I am still feeling the need to write about my marriage situation. After my post yesterday, I began swimming around reading other blog posts about divorce. One I found to be incredibly moving. Not because I related to it, but I wondered if afterifoundout felt the same as my husband did when I asked for the divorce. Our circumstances aren’t exactly the same, but he was eloquent in describing his pain and emotions when his wife left. My husband is not great at articulating his feelings like that.
It was quite depressing to read. The pain that he felt, I am almost sure my husband felt. My husband had told me that he felt discarded, unappreciated and caught by surprise since he thought things were going so well with him being the stay-at-home-dad and taking excellent care of our child. I know I cannot take the pain back and I know the pain is something that may keep us apart. My husband keeps asking me, “What if you decide you don’t want me again?” I can only say that I will work better and harder at our marriage.
I guess I see this as just another struggle for us to overcome, this separation. I wanted him to go away to realize what exactly he is losing. After our son was born, I could not bear the pain that was handed to me on almost a daily basis. I not only felt pain for myself, but now for my child. Why didn’t my husband want to be home with us? Why did he always want to be out drinking with his friends? I too felt discarded, I felt my son was discarded. We were not important in his life, no matter how much he said we were. I did not believe him.
On my husbands first birthday after our son was born, he had stated firmly that all he wanted was to have a quiet dinner with his family. Since he had to work during the day, I planned a dinner out at a local sushi house. It was our favorite. Around 5:00 pm, he phoned to let me know he was going to have a couple of drinks with his friends then come straight home. I told him that was fine that he deserved a couple of birthday drinks. At 7:00 pm, I received another phone call telling me that he was on his way home. A little later than I expected, but I prepared our infant son and myself for his arrival and to walk out the door for dinner. We sat for another hour and a half, waiting. At 8:45 pm, he finally walked in the door. Totally wasted. I did well at keeping my cool since it was his birthday, I still wanted it to be special. He plopped himself on the couch and was spouting some drunken gibberish about how much fun he had and so on. And that a mutual friend had made him stay later than he wanted to.
I had kept my son awake so he could see his dad and hand him the card and present that we hand-made for him. But when my husband took him, he started throwing him up in the air and being a little rough with him. It scared the crap out of me. At this point, my cool was about to be lost. I pushed the feeling back and handed him the cards we got for him. He opened the one from me first, said nothing and tossed it aside. Then he opened his son’s card which held the hand-made gift. He also tossed it aside.
Since we were low on cash, we spent the day carefully preparing a “Coupon of Love” booklet for him. It contained coupons from both me and our son. There was a coupon for a day at the park, extra hugs and kisses, and other little things. Mine were just as simple: taking out the trash, foot massage, a sexy night in, etc. It broke my heart that he just tossed it to the side. He didn’t even look at it.
I told him to pick it back up and look at what he had made. He did. I got a lovely drunken response, “Oh, this is nice.” Then he tossed it to the side again. He never redeemed any of the coupons and I ended up throwing it away a year later. I put so much thought into it. Designed a cover and back page and each coupon had a unique design. I took time out with my son to make it. And when my son was awake, he was sitting on my lap while I worked on the project. It really devastated me. I was beginning to lose hope. And this was the exact point of the beginning of the end for me. I finally ended up going to the restaurant to pick up some food. I was reluctant to leave my son with him, but I did it. I was going to be gone five minutes since I had pre-ordered the food. Thankfully, nothing happened in the time I was gone. I put our son to bed and we ate quietly. I had nothing to say.
On Mother’s Day, my husband had to work so I invited a friend over to go to a local street fair with us. When he got there, my husband had announced that he wasn’t going to work. He was going to spend the day with us. There was no fanfare for my first Mother’s day. No card or even a Happy Mother’s Day until we got to his mom’s that evening. He had gone and purchased Mother’s day cards for his mom and his sisters. I didn’t get one. My heart was broken again. Dammit! On Mother’s Day. My first Mother’s Day. When he found out that I was upset that he didn’t get me a card, he ran to the local drugstore to pick one up. When I opened it, I was more angry. It said something like “You are such a hard working mother. Sit back and have a drink on me.” What!? Really!? A drink. I’m not the one who drinks. I just sat in one of the rooms with my son, cuddling with him since he was a bit fussy. He’s not used to a house full of noise and chaos, but that’s the environment that existed at my in-laws. I was so sad. I rolled with it because at least I had my son. Then we finally went home. I cried myself to sleep.
