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I’m not a “to do”

26 Nov

There are several problems all connected. They are like a ball of wool. I’m trying to unravel it one string at a time, but occasionally one string pulls on another and they come out together…or only part of one strand comes out and is left in the mix, the mess, our relationship,  for a long time. 

First Strand: I am not a “to do” list item.

We have had discussions about what we need from each other. This is a smart thing to do in a relationship. If H doesn’t know what he needs from me, then how am I supposed to provide it? If I don’t know what I need from H, how is he supposed to fulfill my needs? I have asked H what he needs from me. H doesn’t know. More on this another time. Well there are TWO THINGS that I ask for: date night on Wednesday (planned by him) and a clean house one day a week (the day keeps changing, and although I do a lot of cleaning, H has been unemployed/works from home for quite some time so handles the weekly clean as part of his “job”). These things rarely get done. When they are done, they are usually not done well. This “strand” is a result of a conversation…err, fight we had earlier this week. H sees me as an item on his “to do” list. Read: not as his wife, his lover, his woman to cherish. Doing the things I need and having sex with me are items he “does to cross off my action items for the week”. I am NOT an ITEM on a “To Do” list. I am your wife. I have feelings. As long as you see me as an item, you will not be “doing” me at all. Ever.

Second Strand: Say what you mean, not what you think will get you out of trouble.

For Thanksgiving we have had a lot of people around. It has been busy. Every night we have a quick “What the plan is for tomorrow” meeting. Today there were two football games to be played (H and many of his friends). Tonight we are doing a birthday dinner for my sister at my mom’s house, since her birthday is this coming week but we’ll all be back in different places by then. H heard this all last night at the “meeting”. After the full day of football (instead of the reading and napping I really wanted to be doing), I heard H talking to the one friend of his that neither I nor my sister can really stand to be around. He was telling said friend that he was not going to make it after all to dinner tonight out at Chilis. I asked him if he thought making plans with this particular friend was a good idea considering my sister and I don’t like him, and we’d be together tonight. He dodged. I tried again. Dodged again. I finally just told him he has a problem just telling people the truth. He didn’t want to say no, so he added more work by having to have another few texts and a phone conversation to tell his friend that it wasn’t going to work. In the midst of all that, he interrupted me to say that for all he knew the girls were doing a girls’ night out. Seriously? WTF! He KNEW we weren’t from our “meeting” last night. Don’t just say what you think will get you out of trouble. That makes me MORE angry.

Third Strand: Listen just for a minute at least!

During our fight, H interrupted me. When I pointed that out, he denied it, saying, “I thought you were done”. Problem is that I was literally in the middle of a sentence – not even a pause! Just by stating that, he incriminated himself. On top of that, he also was texting while “listening” to me. THEN he had the audacity to tell me that he’d rather I not ask questions, but say what I mean. Last time (in a fight over a dirty house) I came out and said what I meant, he told me to ask questions and give him a chance to defend himself so we would be on the same page. Again, WTF?  And then forgetting plans for the evening…listening would make me feel like I exist, and like there is an actual marriage here.

Fourth Strand: Do you even want resolution?

H is frequently telling me that he thinks I like fighting and that I don’t actually want a resolution. Meanwhile, he doesn’t listen to me, doesn’t remember as a result of not listening, doesn’t follow through on the TWO things he is supposed to do, and then says what he THINKS will get him out of trouble. When H provides excuses for this actions that make me upset, he is avoiding confrontation, and therefore eliminating the chance of any kind of resolution. Just tell the fucking truth and it may get messy, but at least it will be truth instead of teh stress of determining the difference between truth and lies.

As I’m writing this, which is only about 15 minutes after our fight, H has 3 friends in the living room watching the Michigan vs. Ohio State game that he DVR’d today. Seriously? He literally JUST called them to come over. Who is actually the one avoiding resolution?

P.S. Readers, I actually do love my husband, but right now I don’t like him. At all.

 

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I shouldn’t be doing this… (W)

8 Nov

I shouldn’t be teaching Bible verses to the kids in Sunday School.

I shouldn’t be telling my little sister to be kind to people who make her mad.

I shouldn’t be giving any marriage advice.

I shouldn’t be telling kids in school not to curse.

I shouldn’t be singing in the worship team at church on Sunday mornings.

I shouldn’t be, but I am.

The more I think, the more I know those feelings of being not good enough are lies from the pit of hell. I FEEL like I shouldn’t be telling people these things, or doing these things because I am not able to do always do them myself.

The truth is I am a sinner.

The truth is I need God.

The truth is no-one (read: I ) can do it alone.

We were made to be in community and we die if we are alone. That is why so many lonely people are depressed.

Someone once told me that anything held in secret is held in shame. That does NOT mean you have to tell the whole world your secrets (although in this case I kind of am!), but it means in order to be free of guilt or shame, whether it is legitimate or put on yourself unfairly, you HAVE to tell someone.

