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My New Take on Boundary Agreements

17 Mar

I will probably get some push back on my opinion tonight, but I would like to tell you what my current thoughts are on boundary agreements.

If you were an original blog reader, you know that I had a boundary agreement with my soon to be ex husband. I understand the point and purpose of one, in theory and in practice. Hell, our boundary agreement even helped me to stand firm in separating from him when I discovered another big lie.

However, at this point I would never, ever accept a relationship with someone I couldn’t trust enough to use his or her own good judgment (or to have good judgement in the first place). Period. I’ve reached a point where I don’t want to be with someone who has to have a piece of paper full of self-explanatory things that they should give the person they’re in a relationship with in order to be a decent partner. Someone who needs that to guide what is right and wrong is not a person I ever want to be attached to.

In fact, if I ever feel the need for a boundary agreement in the future I will RUN in the other direction. On that same note, I would tell anyone considering the need for such a document in their own relationship to get the hell out. NOW!!! Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Just save yourself the future pain and heartache that is sure to come.

I realize that is probably offensive to some. I apologize. It’s just how I see things now. It’s also why I don’t post as much anymore. I think my input is a little too harsh. At the very least it comes from a much different place than those of you still hoping to reconcile with someone so untrustworthy that they need something in writing that details (very specifically) what is unacceptable to do to someone you supposedly love.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe communication is important. I think when any relationship starts to progress toward something serious there should be an open discussion about values and expectations and the importance of honesty, fidelity, respect, and all of the other critical aspects of a relationship that need to be present in order for it to succeed. However, if you do not trust your partner’s words, actions or morals enough to believe they can and will follow through on the supposed “shared values” you have unless they are written on a checklist somewhere with the accuracy and precision of a legal document, then they are not SHARED values at all. In my humble opinion, that itself dooms the relationship.

Compatibility extends to more than just the bedroom. Relationships that go the distance have one key thing in common – the people in them share things in common. Not necessarily the same religion or the same background or the same politics. No. Although those things don’t hurt, it is really shared VALUES that make the difference. If we both value respect highly and equally then we can choose to respect religious or political differences, for instance. Likewise, if only one of us places a value on respect (or values something else, like religion, more highly) then those differences will likely cause strife.

So what do I think boundary agreements are good for? A long laugh. Okay, that’s not the serious answer, and it’s also not fair. I think boundary agreements can help the injured partner feel heard and feel safer. You notice I said “feel.” That’s because they don’t actually guarantee a damn thing. Except maybe that when you see the person who claimed to love you cross a clearly drawn and agreed to line you can finally see what everyone else already could – what they’re doing to you is wrong.

The truth of the matter is that a spouse who crossed one of those lines knew what they were doing. They knew what was right and what wasn’t. They knew what they did wasn’t acceptable. Maybe they have justifications or rationalizations that made it easier for them to swallow, or maybe they’re narcissistic and delusional. Either way, writing it down on a piece of paper won’t change anything. They will choose to do better, get help, and fix things or they will continue making excuses to themselves and you and others. A boundary agreement won’t change that.

For those of you who have a boundary agreement and believe in them, best of luck. I really hope it works out. It is just another of the many tools available to people going through this difficult journey. Like I said at the beginning of this post, I understand. I just no longer agree. Personally, I would rather make an agreement with myself that I deserve more.


This is me this weekend, enjoying my agreement with myself that I’m worth it. And sporting my new pink cat eye glasses. ūüôā

Childish Behavior

20 Nov

I find it funny in a very sad way how quickly my husband has turned into a pretty, childish mess. ¬†I really shouldn’t be surprised, yet somehow I was. ¬†Each time I think he can’t sink lower with his immature, passive-aggressiveness he proves me wrong and does. ¬†I don’t know why I thought this could be handled in a mature way…

I have been told to never mention him in my blog again… ¬†like that’s even possible when I’m dealing with the fallout of everything he has done and everything this marriage could have been and wasn’t. ¬†He is re-writing history, trying to get his family to gang up on me, and playing ridiculous blame games trying to make this all my fault.

