TWENTY Years

We have been married for 20 years.   TWENTY YEARS.

I don’t feel old enough for that to be possible!

But yes, today is our 20th anniversary.  And I really felt like celebrating it this year!  For real.  That is the best feeling ever.

I found this quaint little cabin not too far away with a hot tub that I wanted to rent and have a little get away but hubby shot that idea down cuz it was too expensive.  I disagreed but let it go….  I should have just booked it and then surprised him.

He worked last night of course. We decided to go to breakfast this morning together since evenings are full of baseball games and all sorts of other kid events.

There is a new Bob Evans in our area so we went there and got big yummy breakfast meals.  Then we ran around to do a few errands and came home.  Not very exciting but… it was fun.  And relaxing.  Then we came home and enjoyed each others company a little bit more before he went to sleep :)

I feel secure it my marriage.  I feel happy.  I feel loved.  The other day his jerk side popped out and I was very worried but just went away from him for a while.  The next day I asked him about it and he said knew he wasn’t being OK and explained what he was feeling and we moved on.  Life isn’t prefect.  It never will be.  But I love my husband and he loves me and we have a happy marriage.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to say that!

Today, I am PROUD to say that I have been married to this man for 20 years.  (We all know that wasn’t always the case!!!)

When I initially told hubby about the cabin I wanted to rent, he said that he’d be happy just to stay home and cook some burgers on the grill.   I said What is that??  This is 20 years we need to do something more special!!  Ha.

Later I was thinking about that and it grew in my mind to having a party.  I thought we could do it a Friday evening – 7:00ish so it would soon get dark and we could enjoy the firepit and some fire works and glow stick on the trampoline (Kids – not me!)….  I picture us inviting both sides of the family and maybe even some friends.  And let the kids invite friends too.  Plus it seems more causal if it is dark out and we aren’t all sitting there in the sunlight wondering what to say to each other… we never get together with both sides of the family so that might be a little weird.  But I think that letting the kids invite friends too makes it all a bit more chaotic and fun and not calm and boring with people not knowing what to say.  I picture burgers on the grill, hot dogs and kraut in the crockpot, potatoe skins in the oven, my mom-in-laws pies, chips, dips, fruit trays and veggies with dip.  My sis-in-law has some lawn games we could borrow.  Hubby’s side of the family likes to drink so we can have coolers with beer and wine coolers, and another with soda.  I want to send people invitations that say “Come help us celebrate our 20th anniversary!”  See, I’m figuring it all out in my head.

A few days ago I asked him if he meant he wanted to have people over and do burgers…. he said no, I meant just our family…  So he meant just like that’s what he’d like for dinner.  Ha.  He laughed off the idea of a party.

I brought it up again today in the car.  I told him who I wanted to invite etc.  I told him I feel like we are in a good place and have a happy marriage and its been a crazy 20 years and I think we are happier now than for a long long time – maybe ever.  He agreed with the “maybe ever” statement by the way.  :)  I told him I actually feel like celebrating this cuz I’m so happy and proud of us.  He didn’t say a lot but said “let me think about it…..”   I even told him the date I want to have it.  So now, I will wait a few days before I bring it up again.  Obviously if he doesn’t want to, it will not be fun, it will be stressful and something for us to argue about instead of being a celebration so I need to get him on board.

I’m really excited about it though and that surprises me actually.

 

It works better than crying at him :)

My primary love language is words of affirmation.  That is SO very opposite of the way hubby is.  Go figure.  We’ve talked about it plenty and sometimes he takes a hint and says something nice when he knows I really need to hear it.

The other day one of my lovely teenagers was being a terror the way only teenagers can do and I was feeling guilty and sad that she “hated” me.  I needed him to tell me I was a good mom – despite her screaming at me that I was the worst.  He was getting ready to leave for work.  I said I really need to hear it – I’m a good mom right???  He just laughed and kept getting ready.  I said “seriously hun!  You don’t think I’m wrong do you?”  He said I wasn’t wrong (about saying no to kid2).  So when he was leaving he gave me a hug and I said “Can you just tell me that I’m a good mom??? It will make me feel better!”  He said “I told you that you weren’t wrong!  Why are you bugging me about this?” and got a bit irritated.  He left for work and I cried.

