Distractions

Today, I’ve had a number of distractions and have been rather busy.  This is good.  I will be telling him today when I get home from work.

I’m in awe of the support that I have from various friends.  There are only three people that are aware and all have been more than supportive of my decision and, finally, have actually told me that they think it is the right thing to do.  I realize and understand why people don’t want to say “why are you with him” when you are in a relationship, but the comments that I’m now getting are interesting.  I appreciate the honesty.  It doesn’t make it less difficult to hurt someone that you care about and it isn’t like he is a bad person.

It will be tough.  But  I know it is the right thing to do.  It isn’t fair to him to constantly have doubts and to be wanting out and to be having emotional affairs.  That isn’t the person that I want to be.  We both deserve better.

How you begin that conversation?  I have no idea.  We are supposed to be packing to go visit his family.  I’m just going to tell him that I’m not going and here is the reason why.  I was given good advice recently.

  1. Allow yourself to detach from the act of telling him.  The telling is the most difficult part.  Sort of like getting your blood drawn.  You just have to detach and let it happen.
  2. Tell him with an open heart and good intent.  He will hurt, I will hurt, but I don’t have to hurt him.  And the intention is good and my heart is open.
  3. Be very gentle with myself.  Let myself cry.  Take a hot bath.  Drink some tea.  And coddle yourself.

~AA

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Precipice

When we are on the precipice of we know not what, that is the moment of true self discovery.  I am on the precipice of a life changing event.  The moment I utter those word, “I want a divorce”.  My life will forever be changed.  That day will be tomorrow.  I look forward to it in the sense that it must be done, but I dread it in the sense that my life will forever be altered and once I say those words, there is no going back.

To become an “ex-wife”, to no longer have a husband, to begin the “great divide” is truly daunting.  I’m desperately trying to remain positive.  To remain focused.  To remain clear.  But it is hard.  I don’t recommend waiting once you’ve made your decision.  In fact, I’m tempted to just blurt it out the moment I get home, but I don’t think I will.

I have moments where I feel that maybe I’m making the biggest mistake of my life.  Maybe the problem is me and maybe I should just stay.  But I truly believe that will only lead to prolonging the inevitable and the possibility of having a child involved.

I am doing the right thing.  Taking a moment to read back these 50+ posts and I know that I am doing the right thing.  Fear is just an emotion.  The only way to defeat it is to not give in to is quick tongue and trickster manipulation.

The irony?  Amidst this anxiety, there is a longing to live again.  To be who I once was.  So full of life and opportunity and happiness and passion.

~AA

Life Report…continues

So, I began my life report by providing a background about who I am and that sort of left at the turning point in my life that I am now approaching.  The decision.  I’ve made the decision.   I’ve gone to counseling to help me get clarity about my choice and I know I’m making the best decision for both of us.  The next chapter in my life report will be a reconciliation of this experience and choice and the move into a new period.

One of the things that I talked to B about yesterday was the fact that J has some personal issues that he needs to work through.  B & J are both children of alcoholics, their dads in both cases.  B has been a part of AL-ANON for a number of years and we discussed the fact that J probably has some deep-seeded issues that he isn’t recognizing or dealing with.  She pointed some things out to me that I didn’t realize could be a result of the trauma that he dealt with.  And, more importantly, by remaining in the relationship, I’m simply enabling this pattern of denial to continue.  Perhaps it is my responsibility as the wife to stand by him and to force him to get treatment, but I’m a firm believer that you cannot change anyone.  If he doesn’t want to get help for some of his issues, I cannot make him.  And I don’t have the emotional reserve to keep doing it anymore.  To keep pushing to make things better.  Is that horrible to say?  If so, I don’t really care.  I’m tired… exhausted by beating my head against a wall that will never bend.  I am done.  And I am at peace with this decision.

