31 March, 2016

Separated DearHusband- DH

I didn't think that it would end this way but as time goes on, I can't say that I didn't see if coming.  I vacillate between anger, sadness and assurance.  Perhaps, I started with anger because I assumed that this again was your way of trying to hurt me.  I was sad that while we may still love each other, a relationship could never work out in its current form.  I'm beginning to think that I should have seen the signs all along and that we will be happier apart.  I'm assured that we will make the best decision for each of us and us (at this stage, you would usually make some comment about "is there an us").  I don't know what to do, what can we do?  You said to me ages ago "I can't be the man you want me to be."  I think it's true and I'm sorry.

Self-blame.  There is no reason for you to be upset that you've ruined my life.  I made the cognizant decision to come back, to be exact - it was me who pushed us to return.  I knew what I was getting myself into and perhaps, you underestimated the amount of blame that you would feel by bringing me back.  You have been conditioned for 30 years to feel guilt and shame.  Perhaps, I should have been more aware of your guilt and told you in a more positive way that you are not to blame.  I wanted to move back for you and it's okay that its not going to work out.

I don't know what to do with the guilt and anger.  If I get angry back, I'm a crazy-maker.  If I retreat into silence, I'm hurtful and passive-aggressive.  You don't want me to say what I feel and I have never told you to deny your feelings.  I was stating that I am confused because you tell me one thing one but you actions say another.  Then, you contradict your feelings 30 seconds later.  You used to tell me (and others) that I was the only person in world you would want to be with - it's so sad when feelings like that change.

Double standards.  It's okay to hold me to a higher standard as your partner but sometimes the inequality hurts me.  If I were to do something that upsets you, you get so angry at me.  But if someone in your family were to do the same thing, you brush it off.  It's okay to love your family.  That's one of things that everyone loves about you, your sensitive heart.  I understand why you are angry at me - we often hurt those we care about the most.  But it's not fair to me to have all of this hostility - it's important to create healthy boundaries for all of your relationships.  Stop creating boundaries just for me.

I did not move back for me.  But I didn't realize how bad the situation had become.  Maybe, I thought that we would be stronger and supportive of each other.  The needs of your parents outweigh my needs but that doesn't mean that you need to choose sides.  I never asked you to.  It doesn't even make sense in my mind if I wanted to force you to pick - we would have stayed in Australia where choosing sides would never be a possibility.  Now we are in a situation where I keep inviting people to my home whom insult me.  I'm beginning to think that you wanted these situations to occur - you wanted me to get upset by the sexist and racist undertones so you could feel validated that I'm the crazy-making one.  You wanted to draw the barriers between us so that it would be easier for you leave.

I know that you resent me for living overseas and I am sorry that your anger is so strong towards me.  It's funny because you are an expert at sugar coating hostility and anger.  You hide behind the mask that you wear and you've done a damn good job to gaslight me.  I know that it's not difficult to make me out as the crazy-making one.  It was almost weirdly laughable when you came home from work and asked me if I was going to hurt you or myself.  I scoffed for a split-second in my head but then I realized that you honestly don't know which is an indication of the resentment poison.      

I needed support.  This was not easy and I don't particularly like being forced to associate with people that openly hate me.  Perhaps, you needed more support than what you said you did.  At this stage, I don't know because you hide things all the time.  You are probably feeling caught between a rock and a hard place.  To be honest, it's hard for me knowing that I'm the one who always has to give and perhaps I resent you for it. But I still did it.  When you don't support me - by not sticking up for me, you diminish who I am as a human being and your wife.  If you don't like who I am as a human being, then we need to move on.  Do we have empathy for each other or do we immediately blame?

Telling me that I'm a self-absorbed grandiose narcissist is rude.  Watching me get upset when your family makes racist remarks about black Obama birds being free-loaders, is never okay - it is hateful to make judgements like that.  Telling me the superficiality in my bucket list of food and travel is callous - we all have different interests just because mine are different from yours does not make them any worse or better.  As uninteresting as it sounds to you, I enjoy a morning of cooking because I find enjoyment in making delicious meals.  I find it sad that you think my life has no purpose by cleaning the house, going grocery shopping, or making meals - I find joy in these little things.  I'm grateful that something like buying food can make me happy.

