Thursday, 13 December 2007

A Difficult Conversation

In the weeks leading up to the day when The Catalyst finished our relationship, I was falling to pieces and anorexically in a very bad way, hardly eating anything. My subconscious was reminding me that I was living in cloud cuckoo land. A woman in her forties, no matter how much of a MILF he seemed to find her, had so little to offer a young married man in terms of anything really. I couldn't possibly compete for long with a gorgeous blonde half my age and he would definitely be dumping me and returning to her imminently.

Three years ago today, on the evening of the day it had all ended with The Catalyst, I drank brandy. I needed it to numb the pain and give me courage. I had decided it was time to have A Difficult Conversation with my Husband. I had to try, once and for all, to explain to him how miserable I was with the current state of affairs. Our marriage was unravelling before our very eyes and I had to try, one final time, to talk to him about it. And this time, there could be no tears - not that there were any left as I had been sobbing all day over my loss.

Despite everything, he is not a bad Husband. He works hard to provide a lovely home and comfortable existence for us. I believe that a lot of women would give their eye teeth to have the calm, stoic man that he appears. In fact one of our friends once said she wished she was married to him. Her husband was out on the town 'on business' at least twice a week and their relationship was a series of volatile explosions and passionate reunions. My husband told her that he was sure she would be bored of him within weeks.

If we could only sort out the affection and the children issues, we might stand a chance. I didn't hate him. I don't feel that emotion even now. I probably never will. All I have ever wanted is to love and cherish my Husband as I vowed to God that I would do and to feel loved and cherished in return. I am sure that he did love me in his way but I am clearly 'High Maintenance' and it was not enough. His attitude over the children just exacerbated everything. He wanted all the good bits without any of the tough love and forced me into the disciplinary role which just wasn't fair.

Writing these things down is incredibly painful. I feel immensely disloyal to everything that I have held dear and tried to keep together all these years. But I have learned that if I don't say the words and then try to let go of them, they just fester and grow, putrefying inside my mind. So now it is up to me to evict them before they can do any more damage.

My Husband came in late. He had been to the office Xmas party. Not exceptionally good timing on my part, but this just had to be done and done whilst I was still brave enough and desperate enough to be capable of doing it. I had to act before I sank back into the miasma of depression which would allow the anorexia to take over.

I told him I needed to talk and he sat down at the other end of the sofa. At least he was on the same sofa. Normally, on the rare occasions that we watched anything on the television together, I would be sat on one and he would come in and sit on the other.

So with at least one cushion space separating us, I told him how unhappy I was. How I hated the way that our relationship was deteriorating. How I wasn't sure if I loved him any more because he was so cold towards me and that I was terrified that I was going to follow in the footsteps of my own mother and bolt into the arms of the first man who showed me any affection.

I explained that I was fed up with having the same argument every few years with me trying to explain tearfully why I was unhappy and him saying he couldn't help it, he couldn't change and I would just have to deal with it.

I tried very hard to articulate my feelings about both the state of our marriage and our parenting skills without appearing to apportion blame to either party, just to point out that neither were particularly successful at that time.

He thought for a moment in his considered way and he replied that he wasn't sure he loved me any more either. He said it was very difficult to love someone who was never there (I trained three evenings a week and one weekend a month... partly trying to escape from him, but also conquering my own demons). However, he said, "whatever happens, we have to stay together for the children".

Not 'I love you/I care about you and I want to make this work' or even 'I hear what you are saying and we will try to solve this together in the future'. Never had I felt more strongly that we were two people pulling in different directions.

And that, basically, was it. To give him some credit, he took the next day off and took me Xmas shopping and made me food, which I tried very hard to eat. He did actually hug me too. Once, maybe twice. And allowed me to cuddle him the following morning as he went off to work.

That weekend, we went to a family party and he told me I looked nice, if a little thin and, of course, that night he put his arms around me in bed and initiated sex. Afterwards, I lay there in the darkness with tears rolling down my cheeks. I was no longer allowed to even pretend that I was with The Catalyst. This was how my sexlife was going to be from now on - cold, sterile and empty. The gratification of his need... but no longer of mine. It wasn't that he did anything wrong or that his technique was lacking. But, for me, without passion, there can be no satisfaction.

I realise now that it was the last time I would let him possess me physically.

As usual, within days, everything reverted to normal and we were back to the same old same old again. I was part of the white noise of his life once more. Virtually unnoticed. Translated, in my eyes, as unworthy of attention.

Except that a week later, I had my drunken encounter with Bear.

In a moment, everything had changed.


Anonymous Boxer said...

Cake - your honesty is giving me goose bumps and I found myself talking to the computer screen as I read this.....I hope your next post isn't too far away.

You speak for so many... I wonder if you know that?

Allie said...

Cake - You are an amazing writer. Your ability to explain your feelings in such an honest and open way is moving. I feel so many different emotions while I read your thoughts. Thank you!

I can't help but want to hug and comfort you in your pain. Take care!

Angela-la-la said...

Mate, I know it might sound weird but I so love seeing you write this shit out of your system.

How far have we come this year, eh? And how many times! :)

George said...