Case in point: ¬†On Sunday night after my family Thanksgiving I sat with my Mom and step-Dad after everyone had left, just talking, when I began receiving melodramatic text messages from him. ¬†I have since deleted them, but the basic gist is that he can’t handle one more day of being out of the house. ¬†Not that he wants to come back, I don’t think, just that he is jealous and angry that I have a home and he doesn’t. ¬†He wants me to hurry up and divorce him already (at least that’s what I think he’s saying). ¬†I’m not really sure what his point was…

What I do know is that he isn’t very good at communicating. ¬†He wants to complain and lash out as far as I can tell. ¬†He started blaming me that it will be 2 weeks before the next marriage counseling appointment. ¬†I can’t help that the therapist is out this week for the holiday and Mr. Mess couldn’t be bothered to come on Saturday. ¬†It sounds like a personal problem.

On this front, I’m just taking things a day at a time and living my life. ¬†I am going no contact with him outside of marriage counseling or to tell him when he gets mail.

Congratulations! You’re an Ass!

17 Nov

I’ve been reading the book Should I Stay or Should I Go?¬†that our marriage counselor used for the basis of out controlled separation.¬† My two airplane rides gave me a chance to really dig in and get more insight.¬† One thing the author suggests is that if one person is interested¬†in seeing what else is out there, the controlled separation time should be used for that.¬† The guideline is that if one person wants to date other people and the other doesn’t, the person who does want to date should get that option.

At first I was confused and negative about that idea, but this week really opened my eyes.¬† I honestly didn’t think there was anything out there that could be better until I met great, quality people with character who I connected with.¬† Suddenly, I could understand the value of dating other people.¬† This is a time to figure out if this marriage is what’s best for me, after all.¬† How can I know that without opening my eyes to other possibilities?

I told Mr. Mess yesterday that I would like to date other people while we are separated. ¬†I told him that I want to make connections and try out new things.¬† He isn’t taking it well.¬† In fact, he is showing me exactly what kind of person he really is, and it’s not pretty.

His immature, manipulative reaction is to start texting my family – my Dad and my Mom and probably others as well.¬† He refused to listen to what I actually have to say and started accusing me of going after one of his friends (who is very sweet, has been great to connect with, but who I am not involved with in any way whatsoever other than friendship). He started playing games and sending nasty texts and acting like a 5 year-old. I know he is angry and hurt. He has a right to be. It just shows me that he can’t think about anyone else for even one second.

Here is just a sampling of our exchanges:

Him: “So why dont¬†you say you want a divorce because i¬†dont¬†want to date anyone and your wanting to tells me you are looking to move on”

Divorce does seem like that is where things are headed, but I told him, “I have always been looking to move on. I’m just done waiting for you to join me, step up, be an adult & give me what I deserve. So I’m going to make my own happiness¬†– whatever it may be & where ever it may lead me.”

His response was a passive-aggressive jab – “Wow i see you have heeded doctor [MC]’s advice and not use text messages for this type of conversation.”

He has a point. I agreed to that.  I can own my shit.  Rather than address my valid concerns, though, he just brushed them off and made it all about him.

My response:¬†“Sorry about that. I didn’t want to not be honest about my feelings. You also havent taken any initiative to coordinate¬†face to face contact. After over a month of separation, I didnt want to wait any longer to tell you.”

His response: A string of childish texts naming his friends or people I know that he is convinced I now want to start “screwing.”

Me: “No. Sorry you are hurting.”

Him: “Right i¬†can tell you are… lets see you get back to town and tell me you want to start sleeping around no¬†[beautifulmess] im not hurting im seeing everything clearly now.” Then more crap about going to see someone and give them his blessing to sleep with me.

Me: “I dont¬†know why you dont¬†believe me but I dont lie to you & I have no plans to date ____.”

Him: “Yeah i¬†know [beautifulmess] you just keep things from me until you feel it is to your advantage to tell me.”

Me: “I dont¬†know what I’ve kept from you. If you havent seen me begging for years for a committed, honest relationship with someone who appreciates me then its not because I have been hiding anything.”

“This week just made me realize how free & happy I can be & how much life has to offer.”

“I really do hope you are seeing things clearly. I know you are angry. It is not my intention to cause that.”

Him: “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

Me: “Look I know you are mad but its been over a month now that we’ve been separated & nothing has changed. You’ve barely made any effort & I am realizing I can’t pause my life waiting for you to step up. Maybe if you read my blog you would understand.”

