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My husband showed up at my work this morning, gave me some mail, said he wants my name off all the household bills, gave me the spare key for my car in exchange for my key to the house and wants to meet with me to decide what to do with my car. The loan is only in his name and if the finance company can’t/won’t change it into my name then he said he would give me his car, which is paid for, and take mine. I don’t like his car and he doesn’t like mine so we’ll see how that works out…

Obviously he doesn’t trust me to have access to our house or to make the car payments and keep his credit pretty. 

He also said that I’m not doing the right thing, I’m breaking my covenant vows before God, he’s dissapointed that I informed him in writing instead of face to face, blah,  blah,  blah… and he’s relieved because he’s been “busting his butt” trying to love me and win me back and I “obviously don’t want to be won”.

I just listened. Anything I could have said would only have invited him to debate with me rather than provide him with enlightenment. I got two things out of his little statement:

1. He’s relieved. I feel like he wants a divorce as much as I do but will never admit it in a thousand years because it’s “wrong”.

2. And if the last 2 months were his best efforts at trying to show me love and win me over… well let’s just say that I now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I made the right decision. Everybody should run away from a lifetime of that! 

I know that not all guys are like him but right now I’m pretty disgusted with his entire gender, ugh!

I’m feeling good about finalizing this decision. There may have been better ways to handle it – and to be fair I feel like I did try to tell him twice face-to-face and was talked out of it – but at least it’s done and if I get enough tips I’m going to eat at my favorite resturant tonight, yay! 

No offense intended towards anyone actually named Cathy… but good grief, I’ve become a prolific blogger! 

On a more serious note though, this is how I decompress, vent, sort things out in my head, etc. so I’m sorry if it’s becoming too much for anybody – it honestly boggles my mind that I have over 100 followers of my (hopefully) super-secret and (unfortunately) often depressing journaling experiment so thank you for reading along.  I only hope that if you’re the victim of emotional abuse that you will gain strength from knowing you’re not alone and get out of that relationship!

Today was hard, nerve-wracking even.  I had written the “Dear John Letter” (see my previous post) last night but decided not to send it to my soon-to-be-ex-husband until this evening being as in the last two months since I moved out he has already tried to blame me for causing him so much stress that he made “big mistakes” at his work and feared being fired over them.  Now granted, he does work with hazardous chemicals so his “big mistake” could be significantly bigger than, say, an office worker’s but regardless, his work performance is not my fault or responsibility.  A lesson I am finally learning…  Even so, it was out of habit that I decided to try and avoid being blamed for yet another thing that I didn’t do so I emailed the letter to him when I got off work Friday night at 7 pm.  That gives him the entire weekend to be comforted by his friends so he can get his act together before going back to work on Monday.

It was very difficult to press the “send” button.  I had worked hard on the letter itself, short and to the point but firm and leaving no room to “fix” anything.  But I still re-read it about five times and then had to force myself to actually send it.  What is wrong with me?  Well, whatever it was, I conquered it and sent the dang thing off.

Instant Panic Attack.

I smothered it with some chicken strips and gravy from Dairy Queen and an animated movie with my local best friend and her family. Yes, I’m a stress eater so I’ll probably wind up at 400 pounds before this is over *sigh*.  But I sent the letter.  As of yet he has not responded, not that I expected him to, but I know we’re going to have to talk and work out a few things sooner rather than later, like getting the rest of my stuff out of the house and what we’re going to do with my car – that is only in his name.

By the way, if anyone has noticed a decline in my spelling and typing abilities I just want to say that it’s the fault of my new tablet keyboard.  I’ve had it for about a month now but I’m a very fast typist and this silly little keyboard doesn’t always keep up with me so I’m finding that I don’t catch all the mistakes.  Sorry!

…and I’m suddenly out of things to say.  I suppose that’s a good thing because I need to go to bed.  The boss has been on vacation all week so I only got one day off instead of my normal two and I’ve been super tired in the mornings.  Three more days until I get two off, then two days of work and then I’m off for five days to go see my younger daughter and her husband for Easter, yay!

