Friday, November 27, 2009


I have no idea why, but I am just paralyzed.

I said I was going to start talking about it all a month ago and its taken me a month just to even come back to the blog. I think because even talking about it means dealing with the reality of things and maybe I'm not even capable of doing that.

We started going to counseling, like I mentioned. Seemed to be going well. But in the back of my mind, something still wasn't right. There was just this tick, this feeling, this itch, that something wasn't what it was supposed to be. But I kept plugging, working on me and working on us. We did the summer vacation stuff, had a good time. Or at least thought we did. And I keep making statements like that - "thought we did" - because at the time, in the moment, everything seemed okay. That weird feeling or tick or whatever it was, I just blew it off as part of the process of putting things back together.

We got thru the summer in pretty good shape. But there was just And I just assumed it was me. That I was still having trust or forgiveness issues, that I was too suspicious of everything. There would be moments where she would get flustered if I walked into the room and she was texting on her phone or returning an email. Her getting flustered put me on edge and I asked her if she was still talking to The Assface. She would get indignant, angry, accuse me of not letting it go. And ultimately I would agree with her, that it was me, that I couldn't shake it. Even the counselor said she saw nothing that indicated that there was a continued relationship there. So I would suck it up, shove it away, talk myself out of it, blame myself, apologize and attempt to keep moving forward.

So so stupid. If I've learned anything at all, its to trust my instincts, something I have always done, but abandoned during this process. And it was a gigantic mistake. I have always worked on intuition and its never really let me down. Turning away from it was a mistake.

And I still can't even spit it all out. To the anonymous Internet. Why the hell is this so hard?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What Happened?

It's been a little over seven months since I've posted here.


A lot of reasons.

No, she never found out about the blog. As far as I know, she is still unaware that it exists.

We started seeing a marriage counselor and the counselor convinced me that I needed to live in the present and drop a lot of the past in order to move forward. And part of that for me was not dwelling on certain things, which I think I was doing here. It was an outlet, but part of the idea was to share what happened and because I wanted to follow the counselor's advice, I dropped the blog cold turkey to focus on our marriage.

Did it work?

Yes and no.

Things got better. A lot better. And then they exploded. Again.

It's almost like being back to January again.

When is enough enough? I mean, I think I know the answer to that question. I just haven't been able to say it out loud.

Anyway, I'm back. More tomorrow. If anyone is still out there.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

When I Met Her

A girl I was sort of dating introduced me to her.

It was kind of a weird situation. I was quasi-dating this girl - we weren't really in a relationship, she was odd, I wasn't looking for a relationship and...she was odd - and I was transferring to the college that Odd Girl was attending. (Wasn't going there to be near her - was going there because it was a state university, they accepted me and it was affordable.) I had to attend an orientation at the school and Odd Girl said "Well, you can't stay with me, but I have a friend you can stay with. You might like her better anyway."

Like I said. She was odd. But she also ended up being right.

Anyway, after she assured me that the friend was okay with it, I agreed. I had no money for a hotel, it was for just one night and I figured that one night with her sorority sister wouldn't be the worst place in the world to stay.

Um, yeah.

When Odd Girl introduced me to her friend/my host/future wife, I was more than pleasantly surprised. I wouldn't have put it past Odd Girl to house me with some sort of mutant, but she'd done exactly the opposite. She'd arranged for me to stay the night with an amazingly beautiful, intelligent, funny girl. She seemed immediately at ease with me spending the night on her sofa and any unease I had at causing her any unease was immediately erased.

We clicked.

We stayed up most of the night talking. She told me about her family. I told her about mine. We talked about movies. We talked about the school. We talked about a lot of things and it was easy. I remember at some point in the conversation she told me that she wasn't dating anyone and I was immediately relieved without really recognizing why. Nothing happened that night - I had no game and I wouldn't have tried anything with a girl who was nice enough to host her odd friend's not-really-boyfriend for an evening - but I remember thinking that I really, really liked this girl.

She made me breakfast the next morning - bacon and eggs - and I was purposely late to the orientation because I didn't want to say goodbye. She told me to call her when the quarter started if I needed any help or had any questions or whatever.

I went home after the orientation and my best friend asked me about the trip and all I could talk about was the girl I stayed with. He was pretty surprised because I'd been adamant about not wanting a relationship and the way I was talking about her, I wasn't talking about some hot chick I just wanted to hook up with.

She was different.

(Note: I was not relationship-phobic in my early twenties. But I'd ended a long three yr relationship about six months earlier and it ended badly and I wasn't looking for that kind of entanglement again any time soon.)