The whole night had been tense with kid2 trying to get her way and being angry at me for not giving in.  I needed a hug and some reassurance from him.  As I typed that sentence up there – me asking him to tell me I was a good mom, it sounds pathetic on my part.  I see that.  Especially now that its typed out.  But really!  I am a person that doesn’t have a lot of self-confidence.  I’m much better than I used to be and still working in it.  BUT he knows this about me.  He knows all about my childhood and why I am the way I am – why couldn’t he have just thrown me a bone!?!?  Yea, that reference makes me look even more pitiful doesn’t it?  Ugh.  Hopefully you know what I mean.

I’ve figured out that what hubby needs is for me to give him my undivided attention when he’s talking to me.  He wants eye contact – that makes him feel loved.  No, he didnt tell me this.  That would be mushy and involve talking about feelings….lol  But I’ve learned this about him.  So I do it as often as possible.  It’s not always possible, but I try.

And there I was, telling him exactly what I needed. (Cuz I don’t expect him to guess cuz that doesn’t work)  And he wouldn’t do it!

And that hurt.  That was … rejection.  Being rejected sucks.

I think that he wouldnt say it because I asked him to say it. In his mind, I told him to say it.  Hubby hates being told what to do.  He digs his heels in and won’t budge if he feels like he is being bossed around.

My heart was crying out and begging for his approval.  And he refused.  I wasn’t being bossy, I was being pathetic and begging.  Wow.  This post sucks.  Who knows where it will lead next!  lol

Anyway, I calmed down and sent him the text below.

2014-01-21 14.10.23 - Copy

The point of this post is that I’ve found texting him a summed up version of the problem works so much better than an intense conversation.  I try to keep it short & to the point, offer a solution and keep it light.  And if I can make it funny at all, I add that too. Now that I’ve typed this all out I wish I had a better example.  (One that didn’t highlight my neediness!)  but the point is the same.  I’ve done this with a lot of things.  Sometimes he’ll reply.  Most of the times he wont.  Sometimes he’ll comment the next day.  Most of the times he won’t.  Sometimes things will change and I know he got my point.  Other times it makes no difference and things continue as they were.   Only time will tell if that last text makes any difference.

But isn’t that the same as the big “we need to talk” conversations?  I hate those.  I’m trying to avoid those because they don’t work for us.  He immediately feels attacked and shuts down.  That makes me feel like he doesn’t care how I feel – which means he doesn’t love me – which makes me wonder why I bother trying so hard to fix this marriage….which leads to the divorce discussion.  Those conversation go downhill fast for us and do nothing to help us fix things.

My Marriage is Good & Other Random Updates

Hi.  It’s been a while.  Just the usual busyness of life.  Funny how the blog posts still play in my head though.  I have all sorts of thing to say when I’m in the middle of other things and no time to type.  Then I come here and don’t remember what I wanted to say… lol

I set the time for an hour and gave myself permission to update my blog instead of working or cleaning :)

Let’s see… Marriage – Really good.  Amazing.  So awesome that I can say my marriage is good!  Yay!  I believe he has turned a corner and is truly coming out of the fog of anger and misery that he has been living in the past few years.  He laughs a lot now.  And smiles.

THANK YOU LORD!

I’m still getting used to it.  I’m still trying to let my guard down and trust him again.  I am constantly waiting for a negative reaction from him.  I still expect him to blow up over all sorts of stupid things.  He keeps proving me wrong and amazing me.  I think the kids are feeling the same , someone says or does something that used to fire him up in a ridiculous, completely unnecessary way – and we all kind of just wait and maybe look at each other with an “Oh no” type of look… and then he handles it like a normal person.  And then we all breathe a silent sigh of relief and life goes on.

I feel like I can say whatever I want to now.  Well not ANYTHING – I still try to be tactful and I am working my way up to some things…. one step at a time right!?