Dear Husband,

I told you I would think about our conversation on Monday and try to write you a letter so here goes. 

You asked “Why are you here?” and that’s what I’ve been thinking about most.  Why was I there?  Why do I keep agreeing to meet with you?  What am I trying to accomplish?  I really had to think about it.  You seem to believe that I hadn’t yet filed for divorce because deep down in my heart I want to commit to restoring our relationship to what it should have been.

Honesty requires that I say this is not true, as I believe I communicated to you on Monday.

So why was I still meeting with you?  Healthy communication has always been my main goal and I thought I’ve made that clear from the get-go.  But your question forced me to realize that it’s the only thing I want to accomplish from our meetings.  I don’t want to move back in with you and I don’t want our marriage to continue.  Therefore, as of today, I have stopped wearing my wedding ring and have contacted the legal team at the women’s shelter to start the process of filing for divorce.  I will not be meeting with you for dates or to talking to you about our relationship anymore. 

I’m sorry this is hurtful to you.

I will still need to pick up our younger daughter’s things from the house, if it would be more convienient to do that after I get off work on Friday, April 3rd so that you and our older daughter could be out of the house while I am loading up please let me know.  I will remove my totes of things from the house as soon as I can after returning from my trip.

Sincerely,
Me

So I figured out what I was waiting for, why I keep meeting with my husband and never completely ending my marriage.

I want a Fairy Tale Divorce.  You know, where we meet and decide together that divorce is the right thing for both of us and we walk away with a deep friendship intact, based on the last 20 years of knowing each other.  And that we would remain amicable and agreeable to each other for the rest of our lives, capable of attending family events together and meeting for lunch occasionally to catch up and talk about the children.  Eventually we would be able to attend each other’s second weddings and be sincerely happy for the other and their new spouse and we could all go on double-dates together.

I can hear you laughing…

I know it’s the stuff that good comedy movies are made of and it’s never going to happen to me (just like everything else that happens in movies will never happen to me) but I must still believe in fairy tales because I’ve kept waiting for him to realize that divorce is what’s best for us and be happy about it.

OK, fine, so my life wasn’t written by Disney.

I have to tell him it’s over, take the ring off and contact the court advocate at the women’s shelter to begin filing for divorce.

Clearly, verbalizing to him that it’s over has not worked thus far.  That Guy keeps showing up and changing my mind.  Therefore it needs to be done in writing.  BEFORE our next scheduled “date night”, which is on Wednesday next week.  In fact, the sooner the better.  I need to stop beating around the bush, stop wishing upon a star and start hacking my way through the jungle of paperwork necessary to become single.

First step – the Ring is off, check. Next step – called the court advocate on my way to work today, check. Final step (to this process, at least) – writing him the letter officially ending our marriage when I get home from work tonight.

Wish me luck, think kind thoughts about me and if you pray, please pray for me to get through this in one piece…

Yesterday/Monday, was… was… well it was a lot of things.  It was my one and only day off this week so I:

Deposited my check, notarized a will, picked up a hot-spot to make up for my lack of internet at my sister’s apartment and went to the local glass-blowing art studio to ask about getting a couple of dishes custom made for my acrylic powder and monomer.

All of this was on my way to my first counseling appointment at the women’s shelter.  The nice thing was that I’ve seen this counselor last year for about 4 months so it was a lot easier to catch her up to where I’m at currently than if we had never met before.  One of the questions she asked is why I’m still meeting with my husband, what am I trying to accomplish by continuing to meet with him like this? 

I pondered her question all the way to the new nail salon I’m trying to get a job at.  I met with the owners, two brothers and a sister. I did a pedicure on one of the brothers and I did an acrylic fill on the sister.  The other brother said they would need to talk amongst themselves because they are all partners but he thought everybody liked me and would let me know if I can work there soon.  It’s a MUCH better salon, everything is super sanitary, much more upscale and spa-like than where I’m at now but in spite of the higher quality most of the services are only about $5 more expensive than where I’m at now.  The owner stressed repeatedly how much they are a family and if I came to work there I would be joining their family.  The comission is also 10% higher…  I REALLY want to work there!  The downside is that it’s a new salon, only been open for about 2 months, so they’re not very busy yet.  I asked if they thought I would be able to take home at least $200/week to cover my bills and they said yes so I’m willing to give them a shot.  Hopefully they’ll give me a shot as well!

