Where the Bruised Cucumber meets the Sippy Cup!

A Loud Mama with a loud family, living imperfect lives glorified through God and breaking free of the bondage of politically correct Religion. We do things differently around the Viking Homestead, and hope that, by sharing our lives, we can help others feel more comfortable with their differences as well.

08 March, 2012

In Response to 'Biblical Reasons For Divorce'

This post is going to be a bit different.  After my post on Biblical reasons for divorce, I recieved a message from a woman who seems to be going through a really rough patch in her marriage.  I feel horrible for her, but I'm no counselor!  I gave her the best advice I could and asked if I could post her letter so that someone might be able to give her some better advice or point her in the right direction.  She agreed on the condition that she would remain anonymous and that any potentially identifying details are changed/deleted so as not to cause further problems.  I also left out some details that could offer more insight, but, well, I'm still wrestling about mentioning them.  Suffice to say, they aren't good.  If you have any advice, please feel free to comment here or leave a message for me on Facebook.  If nothing else, tihs is something for all of us to ponder!  I've seen several places that state that, even people who are in HORRIBLE marriages, will report that they are much better 5 years later....so stick it out because it gets better.  I've also seen self help books that suggest that not talking or having loads more sex will fix the problems.  That is not the case.  If you are in a relationship where you feel completely unloved and disrespected, the last thing you want is to have sex, although you might have stopped talking at that point.  I don't feel that cutting off communication or increasing sex are ways to pull a relationship back from the brink.  I also don't feel that someone should have to stifle who they are to be in a relationship.  When you get married, you take that person for better or for worse.  So, when they STILL clip their toenails on the coffee table after you got married and it irritates you to no end...well, you married the guy didn't you?  You knew he did that and you shouldn't expect that he would change just because y'all exchanged rings and signed a marriage license.  Also, if you are a perpetual wallflower who's idea of a happening party is getting a coffee and sitting around in a vintage bookstore all evening, and you've ALWAYS been that way, then I see no reason why you should be expected to go out to clubs or bars if that is something you can't stand to do and it makes you intensely uncomfortable to say the least.  Now, for full disclosure, I don't do date nights.  Period.  I put my kids to bed.  I make my kids breakfast.  I LIKE to be home and to care for my children.  I need several hours sleep to feel rested and, now that I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy, I need more sleep to handle homeschooling two rambunctious kiddos.  I know some people advocate 'date nights' for married couples, and some counselors will just about require it to couples trying to save their marriages.  However, I honestly can't stand the idea since, by the time you get a sitter(uh, no thanks) deal with time constraints(I will only go out without my children if they are in bed), deal with parking, etc., just to sit somewhere and talk about the kiddos while eating overpriced food and wearing 2 pairs of spanx just isn't my idea of a fun night!  At that point, I could've stayed home and saved the $80+ dollars.  Ok, so enough of my rant/advice.  These are just my feelings and thoughts on the issue.  Please offer any advice/ideas if you would like.  However, please keep it kind or supportive.  This woman has beat herself up enough already(as I'm sure you'll see) so, if you don't have anything nice to say, then go eat a piece of chocolate. 