Whatever. There has been more and more and more crap that I could go into, but I’m getting tired of it all. With his last move texting my family that I won’t give him the time to get better because I can’t wait for him and other poor me crap, I have just had it. I’ve been trying and trying and trying for the last year and a half years since all hell broke loose in March of 2011 and I drew my line in the sand – get help, get better, or get out. I’ve done nothing BUT wait. Now I have to keep moving forward.

I truly am sorry that he is so hurt and angry about it all.¬† As much as he doesn’t believe me, I hope he does get better. ¬†That hope is now just based on the fact that I care about him, not on¬†my fantasy that he can be¬†what I need.¬† I’m sorry he’s miserable.¬† I simply refuse to be any more.

I Do Not Follow the 90/10 Rule

17 Nov

This past week we were taught that when you are getting to know someone, especially a prospective customer, they should talk 90% of the time and you should talk 10%.¬† Apparently studies have shown that the more someone else talks, the better they like you.¬† I admitted several times over the course of our training that the 90/10 rule is the hardest part of prospecting for me.¬† Hell, it’s the hardest part of life.

As you all have come to realize by now, I am verbose.¬† I am also an over-thinker, an overachiever, and a perfectionist.¬† I want to tell someone everything I can, especially if I really believe in what I’m talking about.¬† Another tidbit of knowledge I gained, “Don’t spill all your candy in the lobby.”¬† Sometimes less is more.¬† It’s a hard lesson for me to apply.

The Friendly, Silent, Questioning Stare is also a great tool for a top sales-person.¬† I think it translates to life very well, too.¬† One of our trainers said that in the beginning he would sit there after asking for the sale and feel all of the unsaid words bubbling up from inside, just waiting to erupt like a volcano. He would think of what he didn’t mention,¬†what he could have done better, and want to break the silence.¬† A¬†30-second pause would feel like 3 hours.¬†¬†He had to use every ounce of his strength to push those words down and wait for the other person’s response.

I easily recognize that talking too much is a fault of mine.¬† I am working on fixing that, although I know I’m still not very good at it.¬† One of the reasons is that my brain is full to the limit with countless thoughts, ideas, feelings, desires, hopes, fears, uncertainties, doubts, and emotions busting at the seams to get out.

Just to give you a slight hint at the current shit-storm in my brain, here are random snippets of things that are bouncing around in my head.¬† I’m not going to try to organize these thoughts, and they are in no particular order, just what happened to pop into my brain as I was typing.

  • “Success is the progressive realization of worthwhile goals.”¬† That is the most inspiring thing I learned at my sales training.¬† I heard it at the very, very end¬†(even after the test).¬† In fact, I got misty-eyed.¬† You would have to listen to the entire presentation to understand, but this resonated with me so strongly.¬† I am a success if I’m taking steps towards a worthwhile goal, and I definitely think I’m doing that right now.
  • Just because I’ve wasted some time floundering around being lied to and deceived doesn’t mean I’m not successful or I can’t be in the future.¬† Maybe it means the goal I had wasn’t worthwhile (trying to make a marriage work with someone who hasn’t told you the truth since day 1).¬† Or maybe I had to do that floundering in order to understand what is worthwhile and what isn’t.
  • “If you’re not making mistakes, you aren’t doing it right.”¬† Wise words from a friend spoken to me last Saturday.¬† I’ve been letting that ping around in my brain ever since, and I like it.¬† I am finding it easier and easier to admit to the areas where I’m making mistakes, partly because I know it gets me closer to where I want to be.¬† Life is full of beauty and mystery and wonder, but you have to take chances and sometimes make errors in order to grow, learn, and get where you want to be.

  • “He has always been unsure about me, unhappy, dishonest and cheating from the earliest moments.¬† All the while I was living in blithe ignorance of what was really going on.”¬† From a woman whose life seems eerily similar to mine right now, emilylonging, in her post Were things ever good?¬† Those words ring so true.¬† We were in two different relationships.¬† I never had the full truth.¬† I was living in blissful ignorance (some of my own making), and every single “good memory” we have ever had together is tainted in some way with a lie, deception, or half-truth.

***All of this time I had somehow convinced myself that this was the best it could ever get for me – that not dying was the same as living.***

There is so, so much more, but that’s just a taste.¬† A great friend of mine told me that there’s nothing not complicated about me.¬† That’s very true.¬† For now, I’m going to accept the fact that I think and talk too much.¬† It seems like some people still like me anyway.


