Emotional Release – opening the flood gates

I can barely see through the tears, but I have to post a thank you to everyone who supported me yesterday and just let me know they were listening. Such a simple, kind act, but it means so much to me. It warms my tired heart to think there are so many people out there so full of love that they not afraid to show some to a stranger. That is a world I am happy to be a part of. It is so powerful.

I did it. I was completely honest with husband yesterday and he listened to every word. The hard work is just beginning, but now I can finally be me and stop tiptoeing around.

Although I feel relieved, I’m completely confused, and not sure his solution will work. I asked him to give me a break and go spend some time at his parents. He said No. He said he did not want his kids to think he left them. That response shocked the hell out of me, but I have huge respect for that. Our kids are still quite young.

But here is the confusing part. I looked husband right in the eye and said I did not love him, not sure I ever did, not in any romantic way. I love him for standing by me, I love him for getting me out of my abusive childhood home, I love him for working 60 hours a week to financially support us, I love him for loving me. But I don’t dream of him, fantasize about him, or even think any romantic thoughts of him at all. I have tried over the years to kindle these feelings, but the fire just won’t start.

So I said all these things to him, all these things I’ve been writing and keeping to myself. And he still wants to stay. WTF??

He said he knows he will always love me as sure as he knows the grass is green. He said it kills him to think he has been hurting me so much over the years and can’t believe he has been so ignorant. Then he said, he supported me during my deep depression, and helped the best he could, and he is asking me now to help him be a better man. He wants to go to counseling and wants me to help him see the anger triggers.

I respect these words, but I don’t trust them. I told him I don’t trust him and I can’t give him my heart to hurt. And that I will no longer support him if he is too harsh with my kids. I will no longer pretend to love him. So if he stays, he will be my room mate. My friend. No more touching, kissing and constant “I love you sweeties”

He said he wants to do this. I don’t know how this will possibly work or it is even a good idea, but I’m willing to try and see what happens. At least we’re being honest. And I still think of him as my best friend, and that is more than many marriages I think. I’ve stuck it out for so many years, what is a bit more time? But the clincher here, is that he says he won’t yell anymore. He doesn’t think his problem is that big, like an alcoholic in denial. So, I’ve agreed to let him stay if he can manage to control his temper. I fear the stress of waiting for him to blow up will be too much for both of us. There is not one part of me that thinks he can change, but he sounded so hopeful.

So I guess I have a room mate. At least for now. And when my room mate inevitably yells at me, I will no longer feel it is my fault and will instead try to help him overcome it. He is asking for my help. I feel strong enough to help. I think. I also feel this is absurd and will never work. He thinks he can change enough for me to fall in love with him. He was sure of that. I’m not so sure, and he knows it.

Above all, the best part of this, is that now he knows it. I am free to be me in my own home now.

The worst part was this morning, instead of the good-bye peck and “I love you” I have gotten each morning for the past 18 years, I got a pat on my head and he said “I hope you have a good day” with a tear in his eye. And I feel like the most terrible person in the world for crushing his. That’s why I wanted him to leave. I don’t want to see him hurting and “choose” to love him again to end the pain.

And then I don’t know if he is manipulating me with this and he is using my gentle nature against me to get me back. I am so freaking confused and can’t stop crying here.

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11 thoughts on “Emotional Release – opening the flood gates

    • Yes, sometimes it just sucks. No good solutions, each one has a flaw. Happily ever after isn’t supposed to be like this. When my Prince rescued me, I thought my troubles were over. I wonder how many girls enter marriage that way.

  1. I think counseling is a good idea. Trust won’t grow overnight. And you may discover you still don’t feel romantically about him. Or he could realize he doesn’t want to stay with you. But it seems to me that what your relationship has been worked for your husband and you’ve said he seems to think his behavior isn’t all that problematic except that it hurts you. It’s almost like it pushes the rift onto you for being hurt and sensitive. So I think a third party like a marriage counselor would help you both see the issues are larger than your hurt feelings.

    I am troubled by his refusal to give you a break by going to his parents. It seems like concern over the kids is an excuse. It’s not like you were asking for months. I have to wonder if that is his way of controlling the situation rather than seeking a fix. That whole thing of him reading your letters, then feigning sleep and hovering yet not willing to have a conversation doesn’t seem right. He’s not giving you the freedom to have a voice in the marriage. I think he’s afraid that if he gives you any breathing room, you’ll realize you like it better without him.

    I dunno. Maybe I’m talking out of line. I guess I’d say take it slow, hold him to counseling and not yelling (if he does, are you prepared to stand firm? What if he won’t leave then?) and see whether he starts to empathize with you instead of playing dumb to the fact he’s been hurting you all along.

    • Yes. You understand completely. Every word. I do think he is trying to control the situation, and that him not leaving is only partially about the kids. And yes, that somehow he continues to be the good guy, not giving up on me, always loving me no matter what, and that I’m the one with issues. He does seem to finally agree he has an anger problem. In the letter I listed many examples of his blow-ups, specifically ones against the kids. He cried when he said he barely remembers those events, but if he acted the way I wrote, then he must have a bigger problem than he thought. And yes, I thought the same thing, what happens when (not if) he starts yelling again. Will I be able to make him leave then? At least summer is coming, and I have some options of places I could go with the kids once school is out. I told him also to stop playing dumb, because he’s really quite brilliant.

  2. As a romance writer, happily ever after only happens in romance novels, because happily ever after is when the real work begins. HAE is a starting place, not an ending place. At this point, you’ve laid down your plan, and all you can do is take one step at a time, which is all you could do before. The difference? You have a better idea of where you want to go, which is huge. Instead of aimlessly allowing life to take you where it may, you’ve decided to set a course. It will take work and need correcting as you learn and grow. It’s so scary making the decision, wondering if you’ll fail, fall back into the old habits, end up worse off than you were. You’ve made the decision. There is no going back. It isn’t going to be easy, but you’re strong enough now to keep taking those steps. You are strong enough, smart enough, loving enough. Who knows what you’ll decide six months down the road. Or when he blows up again. It is not your job to make your husband happy. Happiness comes from the inside. As you learn to love yourself, you’ll learn how to love others. You may fall in love with your husband, you may not. Right now, work on loving yourself, because you are lovable, not because he says so or thinks so, but because you are you.

    • I’ve read this comment many times, and time it makes me cry. I realize now that I’ve been trying to make him happy, and thought if I did that I would get the kind of love I need. Now I see you are right. It’s not up to me to make him happy, and me being lovable has nothing to do with him.

  3. Obviously I’ve missed several chapters in the last few days … have been so behind in my blog reading. It sounds like this is progress, in that at least you’ve been heard. As far as the not knowing about whether or not you can really relax in your home and just be you, without carrying the guilt of knowing he is not allowed to express his love, even while waiting for the next blow up … that’s a lot of what if’s that only time will answer. I know this probably sounds crazy right now, but when my husband and I went through something similar (and went the roommate route), it turned out that I missed the intimacy and his small expressions of love, and it wasn’t until I forced him to quit sharing those moments with me that I realized those moments were actually some of my favorite parts of our relationship. All of this takes time, and it takes being free to express your real feelings, and it takes patience. Lots of patience.

    Don’t forget to be patient with yourself as you work through this. Be gentle. This is tough stuff, and you need every bit of your ability to see clearly in order to keep moving forward. Sending positive thoughts and energy. Hang in there.

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