"Let me start off by saying that I don't really know how to feel about your post.  I'm in a situation that I alternately wouldn't wish on my worst enemy but am sure that there are others going through this.  I've been married for several years and we have three children.  All of the pregnancies were unplanned, but I was happy for each one.  My kids are my world.  However, staying with their father has gotten harder and harder as the years have gone by.  We were having problems before we even got married, but went forward with getting married.  I contemplated divorce, then turned up pregnant.  Once I had our first child, I was so sucked into being a mom that I just jumped into the deep end of being the best mom ever and, by the time I came up for air, I realized just how bad things had gotten.  He was very odd and detached during the pregnancy so I distanced myself.  I figured I could make it on my own as a single mom....but then I got pregnant again.  Again I had something else to focus on.  He was even more detached during the second pregnancy.  After the baby I was again thrilled to have a new child in the house and tried to get a nice routine going for the kids and I.  At that point, the thought of being a single mom to 2 kids was terrifying, so I figured I'd made my own bed and would suck it up for the sake of my kids.  Then, by some fluke, I got pregnant with my third child.  We are RARELY intimate....I was able to confidently tell my OB the exact night I conceived because it was the ONLY time we were together in 6 months.  We were both shocked, but the pregnancy was relatively easy.  Of course, the oddness and detachment were even WORSE(if that is even possible!!) and once the baby was born, I quickly sorted out a routine for myself and the other children.  Now, of course, I'm definitely stuck at the moment.  I have 3 children and no education.  Therefore, I would be a complete burden on the system if I left.  I don't know if I'm quite to that point yet.  So, let me start by giving you the LONG backstory on my situation.  If nothing else, I want to get this off my chest.  I need to tell someone since I've long since realized that telling it to my husband=talking to a brick wall.  My husband is the guy that will hide, omit and deny.
You just CAN'T confront him unless you have air-tight proof of something...and even then, chances are he will come up with some way about how its 'not what it looks like' or that its someone else's fault.  He's very image concious and has an idea in his head of the image he wants to project. He's very careful to protect that image but will not admit to anything that goes against that image no matter what. Even if he is, in fact, involved in something that would make him look like a bad husband, he won't process or admit to that because then it would go against the image he has of himself.  Its funny because he comes across as such a people pleaser....I think its really that he wants acceptance more than to make people happy. Regardless, I wish he understood that he can't make everyone happy and that he's OBVIOUSLY focusing on pleasing the wrong people.
He absolutely refuses to apologize or try to fix things. Of course, I get the refusal to apologize. If he did that, it would be admitting wrongdoing. I just wish that he understood that the longer these situations go unresolved, the more I have to detach so I won't constantly be sad or angry.
I've told him several times that he needs to do what it will actually take to fix things, not just be nice and hope everything will get swept under the rug. I can't trust him. I look on the past and wonder what else he keeps hidden, based on all the other inappropriate actions/things he has tried to keep to himself.  Trying to get answers from him is impossible. Of course, part of that goes back to his 'image'. He wouldn't ever say anything that would alter his image. He doesn't want to be in trouble or get fussed at so uses that as an excuse to avoid talking as well-but that has OBVIOUSLY gotten us nowhere. One of my biggest problems is when he says he won't talk to me or tell me things in order to 'protect me from myself and my feelings'.  Its gotten to the point(and I've told him this several times) that I had to start viewing hims as a roommate to deal with my anger, hurt and perpetually unresolved issues(with him). That there is no chemistry on my part. That to not be angry and to remain functional, I had to shut down emotionally and stop viewing him as a husband or looking at him in a romantic way. Instead, I had to start seeing him as my roommate(whom I would obviously have much LESS expectations of), who I happened to have children with. I've had to shut down and detach myself from him emotionally because I know there will be no resolution because he is hoping that attempting to be the 'good guy' now will fix everything.  Everytime I try to bring things up, he says that everything is fine. For over a year, I've waited and hoped that something would get done besides me reading some relationship books and nothing changing.  When things get bad, he gets scared and acts like he really wants to fix things. Then, I stop being angry and he stops trying. I mean, I'm the one who had to find a counselor even though I told him it was something HE had to do to prove that he wanted to fix things. I didn't really want to go to therapy, but I wanted him to fight for me. To prove that he wanted to fix things. He didn't. If maybe once he would just have some fire, take some initiative and fight for me.  