8 Nov

I have never really done well with change.¬† Now my life is full of them.¬† It is a hard adjustment.¬† Last night I had another in the long¬†string of recent¬†challenges¬†that have been coming my way.¬† I made mistakes, but I also made some improvements (however slight).¬† I’ll tell you the story, and we’ll see if you pick out the same ones that I did…

The¬†very first challenge that I have been dealing with is my health.¬† Two weeks ago I had strep throat and an ear infection.¬† About 3-5 days after the antibiotics for that were finished¬†I contracted a killer cold that developed into an upper respiratory infection complete with whooping cough, fever, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, and the inability to breathe (okay, maybe that last one is a bit of an exaggeration, but I swear that’s how it feels).¬† I powered through most of the week until yesterday I just couldn’t take it any more.¬† I dragged my sorry ass out of work around 3:30, went to the doctor for some meds, then wiped out the CVS cold and flu aisle before heading home.

I arrived to a mailbox full of stuff for Mr. Mess, which I added to the already-impressive stack on the table by my door.¬† He had cancelled all 3 of the proposed “dates” he set up last week due to his own health issues (flu, maybe?).¬† That meant there hadn’t been an exchange of things like mail in over a week.¬† Here is where my first mistake appears in this tale (I’m not giving you any more freebies – from here on out, you have to identify the mistakes for yourself).¬† I called him and told him that he had a¬†lot of mail here whenever he wanted to come get it.¬† He said he would head on over then, and I agreed.

I will pause in the re-telling of this story to recap something I learned in S-Anon that applies well in this situation.¬† It is the acronym H.A.L.T.¬† This wise slogan advises you not to act when you are hungry, angry, lonely or tired.¬† I would add another letter at the end.¬† S for sick.¬† I did not need to contact my husband while I was sick.¬† The mail could have stayed right there.¬† Although I wasn’t especially hungry, angry, lonely or tired, the sick made all of those things much closer to the surface than they normally are.¬† It also made me more emotional than I was aiming for.

Mr. Mess arrived at my door about an hour after our phone conversation ended…¬† maybe 45 minutes.¬† I had already caught myself complaining like a whiny child on the phone about how awful I felt, so I resolved not to do that.¬† He walked in, and the first thing I noticed was the smell of his cologne.¬† I love that damn stuff.¬† It is probably the best smell in the entire world.¬† At least I thought that last night.¬† In retrospect, I’m surprised I could even smell it given the state of my sinuses.¬† Mr. Mess walked up to me, reached out to rub my arms, and said that he is sorry I am feeling so bad.¬† In that moment all I wanted was to curl up in his arms.

Instead, I said thank you and pointed out the stack of mail.¬† He went through it, throwing things away as he went, and then started looking around.¬† He asked if there is anything he could do for me.¬† I told him it would be really nice if he could take the trash can¬†to the curb so I didn’t have to go out there in the cold (trash pickup is on Wednesday night).¬† He said that would be no problem at all.¬†¬†Then he commented that he hopes I have been eating.¬† I said that I have, except for yesterday when all my cold seemed to want was chocolate.¬† Everything else tasted gross.¬† Although that was borderline whiny, it was true.¬† For the most part, though, I have been cooking myself quite fine meals, and I¬†told him so.

He then walked into the den.¬† I asked what he was doing.¬† He said that he wanted to say hi to the dogs (they were in the utility room, which is connected¬†to the den).¬† While he was in there I went to get the extra pair of nail clippers that he asked to borrow earlier in the week.¬† I also handed him his key chain, which I had found buried in the pull-out sofa bed¬†when my sister stayed the night last weekend.¬† I resisted the urge to call him out on his lie surrounding those keys or ask him where he got the key he had been using since his was in the couch and the spare was where it always is.¬† It doesn’t matter.¬† Plus, I’m pretty sure he must have taken the spare and gotten a copy made in order to hide the fact that he lost his keys.¬† What a pointless thing to hide.¬† And also a pointless thing to be angry about.¬† So I just let it go.

