what if’s

Had it not been for the fact I had a special needs child, I.WOULD.HAVE.LEFT.period.hard stop. I did leave actually…and was gone for 2 years. I came back because it was in the kids best interest to share a house with 2 adults, one of which would and could commit to sacrificing everything to support him. His father provided the income and I did 100% of everything else.

It would have been impossible for this to happen if we were divorced. So I can not regret coming back, can not regret staying. I knew it was going to be hard for me personally and I was willing to take it on. I assumed that it would be easier for an adult to handle, as opposed to a child who had issues. I was right. I just failed to see how long a “life sentence” really is. I always try to remind myself that one day my role will change, and I will be able to leave. I gave my son the first 20 years and his father can take care of his needs for the next 20.

I really want to clarify my relationship with my spouse. We share a house and space but we do not share a life together. We truly have a sibling like relationship. That’s how everyone see’s us, including our children. Imagine living with your brother. We talk and make arrangements concerning kids, the house, transportation, Doctor Appointments etc, but we very much come and go independently of each other for everything else. It is not uncommon for me to say “Where is your father?” and be told “Oh, he left a while ago.” “Do you know where he went?” “No.”

We sometimes go to the same events or family gatherings, but not often, and if we do, we sometimes spend time together, but mostly we are apart and with other people. We try to share a ride if we don’t have anything planned before or after. If we do go out in a social setting, I spend my night dancing with anyone who asks me, going back to a group table for a drink of water or beverage of choice. I spend no extra time with him, though I do not avoid him. He does not dance with me, not even to slow songs and I will with other men who ask me.

When we do go out as a social group, people who do not “know” us, do not know we are a couple. You know when you look at others and you can match them up? It’s not like that for us. Unless you saw us arrive together in the same vehicle, you would have no idea we were together, let alone married. This doesn’t mean we fight as we don’t. We just are on the periphery of each others lives. If we were siblings, it would be very much the same behaviour.

We get along fine for the most part. Occasionally we might bicker, but it quickly blows over as I don’t hold grudges. If I have to “vent” I do it “in here” and RARELY out loud to him..lol..there is no point in it and all it does is to upset me that I lost control. I very much live a single life without having the benefits of being a single woman. I have a “good life”. I am comfortable. I take classes and courses. I go to the gym and go kayaking. I travel extensively. I buy camera equipment and will take off for 2 days learning all about it in field as I play with it; while I have a built in “babysitter” looking after kids and animals. I get to enjoy my kids while he pays the bills.

If I had lost my husband to an untimely early death, I would be doing the same things I do now, as a widow. If we are in the same room, we do not touch. There were no diners, movies, outings for us together as a “couple”. He would not even share a room with me most of the time, let alone a sofa to watch the same TV program. There is no talking about common interests or what happened at work today. No connection at all other than we were in the same house at the same time, on occasion. But would it have been any different if it had been with a sibling or a roommate? No.

I had no emotional support. No intimacy. No sense I mattered in his life other than as his secretary or personal assistant. I “knew” I was giving all of this up, when I decided to stay with him, yet I failed to see how long 15 years was going to be. I failed to see that those 15 years were going to be some of the best years of my life. I failed to know how sad it would make me seeing other people share lives and not just space. I was so lonely, for so long, that I forgot that’s not how you were supposed to feel. My profound sadness at being together and yet alone, was just how I existed. I forgot about how it felt to be happy or to smile.

I “probably” could have continued in this pattern until the kids grew up and left, had it not been for the illness and death of my father and how my spouse handled my grief. His callousness was the final straw that made me seek out someone to support me when I felt like I was loosing not just my mind but my very soul. The man I had as a lover for 2.5 yrs was responsible for bullying me out of my depression. He would make me fight by challenging me and pushing me, so then he could comfort me. He REFUSED to let me sink into a black abyss of pain. He was the most supportive person I have ever had in my life. I am so grateful for what he did for me. To say I loved him is an understatement. I loved him enough to let him go. He will always, always be a man I would trust with my life and that of my kids. He is truly a good person.

We are still good friends even though our relationship has changed dramatically. He has since remarried. Any and all of our correspondence would be able to be viewed by his new wife as it has never crossed the line and it never shall. He never told her about me and never will. I support his decision and will fiercely protect his new relationship as if I was invested in it as well, since in a way I am. I love him and want him to be happy, which means I support HER because she is in his life as his wife. I love her for making him smile and for loving his children, though she will never know it. She has to be amazing because he loves her.