I am a real person. I FEEL I shouldn’t be singing in church or teaching bible verses, or giving advice because I fail in so many areas and in so many areas I am NOT a good role model. But the truth is, there are many ways I AM a good role model. And a truly good role model protects the innocent from things that may hinder their growth, but allows them to see the world and people as many faceted and imperfect. Who will ever realize they are worthy of God’s love and help  if they see everyone else around them living perfectly? They will  feel not good enough.I am a good role model when I can show people and kids that no-one is perfect, and that is WHY we need God.

If people are real and open and honest more, we would have a lot less people feeling alone in their particular area of suffering or personal battle within whether it be hypocrisy, insecurity, addiction, fear, whatever…

Mother In Law – ARGH!

5 Nov

I know all the jokes about mother in laws. My MIL is the reason for these jokes infortunately. I REALLY wish this was not the case. I have even been in counseling over some of the issues. You can read some of the drama here. This is  just  a catharsis to write this down, because I know in the grand scheme of things this does NOT matter.

Since our relationship is not great, I take great pains to initiate time together with my MIL. I live in NJ, she lives in CT. It is a 3 hour drive between houses. She routinely takes the family to VT (3 hours from their house), but somehow always manages to never make it to NJ because “it is too far”. Almost any time we spend together is when H and I drive to CT.

Anyhow, I decided that despite it being the end of the marking period, and despite the mountain of essays and projects I have to grade this weekend, I would invite my MIL and family to meet in NY state near H’s uncle’s house to go hiking for the afternoon. We could do something active in the good weather, and spend time together. She took it upon herself to un-invite extended family (from MY hike invitation!). So we are 5 minutes away from family, that I invited to the hike, and she UNINVITED them! I re-invited them and a heated telephone conversation ensued between H and her. (I will spare you some of the more mundane details of other “issues” she had over a stupid hike (read: timing switching, being mad we invited my sister and her other grown son) ) Because she is so controlling, after all this happening she called back to tell us that the hiking spot we picked was “too complicated to get to” so she picked a different spot.

I am angry. I will and need to get over it, but just had to get it out. I’m sorry to be “that” person today with my complaints. I know I am supposed to do all things without complaining, but I just am so human today.I am in tears because I try so hard to make things better, and I feel like she takes over and tries to control everything. She adds to much stress to my life.

Anyone else ever experience anything similar or have any advice?

Why don’t you want me?(W)

4 Nov

It’s very scary to put this all out on the internet…so bear with me as I approach this very personal topic:

Our sex life has always been complicated, but lately frequency is low… I’m sure it’s more than some couples, but it is infrequent. Like once every two weeks now. If we’re lucky. It is a very complicated issue with many facets that have and have yet to be explored.

One of the main things I hate about our marriage is our sex life. That sounds terrible because it basically is a terrible thing to admit. H is a good lover but I often feel like he doesn’t want me. He has initiated sex like twice. Ever.  H is constantly being sensitive to me, and assuming I’m tired or in pain, and doesn’t want me to feel pressured. How sweet that he is thinking of you you say? No!!!!!! It is not sweet. INTENTIONS DON’T COUNT. As a result of his “sweetness” and selfless thoughts,  he never initiates because he always thinks I am tired or in pain, and he has convinced himself that he has a low sex drive. Lies! He does not… he has CONVINCED himself that he has a low sex drive as a way to cope with the situation. (No, I am not a psychologist).  Anyhow, he is constantly saying things to me about wanting sex or finding me attractive, but never asks for it. Once again, decisions are left with me. Of course. I have to make every decision. As a matter of fact, recently he said to me, ” I want you to find some way to release stress, and I know we never have sex because of your pain.” I was livid. L.I.V.I.D. My pain is occasionally to blame for us not having sex – but I mean occasionally. Like I’m sure every other couple has the occasional headache or gets sick etc. I do have chronic pain, but not the kind that affects our sex life. That is just H’s excuse for not initiating.

When he doesn’t initiate I feel unwanted. And that really sucks. It is a big hit to my self-esteem, my confidence, and my overall happiness in our marriage and in my life. It brings me back to feelings of mistrust and “not good enough” from my past, and our past…
Other factors that have, or do, affect our sex life (read: too many to discuss now, but will come later): pornography, trust, pride, confidence, orgasms.
There are some things that are supposed to be between a man and his wife, and their sexual intimacy loses something when it is shared with someone else, but there are aspects of sex that NEED to be discussed. It is normal, but I have felt so alone because I don’t ever hear anyone else talk about problems they have in this area. I just want H to want me. In a way I can feel it.

Again (W)

3 Nov

So we were without power and heat from Saturday through Tuesday night. It was COLD.

It’s been awhile since I wrote, but once again, H left, and although he said, “I love you,” it did not feel like he does. I work so hard every day, and the only thing I have asked of him (since he has been out of full time work since July 2010) is that he clean the house on Wednesdays. It is still not clean, and it is almost Friday. I am working here at home again. He is gone out to a fire drill again.

Priorities: things in your life that matter most.

Clearly, I can see that fire department, part time work, x-box, bible study and almost anything else top whatever I want.

I’m tired.

Saturday sex?

