July 19

Small Town Life

Town Square

We decided to move a few years later. She doesn’t seem to be able to settle for more than 4 years at a time.  We bounced around churches in the same way. This has had a profoundly isolating effect on me. I have very few friends, and none of them are from after I got married. That is a terribly sad thing for me to have to admit. I have no new friends over the last 15 years.  We moved to a small town just outside the city we live in. Little did I know that this would be the beginning of the end.  I liked the idea. A close knit community would be a great place to have some connections that seemed to be missing from my life. We moved into a historic house that had plenty of space, and we found a church. Things were going well. She became president of the PTO, I joined the board for the local soccer club, and we helped start a ministry to high school students. This was what I had always wanted. So long as there was a mission to be accomplished she and I seemed pretty good.  She still had issues around sex with me, but for a while it was better, but not for very long.

We developed some friendships quickly. As time went on, those friendships began to whither. Until recently I did not understand why. Her temper, and her attitude destroyed those relationships with other couples behind my back.  I have also come to find out that many of those people are still watching out for me, and wanting to be my friend. They just don’t know how.  As time has gone on, we have become more and more isolated.  Our kids are involved in things back in the city, and our house has proven to be much more expensive than we had thought it would be.  We are struggling financially because of the driving, eating out, and the house.   She had demanded that she run the finances years ago, and I let her. Now she has thrown up her hands and handed the mess she has created to me. I was far too inattentive to this and now I will pay the price.

Our sexual intimacy dwindled to nothing. The only sex I got was obligatory, and it felt like it.  After having sex I was sometimes sick to my stomach, because it was so obvious she didn’t want it, that I felt like I was doing something dirty. Understand this is sex she initiated, because I had given up initiating sex with her, because it always ended with being rejected in some harsh way.

She has always had an issue with the amount of things that I know. I am an avid reader, and am informed on a lot of topics. She got in the habit of calling bull shit on me in public. She generally wasn’t correct, but she obstinate, and set on convincing everyone around that I was just making things up, or that I was wrong, because some fine detail was off by some small margin.  She seemed determined to make me small before everyone we encountered. My self esteem is a mess over this still. The process of writing this out is so that I can put this all to bed, and return to being the man that I had been before I sold my soul to marry this woman.  I was on the fast track at my job, and it has just stalled. It is the cyclical results of she shot my esteem down with lack of respect, I begin to carry that into my work, and then I don’t get the promotions, which she then uses to remind me that I am really not that successful or smart, which then tears me down farther.

Although my reputation is strong in our little town, I have few friends. Small town life would have been great, but it is also where our marriage eroded, and I became more and more isolated.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

June 30

The Early Years

I remember him standing there like a break in the mist, or the shadow under old trees & I wish I had known then it is the place we cannot go that needs our touch most | 01162010

To understand how I ended up where I am, you have to understand that my wife constantly sought ways to make sure that I knew that my place was below her. I being young, stupid, and in love didn’t think much about it.  One of the things that stood out early in our relationship, was the education gap, and the wage gap that came with it. I was extremely underpaid for the IT job I had at the time.  I started the job as a part time gig, while I worked at becoming a paramedic. I decided somewhere along the way that I wouldn’t be a good human being if I had stayed on that course.  The job became full time, and I accepted a salary that seemed OK to a single guy with a cheap apartment and no bills.  After we were married for about a year, my wife agitated with the fact that if we had kids she would still have to make the largest share of the family income proposed that I go back to school full time, instead of this part time thing I was doing.  It seemed like a good idea, and I readily credited her with giving me the kick in the pants I needed to get this done.

So we moved to a little college town, and bought our first house. She paid my way through school.  I appreciated this, but she was always annoyed by it.  She was never happy while I was in school. She put on a lot of weight, and become more and more demeaning to me.  Sex was still an issue, and I had just decided that wasn’t going to be great, and I would get used to it. The problem was she continually rejected my approaches, but was not happy herself with our sex life.  The problem as I see it is she was much more experienced than me, and didn’t respect me because of my age, and my income. None of these are things that I could overcome. They are red flags for any single guy who comes along and reads this. We tried to have a baby, but this wasn’t working. We went through a time of having sex every day, which would have been fantastic, except she made it so clinical that it wasn’t any fun.  During this time she also made every sexual encounter about her. I had to make her have the maximum amount of pleasure every single time. Honestly this was just too much work. Sometimes, I just wanted sex, but that wasn’t ever her plan, or I should say was rarely her plan.  If we did just have sex, then it was because that is what she decided.   The only conflict that we have had in  our marriage is that I was a night owl and didn’t go to bed at the same time as her. I wish I had, but I never could do it. One of the main reasons was because I was afraid that things wouldn’t change if I did, and that would mean that I had been rejected. I know now that this is true. She wanted to find a reason that she was rejecting me, but she was definitely rejecting me.  A lot of this stems from how her father treated her, and not having a mother, and being sexually abused by multiple men over her life. All things that I had compassion for, but now I would warn any man off a woman with a past like this. Feel compassion, have empathy, but don’t marry these women. They are broken, and most beyond repair, without a true and deep relationship with Christ.