Once he was out of my life as a romantic partner, I KNEW that I would never be able to go back to being alone again, while I was still “married”. There is nothing that kills who you are than being alone when together with someone. You are FAR better off being by yourself because of the emotional and physiological damage that is done to you by sharing, but not sharing, a life with a partner when you WANT that, but don’t have it. It’s not like you can get partial fulfillment by dating, since you are technically married.

I would rather live in a hovel and go to the library for entertainment, by myself, then stay comfortable. I would rather use a food bank and work at a coffee shop to make ends meet, than have security. I would rather ask for charity from a local church group than live carefree, as I do now. If it was JUST me, then I would have left to be who I was and live an authentic life as opposed to sharing space with someone who does not value what he had in me.

I would rather the honest love of a man who had nothing to offer but his heart, than a man who could provide me with all the necessities and then some. There is joy in connecting with someone on an emotional, spiritual and physical level. While you CAN find fulfillment by finding parts of what you need in others, its missing the key component of having your needs met by one person. It’s missing the investment of knowing the other person can be trusted, counted on and present in your life. To be there in sickness and in health.

It’s touching your back as they pass you. It’s bringing you soup when you are sick. It’s waking up to hear them whisper “happy birthday”. It’s them bringing you a bunch of lilacs they picked from the side of the road, because they know how much you love them. Investing in someone does not mean spending money on them, it means spending time and thought on them. its giving them the belief that they are loved and treasured.

I am 45. I am educated, healthy, active and attractive. I have material wealth and personal freedom. I am aware of all I HAVE been blessed with. And if a man had come into my life who had nothing but love for me and needed me? I would like to think I would have walked away without a second glance back or regret for what might have been. But it’s easy to make those kinds of statements without being IN the position.

My past makes me unsure of how to proceed with men in the future. My history makes me need to see actions rather than hear words. It takes a while for me to trust and then when I do, it’s completely. THAT has recently left me severely burned. It’s made me doubt my instincts. After analyzing my last relationship, I KNOW it failed not because of what I did or what signals I failed to see, but because he was a sociopath I had no chance at “really” knowing or understanding. I compare these two men against my spouse and I see the extremes.

Spouse: sibling relationship, uncommunicative, takes me for granted, ignores me, no investment of time, effort, energy or emotions

1st lover: extremely communicative, dependable, trustworthy, emotionally willing to work through issues, damaged by his past with women but put the work into learning from it to be a better man and father, sexually compatible

2nd lover: sexually unmatched, entire relationship was lies in retrospect, damaged by his past and used it to hurt women in his life ( I am grateful I found a blog http://wp.me/2snKG that gave me a shortcut to discovering he was a psychopath, so I could immediately put the relationship into my past)

I BELIEVE things happen for a reason and in the time God plans them. I do not question this though I do wonder what the hell His plan IS some days. I have worked on living in the moment and accepting that what will be, will be. It has brought me peace. I no longer “think” of my spouse as my “husband” as he has never done anything to deserve the honour. I emotionally severed myself from thinking because we signed papers that we are “married”, as we truly are not. Not as God or the laws of man intended us to be.

I accept that this is all he has to give to me. I no longer want any more from him, those things I NEED in my life to bring me happiness. I have learned to let go of my expectations and live MY single life while sharing space with him. Yes, it puts me into conflict with the person I thought I was. Yes, I feel it would be better if I was actually alone so I could find someone to actually share a life with, but for now, I am not pressing to search for it.

I need time to heal from my failed attempt at having another man in my life. He did not so much hurt me as shake my belief in my own instincts, which was far more damaging to me than anything else he could have done, as I used them daily to survive in a loveless marriage. Strangely enough, it is making me view my spouse in a whole different light. So has discovering a few other blogs.