When that was done I texted my husband that I would be late to our scheduled 5 pm meeting because I was still trying out at the new salon.  His response?  “As you wish”.  That should be this romantic reference to the Princess Bride but from him all I sense is sarcasm every time he says it.  Ugh.  I called him when I was done at the new salon to let him know that I was enroute to our meeting and his voice was terse and I felt like he was upset with me.  I arrived at our dinner location to find him waiting, as stoic as ever and oozing negativity.  Ugh again.  I ordered my meal – I have got to stop buying lots of food when we meet like this because as usual, I had about four bites and then lost my appetite so that was $20 bucks down the drain – and then we sat down to talk because this was a “talking meeting”. 

He said I called the meeting so what did I want to talk about, I asked him to tell me his thoughts/response to my letter defining emotional abuse and explaining why our relationship qualified as abusive.  The long and short of it is that he continues to believe that he was not abusive and has never abused me.

Apparently to him abuse is defined by whether or not the intention of the abuser is to be abusive or not.

I began to realize we will never see eye to eye on this topic.  And even though we didn’t bring up this time, we will never be on the same page regarding his church either.

Once again he pushed me for a commitment to restoring our marriage.  I finally told him, flat out, that the answer is no.  I am not committed to restoring our marriage and I do not want to be married to him any more.

That Guy tried to show up again but I didn’t fall for it this time.

He didn’t laugh in my face but it certainly felt like he was amused.  He said “Why Are You Here?  Clearly, you haven’t filed any paperwork yet so you must want this to work out in a corner of your heart.”

Time stopped.  Having been asked the same question twice in the same day demands an answer.  Why WAS I there?  What on earth was it I was trying to accomplish by being there, by agreeing to meet with him weekly?

I’ve been doing lots of soul-searching in the last 24 hours, trying to come up with whatever it is that won’t let me just let it go and move on.  I think I know but I’m going to kick it around for another day or two before I write it down.

… my husband.

I still had a good time but That Guy wasn’t there. 

My husband, as I predicted, was shocked and pleased that I initiated a get together but it was still somewhat awkward and uncomfortable.  He bought his own ticket and did not try to buy mine, which I appreciated.  Besides, I had a free ticket, part of the reason I invited him to a movie at a “big” theater instead of one of the cheap theaters.  Does that make me evil?  *rolling my eyes*

He arrived first, as I figured he would, I got there about 10 minutes before the movie started.  He had already bought his ticket and waited while I stood in line to get my ticket.  Who did I see in line?  A gal that, like me, had left the church he still attends.  *WAVE!*  I get to the front of the line and who do I see behind the glass in the box office?  A nice-looking guy who recognizes me, waves and says “Hi” with a big smile.  Call it my super power but I can literally FEEL my husband trying not to freak out behind me, heh, heh, heh…

If I truly was evil I suppose I would have let him wonder until it drove him crazy and he was forced to ask me who that was – so let’s just say that I proved myself on the side of all that is kind and good when I explained that the guy who waved at me comes in for pedicures all the time – with his mother (they are such a hoot!) – and I always tease him about never seeing him whenever I go to that particular movie theater. 

My husband was not the Easter Island Head that he had been on previous “dates” but he was not terribly relaxed either. 

I was acutely aware of every romantic scene in the movie, we were watching Insurgent, and there was far more kissing, physical closeness, and even the start of a bedroom scene between the two main characters, than I had anticipated.  I have to tell you that sitting next to a man with whom you’ve been intimate with but aren’t anymore – and who wishes you still were – makes watching scenes like that on a GIANT screen very, very Awk-Ward!

No more watching movies with him that I haven’t seen first.