I graduated, and came out making a lot more money than before, and then went ahead and doubled my income from there over the course of a few years. I was now clearly the higher income earner in the house, and if we played our cards right she could be a stay at home mom.  We still hadn’t had any success having kids.  We started fostering kids for the state.  We fostered a little boy that was one of the easiest kids in the world. He was with us a short time, but it was memorable. We then started fostering the two boys that we eventually adopted. This would be another reason I am furious about her desire for divorce. We promised these boys ( and a little girl ) a family, and now she wants to destroy that. They will be affected by this more than other children, because of their past loss.  We had moved into a small house back where we grew up.   My wife had weight loss surgery, and was starting to lose weight. We had been married now for three years. We went through the stresses of fostering, and she was active in the surgical weight loss community. I was leading our Bible study. All seemed well, except of course the lack of sexual attention that I got. She had stopped kissing me. She complained about my chewing tobacco. I had stopped using it around her, and made sure to have chewed some pretty strong gum before I came home from work. It didn’t matter, because that was just an excuse for ending intimacy in that way. She was never bothered by this when we dated, and I wasn’t near as careful to minimize the effects on her.

We lived like this for about two years before my wife went to a homecoming game at her college, and hooked up with a former fling from college. She had lost weight, and was trying out her new body.  She told me about this about a day after she returned.  I was pretty destroyed emotionally. I didn’t know what to do. Ultimately, I decided to forgive her, and stayed. If it weren’t for my beautiful and wonderful daughter, I would question that decision today.  We went to some counseling, and I wasn’t real hip on it. First it was a counselor that she already was seeing, and I felt like there was way too much going on behind my back. Then there was the part where she made me feel like it was partly my fault that she did this, because I didn’t make her feel good enough about her weight loss.  Now understand that I never made her feel bad about her weight gain, or her size before we got married. It was never an issue for me, and still isn’t. If she follows through with the divorce though, I have vowed to never, ever date or marry a woman again who views herself as too big, or has been sexually abused, because there are way to many issues that go along with that, and I don’t want the headaches or heartache.

I forced myself to have sex with her quickly after that, so I could get past the feeling that she had given herself to another man.  She ruins the sticking the flag in the top of the mountain again moment, by informing me that it was some of the worst sex that we had ever had. Who says that to someone the first time having sex with them after cheating on them.  I have never understood this. At the time, it made me feel like she had enjoyed the other guy more than me, and was reminded of how good sex could be with guys who weren’t me.  This was a big blow to my already falling self esteem. I had relied too much on her to fortify how I feel about me, and she not only didn’t feed that beast, but beat it down at every opportunity.  She was without a doubt her fathers daughter. He had made her feel bad most of her growing up, and she was doing that to me now.

Needless to say over the course of the next year, she got pregnant. I had questions of whether the child was mine the entire pregnancy. God is good, he produced a child that looks so much like me, that it was impossible to question. We had moved into a new house, and now were fostering a little girl we planned to adopt. The same year our daughter was born, we adopted all three kids from the state.   We are now seven years into our marriage at this point, and in our fifth home, and our third home purchase at the time we adopted and had our daughter.   That is a lot of moving. I was starting to believe that she couldn’t settle down.  She had a similar pattern throughout her single life.