I have been far more upfront with him than most people assume. I have talked the relationship to death. I lecture him as it’s not an interactive conversation and he doesn’t reply or acknowledge what I have said. But I HAVE told him about my affairs. He just refuses to either believe it or accept that it’s true. I can say with 1000% that I have done ALL I can in the marriage. I have earned my way out when I leave. His “not caring” has given me the freedom to tentatively step outside my relationship and see if I can find someone who may work better for me. I don’t know where it will lead me, other than down the path of writing more so I can analyze the post mortem of failed attempts. But if the only thing my spouse CAN provide is a stable platform for me to explore from, then why not use it as my home base until I am ready to move on? Heaven knows he has done nothing else for me. So, maybe that is his subconscious way of saying he is sorry for failing me?

Love comes in many shapes; trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, will never work. At some point you have to accept that and give yourself permission to find a better fit. Until that time, then stop trying to force things, or wish you had a different peg to play with. Start to examine your own space and decide what you want and then start to live it. Once you do, then things will happen as they should. Moving on is not so much about your physical space as your mental one and you can start that process while living comfortably in your family home, if that’s where you feel secure. Never regret any aspect of your life as everything that happens, teaches you something.

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16 Responses to what if’s

  1. Heartfelt and Raw. You’re far stronger than you know, may you find the fulfillment and healing that you need. X

  2. You are a very strong and courageous woman… I can empathize with your living situation (together but alone). I know how hard it is to want something more… Your sacrifice for your family is amazing…

  3. JK says:

    I’m not one to believe things happen for a reason, or God gets involved in our lives and makes things happen. Everything happens because of 1) what we do or don’t do 2) decisions we do or don’t make 3) chance. I believe the first two have much greater impact than the last, an conveniently, we have control over the first two.
    You are a living example of this. You have some chance events that shape your life, but you’ve made decisions and taken actions to work with that you have. Sometimes it doesn’t always work out as well as you’d like. What I admire about you is you analyze it, then keep trying.

    • rougedmount says:

      Thank you for the supportive words. I have “tried”. I am the Queen of trying…lol..I am not sure if its patience or stubbornness. It does not much to inspire me to keep going. It takes very little to please me, which makes my disappointments all so hard to accept. My small joys seem to be enough for me but I long for the day a man enters my life who brings all that he is to me and is someone I do not have to guide constantly. I am done being a mother to grown men. I think there is an end point for our personal stories and we have free will to get there. I have faith that “something” helped me through because I know how lost I was during certain points in my life. I don’t have to label it as with many other things, I learned to accept it for the gift that it was.

  4. daytightliving says:

    I was so lonely, for so long, that I forgot that’s not how you were supposed to feel. My profound sadness at being together and yet alone, was just how I existed. I forgot about how it felt to be happy or to smile. …

    My life was much the same as your is before I blew everything apart by wanting something more and being unwilling to wait another 10 years to have it. I commend you for being able to stay for your child. I couldn’t do it, although if mine I had special needs maybe I could have.

    I believe you have indeed earned your way out when the time comes. I hope you will hold tight to that idea and live the kind of life you want to live when that time comes. You deserve to! I firmly believe in better late than never with regard to such things.

    I lived without the love of an honest, decent, caring, hard-working man for so long that I despaired of ever finding it. I wasn’t looking, and I didn’t even know it was something I wanted until I had it. And now that I have it, I can’t live without it. Or him.

    They are out there, these incredible alpha males who also have a wonderfully sensitive side to them. There are not many, but there are a few. I hope you find one. They’re worth their weight in gold.

  5. I’m TOTALLY on the same wavelength. Your post really resonated with me, particularly here:

    “My past makes me unsure of how to proceed with men in the future. My history makes me need to see actions rather than hear words. It takes a while for me to trust and then when I do, it’s completely. THAT has recently left me severely burned. It’s made me doubt my instincts.”

    That mirrors EXACTLY how I feel.

    It makes me teary as I can imagine only too well what you have been through (are going through) and with the added complication of your child to consider – I understand all too well why you have stayed so long.

    I too wonder about what lies ahead for me. It will be hard I know, I’ll be ‘poor’ again and experiencing a different type of loneliness but at least I’ll have my freedom. That along with my son is all I have left.

    *hugs*

    • rougedmount says:

      I go through a lot simply because I have not left yet. Life is about dealing with its issues, and mine revolve around “marriage management”. One day I hope to make it into “relationship growth”. Being “poor” is something you can work your way out of in far less time than working your way out of the depression that comes with staying in failed relationships.