I point things out to him all the time though.  I’m not trying to nag him – I just want him to see things in a different way.  I want him to see how the rest of us look at the things that he gets ticked off about.  This past weekend – several times he yelled “You people!”  like he was disgusted about something we’d all done.   One was about the dishwasher, the other was about a clogged toilet.   So on Sunday morning while we were drinking coffee and gabbing, I said “Think you can get through the day without yelling “You people!” at us?”  I said it with a smile and in a relaxed way so he wouldn’t feel attacked and we wouldn’t have to get in a fight about it.  He said he just says that cuz he doesn’t know who did it and he’s talking to all of us.  I said yelling you people and storming away doesn’t do anything except make us wonder what hes ticked off  about now. He said he wasn’t ticked off. He just wanted people to know … blah blah blah.  I think the rest of the story is irrelevant.  The point is that we talk about this stuff now.  We talk TO each other now.  I call him on his crappy behavior.  And don’t worry he calls me on mine – he always has.  lol  But now he does it in a nicer way.

We have been watching American idol together as a family the way we used to.  Sounds corny I guess but there are so few things on TV that we all want to watch.   Not all of the kids are always there but whoever is home comes to the living room and we hangout and watch and laugh and talk at commercials :)  At first he made a comment about not liking Harry.  I said why?? cuz he’s a hottie??  He just looked at me and frowned.   Well he’s changed his mind and thinks he’s hilarious now.  But compare this to when the guy at the grocery store told me I have beautiful eyes and hubby sulked and was a jerk for days…. I called another guy a hottie TO HIS FACE and all he did was frown!

Don’t want this to get real long and hard to read.  I have a bunch of draft posts that I started and plan to look through here now and post or trash them.  Things are going to be all out of order.  And probably contradictory too.    Yes, my marriage is pretty good.  Better than its been in a lot of years.  That being said, he still pisses me off.  ha  Some days he still does some really jerky things.  I’m not saying its all fixed.  I’m saying it is SSSOOOOO much better.

I apologize in advance for the randomness of my updates, if I stress about doing this “right” I wont do it and then I’ll get further behind.  This blog is my place to vent, not a place that should stress me out about not doing it right, all in order etc.  Just saying. Ok.  Bye!

Hope

I’ve been thinking about this for a while.

Sofia asked me in her comments on my post “Anger, Heartache, Relief and Confusion” if the “great guy” I fell in love with ever really was a great guy or if he was always just a monster in disguise.  My gut reaction was that he absolutely WAS a great guy.  It was real!   But this blog is all about me being real with myself and that question haunted me.  What if it never was real?  What if I am just in love with the IDEA of him and not really in love with him – because HE doesn’t really exist the way I think he does?  Am I just in denial?

My conclusion:  He wasn’t always like this.  That great guy did exist.

I don’t know if he still does but that is what I am counting on.

I don’t  think that he is passive aggressive like many of the horrible hubbys I read about on the blogs of my dear cyber friends.  Some of the things he does seem to fit the description, many others do not.

I think mainly he is just an angry jerk.

He wasn’t always a jerk.  He has had his moments but the jerk moments were not his main personality like now.

He has never been “easy-going”.  And we often had problems communicating, misunderstanding each other.  That’s true.  But we always liked each other even when we disagreed.

For a while there I thought he was depressed. I still wonder that.  It seems he is just chronically angry.  He has put his defenses up and appointed me the enemy.  I’m not sure exactly when or why that happened.  A few things pop into my mind though…

In April 2008 he convinced himself that I was cheating on him.  I wasn’t and his accusation were ridiculous if you ask me.  They were completely unfounded.  I think that now he believes that nothing ever happened but that situation did some damage. (I think I blogged about this before and its a long stupid story that I don’t feel like typing out.  I NEVER cheated on him tho.)