This was the condensed version of the first half of our marriage. There are plenty of happy memories. I loved my wife, and still do. We had vacations and times together that were fantastic.  I enjoy talking to no other person more than her, when she bothers to listen.  We have had a couple of problems that I am willing to work through. One is the lack of sex, and the tension around sex. The other is that when we talk about tough things, she either bullies me, or shuts down. I respond to these tactics no better.  I believe that she has some issues due to her upbringing.  I think she as BPD, and needs to learn to manage her emotions with the help of a real psychotherapist.  I am still in this marriage, until I have no choice.  I am writing these things, so I can get my head clear, and because I like to write.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

June 28

The Honeymoon

Honeymoon Graveyard Tragedy

I  won’t be covering everything with such short time spans, but these things are important to setting the stage for how blind I was to the coming disasters.   We left the day after the wedding on our honeymoon. It was going to be great. We were driving to the Rockies in my 4X4, and were going to enjoy some time in the mountains.  We were driving the long stretch of flat highway, and talking. Generally enjoying ourselves as we went along. She decided to make up for the uncomfortable sex the night before with some play while I drove. This was exciting, and new to me. I had never imagined doing some of these things while we drove, and at 80 MPH it was at times a little dangerous. I would do it all again.

I had taken special care to make sure that my SUV was ready for the trip, so when we pulled in to eat it was a surprise to see the green smoke coming out of the tail pipe.  Came to find out that I had a cracked head gasket.  We spent the night there, while I was treated to the embarrassing public harassment of my wife, and then met by a go sleep in the other bed when we went to the room.  She was mad. We should have brought her car. I should have had a better person look at the SUV before we left.  Continually saying “I thought you said you had this handled.” We rented a car, and out in the middle of drive by country there are no unlimited mileage rentals.

We made our way to our cabin,  dropped off our stuff, and found a place nearby to eat. We came back, and tried our hand at the whole newlywed sex thing. This worked out so well that she screamed at me, “You are doing it wrong.” This of course upset the mood, and we didn’t finish. I had to study for my final exams in Calculus III, so I stayed up and studied that night. We spent the remainder of the trip traveling around the areas seeing things. We had some pretty basic sex once during the entire honeymoon, and it felt remarkably like mercy sex to me.

The return trip was spent getting bitched at about my SUV as we approached where we were supposed to pick it up and tow it back home.  There was no more excitement on the trip home.  I should have learned on the honeymoon that all was not going to go well, but I was still young, and assumed that these were teething troubles for the marriage, and things would get better.  Boy was I in for a surprise.

Ten-Foured

JeD

June 27

The Wedding

Zombie Wedding

We prepared for the wedding like most couples. My wife to be’s stepmother inserted her nose into thing continually, which was particularly annoying since they weren’t paying for any part of the wedding. Needless to say, I lost almost everything that mattered to me, because in the words of this woman, it would be rude to our guest. These are simple things like having the pictures taken after the wedding.  As we prepared, we went through premarital counseling with our pastor. We were pretty much in line with all our beliefs. This is something I have come to learn is normal for women like my wife. They are very good at reading you, and adapt to you, until the hook is set, and things can turn nasty.  Preparing for the wedding was stressful. We had our fair share of fights. I was consoled by others that this was a normal part of the process. I was also reminded that this was her day, and that I should let her have it. I should only fight for what really matters, so I gave ground continually. This became the metaphor for our life to come. I gave ground to keep her happy, and she took it and more.   I had never been a weak person, but I was quickly becoming one with her.

My part of the deal was the honeymoon, so I worked out a deal for a cabin in Colorado that backed up to a beautiful cliff.  There were hot springs with a spa just down the road, and hiking and adventures all around. I planned the honeymoon. She kept trying to interfere with other ideas, but I insisted that this was going to be my contribution to the event. I took a contract job setting up a new office with computers and cabling all the network and telephones.  I was able to make enough money on this job to pay for the honeymoon, and most of the wedding.  This seemed to win me points for a while with  her, but it didn’t last long.

We did the wedding rehearsal the night before the wedding.  The rehearsal went fine, with plenty of fun jokes to go around. I had picked up the tux for my ring bearer, so after the rehearsal I dropped off the tux. Me and the father talked for about 30 minutes, and then I went to the rehearsal dinner. When I arrived, my future wife was in a snit. She was incensed.  She was furious that I had not just dropped off the tux and run out immediately.  She also knew that this was not my personality, and that 30 minutes was a good job.  She paraded me around the tables to analogize to everyone who came to the dinner.  It was uncomfortable and odd. I chocked it up to being a man, and not understanding the proper graces for such an event.  The truth is, this was just another way that she exerted control over me. It placed her in charge of the event for the night, and kept me uncomfortable all night. I was not able to relax at all until she had left, and I had returned to my parents house.  This was a significant turning point as she fully came from adoring me to targeting me for her rage.

