September 19

You Never Told Me That!

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Words I continually heard were “You never told me that,” or something similar. It even reached the point where I was told that I must have imagined the conversation in my head. This was strange, but I am fairly introverted, so not completely implausible.  I started to think I had entire conversations in my head, because she had no memory of them. This was the story of our marriage. She would respond to me angrily if I argued that we had talked about something that she didn’t remember. To some degree, I started to believe that I was a bit crazy. That I could imagine an entire conversation, and it never have happened.  I would give up plans, because she wasn’t prepared for them, because we never talked about them.

After the divorce talk, I was much more aware of the conversations we had.  I was more sensitive to slights I might offer or receive. I was trying to be a better husband, and was becoming increasingly aggravated with the lack of effort on her part to be a good wife.  Not just then, I didn’t expect much then, but in the past as I reviewed our life together on mine own. I noticed that I would be talking, and she would start the conversation with me, but after a while she would disappear into her own world.   I used to think she would change the subject abruptly on me, because there was some connection in her mind to what we were talking about.  I have a tendency to do that myself. I found though that she would get lost in her own thoughts, and would stop hearing me. She would then jump in conversation to whatever it was that she was thinking about.  As time went on after the divorce talk, she had less and less that she wanted to talk to me about, so she would just disappear and not come back. That is when I noticed what was really going on, and figured out that I was not nuts, but being ignored all these years.

I tested this a few times. I would say completely ridiculous things, and see if there was a reaction. There was none, and when I say none I mean not even a nod of the head like she was pretending to listen.  I would stop mid-sentence and just leave the room, and she wouldn’t even notice.  This was both eye opening and heart breaking for me. I realized that it had been a very long time since she cared what I said. The hard reality of this is I had started to believe that what I said was not important, that people didn’t care what I thought or said.  I had stopped sharing anything with so many of my friends. I have found that they all wondered what they did to make me not want to trust them anymore.  They too were victims of my marriage, and some of them will recover with me, and some of them have already left my life not understanding what happened.

It is amazing how the person you are closest too can affect everything in your life in ways that you never imagined. I can only imagine what that could have looked like if we were both in the marriage for the right reasons.  It could have been amazing.  Someone who can have such a strong effect on me and how I interact with others could have propelled me to such great heights with my friends and family, just as she pushed me down.  I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me here. I could have maintained those relationships on my own. I could have been more aware of what was going on, and limited the damage that was caused.  I could have believed that I was worth more than she thought I was, and never have tumbled down the path I have been on.  It hasn’t been good for either one of us.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

August 31

A Ring, What?

My Ring  >^_^

During the time just after Christmas, we were out shopping at a store that sold jewelry. She had taken to playfully rubbing her foot on my leg when she wanted to talk to me about something serious. It felt good, and initially I had thought that just maybe she was interested in trying to make things better. I was torn, because I knew she was very sexual, and good at using her sexual mores to get her way.  I wasn’t fooled, but I was tempted.

My fears were confirmed, when she very flirtatiously brushed up against me, pressing her body against me, and said while looking at the rings, “So, If I decide to stay, do I get a new wedding ring.” I sighed. It was the safest thing to do. I was disgusted. It reminded me that she constantly complained about the ring that I spent almost two months salary to buy her when we got married. The same ring that she hadn’t worn most of our marriage. She wore other rings, but had stopped wearing those as well for almost two years.

This was a turning point for me. This is where all my efforts to lure her back stopped. I still wanted to reconcile, but I was not going to settle for anything less than her deciding that she wanted to rebuild our relationship from the ground up, because it was the right thing to do for our kids, and because the vows we took mattered.   I was willing to work for the relationship, but not buy it, or gain some temporary reprieve, because she felt better.

This led to multiple talks, where after she expressed that she still didn’t feel in love me. My response was  a very stable non-emotional, “Of course you don’t, and you won’t unless you decide to love me. You won’t feel in love unless you choose to love. We have been together too long for you to have that spontaneous romantic love you desire. It is going to take work to get back to a place where we can feel that.” Her response was something along the lines of “I don’t want to work on our relationship” or “I don’t want to love you.” She also told me things like “I have too much life to live, to continue living with you.”

These are some of the most hurtful things I have ever heard. I couldn’t believe them at first. I now use them as inspiration to remember that I don’t want what we had. I want to honor my vows, but I cannot do that if she isn’t willing to as well. I want to raise my children with their mother, but I cannot do that if she isn’t willing to as well. I want to be in love with the person I married, but I cannot do that if she is not willing to as well.  Perhaps some of those are doable without her, but I am no longer willing to try. If she wants to go, then she can go. Its about my kids now.

She continued through this nebulous time while we lived together, to try to flirt to get her way. She also tried to use anger to get her way. She became increasingly agitated as neither route has the desired effect of control on me. I was breaking free of her bondage.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

August 30

The Good Son

Hair Cut for Rusty

During the time when I was trying to rescue my marriage there was an incident with my oldest son that stands out.  It had been cold and snowy, and now the snow was starting to melt. The boys were crawling up the walls to go outside.  They went outside, and decided to play football on the slick slushy front yard. Not a genius move, but typical of boys. They played for an hour or more, and then there was the cry of pain. My oldest had tackled my younger boy onto the stairs, and he hurt his elbow. It was bad enough that we needed to get x-rays.