It was a horrible time.  He said that he had trusted me completely and that trust was now shattered.  He even said something about how he had put me up on a pedestal, how he looked up to me before and now he had lost all respect for me.  He didn’t think that I was the kind of person that could ever do this. I’ll never forget it.  He had never spoken to me like that before.  He said he lost all respect for me – and I could see it in his eyes – it was true.  He was angry but weirdly calm.  I explained what I could and denied any wrong doing (which apparently just made me sound guilty).  He didn’t believe me.  That made me mad.  He didn’t trust me for a long time after that.  And I was mad for a long time because I had done nothing wrong.

About 2 months after this is when I had my first panic attack.  Hmm.  I never put those 2 events together before….

Sometime in 2010 he started working 3rd shift which meant we no longer shared a bed.  Like ever.  No more gab sessions at bedtime.  No more foot rubbing.  No more cuddling.  Hardly ever any sex.  Bedtime was always our main time to talk & connect with each other.  Gone.  (I miss it so badly!  I have been so freakin lonely since he started 3rd shift!)

Nov 2010 –  I started this blog.  Our marriage was at its all time low.

There have been many ups and downs since then.

Many days I read over my posts and ask myself what the hell I am still doing here.

But here is a fact.

Things really HAVE improved since I started  this blog.  When I read back to some of my first posts – my God he was terrible.  He still isn’t awesome – and some days he’s still pretty terrible – but not like then.

And maybe it seems better now because I am a stronger person than I was then.

Here’s the thing.

He really wasn’t always like this.  Anger has taken over his life and now he’s a jerk.  But I believe with all my heart that he is still in there.  My prayer is that he can hurry up and get out of this nasty fog before I give up on him.  On us.  I do believe that he is the one and only that God intended for me.  I still feel that deep in my soul.  He is my home.  And I am his.

I hate that I feel embarrassed to type these things and put them out here in public after typing out all the crappy stuff that happens.  Of course I look like a blind idiot.  I know that.  And I will continue to post about my hurts and I’m sure just reinforce to you all that he is not who I think he is.  That kinda sucks but it is what it is.

Truth:  He may not be that guy anymore.  He may not ever be again.  I know that.

I guess I’m just not willing to give up hope yet.

I pray every day that this will be worth it in the end.

I WANT More.

I want you to WANT to be happy.

That’s true.  I want more than that though.

.

I want you to WANT to get along with people.

I want you to WANT to make our marriage better.

I want you to WANT to sleep in the same bed.

I want you to WANT to make me happy.

I want you to WANT to stop swearing.

I want you to WANT know God.

I want you to WANT confident kids, not kids you control.

I want you to WANT to teach our kids right & wrong, not just how to look out for themselves in this world.

I want you to WANT to go on dates with me.

I want you to WANT to share your life with me.

I want you to WANT to have sex with me.

I want you to WANT to get off 3rd shift so you can sleep more and feel better.

I want you to WANT ME.

.

Because I WANT YOU.

I want to do / be all those things for you.  I want the same thing from you.

What I Want

.

.

I want you to WANT to be happy.

.

.

Anger, Heartache, Relief and Confusion

I almost ended my marriage Sunday evening.

I friggin hate this.

Saturday he ignored me most of the day.   He didn’t talk to me until we had been elbow deep in tomatoes for about 2 hours.  Seriously.  Imagine canning tomatoes in silence. I’m not sure exactly why but I’m guessing it’s because I didn’t do what he wanted on Friday.  We were supposed to can tomatoes Friday evening.  He was out playing with his tractors most of the night though and didn’t come in until 9pm.  He wanted to start them then.  I said I wasn’t staying up all night canning so I wasn’t going to do that.  I told him if he wanted to juice them, go ahead but I wouldn’t be canning them until Saturday morning. He seemed alright about it at the time but who knows.  Whatever.

Then Sunday he barely spoke to me all day again.  It just pissed me off.  And you all know I’ve already been mad and ready to tell him off so I did.  I went to the basement and told him about how things like that tractor show breakfast and the birthday picnic ticked me off cuz he was so obnoxious.  And then the fact that he decided to ignore me all weekend didn’t help matters.  AND he hasn’t even slept in the same bed as me for a few weeks!  I’m tired of being ignored.  I’m tired of putting up with his rudeness.  He just acts mean and hateful towards people and I hate that.  I wanted to give him an ultimatum but was having trouble putting it into words.

