So, a week has passed since my last rather raw and emotional post. It was amazing how cathartic that blog post ended up being for me. It made me realize a few patterns that exist in my relationship with hubby and had me thinking about how to proceed with things. These conclusions had me making decisions on a few things that have really impacted my happiness the last week and all for the better. So let me see if I can sum up a week of emotions and planning into a coherent post.
What I realized when I wrote out the events of the past 6 months, was that although there is love in our marriage, the respect and trust are gone. My part in all this is obvious and I put the nail in the coffin when I hit hubby. But he had been eroding our trust for a long time before that with his repetitive destruction of my things, him blaming me for things that weren’t my fault, his general insults and not being there for me. But really, the lack of respect, especially for my boundaries, was the realization that hit me like a brick to the head.
Here’s how he showed his lack of respect:
When I told hubby I was going to bed because I didn’t have anything else to give and he came in and woke me up and insisted on talking to me about his issues with V.
When I told hubby that I didn’t want him to go to W’s when we were on a date and it would hurt my feelings that he even asked. (He crossed a boundary when asking and crossed it again by going).
When his girlfriend spread horrible lies about me, instead of supporting me, he blamed me for it happening.
When he repeatedly damaged my things.
When I tried to leave conversations, or get off the phone, or stop an email thread and he wouldn’t let me and forced me to continue talking when I needed time to cool down.
And most recently, when he outed me to both my mom and a friend, the only two people who I asked him specifically not to tell.
This is what happened in 6 months. This is not OK.
So, trust is gone and respect are gone. Love doesn’t matter much when those are gone. What this means is that our foundation, the foundation of our marriage, is gone. We can’t build and work on our communication, much less intimacy, if we don’t have a foundation.
Love doesn’t matter when trust and respect are gone.
I want to fix our marriage. Despite it all, I love my husband. I want to make our life work. I want the man I married to return to the life we made together. But he doesn’t recognize the changes in himself. He isn’t taking responsibility for his actions. He doesn’t know if he even wants this marriage anymore. Without him committing to working on our relationship, it is impossible for me to get what I want and need out of our marriage.
So, I decided, within hours of publishing my last post, that I needed to ask hubby for a trial separation. During the week, I got my ducks in a row about what I should do. I knew I didn’t want to talk to hubby about any of this until our counselor’s appointment on Friday, so during the week I saw my individual counselor and consulted a lawyer about the things that I should think about. I solidified in my mind exactly what I want to see happen. Really, it’s a bit of controlled uncertainty.
Basically, coming from a position of love, where I assured hubby that I don’t want to end our marriage, but I want to give him the time he says he needs, I asked him if we could have a more structured trial separation where we still live together but don’t work on our relationship.
For me, this means a few things.
- Separating our finances. We’ve discussed paying our bills proportional to our incomes, as he makes substantially more than I do, but the exact form this will take is left to be decided.
- Committing to family time at least once a week, so the kids can see that we can work together as a team.
- Continuing counseling to be sure we can maintain communication, especially with respect to co-parenting.
- Figuring out a 50/50 parenting situation that can accommodate hubby’s shift work schedule and my monday-friday schedule and casual job.
- Checking in on July 1 to decide if we want to work things out, end our marriage, or if we need more time.
Where we got caught up with the 50/50 parenting. I’m very surprised by this, because hubby is a great father, and I thought he’d be willing to work on this immediately, but alas, I was wrong. He seems to think that me wanting a parenting agreement is a way for me to control him. He feels that he parents the kids more than I do. Seeing as how he’s put one kid to bed one night in the last 2 weeks, I’m not sure how he arrived at this conclusion. I’m disappointed by this. But it is what it is.
So, moving forward, we are going to have to continue negotiating our parenting times until the nanny gets here. Then, I’m hoping to work towards a more 1 week on, 1 week off arrangement that works with his schedule. We’ll see how that goes. It will never really be a week on and a week off, because he works 12 hour shifts, two of which are night shifts, and the nanny can’t take care of the kids for 24 hours.
Now, we need to work out the details. This morning, I spent about 4 hours working out a spreadsheet proposal of how shared parenting could work and a spreadsheet proposal of how separating finances can work. I’m hoping he’ll come to the table with suggestions that will work better for him and negotiation, and not anger and resentment. It’ll probably be a combination of all of those things.