The next part of my life report, I suspect, will look something like this:

At 31 I realized that it was time to end my marriage.  He was a wonderful man with so much to offer, but the walls and barriers that were built between us were too strong to bare.  I loved him and will always love him.  I look on our time together as a wonderful and trying experience that gave both of us the opportunity to grow, to achieve, to love, to laugh, to experience and to learn to let go when you need to let go.  It is with great consideration and difficulty that I came to this conclusion, but I know that it is right.  Looking forward with excitement and uncertainty, I granted both of us our freedom to find what will truly make each of us happy.  For this reason, I am at peace.      

Be inspired!

~AA

Sleepless

It appears that I am having difficulty eating and sleeping; manifestations of my stress and desire to get this over with, I’m sure.  I almost told him last night, but I had just gotten back from dinner with a friend and had had some wine, so I thought better of it.  I don’t want to have to spend two days together with questions, bitterness, anger and what not, but I’m ready for this weight to be lifted.  I am ready.

I spoke to my girlfriend B about this yesterday.  I told her last week about it, but needed to talk to her again.  She’s so supportive and I appreciate it more than I can express.  And it is nice to have confirmation that even she thinks I am doing the right thing.

I’ve also spoken to C recently via IM.  It seems that perhaps we will be able to remain friends at least.  For this I am grateful.  Few people know more about me….actually no one knows as much about me as he does.  He is aware of what is going on and we’ve spoken a bit about it.  We’ve been good about keeping our conversations friendly and not quite as frequent as they used to be.  Regardless of what happens for him or for me, I think we will always remain close friends.  This is comforting to know.

Now, I sit here at 2 a.m. with my computer and my cat trying to find a way to get some sleep.  I think I will sleep well once all of this is over.  It is exhausting to be carrying this weight and trying to pretend that things are no different than any other day.  I have no delusions that it will be easy or painless to tell him, but  I am very comfortable with this decision and will be relieved to no longer be living a lie.

Live and love inspired!

~AA

Annihilation

In on of my Pema Chodron books, she talks about a sign that she used to have over her office door.  Something to the effect of,

Only to the extent that we expose ourselves to annihilation over and over can we find that within us that is indestructible.

I absolutely love this saying.  It is a very true saying.  We spend so much time wearing our masks, deceiving ourselves and our hearts, deceiving others of who we really are.  It is a very Buddhist perspective to embrace annihilation as an opportunity to discover your true heart and your true self.

I’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo for a very long time, but never knew what I wanted to get.  I’ve been obsessed with the Kokopelli as far back as I can remember.   You know what it is, you just may not have known the name.  Kokopelli is a Native American god of music, fertility and cacophony.  Here he is:

I bring this up because I’ve been thinking about getting annihilation as my tattoo.  I think annihilation of who we think we are is a rare gift.  Often painful, but so beautiful at the same time.  I never want to forget what a gift it is to be having this experience and the opportunity it has given me to learn more about who I truly am.

~AA

Scatter

Seems like my mind is all over the place!  I’m terribly scatter-brained, yet focused at the same time.  It could be a combination of knowing what is about to transpire and the holiday break.  I don’t know.  I can’t seem to remember things and have no idea what is going on in so many areas that I’m normally very good about keeping on top of.  It is kind of amusing me!

So, the stress is definitely showing and starting to subside at the same time.  I seem to be a walking oxymoron.  I’ve been losing weight, which isn’t very good since I have trouble keeping it on in the first place.  I’m down about 8 pounds, which is a lot for me, and my clothes aren’t fitting as well (sucks).  My stomach just has this constant knot that I can’t seem to shake.  Conversely, my skin is clearing up! LOL.  Whenever I’m really stressed, my chest and face breakout.  Since I’ve made my decision, it has started clearing up!  So funny.

I manifest my stress physically.  I always have.  The only thing I can do is focus on eating what I can, getting exercise, wearing my smallest clothes and clothes that have some sort of stretchy-material to hide the bagginess, allowing myself to be scatter-brained and remain focused on the beauty of my little life.

Here’s to change!  Cheers!

~AA

Doubt

Doubt will always happen.  It is a matter of determining whether or not that doubt is warranted and/or whether it means that you need to reconsider what you are going to do.  Today, I experienced doubt about my decision.  Thoughts like:

perhaps I’m just overreacting; perhaps this really isn’t that bad of a situation; he’s a nice guy; we can have fun together, that’s more than some people can say; maybe this is just what all relationships end up being.