I did tell him (again!) that I am not happy.  That I need more from him.  That I don’t like being around him when he switches over to jerk mode and that there is no way I’m sticking around if that’s the way it’s gonna be.  Yea, that was the wimpy way to tell him….

And guess what?  He seemed OK with us splitting and he said that maybe that is the only way for us to be happy.   So we wouldn’t have to keep having these same arguments.  He has no intention of changing because he doesn’t think he is doing anything wrong.  And if I am that miserable, which he doesn’t understand, then maybe I should just do what I need to do to take care of me. He wasn’t being sassy or mean.  It was a pretty raw conversation.

And that scared the hell out of me.

When he left for work that night – it was up in the air.  He didn’t know if he wanted to keep trying or if it was time for us to move on.  I told him I felt the same.  My heart was screaming no, but my head was wondering if that is truly the best solution in the long run – even though it will hurt like crazy for a while.

Needless to say I didn’t sleep at all that night.

I read back over the things I have typed here, trying to put it all into perspective.  It looks bad all typed out.  I know that.  It’s hard to deny the facts when its out there like that.  And that is one of the reason I do this.

But see here is the thing.  I really don’t want to leave my marriage.  I just want him to knock his shit off!  (I can just hear you guys laughing hysterically at me for saying that… don’t worry, I’m laughing at myself too.)

We had it good.  For a pretty long time actually.  And this jerk that I’ve seen more and more of the past few years – I don’t accept that this is who he is now.  Yes.  it’s called denial.  But I know there is more to him.  I’ve seen it.  I’ve felt it.  I was the recipient of his unselfish love for a lot of years.

I hate that he is angry at the world now.  It is ugly.  I really really hate it.  If I met him now for the first time, I wouldn’t like him at all.  That is the truth.  That isn’t the case though.  I’ve known this man since I was 16 and he was 17.  I know there is so much more to him.  And I still see it some days.  He is still in there.  I don’t want to walk away and not be here when he comes back.

A thought popped into my head and it really irked me… what if we split – then he gets a big slap in the face cuz life has a way of doing that to you – and he decides being angry isn’t working and comes out of his darkness.  Then he meets another woman.  Guess what?  She gets the good parts of him.  NO!  That is not cool.  I had the good parts and I want them back.  If I knew he was gonna stay an angry man for the rest of his life, I think I could walk away.  But I don’t know that.

I have gone through postpartum depression.  I have been HORRIBLE to live with.  When I finally went to the doctor I told him I was lucky to still have a husband and I needed help before I drove him away.  I am still embarrassed when I think back and remember what a raving lunatic I was.  I went through that after both my 2nd and 3rd babies.  There  were a lot of ups and downs those years and he stood by me.

I don’t know.  Maybe I need to stand by my man.  No, that doesn’t mean I accept his behavior.  It doesn’t mean I become a doormat and just quietly wait it out.

Maybe it means that I stand strong and weather the storm with him.

I don’t know if I even agree with or believe the words I am typing right now.

Oh and we talked a little bit Monday morning before he went to sleep.  He said “We have to make this work don’t we?  Especially for our kids.”

I was so relieved to hear that – you have no idea.

I know that I don’t want to walk away if there is a chance that I will get the love of my life back.   I also know that I need to put a stop to the crap that is destroying my soul.

But for now, as always happens, I have to let this go and get back to life.  Kids will be home from school soon.  I need to get supper started.   Kid2 has a basketball game, Kid1 has a volleyball game that my mom is supposed to come to again.  It is also open house night at the grade school so I get to go meet Kid3’s teacher and see his classroom.

And life goes on despite all the crap that swirls around in my head.

It’s a Roller Coaster

Today hubby was very nice and very normal.  This is what throws me for such a loop!

Today after the kids all left on the bus for school, we drank coffee and gabbed.  Then he went to sleep and I got to work.