Thankfully those parts were generally over with fairly quickly and the movie eventually came to an end.  On our way back through the lobby I asked to have my cup filled up with ice – I think that is the thing I miss the very most about not living in my own home is a fridgerator that makes and crushes ice (yes, I’m sad and pathetic, I know this) – and then he walked me to my car.

This was probably the most difficult part of the night.  He wanted to know if I had any other plans for after the movie, if I wanted to “talk”, were we still on for meeting Monday night next week, could he hug me…

Could he hug me.  I wanted to say no but I said yes.  Why on earth did I say yes?  Because he looked so sad and lonely…  This is the sort of thing makes me think I’m never going to be able to completely stand up to him.  Good golly, miss Molly!  What am I going to do with myself?  He hugged me and said I smelled nice.  I managed to keep our goodby-ing shorter than normal and drove back to my sister’s apartment as fast as I could.

I forgot to buy toilet paper.  I meant to pick some up on my way home but I was so focused on getting away from the theater that I completely spaced it.

We’re going to meet on Monday/tomorrow at a resturant that I’ve been wanting to try, they have frozen custard! – and this will be a “talking” date so we’ll see how it goes.  Before that, however, I have a meeting with the owner of a local glass-blowing gallery who I’m going to talk to about making custom dishes for my acrylic powder and monomer, then I have a meeting with my counselor, then I’m going to a salon in a nice part of town and see if I want to work there so tomorrow will be a full day!

Last Tuesday evening was supposed to be a “date night” where we go see a movie and not talk about our relationship.  After our last meeting on Friday – where That Guy did not show up – things were OK but stressful and we knew we needed to continue that conversation so instead of 100% “date night” we were planning to talk about us after the movie.  He had asked me if his church was a deal-breaker – I see it as he chose that particular church over me and he sees it as he is following God over doing what I want and neither one of us is willing to compromise on our viewpoints. Ultimately I decided that yes, his chosing his church over me was a deal-breaker and I was going to tell him so after the movie during our relationship talk time.

Tuesday afternoon, however, while my husband was at work I went to the house to sort through my younger daughter’s things because I’m going to drive down and see her and her new husband for Easter and want to bring as much of her stuff to her as I can.  It only took an hour and a half, I thought it would take a lot longer, and I managed to condense her belongings into three less boxes than they had been packed in, yay!  I’m hoping I can fit everything in my car, lol, that girl has a lot of stuff!   I was feeling good and happy about what I had accomplished but that didn’t last long…

While I was working on that my older daughter came in the room and said with a snitty tone of voice “Dad wants you to go through the basement so please tell me what you want to keep and what you want to throw away before you go.”  Because I finished my initial task with time to spare I decided to start on the basement.  An hour into it I had made a lot of progress and decided to keep going, I told my older daughter that she and her dad might want to go through the boxes I had set aside to donate because they might want to keep some of the things I had put in the boxes.  With a great deal of attitude (which is fairly normal for her) she said “Oh, everything is down here because we don’t want it but we can’t throw it away because we’re afraid you’ll get mad.” 

Well then.

I was really upset from her attitude and also because I knew that he intended to throw away everything I set aside to donate, just because he believes it’s easier, and my anger grew stronger. I probably could have started my own thrift store with what was in the donate pile, there was so much! I started working harder and faster and decided that I would stay at the house, working on the basement, until he came home about 5 pm and then I would tell him no movie, it’s over and I will be filing for divorce.

He came home and was surprised that I was still there.  My older daughter followed him into the basement when he came to say hi to me.  Can this child not give us some privacy?  I’m not going to talk about our relationship in front of her and I’m especially not going to inform him I’m filing for divorce in front of her so I keep working and give him short, brusk responses to his questions.  I am livid and clearly expressing it in my body language and tone of voice.  He slips away to take a shower and when he comes back to talk to me our older daughter is still upstairs.  Finally!

He says that it looks like I’ve made a decision and am separating my stuff to leave.  I tell him I’m angry about our older daughter’s words and attitude.  I also tell him that I’ve thought about it and yes, the church issue is a deal-breaker and it’s over.  I’m still grabbing things and flinging them into totes at this point.

