First off, thank you to everyone who chimed in yesterday. I was in a really dark place…probably the darkest I’ve been in my marriage. The blog was my life line. I spent a lot of the day crying in bed, barely eating anything, and feeling like utter crap.
This entry will be long, so I think I’m going to break it up and post throughout the weekend.
I had buried the hurt and pain that this situation had caused me for almost the entirety of Hubs and my relationship, and I think that this was the breaking point. I simply couldn’t continue to pretend that I was “ok” about this anymore.
When Hubs and I took our marriage vows, it was for life. We are both on the same page about that. How we live that life is up to us. But neither of us will quit on each other, or give up on our marriage. We’ve seen our parents do that multiple times, and it is not in the cards for us. We have too many things we love about each other to let this go. I think the thought of going on J-Date again is enough to keep us married. I’m kidding. Sort of. J Date really is the 7th circle of hell…but I digress. This leaves Hubs and I in a precarious case of compromise. What can we live with? What can’t we live with? How the hell do we find a middle ground? A better way of communicating? Hubs has told me he would like to see a therapist one on one for a while to sort through some of his issues. He’s also open to couples counseling. It’s a start. It will not change things overnight, but it’s a start.
The truth of the matter is, the story of The Great Argument begins long before Hubs and I even met. We both had fairly traumatic childhoods. Hubs watched his parents divorce at the age of 5, and then watched his mother divorce again at the age of 12 or 13. His stepmother (who his dad married when he was around 6) was a toxic, angry woman who barely tolerated Hubs as a courtesy to his father, and counted his father’s pennies until the day his father died three years ago. Her lawyers promptly contacted Hubs a couple of days after the funeral and let him know that he not only was cut out of any money his father had, she had cut him off from any heirlooms, books, favorite items, etc that his father had wanted passed down to him. The hurt and betrayal is still there, festering. As a child, Hubs alternated one week living with his dad and one week with his mom for his entire childhood. Hubs’ mom was never good with money, and never saved for his college, so when it came time for him to go to NYU, he had to fund it on his own. His father was tight with money, although he had it, so everything that Hubs has built and earned in his life has been from a tireless energy to make something of himself on his own. And he did make it.
Combine this story with my story. My father left my mother and I when I was 8 months old. They were 22 years old at the time they had me. My mother was destitute and on welfare. She moved back in with my grandmother. Both my mother and father remarried other people by the time I was 2 years old. My mother married my stepfather–a soft spoken, very awkward guy who had a house and a steady job. She was two months pregnant with my sister when they got married (clearly she didn’t have any IF issues, haha). They are still married, but their relationship has never been one of spark or passion. I rarely see them kiss or cuddle. Tease or laugh. I feel that my mom married him for financial security, and this is what she got. My father has been married twice since my mother. My first stepmother was an awful human being who had two children with him. They had an ugly divorce. She took the house, half his money, and he moved into a cramped apartment. My father was a womanizer, and in my teens I had to watch him bang his way through is 30s with some really trashy women he would bring to my school plays sometimes. He’s now married to a wonderful woman for whom he has little appreciation for because she is stable, and doesn’t give him the manic highs or lowest lows that he craves (did I mention he’s bi-polar?)
Where was I in this mess as a child? I was bouncing around back and forth to my dad’s house every other weekend. My home never felt stable. There would be times I would wake up in a panic and not remember whose house I was at, or what bed I was sleeping in. The feeling of displacement I felt as a child has deeply effected me in a way that even 8 years of therapy 3-4 times a week couldn’t help entirely. My apartment I lived in for 8 years before moving in with Hubs had no pictures on the wall. I bought picture frames, and never filled them. I barely had furniture. I lived in a state of “almost leaving”. My office at work is the same. As a child, I never felt like I belonged anywhere. I was always left feeling left out, empty inside, completely alone.
Enter: the deed to the house.
After many long conversations about it yesterday (some more circuitous and frustrating than others), Hubs and I were able to untangle some of the extremely complicated feelings about what this deed represents to us. To our marriage. To our childhoods.
More on that to come…