My Mom and I had literally just gotten off of the phone about 5 minutes before Mr. Mess arrived, and she asked me about Thanksgiving and Christmas – whether to expect him, whether she should be buying him a gift, etc.¬† She is going on a long cruise very shortly and wanted to have all of the gifts purchased in the next week or so.¬† I took the opportunity last night to ask.¬† He got this strange look on his face and started stammering a bit – falling over his words, starting a sentence, then not finishing it, saying “you know” when I really did not…

Finally he said that he would feel like a black cloud hanging over everything.¬† He said that he feels too bad about what he has done to me to be¬†around my family, and he wants to wait.¬† I asked what he wants to wait for.¬† He didn’t really answer.¬† By that point my short fuse and irritation with his beating around the bush was getting the best of me.¬† It really seemed like he was saying that he can never be around my family again because what he did is not going to change.¬† I proposed an answer to my own question¬†– maybe he is waiting until he feels good about what he did?¬† He said no,¬†and started getting emotional.¬† Instead of feeling compassion, a red hot anger welled up inside of me.

I don’t remember the exact words that came out of his mouth next.¬† It doesn’t really matter.¬† However, it was something about not being able to change what he did or how guilty he feels about it.¬† Even though that is basically the same thing I was thinking just moments before, my rage monster wanted to let out a big growl.¬† I told him that he COULD have changed quite a lot in the last year of false recovery.¬† Instead of a year that was full of lies and deceit,¬†he could have been honest and changed where we are now.¬† It was up to HIM¬†to put his all into it just like I had been.¬† He said that I’m right, and that he wants to wait until he has made more progress in his recovery to be around my family so that it doesn’t feel like just another lie.

With those words and that simple revelation, my rage dissipated.¬† That, in and of itself, is progress.¬† His bottom lip trembled, his eyes started to overflow, and he walked away from me – like he always does when he is feeling real, human emotions. ¬†Or maybe because he couldn’t keep up the act much longer – it’s hard faking emotions as a sociopath. ¬†I thought he was walking to the door, which he was at first.¬† Then he stopped and turned around.¬† He asked if there was anything else I needed besides him to take the trash to the street.¬† I said no.¬† He turned as if to go, then said that there was one more thing he needed.¬† Without another word of explanation, he took off down the hall toward the computer room and my bedroom.

The fleeting moment of tenderness I had felt¬†towards him was quickly shoved aside by annoyance.¬† I called after him, asking where he was going and what he needed.¬† Without stopping, he strode into the computer room, turned on the light and called back that he was looking for his checkbook.¬† My annoyance turned to indignation and territoriality.¬† I had seen his checkbook while I was cleaning, and it was NOT¬†in there.¬† The bigger point, however, is that he doesn’t live here right now to go stomping off through my house opening doors, turning on lights, and rummaging through things without asking.¬† I told him that his checkbook was not in there, then went and fetched it from the spot where¬†I had seen it earlier in the week.

Still, he continued going through things in the computer room.¬† I asked him to tell me what he is looking for instead of going through all of my stuff.¬† First he got exacerbated¬†and said nothing, never mind.¬† I told him that I am happy to help, but I would like to know what he is looking for.¬† He said he was trying to find his actual checks (which weren’t in the checkbook).¬† I told him that I hadn’t seen them.¬† I searched (pointlessly) for his checks, which were nowhere to be found.¬†¬†I asked if he was sure they were even in here.¬† He said that he brought them with him when he moved in (over 4 years ago now).¬† I said I haven’t ever seen them, and¬†showed him my checks, which I always keep in one specific spot.¬†¬†I checked everywhere he suggested with no luck.

When he finally accepted that the checks were not here, he asked for the joint checking account number.¬† I immediately bitched at him.¬† He asked me over a week ago for that number while I was driving, and I suggested he call the bank (since THEY have the number much handier than I do).¬† I caught myself in full bitch-out mode, complaining about how he should just pick up the phone and call himself instead of asking me to do things for him.¬† It really wasn’t that big of a deal, though…¬† I took a deep breath, pulled the checkbook out of my purse, and gave him the number.¬† We exchanged a few more tensely polite words, and he left.

Fifteen minutes later I thought to check outside.¬† Sure enough, the garbage can hadn’t been moved.¬† Out into the cold with my cold I went.¬†¬†My body¬†shivered and I raged in my head.¬† I fought the uge to send him a snarky or bitchy text thanking him for doing the one thing I had asked him for.¬† I fought the urge to call a friend and complain.¬† Instead, I put my phone down.¬† I hooked it up to the charger, and left the room.