    • daytightliving says:

      Me too, my darling. I am 6 months post-KABOOM in a nightmare that doesn’t seem to end. Every day I wake up and think, “I cannot believe this is my life. I have to start everything over. I have lost everything. This has got to get better. It has to.”

      I am very fortunate that my significant other ever-so-gently reminds me from time to time that it WILL get better, that he will carry me when I can’t stand on my own two feet (as he has when I haven’t been able to) and that we are working toward a future together. Without him I’m not sure I’d make it. I’d keep it together for my son, but just barely.

      I stand by my initial assertion that marriage should have a no-fault re-up every 5 years. Not happy? Walk away free of penalties and don’t look back. I think it’s disgusting that we have to choose between financial security and long-lasting unhappiness. I made the choice and the consequences are dire. He cleaned me out like a bitch. But I have to believe I will get past it and be better off.

      You’re in my thoughts as you go through this too. *hug*

  6. letlovego says:

    Hello there. I am not sure if this post, was part of an answer to some of the questions I asked of you, in another comment section? I’m thinking that the answer is yes, but I may be mistaken. I hope you know that when I asked those questions of you, I did not do so to cause any sense of you having to “explain” your choices to me. Rather, I was TRULY interested in your thoughts, having lived what I feel I could also live. The reason I asked you, is not only because I value your insight and love your writing and sharing, but because I can feel a certain familiarity with what has happened in your marriage, and with what has happened in my own. And the other reason I asked, has much less to do with age, and more to do with the fact that I have young children at home still, 7 years old, to be exact. While I do not have a child with special needs, I do have one with a chronic illness that causes me to consider “sticking it out”. I also have one who, in the past, had motor, sensory and physical delays, that have mostly resolved, but that still keep her in a place of ME feeling as if she benefits most from having a two parent household.

    I suppose that every person out there who is contemplating leaving, has something going on with their children, that gives them pause. I just wondered that if outside of that, you had any advice, I suppose. I have met people along the way, who left abusive relationships (as mine was) and who have said, that they wished they had done it sooner. I have also seen the flip side, where someone left, and realized that it made things harder and that they wished they had explored other options before just bolting.

    So that is why I asked you, if you had any thoughts, now that you are in a place of being able to look back on what you chose to do. I want to be clear that I was NEVER intending to make you feel as if you had to DEFEND any choice that you have made, rather, I just wanted your advice, since they say hindsight is 20/20.

    I still feel that I share many similarities with you, in regard to our marriages, in that while the main issues may differ, the lack of desire on HIS part and the lack of willingness on HIS part to change, heal or grow….is just not there. I can completely relate to a bait and switch, to which you spoke of occurring in YOUR marriage at the 5 year mark. My husband TRULY presented himself as one thing and as soon as we married and move states away from family and friends, he became another. Even then, I struggled to try and “fix” what was happening to us, but to no avail.

    Either way, I thank you for this post. I have read it many times, but just wanted to be sure that I did not strike a nerve with you or cause you, in ANY way, to feel as if you had to defend any of your choices. I completely understand all that you have scarified along the way, for your children, and was really just looking for insight, in regard to being in a a position to wonder, if maybe, I should do the same. I am so torn. As YOU know, it is not an easy place to be in. But, I do thank you for this entry. I will read it many times again, I’m sure, as I attempt to make a decision that is not just best “for me”, but…best for “all”. All being, my children.

    • rougedmount says:

      i completely valued your question and its spurred me into creative mode. we DO share so many similarities its a bit eerie. So yes the post was in relation to your questions and in no way did you make me feel defensive. quite the opposite actually. I have lots i have not shared. i think its time i start. Most of me wants to forget many things, to let them go so I can move on. Remembering them reminds me how far I have come. please keep commenting or questioning when u come up with something. it gives me clarification on things i put aside for many years,
      as to your “actual” question…lol…hindsight being what it is? I still would have come back, I still would have stayed. I was strong enough to “pretend” and give my kids the stable platform I wanted for them. My sacrifice was nothing compared to the trauma my staying away or leaving again with them, would have caused. I am going to write about my spouse. I am writing the background to it now. its funny though. I found I don’t like to remember him as he was. It makes me realize what I lost, what I never had? And it makes it hard to live with knowing who he once was. Its easier to remember the man he’s been for 20 years instead.

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