Now, this doesn't meant I don't appreciate everything he does. He works hard to provide for our kids and to make sure that we have medical and dental coverage. He's great with the kids and will happily chase them around all day. When I was pregnant he would take them out as much as possible so I could just sleep. He also does tend to all the 'manly' chores around the house(oil changes, bug squashing, dog walking, etc.).  Also, we want similar things, including all of our children have the same parents. Outside of that, I'm not sure there are any similarities.  Ideally, we would agree to live together as co-parents. Roommates who have the same general wants but are legally married because at this point there is really no other option. Right now, I just can't picture things changing. There's just been so much time....the older wounds have 'healed' into marred and ugly scars. Now I like sleeping by myself or with the kiddos curled up around me. I don't like being pressured to be intimate and HATE that even a friendly peck on the cheek is seen as an invite for some 'adult' time. Especially not after everything that has gone on. I feel like that is his main focus....not on fixing things, but on when I'll start 'putting out' on a regular basis. Of course, its been ok for him to continually hurt my feelings over the years, but he can't understand how offensive it is to still expect me to be intimate with him when our relationship is in such a bad state. At this point I would like for him to just give me my space and quit trying to be IN that space. To stop trying to kiss me on the mouth or complain and whine when I give in and give him a little peck...not good enough and he whines about having a 'proper kiss'. Um, no thanks. Since I know that, if I do give him a 'proper kiss' he will then want a hug and will then assume that he's been given the green light, so to speak. In response, I have completely shut down that part of myself. I was seeking advice and counsel from some women who viewed divorce as absolutely unacceptable and was following their advice to 'fake it 'til you make it"...basically, to act as if our relationship were already as I wanted it to be and to act more loving so that I would adopt better behavior in the relationship and that would help to actually make the relationship better but I just can't gring and bear it any more since things aren't getting fixed. That only seems to have led him to believe that everything is ok! :(
At this point it seems better to me to have no expectations so that I won't be constantly let down. He has an addictive personality(no drug use or drinking or gambling...its other things). I don't really know if I have the emotional energy to deal with all of this. However, he makes loads of promises that he never keeps. At least I've learned my lesson where that is concerned and don't actually expect him to follow through on his promises any more. Also, I have VERY few male friends that aren't co-workers or family. I keep it that way on purpose. I don't really feel its appropriate to have casual and excessive friends of the opposite sex. He doesn't feel that applies to him, but can't keep from acting inappropriately with female friends. I don't mean sleeping with them, but flirting with them or speaking to them about things that a married man should discuss with other women. I feel as if he doesn't know me at all. I get to the point where I also detest when he tries to compliment me(in a low attempt for intimacy and to keep the peace). I'm WELL aware of the type of woman he finds attractive(as evidenced by the history on our computer...)and it is PAINFULLY clear that I look NOTHING like those women. At. All. I've had a few kids, I'm not a spring chicken anymore. Since I'm not his type and he has no problems excessively looking at ones who are, then I refuse to degrade myself by being 'intimate' with him.  I just can't do a 'superficial' relationship anymore if its got marital expectations to it. I'm tired of the back and forth. I don't care for passive behavior. I'm tired of all the weirdness and back and forth going on. One day he won't talk to me and then the next day he's all over me. I'm tired of hearing 'its not us, its you'....unless there is someone he wants to unburden himself to...and by 'someone' I mean a girl. Then, all of the sudden, he will tell that someone how bad our marriage is and how its been bad for years and so on and so forth. The children and I need routine and stability. I hate knowing that there's something going on but no air-tight proof=me looking like an idiot if I say something. Its not worth it. I would rather keep my dignity and pride intact. Its just, knowing that something is going on and not being in a position where I can say anything is such a bad space to be in. I know him better than he knows himself. He will readily admit this to anyone. However, when I can tell things are off, and call him on it, then 'i don't know what I'm talking about'. I don't know....and the crazy 180 degree behavior keeps my head spinning. I hate being in a position where I doubt and second guess myself. I hate when he keeps telling me he'll talk to me about something but then never does. I hate his passive/agressing, attempting to use the kids against me type behavior to 'get me in line'(thats must be whats going on)! He refuses to be open with me about anything, even though he KNOWS how important it is to me. I just can't handle this situation anymore. I can't handle whats going on. All of this not talking and being in a funk and overcompensating and superficial stuff if driving me crazy. Hiding my feelings and walking on eggshells to be a good wife isn't working for me and its making me miserable. I just am really frustrated and don't know what to do here."

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