8 Oct

I cheated and read H’s blog before I’m writing this one (we’re not supposed to do that). Anyhow, last night we actually went out together to a birthday party that was okay, but when we got home we decided to go out together for a drink. Just for fun. Because we never have fun together anymore. I was excited. That is – until our drinks arrived and he said, “I told your mom about our blog”.

PAUSE’> Mom, if you or any other family member is reading this, please, PLEASE stop and never read it again. This is the one place I can vent/explain/process my emotions so that I don’t hide anything in shame, can make someone (hopefully) feel not so alone (even if that someone is me), and can do all that without hurting the people I’m talking about. Well obviously H reads this. Thanks.

PLAY> Ok, so I flipped. As is flipped out (not as in gymnastics. I never was good at that stuff). I literally called him an f  ‘ing moron and left. I walked home. At almost 1am. In the dark. I left him there. I just could not believe it. First of all, this place is supposed to be a “safe” place for us to share (i.e. no hurting family members in case we say something in anger and because not all of it is their business even though we share it with complete strangers!). Secondly, he told her last Saturday and waited a week to tell me. He KNEW he shouldn’t have said anything. NOTHING is sacred with him. It makes me feel like crap. “Supposedly” he forgot to tell me. Thirdly, he had to wait til the one time we are having fun together to tell me? He had waited a week. What is one more hour? And last of all, he said he told her to forget it and never go here. Thankfully I trust my mother. Sadly, I do not trust my husband. He just gave me one more reason to doubt him.

When he came home he told me he had run into a friend and had to tell him I was mad. Uggh. Anyway, for the first time ever I told him I hate him, and I slept alone in bed. He slept on the couch. Until this morning when my alarm went off at 6:30. Thanks H (he had set it). For the record, I don’t really hate him. I just said it. I said it because I don’t know what to do. When I’m calm, he forgets things. When I’m angry he forgets things. When I yell he forgets things. I’m always invisible. I figured I give it one last try to get his attention. It didn’t. So, world, I do not hate my husband, but I DO hate how he makes me feel. I feel he took away my voice, and my sense of trust in him (that is a loooong story though).

So what does this have to do with the title “Saturday Sex”? Well I was sad this morning, because for the first time in along time we have no obligations other than errands and school work to do today, so we essentially have the morning to ourselves. Well, it made me sad all of a sudden when I realized that neither of us even so much as considered having “Saturday sex”. All because of the last few weeks. How much has changed! I’m sad deep in my soul today. For what was taken from me, for what is lost, and for what could be.

If I didn’t love him so much, I wouldn’t feel so terrible.

Another date-less Wednesday… (W)

5 Oct

When we were in therapy (and actually even before that ) I communicated to H some things that I needed from him. There were some abstract things like making me a priority, don’t treat me like I’m invisible etc. But there was ONE ACTION ITEM.

The one practical thing I need:  an official date night once a week where H makes all the decisions.

I spend all day every day being in charge and making decisions for other people. I’m a middle school teacher. I manage hormones and small life crisis, amid grammar and writing for what seems like an eternity each day. I know what it’s like to speak to someone who has the memory of a fruit fly, and who cannot retain any information from minute to minute. I know what it’s like for people who struggle with absract concepts. After all, tell a kid he has detention tomorrow, and it’s like telling him he has a test eight years from next Tuesday. In middle school, life is concrete. Everything is concrete or else seems crazy. There is no abstract. I can handle this at work. But I can’t deal with it being my experience at home too. My 12 year old sister remembers more than H ever does. Seriously. I need a freakin’ break.

So back to the action item: date night. Well, Wednesday is our “date night” since H is out doing various things on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Since last November, he has planned and taken me on ONE date. It was to a junky pizza place we like, it was snowing, and I think we MAYBE went to Starbucks later. It was not expensive, did not take a lot of time to plan, and did not take very long. But it was wonderful! I had the best time. I relaxed for the only time in my living memory (well…okay that is a bit of an exaggeration). The point is that is was not hard for H to plan, and it was fun for me. I felt appreciated, relaxed and definitely not invisible for a few short hours.

Every Wednesday rolls around with a hope and a disappointing fight. Today’s went something like this (after already asking on two occasions about date night, but being blown off):

H:” What are you thinking for dinner?”

Me: “I don’t know. I guess you didn’t plan a date. I have to be honest and say I’m disappointed.”

H:”Well, I’m sorry but I didn’t know how long you’d be at the doctor. You could have been there ’til 10 p.m.”

Me: “I don’t want to fight. I just wanted to let you know how it makes me feel.”

H: “Don’t you understand the extenuating circumstances of today? I had no idea when you would be done!”

Me: ” That’s really a fucking (notice I’m losing it here…) ridiculous reason to give me in place of an apology. Do you even hear yourself?”

At this point H starts yelling at the dog to shut up. Puppy ate recently. He needs to poop.

Me: “Go take him out. Don’t yell at him!”

H: Walks out, muttering unintelligibly under his breath. Slams door so the whole block hears it.

Me: Change into comfy clothes, start blogging, still deciding what the hell to eat for dinner…

 

Is my frustration reasonable? Am I being too hard on H?