Readjusting

I picked J up on Saturday.  It was good to see him, a little anxiety provoking, but good nonetheless.  Over the weekend, I just tried to keep things very neutral.  He’s got some severe jet lag and it is apparent that we are on two very different planes of communication.  I think this is due in large part to the fact that I have been in individual and group therapy.  So, I didn’t really think it would be productive to delve into relationship issues right away.

To the communication/perception issues, we’ve been having this discussion about him possibly working internationally since we first found it was a possibility in January of last year.  Even then I told him I thought it was a bad idea for a number of reasons, one of the main being that he wanted to start a family but would be gone for a month and back for two weeks.  I told him that wasn’t going to happen and told him why.  He wanted me to consider it.  Now, he has the opportunity to do a rotation in Nigeria.  I know he wants to do it, but I feel that it is a bit unrealistic given the current state of our relationship and the fact that he STILL wants to have kids.

I have worked in higher education for a number of years and prior to coming here, I had to give up an amazing job so that J could take a job with the company that he wanted to work for.  I told him that my former boss called me about a job (not the first time he’s called me) and that we had an interesting conversation that ended in my former boss telling me that he would want me to come work has his Chief of Staff with a tenure-track faculty appointment if/when he gets a presidential appointment (which he will in about a year or two).  Basically all could ever want professionally.  We were talking about this over breakfast on Sunday.  The short of it is that J told me that he doesn’t want to change industries and that he doesn’t want to leave his current job for the next 5 years; basically saying that he isn’t supportive of this opportunity.  He’s supportive if it means he doesn’t have to sacrifice, but if he does, he’s not supportive, you know?  I reminded him of everything I gave up (two orchestra job offers so he could stay in school and didn’t have to transfer and most recently, a job that I loved so that he could take a job he wanted).

I think this just goes to show that we are not thinking on the same plane.  He’s got a lot of work to do in terms of understanding my needs.  I didn’t go to school for 11 years, get a Ph.D. and work my ass off to become a broodmare for someone who thinks it is completely acceptable to leave me for a year/year .5  (one month off, two weeks back) while pregnant or with an infant.  So, we’ve a lot of work to do.  lol.

I’m meeting with my therapist today and am looking forward to it.  J is supposed to meet with him before we meet as a couple, but J doesn’t really like the idea.  I get the impression that he still doesn’t understand that there are some really big issues that need to be addressed.  In his mind, he’d rather just sweep the last few months under the rug and more forward without finding the right way to move forward.

I’m really trying to be open to this and to him so that I can make the best decisions moving forward.  I want to give him the “handicap” since he’s basically just been working and living it up in Europe.  We’ll see.  I’ll keep you posted about how he takes to reality.

~AA

 

New Year

Happy New Year!  It has been a rather interesting end to 2011, but I look forward to 2012.  I feel optimistic.  J and I met a few times for lunch over the last few days.  He is heading to a work assignment out of state today and will be there through mid-February.  He then will be in Europe until mid May.  It is sad.  I miss him in many regards.  Our meetings have been very amicable and I am grateful for this.

He met with a counselor who specializes in adult children of alcoholics.  I hope this will help him. He deserves such a beautiful life, but I couldn’t do it any more.  I know there are great things for him in his life as there are for me in mine.  This has been one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life.

And it has given me such perspective on who my true friends are.  B and her husband K have been amazing.  They have taken such good care of me and support me without judgement.  It is a wonder.  I’ve also been confiding in a new friend, M.  This has been very good for me.  My parents don’t really know what to do and my brother is trying to figure it out as well.  So, the fact that I have two people that I can rely on is just such a blessing.  I don’t know where I’d be without them.  They’ve consistently made time for me, listen to me, comfort me, give me perspective, and have helped me begin the healing process.

I’m so grateful for today.

~AA

Better

Today is a much better day than yesterday.  Yesterday was Christmas, as you know, but it was my first Christmas alone.  It was nice and lonely at the same time.  One of my friends Skyped with me for a bit, which was so nice.  I needed to see a friendly face and to be part of some Christmas celebration even if it was virtual.  B had me over for dinner.  It was so nice.  They sent me home with so much food that I don’t even know where to begin!