“Don’t give up now just because you’re angry.”  He says.

Whaaaaaaat?  The anger allowed me to say my decision with unnatural  boldness but I certinaly didn’t make this choice in anger.

That Guy shows up again.  He asks what he can do.  I tell him that I want him to load his truck up with all the things I’ve set aside to donate and actually donate them and not throw them away like he normally does.  He doesn’t know where to donate them.  I tell him I’ll show him where to go.

By the time we get everything loaded into the truck my anger has completely spent my strength.  I am physically and emotionally worn out and I can tell that my brain is starting to shut down.  That Guy is still there.  I tell him I’m done talking about our relationship for the night.  We drop the stuff off at the thrift store and he offers to buy me dinner since we never made it to the movie.  I’m exhausted and hungry so I accept.

That Guy stayed for the rest of the evening and we had a very pleasant dinner.   I caught myself reaching for his hand walking out of the resturant to the car and managed to keep my hands at my side before he noticed.  We made arrangements to meet once a week and alternate “date nights” with talking about our relationship.

I got home and realized that I went from intending to end my marriage to meeting with him, not every two weeks like we previously agreed on, but EVERY WEEK! 

Apparently he can talk me into – or out of – just about anything…  I am suddenly wary of him and want to just send him a letter and end it all right now.

But I’m also really curious – did That Guy show up again because I was super, super angry?  If so I cannot maintain that level of anger for the rest of my life just to get That Guy to hang around.

I want to find out so I’ve invited my husband to accompany me to a movie tonight.  This is the first time I’ve initiated spending time together since I moved out so he’s probably on cloud nine right now but this really is a test.  Date Night rules will apply (no talking about our relationship, just fun and light-hearted spending time together, no holding hands) and I want to see who shows up – That Guy or my husband. The fact that there is a difference is heartbreaking and pretty much tells me that I need to start the filing process but in the meantime, I’m going to a movie and we’ll see who meets me there…

I had never seen any of the Pride and Prejudice movies so my sister introduced me to the one with Kiera Knightly in it.  My heart stirred, the love portrayed between Lizzy and Mr Darcy was so tender.  Is it possible there’s even a single grain of reality in it?  I want to weep at the sweetness of his love for her, and for my own loss at never experiencing it myself, but I dare not.  There’s a song that says “she fears if she cries that first tear the tears will not stop raining down” and that is exactly how I feel.  My best friend from high school tells me that not all men are like my husband and although she has never lied to me before this one is difficult for me to believe.  But oh, to be loved like that and to feel that love for them in return…

When is it OK to say I’ve tried hard enough and move on?

We met again at the resturant last night – same chain but a different location.  That Guy who met me last week did not show up tonight. 

Of course, that could possibly be laid at my feet (mostly) this time…  I wanted to meet him face to face to explain something I had done that I knew he wouldn’t be happy about and rather than pussyfoot around it all evening I started the night off with it.  In short – I did our taxes, as I have for nearly every year of our marriage, and what we decided to do with the tax return (before I left him) was to fix the bathrooms in the house.  The showers in both bathrooms were getting moldy and needed to be torn out and replaced.  He got a quote to repair them and said he needed X amount of dollars.  I did the taxes and lo and behold, they came out to a couple of hundred more than he said he needed.  Once again, God provides, yay!

That wasn’t the part where I did something he wouldn’t like.  That part comes in as I was going over the taxes one last time trying to make sure I didn’t have any errors that would cause it to be rejected.  I found some errors, for our girls I had clicked a wrong button that caused the tax software to say that our two children did not qualify as dependents.  When I unclicked the button the software counted them as dependents and, viola, more money was added to our tax return.  I fixed one more error and the total of “extra” money was $1100.  Yippee!  I decided to not tell him about the extra money, have it deposited into my personal bank account and use it to make a payment on my beauty school bill that I still owe $2,000 on.  The reason I decided not to tell him about my keeping the money to make a school payment with it is because he has never been the least interested in paying that bill with “our” money.  I have sold my personal possessions ( against his wishes) to make payments on that bill and because it is not paid in full the owners of the school have threatened to have my license revoked, something I didn’t know they could do.  Since I became a nail tech I have not yet made enough money to survive and pay my school bill but I fully intend to do so as soon as I can.  But back to the tax money, I really didn’t think he would find out about it…  the darn government sent two letters, one for each of us saying they had deposisted the money into two different accounts.  He opened his and then called me about it, all confused.  Yes, yes, I know, be sure your sins will find you out and all that…