We plowed ahead to the wedding day. We took all our pictures before the wedding, so that we wouldn’t be rude to our guests and keep them waiting after the ceremony.   To prepare for the pictures, we were supposed to meet alone before hand, and enjoy a few minutes to calm our nerves. Supposedly this was a common way to do things. Well this worked out about as well as putting a couple of dogs with their tail tied together in china store. When I came in she wasn’t prepared, and she became angry, very angry.  Instead of having a nice intimate moment, we had a fight and we were far from relaxed when we went to take pictures.

The wedding went off with all its appropriate ceremony and beauty. Our ring bearer and flower girl were adorable as they giggled going down the isle.  We were married with traditional vows. Vows that I truly believed and have taken very seriously. I had no intent to ever break those vows, and to give her grace when she struggled with them. I had come to the conclusion long before I was married that I was not entering a contract with my wife, but a covenant with my God. It did not matter what she did, I would honor the commitment to my God.  I have done this to my best ability to this day. There have been times that I have struggled, and in recent years, I have struggled with my understanding of God, in part because of my marriage. God has been good, and has rejuvenated me as I endure this latest challenge. I have been reminded that it was I that went away, not him.  Apparently my wife to be viewed her vows as a promise, and mine as a contract with her for her alone to interpret its meaning. A future post will explain what I mean here, for now just take it for what it says, and how that might impact motivations and attitudes.

The reception was a normal affair. We signed the wedding certificate, and did all the toasts with sparkling cider or grape juice, since we were at the church.  Everyone had a good time. We did all the cheesy things like cutting the cake, and her putting frosting on my face.   We spent about an hour milling around and shaking hands and hugging friends and family.  She had arranged for a limousine to pick us up, and take us to get more pictures at a park, which became tiring. I was ready to be done, but went along, because that is what a good groom does on his wedding day. It is her day after all. We then went to the nursing home that her mother was at.  We took pictures with her, and then went on to our hotel.  I relaxed while she took her hair down, and changed clothes. We ordered in pizza, and relaxed together. Then came the moment. Our first time together. It was uncomfortable, as I expected for all the stress of the wedding, and time that we had waited.  What I didn’t expect was how demanding she would be.  Her controlling attitude through the whole affair almost ruined it completely for me, and by that I mean I had to work extra hard to get myself back into performance shape, even though I had been ready from about the time she started taking down her hair.  This was only the beginning, the honeymoon was still to come.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

June 24

In the Beginning

Disney - Let the Adventure Begin

I was a mere 22 years old when this story begins.  My wife to be was 28, and as it turns out she was prowling for young men who hadn’t already been burned by women like her.  This was nearly 15 years ago.

The beginning of our relationship was exciting. It was everything I had desired. I was active in my church, and had help start a class for young singles. The only singles class our church had at the time was full of middle aged divorced people and people who never managed to get married during the first round of marriages for their peers.  This class over the year it had existed had already become a fun place for all of us. Some people were dating, but most just enjoyed the things we all did together.  It was at this time that I met her. She had just moved back to our city. We hit it off right away. We talked for hours the first day that we met.  I recognized her last name, and realized that I knew her sister and stepsister from college.  Over the course of the next few months we spent most evenings together. The only ones we didn’t were the ones she was working.

Our time together was exciting we talked about everything.  We did a considerable amount of kissing and heavy petting. We drew the line at taking our clothes off, we both wanted to avoid sex before marriage. Not that either of us were virgins. She had a bit of a sorted sexual history, including abuse as child, and I had been very sexually active with a girlfriend in high school.  Knowing what I know now, I would have stopped the relationship knowing her history. Too many guys had screwed her up. The sexual abuse had messed with her ability to truly enjoy sex. This is the first of many red flags that I ignored as I plowed ahead toward marital bliss.

Christmas time was coming, and we had been dating for about four months. I decided I would ask her to marry me. This was incredibly stupid, but hind site is definitely better than foresight. On Christmas Eve I asked her to marry me. She of course said yes, because this woman wanted to be married before she reached her expiration date.  You may think I exaggerate, but she intentionally picked a wedding date that was before her 30th birthday, but after my 23rd.  Things started to change before the New Year.