Yesterday I talked to J for a bit.  I’m pleased that things seem amicable at this point.  He keeps wanting me to reconsider, but I’ve told him that I just cannot.  There are many things he needs to work on and I am simply spent.  I’m a bit on alert b/c he has called my family and my best friend (B), but I understand why he did.  I just don’t want him making an effort to turn them into his tools to get me back.

When I spoke to my mom yesterday, it wasn’t very good.  I know this is a confusing time for them.  She said things like, “you know… it is difficult enough to find someone.”  Later that day, J said the same thing.  I want him to continue having support from my family and B as needed, but I don’t want it to be b/c he is trying to manipulate the situation via my friends and family.  The most poignant thing for me yesterday was the realization that even if my family disowned me for this decision (which I know they won’t), I would still make the decision.  This is my life.  Mine alone and I have to do what is in my best interest.

As B. Clewly Johnson so aptly stated,

Follow your instincts, your intuition. Don’t stay with people who, over time, grow apart from you. Move on. This means do what you think will make you feel okay – even if that makes others feel temporarily not okay.

Be inspired.

~AA

Family

Family can be so complicated.  I spoke with my mom to day and it wasn’t the greatest help.  I know she’s trying to be helpful, but saying things like “well, maybe you should do counseling, perhaps you’ll work it out, you may never find someone that gives you everything you need, have you tried XYZ.”  I felt horrible.  Like a failure.  I’ve got such a positive outlook right now, but the thought of disappointing my parents is truly unbearable.  I was sobbing and not because of the divorce, but because I felt like maybe I should just stay so they won’t think less of me.

My brother is really wonderful right now.  We’ve had a relationship where he would mostly call me for support and now he’s got to give it to me.  He said he feels like our relationship has made a 180 b/c I’m always the one giving the advice and support.  But he fully supports me in this.

I will be okay.  I know they will love me.  But I do feel like I’ve let them down somehow.  It is difficult.

~AA

‘Twas the Night…

…before Christmas and I am at peace.  My life has been changed and I look forward to what lies ahead with optimism and an open heart.  This is my first Christmas alone, but I am glad to have some time to myself and I feel so loved by the most important people in my life.  It is time like these that you realize who your true friends are and those who are merely only there for the good times.

I would never say that I have had a plethora of friends, merely one or two good ones along the way.  B has been taking such good care of me.  She listens, she doesn’t judge, she genuinely cares, she loves me and wants what is best for me.  There are few people in this world that I would consider a true friend, but she has been there for me in so many ways.  True friends are the ones that are there even when it is inconvenient, they make time to get to you no matter what when you are in pain, and they provide you with unconditional support to follow your heart.

Today was a good day.  I’ve cried, have cradled my suffering and have renewed hope in the future.  I’m endlessly in awe of the power within us and the range of emotions that we are capable of experiencing when we allow ourselves to do so.

May you all have a Merry Christmas.

Be inspired.

~AA

Support

I’ve been so blessed to have such support.  B has been a trooper.  She’s been there for me whenever I need her and has just been a great friend.  I’ve told my family and they are very supportive of my decision.  I was afraid that I would somehow be disappointing them by doing this, but that was an irrational thought.  They just want me to be happy.  I also have some other emotional support that has been invaluable in this process.

It has been interesting, the comments I’ve gotten from my family and friends.  My dad even told me that J has problems with putting up walls and pushing people away.  He was very supportive of my decision.  I think that was a little bit of a surprise in the sense that I know how much he likes J, but my happiness is more important to him.  I know this, conceptually, but I’ve always tried to be the perfect daughter and always want to make my parents proud.

There are so many factors that go into this decision and for me those included my parents expectations of me and my spiritual commitments/responsibilities.

I talked to J yesterday.  It was difficult.  It always will be, I think, at least in the beginning.  He kept telling me that he felt betrayed, that he thinks I worked myself up into this decision and now I have to follow through for some artificial reason, he asked if it would help for him to talk to my mom (he knows how much I adore her).  His actions at this point are getting very desperate.  It feels horrible that he has to have this experience, but pain is sometimes the best teacher.