Then, as the day went on, I began to regain confidence in my decision.  I like him, but I’m not right for him.  He’s a nice guy, but I don’t even enjoy kissing him anymore.  I will always love him, but I am no longer in love with him and cannot give him the life he wants.

About a month ago we went out with one of his friends from work and his girlfriend.  This was the first time I’d met the girlfriend, D.  Now, J and I have been out a number of times with other couples, quite often my friends. In general, he is very cautious about people and doesn’t really “click” with people quickly.  When we met up with the friend and D, I experienced something I had never experienced before.  He immediately clicked with D.  I realized this is the type of woman that he should be with.  It was quite interesting.  And I wasn’t jealous.  Sort of relieved.

She is a bit simpler than I.  And I don’t mean that in a bad way.  I’m very ambitious, while she’s a divorced stay-at-home mom who doesn’t aspire to go back to work ever (her ex-husband pays for her, her house and all living so that she can stay home for the kids–teenagers–it was the arrangement that worked best for them).  Our interests in life are very different.  She’s a lovely person, but not someone that I would be able to develop a significant relationship with.  But for J, she was perfect and he felt completely comfortable around her.  I had never seen anything like it.  He deserves to be with someone that is a better fit than I and I deserve the same.

He wants the house, kids, dutiful wife arrangement while I want and need more passion, compassion, someone I can confide in and someone who will accept all parts of me and doesn’t make me feel ashamed of who I am.

I’m thinking that the best time to tell him that we are getting a divorce will be the Thursday before we are to leave to visit his family.  When I was talking to my counselor about when to tell him, she told me that I need to focus on what works for me rather than what works for him.  Telling him before Christmas will suck, but I want to do it before the holidays so that I can give myself the time without work or distraction to just start the healing process.  Plus, he’ll be gone for the next four days.  I can make so many excuses as to why I want to wait till after the holidays, but I just don’t want to wait.  She also told me that I need to let him own how he reacts to the news.  If he is angry and pissed that I ruined his Christmas, that is his issue, not mine.  I need to allow myself to be selfish and to do what is best for me.  This is difficult for me to do.

~AA

Counseling

I just met with my counselor.  What a great help that is!  I highly recommend meeting with a counselor if you have things that need to be worked out.  I’m naturally a very pragmatic and objective person and having an external third-party to discuss my life altering decisions with is very helpful.  In general, I do not have people that I can discuss this with, so a counselor fills this gap.  They are also less invested in me personally.  Family and friends have a biased interest in you whereas a counselor is trained to help you tease out what you are thinking and feeling.

I think my biggest concern was that I was somehow making a rash decision.  Conceptually, 3 years of thinking about a divorce does not constitute a “rash” decision, but I am only human.  In most areas of my life I am very comfortable taking risks, but in my personal life, I’m more reserved and cautious.  I care about the people I interact with and don’t want to harm them.

One of the things that a counselor also provides is validation.  This is something that people you know try to provide you, but for me, at least, it is more impactful coming from a third party. We talked at length about my situation, as you do in counseling, and I feel really great about where I am.  I feel like the mountain that stood before me has slowly become a hill.  She validated my interpretation of my relationship with my husband and pointed out that I tend to focus on wanting to protect others before doing what is right for myself.  I think this is true.

Basically, the only thing now to do is to find the right time to do it.  There is never a good time to tell someone that you want to end your marriage.  But, as I am pragmatic, I must let this counseling session set in and provide myself some time for reflection.  I’m not going home first thing today to tell my husband that I want to end our marriage.  But I feel very confident in my decision.

I deserve to have my lover reach for me, to want to touch me and to hold me, to caress my body and to make love to me.  I deserve to have my lover make me feel sacred, special, smart, funny and to take special care of me when I’m sick.  And I deserve to have a life full of wonderment to share.

Be good to one another.