A few weeks later, I moved into the place I was going to live at the university. (Odd Girl and I were done - a product of her oddness and me being interested in her friend.) It took me a few days, but I finally called her. Which was very unlike me. It was more likely that I would've thought about calling her and then just not done it for any number of stupid reasons - I was a male in my early twenties and following through on things wasn't my strong point. But I couldn't shake her and after a few false starts of picking up the phone and not having the guts to dial the number, I finally did it.

And she was happy to hear from me and I asked her out and she said yes.

And about a month and a half later, we were standing on the beach and I told her I loved her. She said she loved me, too.

I just wanted to tell that story.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

And The Irrational Returns...

At the Big Important Job today, my wife has a Big Important Meeting. She's unavailable all day, save for an email or text once in awhile.

And over the course of the last hour, I have been beset by Bad Thoughts. Can't shake them, almost sick to my stomach.

I know none of it is true and that for some reason, the irrational part of my brain is working overtime, but the Bad Thoughts are just hammering away at me.

Fuck, I hate this.

Being The Strong One

My wife crashed and burned over the weekend.

The week finally caught up to her. After dealing with the stress and suspicion of the email from last weekend, she was on edge every morning walking into work. It took a toll. And then taking Friday afternoon off to be by herself and do some thinking, I think her emotions just finally got the better of her. When she came home Friday night, she was quiet and a little withdrawn and I'm not sure how but I knew it wasn't about me. I didn't press the issue.

Saturday morning, she was the same way and it was frustrating for her. I recognized it, though, because she was feeling the same way I'd felt right after getting the email. Frustrated, angry, sad, lost, guilty, hopeless, a kind of ugly fog settling in to make everything seem less bright. I wasn't sure if I was making it better or worse by tiptoeing around her in the house, so I offered to leave and get out for awhile. It wasn't a woe is me kind of thing - I just didn't want her to have to worry about me if she needed time to be by herself.

But she told me not to leave. She said she just needed to cry. And she wanted me to hold her.

So we laid on the bed for an hour or so and I held her and she cried. Sobbed, really. I didn't ask any questions, didn't talk, just laid there with her. I've known her nearly twenty years and I can't ever recall her crying that way. It was hard to watch - my instinct as a male was to want to help, to fix, to make it better - but I knew she just needed to cry and she didn't need me to interrupt that. At one point, she said she'd been strong all week and she just didn't feel like being the strong one anymore. She needed me to be the strong one. And for what felt like the first time in a really long, long time, I was able to be the strong one.

I got her through the weekend. I made her laugh. I hugged her. I told her it was going to be alright. We went out to see a movie. We spent some time outside. We didn't talk much, but we spent a lot of time physically close to one another. She needed someone to hang onto and I was happy to be that someone.

She was better yesterday morning and better today before she left for work. I feel better because she feels better. I feel stronger because she feels stronger.

It wasn't the weekend I'd been hoping for, but the optimist sitting on my shoulder is whispering in my ear that down the road, we may point to this past weekend as a really solid step forward.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Significance Of A Lawn Mower

We live in a fairly affluent, snooty little suburb with big tract homes on small pieces of land and nearly everyone uses a lawn service. Spring time rolls in and so do the lawn crews, mowing, edging and blowing on a daily basis until we hit winter again near the end of the year. It is an absolute luxury and one that I resisted for while until two years ago when I realized:

1. I hated mowing the lawn. Seriously hated it.

2. I did a particularly crappy job of mowing the lawn. Probably because I hated it.

So I finally caved and hired a lawn service and my wife came home the night after their first day of service, took a look at the lawn and this conversation ensued:

Her: Wow, the lawn looks great.
Me: Yeah, it does.
Her (after a long pause): You hired a lawn service, didn't you?

It was like night and day. We both liked the way it looked and at that moment, we were willing to part with the amount of money it cost to keep the lawn looking like everyone else's. I knew she wasn't thrilled with the arrangement - she is frugal to the core and the idea of paying someone to cut the grass when I was certainly capable of doing it myself didn't sit all that well with her - but she also knew how much I despised the job, so at the time, I guess she was willing to overlook it.

I say I guess because we never really talked about it. We talked around it, but not about it, which could be said about MANY things in our relationship over the last few years.

Then last year we had a garage sale and we sold our lawn mower. I was happy to see it go - I'd had it for nearly ten years and I had settled in to having our yard look awesome - but she was not. She was irritated and grumpy for days about it, making the occasional dig about how she couldn't believe we'd gotten rid of it. I ignored the digs and again - we didn't talk about it.