I told him that this is what I want and I told him that I simply couldn’t be around him because he has too much power over me and my decisions.  I told him that when he gets back, I’ll either be at B’s place or visiting a friend out of town.  I told him that I have to protect myself and the decision that I have made.  I also told him that he needs to work some things out for himself, things that I cannot do for him.  He’s asked me to stay with him while he works through whatever I want him to work through, I told him that he needs to want to do it for himself, not because he wants to keep his wife.

Yesterday’s conversation was painful, but it was honest and given with an open heart.  I do love him, that isn’t the question.  But I have to love myself more right now and the future that I need, which includes children.  I cannot bring children into this type of relationship.  There are no compromises for me at this point.

I feel strong, but have no delusions that things will not be painful and sad along the way.  This is a healing process and I will allow myself to feel everything that I need to feel.  But mostly I feel hopeful and positive about my future.  That’s all I can really ask for at this point.

~AA

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

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

Intimacy

How important is intimacy in a relationship and what kinds are there?  There are two types of intimacy that I can pinpoint: physical and emotional, both of which are extremely important.  I need both.  I finally had to admit to myself that the only time that my marriage seemed remotely satisfying in the last 2-3 years was during an emotional affair.  For me, the emotional intimacy is so important and fulfilling.  While the sex, when we had it, was fantastic, it hardly occurs unless I just tell him to get in bed b/c we are going to have sex.  What kind of romance is that!?  How do you even expect to have children if you hardly have sex?  Immaculate conception?  I think not.

Once, I was trying to spice the sex life back up.  So, I got one of those couple games.  It included a card game that had questions that you asked one another.  He didn’t want to play any of the other games, b/c, well I honestly don’t know why, so we did the card game.  Right off the bat… I thought I’d pick an easy one, right?  So, the question said something to the effect of “finish the following sentence… I feel appreciated by my partner when…”  And silence ensued.  He had no answer.  I was kind of pissed and very disappointed.  He didn’t feel appreciated, apparently, at all.  Not when I gave him foot rubs after work or after a long run, when I had dinner prepared for him when he came home from work, when I did his laundry and cleaned the house so he didn’t have to, when I cleaned his car for no reason, when I bought him gifts for no reason, when I told him how proud of him I was for all that he was doing, when I gave him neck massages for days on end because he suffers from some devastating cluster headaches, when I made him brownies b/c I know they are his favorite, when I made him a fish dinner b/c he loves it even though I won’t eat it (I only eat what I catch), when I bought him the guitar of his dreams and encouraged him to play and to get lessons, when I lit candles and turned on music to be romantic and intimate, or when I tried to make our relationship better.  I did not appreciate him, apparently.  This was news to me.  Years of trying to make him happy and I failed.  Years trying to make him proud of me and I failed.  Years trying to be a good wife and I failed.  I was a failure.

I realize now that I am not a failure.  I am a compassionate and deeply loving person who gave everything I could to one man.  I gave him the opportunity to follow his dreams and to get an education by putting him through school and financially supporting both of us while he did it.  I’ve only supported him, ever, encouraged him and never asked for much in return except for reciprocity, love and intimacy.

~AA

Morning

This morning I woke up at 5 a.m. and still know that I am making the right decision.  This is what I want to do.  Not just for me, but for both of us.  He deserves to be with someone who isn’t constantly thinking about getting out.  He deserves the right person for him and I am not that person.  For the majority of our marriage, I have felt that I was and never will be good enough for him and that I am not the right person.  I have told him as such.

Last night I had rehearsal (I play with a local wind ensemble).  We went out for holiday drinks after.  I got home later than I normally would…around 11:00 p.m. or so.  He was not happy with me.  He doesn’t like for me to go out with people to have drinks.  It has been a battle our entire marriage.  If I go out with friends, I come home to looks of disappointment and questioning.  If he goes out with friends, he comes home to a wife that pets him, laughs at his silliness, who tries to get him in bed.

I’m done with a lack of reciprocity.  I’m done not feeling like I’m good enough and that I will never be good enough.  I got my PhD when I was 29, I teach, play saxophone, avid reader, run, take care of myself, started a business, put others first.  But I am not good enough.  Ridiculous!  He hasn’t said as such, but the actions speak much louder.

A good morning it was.  I am looking forward to today.

~AA