I might have made many poor decisions yesterday, but I have learned enough in¬†the last few months¬†to know that my anger at that moment would not have been productive.¬† It wouldn’t have accomplished anything other than to drive an even bigger wedge between us.¬† It¬†would have¬†resulted in¬†him feeling either defensive or more guilty.¬† None of those options are what I’m looking for.

Somehow I was able to push aside my strong urge to punish him for his oversight, and take responsibility for myself.  It is my trash, afterall.  Sick or not, I needed to take it to the curb.  Today this seems like it could be some very deep metaphor for what we are going through in general.  Last night it was just irritating.

About an hour or so later, once I had calmed down, taken some medicine, and regained my perspective and compassion, I sent him a text.¬† It simply said, “Sorry I upset you.”¬† I am sorry.¬† I pushed things.¬† I lashed out a few times.¬† I made him feel back about himself when I shouldn’t have because it doesn’t move us in the right direction.¬† I have to work on that.¬† I have to learn to control my temper a little better, or at least to not make decisions when I’m feeling on edge.¬† I have to look inward¬†when what I really want to do is point the finger.¬† At least I didn’t send him that pissy text about the trash.¬† Progress, not perfection, right?

After thinking on things a bit more, I realize that all of those bad reactions came from fear of change.¬† I don’t like that I don’t have my husband to hold me when I’m feeling crappy.¬† Instead of affirming myself for the positive steps I’m taking in enforcing my boundaries, I wallow in self-pity because my lying, cheating sex addict husband can’t get his shit together.¬† I let anger and entitlement take over because it is easier than seeing the ways I contributed to being where I am today.

Yes, where I am is separated from a husband who lied to me repeatedly , cheated on me, and is a sex addict Рbut I put myself here just as much (or more) than he did.  It was my poor decisions, my loose boundaries, my fear of abandonment, my low self-esteem, my repeated failure to trust my gut, and my codependent tendencies that put us here just as much as it was his sex addiction.  I have to own my shit, too.  And then I have to change it.  But changing things sucks.

Sometimes I want my fantasyland¬†back.¬† I wax nostalgic about the “good old days” when I could curl up on the couch whenever I felt sick and have my husband make me dinner, bring me medicine, and rub my feet.¬† I want that sense of security and love.¬† Then I remember how false it was.¬† I remember how that same loving, caring man would sneak off to call, sext, internet chat, or meet another woman.¬† Or maybe he wouldn’t do that, but he would lie about something from his day or hide what he was feeling or thinking.¬† I remember how I might sense something was off, but dismiss my own instincts.¬† I also remember¬†how late at night, when he was snoring beside me, I would lie awake knowing that there was something big missing in this relationship.

I say all of that to say this:¬† Change is painful, but it is also necessary.¬† I have a long way to go. ¬†However, I am going to keep pushing forward.¬† I need to change for me.¬† As much as I hate admitting my mistakes, acknowledging my flaws, and accepting change – those things are necessary for growth.¬† And one thing I hate worse than change is being average.¬† He’s to self-awareness and change.¬† Those bitches.¬† ūüôā

I’m Getting Tired of Talking About Lying

28 Oct

This time the lie I uncovered was another long-term one. Remember my post about Judge Judy? It turns out that the “truth” I uncovered then was just another lie. I didn’t share the entire story then, and I’m honestly feeling exhausted thinking about telling it now.¬† You will probably be exhausted, too, after reading it all. ¬†I suppose that I need to for my sanity, though, to clear my head and get everything out there so I can’t delude myself again.

It all started in July of 2011. ¬†My husband was fired¬†from his job. ¬†As far as I know, he was fired¬†for being sloppy (not cleaning up his work truck) and having a bad attitude. There was a little more to it, but it doesn’t really relate to this story. After he lost his job it was important that he have insurance because he also had a surgery the week after he was fired. His previous health insurance was good through the end of the month, but he also had follow-ups and other things health-wise that needed to be taken care of. Plus, I am a huge believer that everyone needs health insurance. You just never know what might happen.

Naturally, we went ahead and added him to my insurance at work. It was a much better deal than anything he could get on his own, and it was convenient to just have it come out of my check. We worked out a budget together to compensate for his lack of a job and the additional money coming out of my paycheck. It was a little tight, but we were actually doing just fine. In October he got a new job, and told me that he would be eligible for health insurance in 3 months.