She berated my older son for hurting his brother. Made him feel tiny, tiny, tiny. I almost took him with me to the hospital.  I had a friend come by and check on things instead. She called him a psychopath, and then went on to scream at me. She yelled “I am still leaving your ass, nothing has changed, and you can take that little psychopath with you. I don’t want him.” Understand that this was all done with in ear shot of all the children.  This is my son who really struggles with being in foster care, and the separation from his biological mother. He has attachment issues, and it was just announced to the whole family that his current mommy doesn’t want him.  I regret not taking him with me.  I was shocked and shaken, and worried for my other son. My hind site tells me I screwed up. Nothing happened, but he needed my encouragement as a father.

His brother bruised his elbow. They thought it might be a sprain, and had it splinted for a week, but since there was no pain after a week they decided it was just a bruise. He was fine.  There was no reason for his brother to be made to feel like something less than as important as his brother.

Now fast forward to present day. She has moved out. I am still in the marital home 45 minutes away until the end of the week.  I get a call from her. He is screaming at her. I am pretty sure he is telling her that he wants to live with me, but I can’t hear it all. She screams “Good, when your dad moves, you can go live with him, and I won’t ever have to see you again.”  I don’t want to split my kids up, but I may have to for a while. If things keep going this way, I am going to have to drop the idea of shared custody, and get the lawyers involved and go after full custody of all the kids, and limit the visitation to a standard schedule.  I can’t have her throwing away kids.  Once she throws him away the other two adopted kids are going to see themselves as disposable as well. This is a sad day for me.  I was hoping that we can make things work so our kids had two parents working together, even though one is selfishly destroying the family. I know it was a stretch, but I was hoping.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

August 29

Wake Up Call

Vintage Copper Alarm Clocks

Well the divorce talk was a wake up call. It certainly got me going. I changed. Some of the changes were the desperate actions of a man caught off guard. Those slid away with time. The biggest changes came in my spiritual walk with Christ.  My walk over the years had nearly became non-existent. I spent almost no time in the Bible, and only went to church to make sure I didn’t lose connection with the people there, I cared about.

I started the “Love Dare” with my wife. It pissed her off most of the time. I wrote a blog journal so she could read my thoughts. She initially responded well, even when she got pissed. I learned a lot about love and marriage going through that book. Needless to say, she did not. She was still determined to stay on her current course. During this time we also started counseling. The counselor was good. He was strong and straight forward.  Not the kind of counselor that I have been turned off by over the years.  The first few sessions we talked about me, and how bad I was, and all the blah, blah, blah, she could come up with. He honestly said to her, “You want to give up a fourteen year marriage over those things.” He explained that her complaints were normal, and generally reflected a lack of understanding of how men and women are different. She shut down and got pissed.  One of the last sessions, I brought up and incident where we had our boys at a soccer tournament. I had to take one over to his game, while the other finished up a game. I dropped him off across the park, and came back to get her. Somehow we missed each other. I called her, and she answers the phone screaming at me about leaving her there to get all our stuff. Needless to say, our stuff amounted to a shelter for her, her chair, a heater for her, her blankets, and some other stuff for her.  She then hung up on me. I get to the other game, and am pissed. I ask her if she was going to apologize, she spit “for what,” and I went over to talk to some guys. I wasn’t going to stand there and wait for her to cool off and play nice.  She told the counselor, she didn’t believe that I came back for her.  He asked if I was there when she got to the second game. She said no. He asked then where do you think he went. She didn’t know. He asked was he gone long enough to have left the park. She said no. He then asked, then isn’t it reasonable that he did exactly what he said he did. She screams “I don’t care.”  She huffed and puffed for a while, and when he got her to talk again, she said. “This was fine, so long as we are talking about him. I don’t want this marriage, I don’t want to fix it. I don’t want to talk about me at all.” She then went on to explain that she settled for me, because she didn’t believe that anyone else would want to marry her, and that she never really loved me.  I am getting to the point where I believe that.

One thing from our counseling sessions that stood out to me was this. He was trying to explain to us that what a woman in marriage needs is that unconditional love. This is what I was trying to learn through the “Love Dare” as well.  I can admit that I wasn’t always good at this or motivated to do better, but at this point wanted nothing more than for her to understand I loved her. She told me during this time that she had no doubt that I loved her. Of course there is a but. A disconnected but, but a but none the less. When he asked me what I needed from her, he concluded what I was trying to express was I needed respect. I agreed. I hadn’t thought about it in those terms, but that was it. He went on to explain that there is a special kind of respect that only a wife can give her husband. It is a respect, like the love she expects that can’t be earned. It is a gift that should come from her along with her vows.  Her response was cold, almost angry, “Well he needs to have his own self respect.”  The counselor agreed and tried to explain the difference in what he was talking about, and she repeated that phrase a few times. This was when I really started to believe that she never did love me, and maybe couldn’t love me or anyone else. She was so wrapped up in her feelings and her anger that she was unable to recognize the effect that she had on other people.

