Tuesday, June 25, 2013

let's talk about it, shall we?

i wanted to write this when i wasn't upset. i wanted to write this when i could calmly and thoroughly express myself without sounding bitter or hurt or heartbroken. and i think i can do that now.

i'm asking for patience. this won't be easy to explain. and i'll more than likely leave some things out. but i wanted to leave it out there. i wanted people to have a glimpse into what it's been like for me. and even if it doesn't change your mind or alter your opinion, i know i've said all i can say on the matter.

in 2009, i met someone. that someone was on my radar as someone who'd ideally be a great boyfriend, but because he lived so far away, i didn't want to entertain the thought. i didn't do long distance relationships. eventually, he worked his way into my heart and we started dating....long distance. him in texas, me in washington. and it worked. shortly after dating, i went down to officially meet him. {do people still do that? begin a relationship without actually meeting their significant other...or was that just me in all my crazy foolishness?} it was the best weekend ever. i even wrote about it. he promised to marry me when he arrived in wa. i didn't believe him, but i secretly hoped he'd make good on that promise.

well surprise, surprise...he did. we were secretly married in april of 2009...just three months after we initially spoke to each other. in those three months, we spent a total of 2 weeks together in person. we knew we were taking a huge leap of faith by rushing the process, but we were confident that we could make it work.

june came around and not only did we reveal to the world that we were married..but we were also expecting our first baby. a son. throughout the pregnancy, i was constantly amazed at how selfless he was. footrubs, hot baths, my favorite foods, cuddle time...it was really perfect. i remember reading the twilight books and just being amazed at how much he reminded me of edward. just completely and totally in love with me and only me. it was amazing. and then austin was born in february twenty ten.

life, as i knew it, completely changed.

gone was the consideration, the sweetness, the care. we no longer worked through our differences. they just started to push us further apart. i tried to be a good wife and a good mother and find the balance in it all, but it was hard when i was the only one trying. intimacy no longer existed. i felt like i rarely saw him and if i did, he was too tired for anything other than food, the gym, and bed. of course, there were some really good times. i won't deny that. but there was a storm brewing on the horizon and it just kept getting closer no matter how much i tried to run in the other direction.

he began resenting me for things i had no control over, like how much sex he'd had prior to our relationship. like it was somehow my fault that he was twentyfour with so many more wild oats to sow. like i had somehow trapped him into marrying me and having a baby. but really...HE asked me to marry him. HE asked me to have babies with him. i wasn't 100% ready, but i stepped up and participated in my relationship. i gave what i was willing to give to fulfill him. and now, it was all my fault. so after weeks of fighting and disagreeing, we opened up our marriage with a free pass. i don't need to explain what this meant.

as a result, i was hurt. i was vulnerable. i was unconsciously searching for acceptance and love and attention and affection. and that came out of nowhere, in the form of another man.

let me start by saying, i'm not proud of this. i'm not happy that i succumbed to these desires. nor am i happy that i continued doing something that would eventually hurt everyone involved. but i won't pretend it didn't happen. i fell in love with someone else. at least, i thought i was in love. it felt like it. he gave me everything that i couldn't have in my relationship. he told me i was beautiful, he was my shoulder to cry on, he made me feel like i mattered. but the guilt was there. i couldn't take it any longer. i told my husband that i was in love with someone else. and i felt so bad about it. i pleaded with him to not hate me, to give me another chance, to let me right all of my wrongs and to move forward with him.  was he hurt? of course. was he mad? livid. but he understood how i came to the place where i was vulnerable enough to be swayed. he understood his part in the whole matter and we made plans to move forward....together.

at this point, i was pregnant with our second child. a daughter. the pregnancy was completely unplanned and unexpected, but we welcomed it. i juggled school, work, marriage and a toddler. to say it was difficult is putting it lightly. i ended up with complications and bella was born six weeks early. we spent two weeks in the nicu and then the entire summer of 2011 in and out of hospitals as we battled her biliary atresia. and instead of coming together as a family, i felt more and more isolated from him. he spent more time with work, opting for optional training and competitions, and more time away from us as a family. he was even more tired and more irritable.

i know his intentions. he wanted to provide for his family. and i respect and admire that. but balance is key. in his family, it's about sacrificing for the greater good. and their belief is that the "greater good" is always career and yourself. i wanted him to put his family first over all things underneath God.  i wanted to be at the top of his priority list. but he had tunnel vision and could only focus on what he felt was more important. our home life suffered. i did anything i could to save our marriage. i stuck through infidelity, lies, abandonment, mental and emotional abuse, neglect. i was dying inside trying to save something that he was destroying. he made me feel like i wasn't good enough. he told me that i wasn't a good mother because i couldn't handle two kids by myself. he told me that i wasn't a good wife because i wanted him to make time for me. he told me that i wasn't a good person because i let myself go. he told me i made his life worse by constantly asking him to change.

i read books and talked to other wives. i tried putting my needs on the backburner. and that worked at first. the thought process is that if i gave him what he needed, he would eventually begin to meet me halfway. i'd bend and he'd give me more affection. but eventually, i wasn't bending enough. so i'd bend more. i'd get the love back again. until i made him mad. and then all hell would break loose. i was a rabbit on a treadmill and his love was the proverbial carrot. if i ran fast enough and jumped through as many hoops as he put out there, i'd feel like i was getting closer, but i wasn't moving anywhere. i was just slowly dying as a person. make no mistake, he's not a bad person, but he is a master manipulator and craves control. and i tend to feel very guilty if i can't make him happy, so he played on that character quality. it got to the point where i was merely existing...i wasn't me anymore. postpartum depression has it's grips on me and i was barely hanging on as it was. i was doing some soul searching and trying to change myself overall for the better. but i realized some parts of me where just dying and changing for the worse. he kept promising to change, but he never made the changes he promised.