Things at that job progressed, but not as well as he had hoped. He had just barely 32 hours per week due to his school schedule, which they worked around for him. The building he was working at was also being shut down, so he was going to transfer to another building with a different manager. He said that he made sure to talk to the HR people about the insurance situation so that he would still be eligible. He assured me that he would be.

In January at the end of the 3 month period, I asked about the insurance situation. We were planning to compare the pricing through his work to the pricing through mine to see what the best option would be. He told me that he wouldn’t be eligible until February – eligibility begins on the 1st of the month after 3 full months of employment, and he started in mid-October. That made sense since that’s how we do it at my work.

Then February came, and no insurance… He told me that he dropped the ball. He had forgotten to talk to the HR department to get the paperwork, fill it out, and get it back on time. I was disappointed, but that is my husband. He is horribly lazy about things like that. It was his responsibility to take care of everything, and he didn’t. I wasn’t pleased, but I wasn’t surprised. I asked him to get the pricing and information so that we could compare it together and make a decision. He said he would. Of course he didn’t.

As March approached, I still hadn’t seen anything about the insurance. I didn’t want to nag, so I only mentioned it once. He said he had the information at work, but kept forgetting to bring it home. Then March was here, and there was no extra time. He called me and said that he looked at everything and it was better for him to go through his work. He said that he had to get the paperwork in, so he was going to fax it from his job. I said that is fine with me – he should take care of it.

He told me that the new insurance was going to be the same as the insurance he had through his old company ‚Äď United Healthcare.¬† That was doubly fantastic.¬† You see, his individual therapist was part of the United network, but not Anthem, which is what I have through work.¬† That meant we would save money twice ‚Äď cheaper insurance and¬†no more $90 a week out-of-pocket expense for his therapy session.¬† Yay!¬† This letting him take care of things seemed to be working out really great.

Around mid-April or early May I started feeling like something was off.¬† It is something one of my readers dubbed a ‚Äúknowing‚ÄĚ (you can read about that here). ¬†¬†No matter what I did I couldn‚Äôt shake that feeling‚Ķ BUT things seemed to be going so well, so I tried to push that feeling away.

My ‚Äúknowing‚ÄĚ was not to be ignored, though.¬† Sometime around this point I found charges for several hundred dollars on our joint account from a company I didn‚Äôt recognize.¬† After some research I discovered it was an online health insurance company.¬† I was completely confused‚Ķ

Mr. Mess spun some story about looking for health insurance through his school in January when he was uncertain what would happen at work.  He said that he signed up for health insurance through a company, then changed his mind the next day after speaking to someone at work.  He claimed that he called and cancelled, and he had no idea why they would be charging him now, several months later.  He called the company and told me that the woman he dealt with was gone, and someone else had taken over her accounts.  He claimed someone found his application, saw it wasn’t processed, and put it through (without calling or verifying anything with him first).  Once he explained that he had cancelled, they agreed to refund his money.  Sure enough, the money did come back.

Still, I was hurt and felt betrayed that he would make a decision like signing up for insurance without talking to me at all.  The other crazy thing is that it was MORE expensive than the health insurance through my work, so it didn’t even make sense.  He rationalized that he was going to tell me, but then he cancelled it before anything happened so he figured it didn’t matter.  Huh…?

I also started noticing that my husband’s story about his copay kept changing.  First he told me the copay for therapy was $30 (the same as mine), then he said it was $35.  Either way, we decided to change our marriage counseling over to my insurance while he was waiting for his new insurance information.

It took us a few weeks to come to that decision and probably another one or two to get it taken care of because we see our therapist on Saturdays when no one is in the office.  That meant there were still a few sessions under his expired insurance that had to be resubmitted to his new insurance.  That created a bit of a problem for me because they kept trying to charge me for those sessions that should be going through his new insurance company.  We finally got things clarified with that so my account and his were separate, and I just had to pay for the sessions moving forward.

Part of the delay in getting the old charges taken care of (according to my husband) is that he hadn’t gotten his new insurance card yet.  He told me when it was supposed to be mailed, and since it hadn’t come he was trying to get with the HR department to have the card resent and get a temporary one in the meantime.  He said he would take care of it, so I trusted that he would.

