Ready… Set… GO!

So, J comes back this weekend.  I have been really anxious about it for the last few weeks, but I feel that I’ve come a long way and that I have some really great support from my friends and group.  I don’t feel like I’m as anxious about it as I’ve been in the past.  In a way I’m looking forward to being able to come to some resolution about the situation.

J is an engineer in the oil industry.  One of the things that we talked about when we first moved here is that he may have the opportunity to work expat.  I remember in early 2011 we were having this conversation.  He really wants to have children and so do I.  But I told him that we would have to wait until after he did the expat before we had kids because I didn’t want to be pregnant or have children alone.  I think I came off pretty firm about this.  His reaction was that I was basically not being very reasonable, that the money was really good (which it is), that it isn’t a big deal to be pregnant and by yourself.  (Much of this conveyed through patronizing remarks, tone, and boy language).  Prior to leaving for his most recent time overseas, before I told him I wanted a divorce, his “plans” included the option of me getting pregnant before he left (i.e. the first trimester alone).  I told him that was not going to happen.

Recently he brought up the fact that he has the opportunity to go expat starting in November.  Another element of this story is that his best friend, who he works with and has been in Europe with for the last three months, is going to go… although that “isn’t a factor”.  He told me on Monday that he thinks he needs to tell them ASAP if he is going to do this so that he doesn’t lose the opportunity.  I told him that considering all that has happened in the last few months, I cannot tell him “yes, go do this”, but if he needs to tell them yes and then back out later, that is his call.

First of all, given the state of our relationship, I find it almost comical that he thinks this is a good idea to even bring up.  Secondly, he’s still in the mindset that he wants kids ASAP, but doesn’t seem to really see the issue I have with being a single mother.  Why be married anyway?  I can get a sperm donor if I want one?  And why did I move here when I could be living where I want since he’s not going to be here anyway?  I guess I feel like I gave up so much to come here and I really didn’t need to.  Although, that isn’t to say that I’m not totally happy in this city and with my job, but you get the point.

So, I have a feeling we will have a lot of “Come to Jesus” meetings when he gets back.  It should be interesting.  I am hopeful, though.  I’ve found a great deal of strength within myself and have a better understanding of what my non-negotiables are in a relationship.

On a side note, I found out that one of my greatest mentors and friends had a heart attack yesterday.  He’s a marathoner, only 56, vegan and a very good friend.  He’s recovering in ICU.  But it reminds me that there is so little time and that we must do what we need to do because you never know if tomorrow will come.

Hope you are all having an inspired day!

~AA

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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

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

Reasons

I believe that everything happens for a reason and that we are provided with the tools needed if we do listen.  I came across this article today “30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself”.  Right off the bat:

1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth.  And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.

The line I love most is “it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.”  So, completely true. I’m trying to think who those people are in my life.  C was one, I think he still is.  I know he’d be there for me if I needed him.  My best girlfriend R is one.  We don’t talk or see one another as much as I’d like, but she’d be there for me no matter what.  My other girlfriend S would be there as well.  She’s wonderfully strong and direct.

I’m realizing that I have a stronger support network than I thought I had.  I have a friend that I have worked with for the last two years that would help me.  I have another friend, a new one, that has already started to give me emotional support.

#4 struck a chord with me as well:  Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  Yes, help others; but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.

This is what I’m doing.  It is imperative that I have my emotional and physical needs taken care of.   I have allowed myself, finally, to say that.

And #11: Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.  Evaluate situations and take decisive action.  You cannot change what you refuse to confront.  Making progress involves risk.  Period!  You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.

And #20: Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.  Just do what you know in your heart is right.

~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