Heart wrenching story sweetie ... and you did something that far too many don't try ... voicing your feelings without a screaming match, threats and name calling.

DamagedNoMore said...

Cake, I didn't breathe as I read your post - you are a wonderful writer and I am sad that the words came at such a high price for describe the places that people go but rarely talk about..thank you for sharing this..

Waynecoff said...

cake, you are good at getting things across.. big hug x

Gorilla Bananas said...

He doesn't sound like a very affectionate man...and yet you once loved him. I think a lot of people could learn from your experience.

nitebyrd said...

Cake, this is gut-wrenching. I hope that exorcising the demons will give you more happiness.

ALF said...

It must be painful to write those things but I give you all the credit in the world for doing it. There are things I wish I could write about but for now, I'm just too chicken...

Ms Hansen said...

Another woman forced to stay in a relationship for the sake of the child/ren. I only hope our children never learn how hard it has been to sacrifice our lives for their "happiness". My heart goes out to you, as I am in exactly the same situation...

Loving Annie said...

Bear sounds like he was a blessing...

This has to be so hard.. You are so honest with your writing, and all of your emotions come acroos so clearly.

I hope it feels good to get it all out, and know that we are here for you to listen and empathize.

Loving Annie

Gypsy said...

You might be surprised how many women (and men) are in exactly the same situation but don't have the courage to either change it or talk about it. Sometimes being invisible is the worst punishment of all.

Old Knudsen said...

I am very familiar with this kind of story from personal experience and being a composite of many different people.
I wouldn't say yer high maintenance I'd go with deep and misunderstood. Some folks change and grow while others are at a stand still.

BenefitScroungingScum said...

You write so honestly and so well. Hugs

lonelyandsad said...

Cake - Having become bored with married life, I met a wonderful man who I fell deeply in love with. Determined not to stay in my passionless marriage for the sake of the children, I got a divorce and married my new man (also a divorcee). My life was pure bliss for about two years, until I started noticing that he was putting his children, his parents and even his ex before me. Then the rows started and I became desperately unhappy. Then my ex, who had started drinking heavily after the divorce, was killed while crossing the road in a drunken state and, to make matters worse, my children blamed me for their fathers death and turned their backs on me. We divorced soon afterwards and I met someone else and moved in with him. Everything was fine for a year or so, until the beatings started. I quickly got out of that relationship and have spent the last 5 years by myself in a tiny apartment. My children still want nothing to do with me, and I'm now desperately lonely and unhappy. If I can offer you one piece of advice, it's to count your blessings.

J & S said...

Nobody can force you to do anything, including stay in a marriage you dislike. Get out, leave, and do it soon. It will be painful at first, but worth it in the long run.

"Staying together for the kids" is such an assinine concept - kids know when things aren't right and will be far, far better off in the long run to see both their parents get to good spots in their lives.

What *is* important is that you both continue to share raising the kids in some capacity, and that they aren't used as pawns in a battle of the ex-s.

Life is short. So you made a bad choice, or you grew apart. Whatever. Move on.

having my cake said...

AB - Im beginning to understand that I am so definitely not alone in my situation.

Allie - Hugs are always welcome.

Ange - LOL :) x

George - It's why I started this blog. To write it all down so I didnt have to shout and scream any more.

Damagednomore - I view it as therapy. If it helps anyone else, that is a bonus.

Waynecoff - If only I could communicate as effectively with the person that matters.

GB - I did and I still do. I just wish I could have found the key to unlock his repression, rather than just making mine worse.

Nitebyrd - Like I said, it's therapy.

ALF - Write it down and let it out. Start a different blog if you need to.

Ms Hansen - Hello and Welcome. Someone once left a comment chastising me for staying because she felt her own mother's decision to stay had caused her to have problems forming a good relationship because she had no good role model to follow. I empathise with her completely. I fear that the children will be damaged in that area whatever I do.

Annie - Bear just showed me that I was still attractive and desireable. I needed to understand that.

Gypsy - I hate being invisible. Being small I always make a lot of noise so people notice me :)

OK - I think that's it. You both have to grow together within a marriage.

BG x

Lonelyandsad - Hello and thank you for sharing. This is one of my greatest fears. That, in the search for love, I will just end up in a series of unsuitable relationships and end up on my own like my mother.

J&S - Welcome. My own mother did just that and damaged her relationship with her children forever. Kids do not understand or forgive desertion easily, no matter what the circumstances.

The Land of Plethora said...

I'd like to say ditto to Ms. Hansen's comment. So many of us in the same sad similar situation. Thank you for sharing your heart and soul with us, and especially your courage. I hope to find the same strength you did and I hope it doesn't take as long as I fear it will.

And like Gypsy said, sometimes being invisible is the worst punishment of all.

Flowering Jasmine said...

Cake i think you know my situation. Nobody can ever judge or tell you what you should do. Which ever route you take it is hard and with its own complications so you need to do what you think is right. Even if one day you change your mind you will know that you did the best you could at the time. xx

Blazngfyre said...

Eerily familiar ..... for far too many of us.

Guilty Secret said...

Wow, I really hope it does help you to get all of this out. It is a good time of year to be doing this... fresh start is on the horizon.