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.



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.



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.