So maybe the reason I didn’t see That Guy from last week was because I opened our conversation by jumping right into what I had done with the taxes. 

From there the conversation went to how dissapointed he was that I obviously didn’t trust him, why hadn’t just told him what I wanted to do with the extra money – he would have said yes to paying the school bill (yeah, right), how could he ever trust me when he keeps finding out things that I’ve done and hidden from him, yada yada, yada…

Yeah, it all went downhill pretty fast.

After that I decided to bite the bullet and talk about his church.  It was immediately obvious that neither of us had – or was going to – change our views on his church and then all chances of seeing That Guy again, probably for a very long time, dissapeared like mist after the sun rises.  After discussing his church for 5 – 10 minutes he decided that we would stop talking about the church because it was clear that nothing positive would come from the conversation.  Yes, you read that right, he decided to end that conversation and move on, not me.

From that point on we managed to have a fairly good conversation about other aspects of our relationship.  We even agreed to keep our “date” for this coming Tuesday.  I had previously agreed to go to a movie with him on the conditions that “dates” were to be fun, friendly hang-out times and that I would not be discussing relationship issues during those times.

Several things became very clear to me last night and I’m mulling them over and trying to decide what to do.  In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the “dates” while they last and I’ve been invited to visit my younger daughter and her new husband for Easter so my time and attention will now be directed towards preparing for that trip.

My sister and I just finished watching “This Means War” with Chris Pine, Tom Hardy and Reese Witherspoon and if I had been her I would have totally chosen Tom Hardy’s character instead of Chris Pine’s character.  Last night my sister and I watched “Failure to Launch” and this whole last week or so has been full of movies that have happy, romantic endings.  No, we don’t have much else to do in this teeny, tiny apartment except watch movies all night…

I realized while watching these movies that I’ve never been “swept off my feet, head-over-heels in love”, except once in high school.  He was a senior and I was a junior and my mom told me I couldn’t date until after I graduated high so I told him I couldn’t go out with him.  That’s one thing I would change if I had my life to live over again.  Then again, he promptly stopped paying any attention to me and started dating a freshman so even though it seemed like true love at the time for me it obviously wasn’t true love for him.  Last I heard he had just gotten married to his second wife. 

I know some of my friends have found their one true love and while I’m happy for each of them I tend to view their relationship with their spouses as more of a fluke of nature than any sort of attainable goal.  Therefore, “happily ever after” movies make me suspcious of the hero and a little part of my heart is always screaming at the girl who’s swept off her feet “Don’t Do It!  It won’t last!  It’s not worth it!” 

I have great angst, I think I need a Xanax…  or two…  Stupid movies…

I really, really, really enjoyed the conversation I had with my husband at the resturant last week.  If he would just be that guy all the time there would be some serious potential for our relationship.  Because of his humble attitude and the things he said to me – not romantic things but honest things – I actually gave him my sister’s address where I am staying on the condition that he would not come to the door without an express invitation.  Now I kind of wish I hadn’t, I’m wondering if I can really trust him not to bang on the apartment door if he thinks we really need to talk.  I’m hoping he stays that guy he was at the resturant and that I can trust him but I’m honestly expecting that he’ll only stay “nice” for another few weeks and then go back to being that angry, wounded, selfish guy I’ve always known. 

Enough of me yearns for a relationship like I see in the movies to keep watching them and torturing myself with what I will probably never have in this lifetime.  The rest of me is so distrustful of men… I just don’t think it will ever happen.

Ever.