She became completely preoccupied with the wedding. I became an after thought. Our physical contact was less, and she would get angry that I didn’t touch her as much.  I didn’t really understand what was going on, but I tried harder to satisfy her. What man wouldn’t want more physical attention? It was difficult, I didn’t understand why, but she seemed to be putting space between us, and blaming me for it. At the time I couldn’t totally understand what was going on. She even became critical of the ring that I spent a good 25% of what I earned a year at the time on.  As I look back, this was clearly her drawing the battle lines of who was in charge, and dominant in the relationship. I say this with very little pride. I was a leader. I was one of the dominant guys in all my social groups, and a solid competitor no matter what game I played. I didn’t know this game, and as I sit here today, I am rebuilding my reputation as a leader and a guy that other guys want to be around. She beat me down, and I let her without knowing what was happening. I just wanted to please the woman I was preparing to spend the rest of my life with.

The wedding plans went on, and this behavior continued. I never did assert myself effectively. I blame this on the next red flag that should have had me running.  She was seven years older than me. Men don’t marry older women. They want you because they can control you. If they get to you before you are experienced enough to see what they are doing, then they are in control. It just breaks the natural order of things.  If you think that I am nuts, then look around at your friends who have married and the woman is the same age or older. Most of them aren’t happy, even if they stay together, and if they are happy, they had to work out the whole the man is the leader issue to get there, because she won’t respect him otherwise.

During the summer before our wedding, she went back to the place she had lived before she met me to visit the people she had spent the previous year of life with. She was gone for ten days, and managed to call me finally on the eighth. I was mad, and concerned. I didn’t understand that this too was a way to put me in my place. I wait for her, not her for me.  I had stupidly taken out a little too much credit, as many of us do our first step into adulthood. I was in over my head.  I told her about this when we talked on the phone.  She took out a loan and paid off the debt I had, and then we finished paying it off together before the wedding day. I thought this was one of the most wonderful things. I thought it showed her commitment. I was wrong. This was just one of the many things that have been used against me in any argument we have over money. It was the handle to her sledge hammer to beat me down, and keep me out of our finances over the years.

Well we made it to the wedding day. I was learning my place in the relationship, rather than creating it. Things didn’t change much. She became cooler and cooler towards me. I chalked this up as being pre-wedding stress, and didn’t give it much more thought.  During this time there were many arguments and disagreements. I am fairly certain that I didn’t win a single one of them. This again should have scared me off.  Later I was blamed for bad decisions, because I didn’t stand my ground on things I was right about.  I wasn’t even married yet, and I was already in a no win situation with her.  A pretty good start, don’t you think.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

June 21

Lets get this started

It Was Supposed to be Pure

This blog is here to serve two purposes. One, that I get to write. I haven’t been writing in a long time, and everything I want to write right now I don’t want attached to my name, because of the struggles me and my wife are having.   Which brings me to the second purpose of this blog. I will be telling my story, at least the part about my marriage. I am in the middle of a likely divorce, and need a place to review the history of my marriage. Perhaps along the way, I will see where things went wrong for me. Mistakes that I made that could have changed the course of my marriage.  For the most part, I want to explore the mistakes, so I don’t make them again, because I don’t believe that my wife would have changed much about how she has acted or feels.

The name of this blog is a personal catch phrase. I say it to myself when I think about the problems in my marriage. We were married October 4th or 10/4, and that is when everything changed, so I have dubbed that being ten-foured. I will start with the beginning, so it will take some time to get to the current part of the story.  By the end, I hope to feel different about where we are. I still want to save this marriage, but I don’t see much hope in that. Even if the marriage can be saved, I don’t have any illusions that she will change, so I would be back in this position again some years down the road.  I say this with great sadness. I believe in the redemptive power of Christ, and if she chooses to return to a spiritual walk with Christ, then I have no doubt that things can change, but for now she runs away from all things good towards the women who have already shattered their homes. She seeks comfort in the stories of how good it can be.  She forgets the great sadness they used to tell her about before she was a potential member of their club, then it became all roses and honey to be a divorced mom.  She also seems to think that I will remain very husband like, but she won’t have to share my bed, and will suddenly have a great husband and a lover of her choice her aren’t the same person. she is sadly mistaken about the lengths I will go to be kind to her after she has destroyed my family.  She is also sadly mistaken about her market value as a woman in her 40s with 4 kids and is overweight.

I am bitter right now. That will come through my writing. That is part of the reason I am writing. I want to explore our relationship, come to some new conclusions about what really happened, and heal the bitterness, so I am prepared for the battles that will come for me to have my say and time with my kids.  For now we are preparing for seperation. We will share an apartment that the kids stay at until our house is sold. We will alternate who stays with the kids at the apartment, while the other stays at our house.  This seems like a miserable situation to me right now, but I can hope that some good will come of it. My reality alarms tell me this is divorce lite for her.

Ten-Foured,

JeD