And the not talking about it started bubbling over last fall. She was pissed every week when the charge came through for the service. I was pissed at her for not understanding how much I hated mowing the lawn.

(Time out - I don't hate mowing the lawn because I'm lazy - I hate it because my allergies flare, because the structure of our yard - actually every yard we've ever had to maintain - makes it far more difficult to mow than your average yard, because I inevitably get stung and bit by multitudes of insects and because in the nearly thirteen years that we've owned property together, I'm the only that has ever done it. So while I can be lazy, this wasn't about laziness. Back to our story...)

And again - we didn't talk about it.

At the end of the season, she was adamant that we weren't hiring anyone this year and I was just as adamant that I wasn't going to do it.

Do you see what I'm getting at?

We just stopped communicating. Talked around things, rather than about them. Talked at one another, rather than with one another. Selling that lawn mower was a signal to her that I just didn't understand her anymore, that I didn't give a shit about spending money, that I didn't get the pressure she felt as the sole salary earner in our family and that I didn't get that my not mowing the lawn felt to her like I just didn't care about our home or our family.

I didn't see that then, but I see it now.

The lawn service was due to start next week. I canceled it last week, confirmed the cancellation yesterday. She was pretty surprised and then expressed concern about my allergies.

It was nice to hear, but I've got medication.

And I bought a used lawn mower for $60 this morning.

I guess it's the little things.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Almost Blowing It

(Please excuse the mess that has become this blog. I somehow screwed up the template for this blog and lost everything that I'd put together and I'm trying to figure out how to put it together. The fine folks at Blogger do not seem interested at all in helping me out...)

(UPDATE: I fixed it! I fixed it! Okay, everyone settle down...)

So I almost screwed up today.

One of the things that my wife has continually told me since all of this has unfolded is that she needs time to herself - time to get her head straight, time to remember who she is and time to just chill out. She works an inordinate number of hours at the Big Important Job and then she comes home to me and The Child and there ends up being very little time for herself.

That's been a hard thing for me to get my head around because all I want is time with her. And any time that she wants to spend without me feels like a rejection. I know that isn't really the case, but that's what it feels like and it's something that I haven't dealt well with. I've been trying and the progress has been...slow. Which sucks for both of us because it's become a source of tension - she dreads asking me for an hour to herself and I dread that hour.

It's gotten better. Our counselor was able to point some things out to me that made a lot of sense and last week, it felt much easier. It wasn't a physical drag to give her some space. And the counselor also pointed out to me yesterday that anything that I'm able to do in that regard is helping rebuild the trust and the bond.

So I thought I had it covered.

But my wife called me this morning and asked if I minded if she took off part of the day tomorrow to spend some time by herself.

It caught me off-guard and all of my initial reactions were wrong. I completely regressed. I was suspicious. (Friday happens to be a day that The Assface tends to leave the office early.) I was hurt. (I'd been asking for her to cut back on her hours, to spend more time at home.) I was a little angry. (Why doesn't she wanna spend time with me? And I expressed all of those things in a matter of minutes.

She immediately started backpedaling, telling me never mind, it wasn't a big deal. But she was upset and couldn't hide it and irritated with me because I wasn't putting it all in context.

And I wasn't.

I forgot that we had a really good day yesterday.

I forgot that she said something incredibly nice and meaningful to me this morning.

I forgot that she grabbed my butt this morning on the way out the door. (Sounds insignificant? Trust me - it was HUGE. The act, I mean, not my butt. It sent me sky high.)

I forgot that Friday afternoons are by far the easiest time for her to clear her desk and get out of the office for a few hours.

I forgot that I've started to trust her again and that she's given me no reason to not trust her.

I immediately started telling her that I was sorry, that I was being an idiot, that if that's what she needed, then that's what I wanted her to do. She was still irritated with me and had to get ready for a call and we cut our conversation short.

Fortunately, we had already planned to have lunch. So I got my shit together, didn't let it fester and when I saw her for lunch, explained exactly why I lost it for about five minutes. Explained why I knew I was wrong and explained why I really, really wanted her to take the time for herself. I think she was skeptical at first - I think she was also worried that I would work myself up into a frenzy tomorrow while she was out and she sure as hell didn't wanna come home to that - but I think she finally saw that I was genuinely serious. We both agreed that I'd been a bit of jackass - my word, not hers - and then we were able to laugh about it while we had lunch.

So I think she's gonna take the afternoon off and spend a couple of hours by herself at a place outdoors tomorrow - nice weather here and there is little that improves her mood more than sunshine. And I want her to and I'm okay with it. Really.

Put up or shut up, right?