~AA

Blessings

The more experienced I am the more I can appreciate the blessings in my life.  One of my greatest blessings is my mother.  I have the most amazing mother in the world.  Unfortunately, this past Monday she had to get her 4th coronary stent.  She is fine and out of the hospital now, but the thought of losing her terrifies me.  She had bypass surgery in early November, but the place where the bypass went back into her heart was too small and caused this new round of heart issues.  I hope this is the last of it.  I love her so much.

Ever since I can remember, I have aspired to be like her.  To achieve even the most remote amount of compassion and lover for others that she possesses would be amazing.  She taught me how to love and sacrifice for others.  She has done so much for my dad and for her family.  Her life has been devoted to giving.  And she is beautiful in every way possible.

She once gave me some sound advice when I was complaining to her about the fact that I felt like I was doing everything on my own even though I was married.  She said, “A, you will always do it on your own.”  This was a revolutionary moment for me and my relationship with my mom.  In that very moment, she showed me a side of her I didn’t know was there.  And I know she is right.  I don’t need anyone to make me happy.  I’m the only one that can “make” me happy.  I don’t need anyone to give me opportunities, I make my own.

To her credit, she grew up in a different time and had different views about relationships and marriage than I do.  My parents have a very traditional relationship.  She is the wife, caregiver, etc. while my father tends to be the dad, the man.  In all honesty, there were times I didn’t know why she stayed with him.  But she did.  And 41 years later, they have a wonderful relationship.  I understand it now, though.  It was her choice to stay with him and to make her family happy.  That is all she really cared about.  Her family.

Despite some of the hell that I know my dad put her through, she has always maintained a positive outlook.  It is something that I strive for.  She doesn’t know it, but she’s a Buddhist in a way… she believes all moments pass and that they are opportunities to learn.

Here’s to mothers who are friends and mentors!  I am blessed in this regard.

~AA

Progress

I think I’ve already made some progress.  I made an appointment to see a counselor starting on Thursday.  We spoke on the phone and I’m hopeful.  I was thinking today about the questions that she would ask me on my first visit, how much background info might she need and, of course, the question of “why are you here?”  Well… let’s explore that.  I am here because I feel my marriage is over and that I want to leave my husband.  I like my husband as a person.  He’s not a bad person, I just don’t think that we mesh anymore and won’t for the long haul.  He is my friend…not my best friend…but for my lover, partner, spouse… I need more.  I want someone who makes me feel special, sacred, sexy, who will be affectionate, compassionate and take care of me.  Is that enough reason to leave a marriage?

Emotionally I feel very “done” with things.  I don’t know how to describe it.  I have and have had to rely on others for emotional support, but I don’t really have many others to rely on to begin with and just lost an important one.  I don’t want to delve into the details because I’m tired of talking about it to some extent.  We don’t fight much, but I think that is due in part to the fact that I just don’t want to fight anymore.  Recently we were discussing an injury to his foot.  I’m not a doctor, but I know a thing or two  about taking care of injuries.  I’ve been athletic all my life.  He wouldn’t do anything for it…no aspirin, no ice, no rest; but he would complain about it.  I told him I just don’t care what he does and don’t want to hear about it b/c it doesn’t matter what I say or do.  It is true.  I realized, as I said it, this is truly how I feel.  I care about whether or not he is in pain, but he won’t listen to reason or proof (medical articles).  As I said this, it was clear that he took offense to it.  What’s a person to do?

I also feel that I’ve done a lot of processing and grieving about this relationship and the one that just ended with C.  In both regards, I think I’m just done. I want to be happy and I want to be excited.  I don’t need the perfect relationship, but I’d like to feel a little more cherished and appreciated.  I’ve had to shut down parts of how I show my love because I didn’t feel like I was getting it in return.  I can appreciate the idea of “unconditional love”, but at what point is it just ridiculous?  Is it so selfish to want it in return?  I don’t think so.

I think the key right now is whether or not this sense of clarity lasts.  I have a feeling that it will, though.  It truly feels like I’ve reached a personal resolution and am making progress.  I’m very happy.

Love to you all.

~AA