so before we moved to texas at the end of 2011, i took a stand. texas would be my final straw. no more chances after that. he understood, but kept falling short on keeping his promises. and by the time we arrived to san antonio, in december 2011...we were separated.

legally, we were still married. but for all intensive purposes, our relationship was over. we slept in separate rooms. and led separate lives. on the outside, we looked like a happy family. oh, but only if you knew. only when it concerned the kids did we resemble a family. i stayed in texas for three months, but eventually the kids and i left due to drama with his family. while there, i sank further into my depression. i barely functioned as a mom and definitely not as a person. i attempted to date but i was too emotionally scarred. but thank God for my friends. they gently pulled me out of the depths and starting to show me that i had worth. when all the drama with his family came to a head, i got the courage to leave texas and come back home. we boarded the plan with two suitcases, one for me and one for them, and we weren't looking back,

while back in washington, i found myself again. i had a job, a social life, i felt confident and ready to tackle the world. i was dating. it was great. then he started calling and saying all the right things. the mommy guilt set in and i felt like i should try again. so when he asked me to come down and help him move back to washington, i did. when i arrived we talked about our intentions and expectations. we said we'd go slow. we said we'd try, but it had to go slowly. but less than 24 hours after arriving in town, he got mad at me and drove off to spend his night with another woman. the next morning, he acted like nothing had happened.

crushed....doesn't even begin to describe it.

at this point, i had resolved that only time would tell as far as us getting back together. i was too broken to consider a relationship with him and if he could help me see that he was making an effort to change, then i'd be more willing to consider it. at this point, i just needed him to make me feel safe. like it was safe to love again. safe to trust again. i won't take anything away from him. he did try. and at times he was great. i remember telling my girlfriends that he was really making the effort and i was starting to feel hopeful that one day we'd be able to put all of this behind us. but sometimes without warning, he'd be mean and cruel again. the name calling, the rude remarks, the poking and prodding at my fractured ego, the hurtful comments and treatment...it'd all come rushing back. and i'd stand there, pleading with him to stop. sometimes i'd leave. sometimes i'd fight back. sometimes i'd cry. sometimes i'd just stand there and take it all. i don't do well in these situations. and every time, afterwards....a half-assed apology. a promise to change. a plea to give him another chance. just to have my heart walked all over again the next time he was mad at me.

please don't misunderstand, i never wanted him to just agree with me all the time. i never expected him to always be happy with me. but i did expect kindness and love through it all. i never thought being cruel was okay. because i wasn't cruel. love isn't supposed to be cruel. that's not how it's supposed to go.

there are so many incidences that i've blocked out or never wanted to deal with. there are so many issues that i have as a result of this relationship that i may never get over. i'm broken. i'm damaged goods. i have so much emotional baggage. i could go on for days with stories and examples that will clearly illustrate how and why i've come to this place in my life. why my heart is where it's at. and now it hasn't all been bad. there have been so many good moments. and i cherish those. but the bad has outweighed the good. the hurt outshines the whole. and i've come to a place where i'm too far gone to turn back now.

i see him in a completely different light. he's a great father and a dear friend. but all feelings of romance have flickered and gone out. i don't feel the way i'm supposed to feel towards him as my husband. the thought of staying in this marriage literally plagues me with fear because i'm choosing a life of sadness. i do believe in God and i believe He can and will work miracles in and through me, but he has to be in the same place. he talks a great deal and says all of the right things, but there's never any action to make those words a reality. my soul loves him so so much and would love for my family to be in tact, but i can't stay here. i think about the children.

i've asked him several times if he'd want his son to be like him or if he'd want his daughter to marry someone like him...his answer is no. and yet, he doesn't change. that's not something i want for my children. i want them to know what real love is. what it looks like, feels like. and i want them to search for that. but not this. i never had a grand example of what love is supposed to be, so i ended up here. and i never ever ever want my children to feel an ounce of what i've felt. i don't regret any of these decisions because of the gifts it has brought me.

so when you see me now...smiling and laughing and loving....with someone else, please understand that getting here has been harder than you can imagine. being able to open myself up to another person has been the most difficult thing i've ever dealt with. when you're ready to pass judgement on my actions and choices, please be sure to know that for the first time in a long time...i am happy. TRULY happy. more happy than i've ever been.

i've found someone who fits with me. who doesn't make me feel bad for any parts of me. who loves my children and respects their father. who challenges me to be and do better and never, ever puts me down. who is helping my heart to heal and grow and love again. who is a perfect example of what a significant other should be. who is a christian man who fears God. who teaches me something new everyday.

so when you start to feel a certain way about my choices or my life, please understand that while you know a little bit of the story, you don't have all of the details. you're missing huge chunks and that makes your picture flawed. i have the whole story. i know the who, why, when, where, and how. and i'm asking that you just trust me. i'm not, nor have i ever been, one of those people who doesn't take my actions seriously. everything i do has good consequences and bad consequences and they affect more than just myself. i understand that, i know that, and i cherish that. so if you start wanting to say or think something negative about me and my life, please...i beg of you..to keep it to yourself. reference this blog post. and rethink the whole scenario.

i love charlie with all my heart and soul. it's just in a different way. he will always be my dearest friend. sometimes you have to let go of something in order to heal and move on. and letting go doesn't always mean you don't love the person or cherish the time you had together, it just means you value something greater. i value my kids and my happiness far greater than anything else on this world. and to ensure those things, i have to make some changes. i hope you can respect and honor that.

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