Angry hearts.  How long has this anger been there?  Perhaps, I should have recognized that you are unable to communicate but your soul will be happier once you open yourself free.  Your lifelong skills of internalization created a desire to have power over you.  I've enabled this behavior but I also recognize the importance of seeking help.  I should not have let you be the "rescuer" for so long and committing to the idealized notion that I needed you to help me.  Now, your habits will only continue with your desire to rescue your family.   

You can be mad at me for not liking your parents, I can understand that.  But, I cannot be exposed to toxicity every week for 12 years.  What I don't understand is that your parents can be so terribly cruel to us by saying hurtful things, exclude you from family gatherings, passive-aggressively say mean to your partner but you don't get angry at them.  You never let your anger towards them fester.  But you can stay up all night resenting me and staying years angry at me.  I'm so tired of being the blame for all of your anger and sadness.  Did you think that when your sister lied to your face and mother excluded you from the family dinner that it doesn't hurt me?  I can't be angered and it's not okay for me to tell you or them how disconcerting their toxicity is.  Did you know that I knew that it made you feel really bad, so I called your brother to talk to you in hopes of making you feel better because I was hurt by your hurt.

We watched your mother have so much hostility for your father that I should have guessed what was going on in our relationship.  All of your passive-aggressive remarks towards me were a sign.  Did you know that while you accused me of emotional contagion anger, I was thinking the same thing about your passive-aggressive behavior.  The more you associate with those that exhibit hateful passive-aggressiveness, the more you will act like them.  This is perhaps the shocker, I have been holding you back.  You want to be like your family and you are angry at me for judging you and them.  This is where the years of resentment and anger have build up.  I can't change that - you need to be who you want to be.  At some stage, though, your angry heart may implode.  While you may not believe in God or the church, I think that it is important to have faith in something.
 
Divorce is the easy way out.  The sooner you can get out of a stressful situation the better.   This is why our divorce binary exists - I cannot live like this with this toxicity and you cannot live with me as your anger for me only grows.  While you may think that I'm a vapid narcissist, maybe I am, because I value myself and I know that I am better than the hurtful things that your family says.  I value my heart and my mind.  I have boundaries for myself.  

30 March, 2016

Marital Bliss - Separated On Our Anniversary

So there we were 10 years of being together and 9 of marriage.  Just about to go on our yearly anniversary trip.  Then, a fight breaks out.  We've had our fair share of fights (which married couple hasn't).  But perhaps it's how you recover which makes the difference.  Looking back now, maybe we should have sought help together then.  But I didn't see the signs.  I thought it was work - he was always complaining about his job. I thought that it was his family and the mismatched relationship that I had with them as my in-laws.   We weren't speaking at the time we were supposed to leave for holiday.  He made the decision to leave alone for the trip and I was devastated.  I thought that we are supposed to go together (that's why it is an anniversary trip - for US to celebrate commitment and love not just ONE).  Called my girlfriends and shed some crazy tears.  One talked me into going to meet him, "if anyone's marriage was worth fighting for, it was ours" she said.  So I hopped on a plane to meet him.  We had a great rest of trip and he committed to therapy.  He said that I was the love of his life and if something ever happened to me, he would never remarry.  What I should have seen was that he left to go on the trip alone because he was unhappy WITH me. 

Back home he started counseling and talked about our breakdown, his work, his family.  Maybe he talked to the counselor about his resentment for me, I don't know.  What I do know is that she said that we were two different people that may not be compatible.  At this stage, he believes that he thinks our marriage is miserable and he's been resenting me.  He never wanted the city lifestyle and seven years later we were still there.  I used to ask him why he hated it so much and he would never say anything.  The truth is he started hating me because he was someplace he didn't want to be with a crazy-maker.  He began to internalize this contempt for me.  Expressing feelings is something he does not do, let alone say something that would hurt someone else's feelings.  Instead, he just bottled up - I think that he thought that his feelings would go away.  How can the person he loves and who used to make him happy - so bloody angry.  I don't deny that I'm not an angry person, but I am also a happy person.  I take joy in life and little things in life make smile.  I really don't know what makes him happy anymore,  I used to think that it was me.  It's definitely not me anymore, at this stage he thinks I'm a narcissistic, vapid person.