When he woke up, he worked on getting the heat turned on since the colder weather seems here to stay.  Then we packed some sandwiches etc and headed to the school.  We were getting Kid3 at the elementary school, feeding him a sandwich,  and walking down to Kid2’s Jr High basketball game.  Kid1 was meeting us there for a short while to get her supper and watch Kid2’s game until it was time for her to catch the bus for her away volleyball game.

He was a wonderfully supportive father, cheering her on and enjoying the game.  He helped Kid3 do his math during the game.  He sat behind me on the bleachers so I could lean back against him.  We looked like a married couple that likes each other.  Then we all went to the grocery store.  Then we came home and cooked and ate supper together.  We talked a bit more and helped Kid2 with her report on the Columbian Exchange.  Then hubby went to his mom’s house to move a desk or something she needed help with.  Now he’s back and he and kid3 are watching a football game together.

He was nice.  Pleasant.  Easy to talk to.  Fun, even. NORMAL.

Why can’t he always be normal?  Why does he flip into jerk mode and terrorize us all?

Good Stuff: Fun at the Ballgames

Ballgames have begun.  I don’t think I’ve laughed this much in a long long time.  We are really having a good time together watching Kid3 play.   I remember sitting there last year – hating him, irritated by him “sense of humor”, by his yelling at the game.  I was embarrassed to be sitting there with him.  This weekend was different.  I still think he yells too much at the games – that seems to just be a guy thing though cuz he certainly isn’t alone in that.

I enjoy going to the baseball games with my husband.  Imagine that.

AND when we drive separately cuz he’ll have to leave before it’s over to get ready for work, he kisses me goodbye.  Last summer he would just leave.  He wouldn’t even say goodbye sometimes, much less kiss me.

No Anniversary Facebook Post

I am a big fan of the blog Single Dad Laughing.

This is from his post called 25 Common Facebook Status Updates and What They REALLY Mean

“Common Facebook Status Update #5:
Today is our 15 year anniversary! We’ve had our ups and downs and the roller coaster has been a fun one. I really can’t believe it’s been so long already!
Translates to:
I want to shout out this big milestone but I know that almost all of you know that we’ve almost ended this marriage like fifty times and so I feel silly doing it.”

And this one is off topic but I think it’s hilarious cuz I can SO relate!

“Common Facebook Status Update #11:
Image post of a sleeping child with this caption: It’s been a really long day, Little Johnny had a few major melt-downs, but he just fell asleep and look how cute he is.
Translates to:
I gave him Nyquil. He’s not sick.  And I don’t feel guilty about it.”

The first one hit right on today.  Our 19th anniversary is coming up this weekend and I have no plans to post it on facebook.  I don’t really post a lot of things anyway, I mainly lurk on my kids and comment occasionally on posts by family.  2 or 3 years ago I posted that it was our anniversary – I said something like ’16 years and never a dull moment.’  That’s all I wrote.  The ONLY comment that got was from my s-i-l saying that she doesn’t know how I do it.  HA!

Of course it is possible that people who are not my close friends or family would not have known what that meant.  My guess though is that people did know and they also knew that my marriages sucked and had no comment because of that.  Anyway, as much as I like to think I don’t care if my posts get any comments, let’s all admit that it is a little weird when you write something and you get no response.

Another thing – a woman I know that is so completely fake on facebook and drives me insane makes beautiful heartfelt posts on her anniversary.  It’s a big long paragraph about how she married the perfect guy and how awesome he has made her life and blah blah blah.  The issue I have with that is that her husband is not even on facebook!  So we all know that post is written strictly for her to brag about her awesome life.  She also writes those big long mushy posts on her kid’s birthdays.  Don’t get me started on that.

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This blog is my personal journal. I am trying hard to save my marriage. No, I am trying to build a great marriage. In case you haven't heard, marriage is HARD!
I am fighting back against anxiety & panic attacks. This is year 5 of this adventure. I am also codependent. I am an ACOA. Fun, Fun. I am trying hard to become a better me.