The next morning, my husband burst out of bed and left the apartment. When he returned, he had two Mother’s Day cards for me, one from him and one from our child, and a gift certificate for Starbucks. As thoughtful as it was, I felt it was too little too late. I thanked him and pretended that it cheered me up and that all was okay.
The incident that finally killed me…well, there were a bunch of little ones in between, but this one convinced me that things weren’t going to change. He continued to put us second. He came home late one evening, maybe around 10 or 11:00 pm. My son was restless and I could not get him to sleep. I was sitting in the recliner rocking him and singing soft songs when my husband burst in. He was ranting about something. I don’t even remember what it was about. All of his drunken rants sounded the same to me. “You are a bitch. You never let me see my family. You don’t have sex with me anymore.” Only the latter of these statements is true. I suffered postpartum depression that seriously effected my libido. I used to be all about the sex…my drive had dwindled. I asked him if he could keep his voice down and wait until I got our son to bed so we could talk about whatever was bothering him. He said yes, but he kept on yelling at me anyway. I kept responding to him in a sing-songy voice so not to upset my son. I quietly and calmly asked him again and again. He eventually gave up because I stopped responding. And I finally got my son to sleep. I went to place him in his crib and my husband was waiting right outside his door.
He pounced. He yelled at me and said more of the same crap. I did not know how to handle the situation. I needed to keep my voice down so not to wake my son. He yelled again, louder. I finally yelled back, “STOP IT! You are going to wake him up!” Immediately following, I heard my son crying over the monitor. My husband didn’t seem to care. He just kept yelling. I asked him if he was satisfied and left to get my son and I stayed in his room to comfort him and lull him back to sleep. I ended up sleeping in his room with him. I could not face this man that was my husband. I hated him for doing this to his kid.
The next morning, of course, there were apologies all over the place. When I went in to get our son, I noticed something different. He was chewing on his blanket. When I took him out, he made sure that he had a firm grasp on it. He never needed a security blanket, he didn’t even like pacifiers. He was a happy healthy infant…until the night before. He still carries the blanket around everywhere. He hasn’t let it go since.
Repeated apologies was a normal occurrence when my husband came home and verbally attacked me. Most nights, I pretended to be asleep when he got home, if I wasn’t already asleep, that is. It was a confrontation almost every night. One night, my husband came home and passed out in the bed. The kid had started crying shortly after. I asked my husband to get him and feed him, but there was no response. He was out. I kicked him and still nothing. I was frustrated becasue we had agreed on a schedule for the night shifts, he get’s the 2:00 am and I get the 5:00 am, but I ended up taking both shifts. After two months of this, I was terribly sleep deprived. I needed help so bad and I had no one around to help me. I just needed some sleep, I felt I was going crazy. I finally had a breakdown.
I was crying and told my husband that I could not hold my son. I couldn’t take care of him. Just take him. I even went as far as saying that I didn’t want him anymore. This scared the piss out of my husband. He shut me out of our room and took our son. He told me that I couldn’t touch him or hold him and proclaimed that he was going to take him away from me. I felt an instant surge of pain roll through my body.
Did I really just say that? I don’t want my kid? I love my kid so much. How could I say that? I am the worst person in the world. I am the worst mom on the planet. I love my baby so much, how could I do that to him.
It took all morning, but my husband and I spoke about it and I told him that I needed more help. I needed to get some sleep. At that point, I hadn’t slept for seven days straight. I averaged two hours a night, if that. He agreed to finally help me and then I called my doctor and I asked for help. Thank goodness for Zoloft and therapy. It helped tremendously. But funny enough, after that incident, my son started sleeping through the night. My husband was off the hook and I could get some sleep.
My son’s first year was so difficult and he didn’t even know it. As far as he knew, he had the best dad ever. As soon as he got a little bigger, my husband finally got more involved with him…but the drinking and partying did not stop. Not for a second.
So, I wonder…can either of us put the pain of the past away to begin anew? My husband has been sober for two months now. I cheer him on and am there to support him. I always told him that if he quit, he needed to do it for himself, not for me, not for his son, but for himself. He seems to have found that balance now. I wish he could have done it while he was with us.
The night before he left us, he had verbally attacked me again…in front of our son. Deep down, I knew it would never end. I just hoped. I loved him…but our love was a shadow of what it used to be and I didn’t think I would ever feel the same again.
This is the song he chose for our first dance. Seems like it fits for our current situation too.