The dog paddle of the neurotic - welcome to the world of passive-aggressive non communicators.  I come from a family of dominant women that tell it like it is - talk things through, yell, pray, forgive (with me there is a higher proportion of yelling but I'm easily distracted).  He comes from a family of elephants and rugs - nothing is too big that we can't sweep it under the family rug.  I've asked him about direct communication and he says that is just not who he is (aka there is nothing wrong with me you are the one with problems and while I undeniably do, I think as humans we all do).  He's been lying to himself forever that he doesn't have any emotions.  So we continue the blame game without communicating what the real problem is and the cycle of resentment continues.

Fast forward to now, two years later and 11 years of marriage.  His family circumstances have changed with ailing parents, we move back near his family.  I should have seen the signs (again, I know).  He kept talking about divorce and separation where moving me back was a mistake (true, I didn't want to come but I knew that we had to and it was the right thing to do).  We knew moving wasn't going to be easy and that I was going to be unhappy - correction what he really wanted to say was that I make him unhappy.  He became lost in the idea that I was making his life difficult, our marriage was miserable and not worth saving.  He had two options: 1) live a miserable life with a wife that you hate 2) divorce.  He never once gave the option of repair.  Maybe he doesn't think that I'm worth it anymore or that he is caught up in the idea that I'm a narcissist (true story side note, I watched this TED and then showed it to him where he proceeded tell me that I'm a narcissist).  He's already deemed this marriage miserable from two years ago.  What I do know is that I do not make him happy anymore.

What happens when the other woman is his family?  The more I wanted to withdraw from them, the more he wanted to withdraw from me.  At the moment, his family is what makes him happy and I'm the crazy-making one.  As conflicts arise in most families, my in-laws actually make me feel miserable.  The more miserable I felt, the more conflicted he is.  I asked him to read a book about the adult children and working through emotions - he stopped after the first week.  When his feelings were hurt by mother not inviting him for dinner, I asked him to write down a letter and see how it felt - he never did because he doesn't want to change.  I resent that he doesn't want to talk - and at this stage I don't know if he can.  He's been feeding off of my emotions for so long that he probably doesn't know what he is feeling.  I'm the emotional crazy-maker who ruins his life because I don't want-I NEED him to tell me what's wrong and he doesn't want to.  I'm tired of this marriage too because I can't deal with rugs and elephants. 

Anniversary trip 2016, another fight emerges.  He tells me to go, I say we go together or not at all.  He makes the decision that he doesn't want to go with me.  It's confusing when someone says something about how much they care but their actions speak differently.  Trip cancelled - gutted.  Did he just wanted to upset me because he knew that I wanted to go or is the thought of spending anymore time with me that unbearable?  He must be angry with me; he says that he's upset because he ruined my life by moving me?  Shouldn't I be upset that he ruined my life - correction, he's upset because he feels that I've ruined his life.  It's sad when your partner and lover has all this hate and resentment but never tells you.  So we separate - I think that the time apart will be good.  Whatever happens, I know that he is my best friend  (you can't love someone for 12 years and not appreciate the friendship).  All healthy relationships take work but marriages are grounded in faith and love.   Maybe he'll talk to someone else but I honestly don't see things changing.  He is dress rehearsing our divorce tragedy.

We became true opposites the longer we were married.  I used to pride myself in that we surpassed the seven-year-itch and we have grown as adults together.  But now he has littler tolerance for my lifestyle.  Before the trip was cancelled, he made a comment to me that my happiness in shopping and food is pretty superficial   I asked him to go to church and perhaps find a community with prayer.  He's been an atheist for a few years now, I wonder if my faith in God has turned him to hate prayer as well.  When asked about children, his comments are pretty obvious now - he doesn't want a family WITH YOU.  Marital counseling is scheduled.  I don't think he's going to kick me out on the streets, yet.  I'm not sure if I'll get text that says, therapy won't help - we are two different people.

We will be okay, yeah, it hurts but I can't say that this is unexpected.  I find it important to express my feeling as they happen.  I'm a survivor and while life's rules suck, I can find love again on Tinder, right?