During this time, I also started meeting with my pastor. We studied the word, and talked about my situation. He has provided great advice, and comfort.  He is furious that she would allow us to adopt 3 kids, and have a kid if she wasn’t willing to love me.  You see the problem, he gets that love is what you do, and emotions will follow. She wants to feel that romantic love, and isn’t getting that.  The truth is, she never has had any empathy for me, so I am not surprised as I look back at this.  I have grown in my spiritual walk going through this. I have learned to love when there is no love in return. I have also learned that this bond called marriage that God created is going to hurt like hell as it breaks.  I don’t think she will feel it until it is over, and then she will wonder why I am not hurting the way she is, because she will have missed all the pain that I was already going through.  My pastor had me go through a Bible study called “Experiencing God.” I would recommend this to anyone who wants to get a better understanding of God’s word and his desire to no just know us, but to interact with us.

I have been finding that as I talk to friends, and reveal what is going on, that many of them have been concerned for me. Her temper and sharp tongue have become harder on me.  Many of these friends stopped seeing us, and I never knew why. It was because she had cut off the relationships when they became uncomfortable. If there is one lesson that I have learned through all of this, is relationships have to be maintained by me, and that I cannot have a real relationship with anyone as a couple.  That is a strange thing to me. I believed that through marriage we became one, and most of our relationships would be together. I was wrong, and not just because of who she is, but its just not the way it works.  When couples get along it is because each member of the couples gets along well the both the members of the other couple.

Over the next few months, I tried to pretend that we were still a normal married couple with our problems. I tried to make days that should be special, special, and to comfort her through her hurts with friends and family.  During this same time she was busy knocking down my reputation to anyone who would listen, and was looking for supporters on her quest to kill our marriage. I am surprised that she found very few supporters.  She can be extremely convincing, but I had developed a good reputation in this small community, so people dismissed most of what she said as being angry and inappropriate talk about your husband. This has been one of the biggest blessings as I meet and talk with people now.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

July 27

The “D” Word

Divorce

Shortly after our 13th anniversary, she came at me with a list of demands. She was mad that I dipped tobacco, something she knew I did when she married me. She was mad that I was a night  owl, something she knew about me when she married me. She was mad that we didn’t have sex very often, and I offered to have sex any time she wanted, but that I had some issues with the fact she had compared me to the men who molested her as a child.  I told her she needed some counseling to get her to a better place with that. The comparison she had made months earlier, was that that I had “made her want it like they used to.” She seemed to think that I should be able to get past that, because it was just constructive criticism.  She said I needed to ask her permission to approach her for sex, and she wasn’t going to initiate sex. I made it clear, that I was not going to beg for sex. She then tried to explain that this was not what she meant.  I tested this by asking her for sex a couple of times, and I was flatly turned down without explanation.  I was mad and getting madder, but I did not know what to do. I didn’t want a divorce. I didn’t want to lose any time with my kids, and like I said before, I did, and do believe in the vows that I took that said basically even if it sucks, I will stay married to you, and boy did it suck.  I found out later that she had this confrontation with me, because she told her sister that she wanted a divorce, and her sister said that she had to give me a chance to make things better. My wife decided that she would pick a fight with me, so she could nearly guarantee that I would not take any action, or at least not quickly.

A couple of weeks after this conversation, a friend of mine came to me. He challenged me to make my marriage better. He told me that his wife, who was in the Bible study that my wife sometimes went to was concerned based on what she had said. My friend didn’t know what was said, but came to me, and to her. I responded by quitting the tobacco, and going to bed at the same time as her. I wrote her letter telling her this, and admitting to the areas of fault that I played a part in our marriage problems.   Her response to my heart felt letter, was these words. “I wasn’t sure before, but I am now. I want a divorce. You basically just admitted to ruining our marriage.” I was dumb struck. My heart felt letter, where I exposed my heart to her in a way I never had before, was being thrown down as the reason that she was breaking our vows (again).   She also said the popular words of “I still love you, but I am not in love with you.” As if those words mean a damn thing. They demonstrate that she has no understanding of what love is.  Love is something you do because you chose to, not because the other person deserved or earned it.  Love is not an emotion that determines the course of  how your are going to behave. We are not in high school with raging hormones anymore. Love is the point of the vows we took on our wedding day. This day was also another important day for me. It was my middle son’s birthday.

She began sleeping in a bedroom upstairs. That lasted until she couldn’t figure out how to answer our kids when they asked why she was doing it. I was not going to give up the bedroom. If she didn’t want to sleep by me, then she could sleep wherever she wanted.   This was the beginning of the roller coaster of me trying to save my marriage. Most of what is coming, should serve as a warning to men facing what I am facing. Most of what I describe will be a guidebook in how to fail at saving a marriage hanging by a thread.  I understand that there wasn’t much hope to begin with, she had made up her mind a long time ago that she was going to look for a way out rather than save the marriage.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

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 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