month or so. At some point I brought up leadership, me being the leader and a strong woman capable of doing anything I set my mind to etc. That’s when I brought up the 50/50 thing. I don’t expect it. I don’t think I would ever get that. Nor do I think any marriage truly operates in that perfect 50/50 split. I just want a true partner–a responsible one who carries themselves in the relationship + steps up and acts like a leader for our family and marriage to not just survive but thrive.

        Faltering will occur. I expect it at some point as these behaviors are deeply ingrained. The key is changing these default habits, dusting himself off, not sticking his head in the sand, being held accountable and resuming these new learned behaviors of acting responsible, being mindful/present and not ignoring the responsibilities of life.

        I am very hopeful that with his therapists help, he can get there.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. It is only when we give up hope of a better tomorrow that our marriage is truly over. I often think God rains down tiny sprinkles of hope – enough to keep us there, enough to see that light in the tunnel. Hold on to hope, sometimes it is all we have. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I ❤️ your advice and words of encouragement. If I head to the Southern Hemisphere again (and I will at some point), we must meet up. I’ve always felt you were ahead of me sprinkling nuggets of wisdom for me to follow, like Hansel & Gretal. I value it immensely 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awww. That would be awesome. It’s been a while since I was in the good old US, but ditto for when I return there one day! Would love to sit and chat and watch a sunset instead of a sunrise for a change! ❤

        Like

  2. Interesting development. I hope he stays on the clock. I hope you’re well. Have wondered about y’all a lot recently, with my friends’ issues and all. Damn, relationships are really fucking hard sometimes. I wish you the best of luck in all this. 😊

    Liked by 4 people

    1. How is your friend doing btw? I’m sure it’s still so early and raw. Those early months are brutal. I wouldn’t wish that pain or despair on anyone. You’re a great friend to him- just keep being you and even if you don’t see it, you could very well be the reason why he gets through another day.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I still have many posts to catch up on, but call me a skeptic on this one. I think people are very capable of short term change when they have their balls nailed to the wall. But what you need is lasting fundamental change. Can he continue this way? What about when the next catastrophe happens a few months from now, will he step up or leave it to you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not saying this to be conceited but honestly, he will never leave me. If anything, it would be me leaving him. I think he is far too relaxed to execute a divorce whereas for me, I tackle obstacles head on till I achieve my goal. But you are right, I need lasting consistency. Throughout my illness, he has stepped up considerably. Could things have been even better? Yes. Certain things fell through the cracks during the last six months. Our lives were turned upside down. Considering what we were facing, I think he did a good job of supporting me through those hard times. No one is perfect. No marriage is perfect. But he is trying to be a better version of himself.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I actually figured that already. From what you’ve told me he just doesn’t seem like the type to leave you. He’s leaned on you for a long time to take action on hard things. I’m really glad things are going well for you now. I wish nothing but health and happiness for you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If there is a silver lining to my illness it’s this: it’s literally and figuratively forced my husband to be the leader. I was very, very ill for an extended period of time and rapidly declining. It flipped our roles overnight. My illness is like a ball and chain now. I can’t be as aggressive and go after everything with the gusto I once had. My body isn’t fully recovered, despite how my labs look. My husband has really blossomed in the “I have to take care of everything department” and now it’s me, leaning on him.

        I’m starting to see that in a marriage we may have seasons of fulfilling certain roles. And seasons whereby they switch. I share this to give you hope that your wife just may surprise you. Maybe not now, but even thoroughbreds have seasons when they must rest. In your future, you may find a similar theme playing out in your marriage whereby your wife finally lets you lead.

        Liked by 1 person

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