Then I found more money discrepancies… charges for about $155 or so from his therapist’s office split over several different payment methods.  First he said that he was paying a past due bill plus his copay.  The numbers he gave me just did not add up.  His copay amounts kept changing.  The past due amount kept changing.  It made absolutely no sense to me.  That is when I relied on Judge Judy’s wisdom and told him if it didn’t make sense it wasn’t true.

He kept lying for a bit, then finally admitted that his therapist was NOT covered through his new insurance.  He said that he thought it was United Healthcare, but it was really US Health (or something like that).  When he found out he had been mistaken he was worried that he told me the wrong thing.  He said that he panicked and lied about it.  We talked about it extensively in therapy.

The unpaid back bills from our joint therapy sessions also remained an issue.  He would tell me that he was going to take care of it.  He kept not taking care of it.  At the beginning of July he lied to me about it, then admitted his lie when I pushed a little bit (I talked about that here).  Week after week passed with excuse after excuse until I just stopped asking.  It was his bill.  It was his credit being ruined.  I decided to just let him worry about that bill on his own.

It didn’t come up again for a few more weeks, at the end of July, when our therapist asked about it.  I mean, seriously, these bills were from March or April (I really can’t remember the month, but it was a while back).  He was going to be out to deal with prostate cancer for about 6 weeks.  He asked that my husband make a point of taking care of the bill during that time because he doesn’t get paid if he doesn’t work, so having that money come in would be helpful.  Mr. Mess promised he would take care of it and ensure the office had his new insurance to submit those old charges to.

Again, the matter fell off of my radar.  Then we had the issue with him not taking his meds in August (that story is here).  He got gout in September.  Finally, there was the STD testing fiasco (the very long story of that is here).  That was the last straw for me.  I asked him for a separation.  He has been out of the house now for 2 weeks.

This past week a bill came for an X-Ray he got in September when they were diagnosing his gout (and ruling out other possible causes).  It clearly stated that there was no insurance company to submit the charges to.  Suddenly it all clicked.  MY HUSBAND NEVER GOT HEALTH INSURANCE!!!

Everything for at least the past 7 months has been a lie.  I can’t even count the number of times he has lied to me about this subject.  The above summary is only the beginning.  I don’t even know when the lying started.  In March when he said he submitted the information?  In January or February when he should have been eligible?  As far back as October when he first got the job and told me he would eligible for insurance in 3 months?

I think back on all of the times he lied, and I feel empty inside.¬† In marriage counseling more than once.¬† In bed when we talked at night.¬† When he was telling me the ‚Äútruth‚ÄĚ about his new health insurance company.¬† All the times he was reassuring me that he cares about me, wants to be¬†100% honest, and is committed¬†to earning my trust.¬† It was all a farce.¬† He even looked a man in the face who was worried about his upcoming cancer operation and lied to him. ¬†Shamelessly. ¬†How low can you go?

I really don’t know.  I’m sure it can and probably would have gotten much worse.  I don’t know if he can ever change.  I do know that I am SO over talking about lies.  I’m tired of being lied to.  I’m tired of wondering what is the truth.  I’m done expending any more emotional energy on this topic.  Either he figures it out and fixes it, or he doesn’t.  I don’t even know how I will ever be able to tell.

What I do know is that I will not accept lies as a regular part of my relationship anymore.¬† I‚Äôm done believing in his ‚Äúhigher potential.‚Ä̬† I am not going to let my optimism cripple me anymore.¬† My eyes are wide open.

Our First Post-Separation Date (With Each Other)

25 Oct


We had our first “date” since the separation, and it was a disaster.¬† I have to start by saying that I looked hot. Seriously. I have battled with poor self-esteem, and even I knew I was smoking.¬† He didn’t say a word.¬† Nothing.

He ordered water and refused to eat.¬† He didn’t start an argument, he wasn’t sulky, and he didn’t act angry, but he also wasn’t engaging or interesting.¬† I think he tried to make small talk. He asked what I had been doing, told me he was doing “nothing” and shared that he has been writing and working his book.¬† He did say he wants me to read some of what he has written because he can’t process and articulate correctly in person.

I think he was unsure what to talk about.  Mostly we just chatted.  He asked about my work, then briefly listened.  He bitched about his work extensively.  He complained about the apartment he is renting Рhow it feels like a jail, how he has to lay on the bed to watch TV, how he wishes he knew earlier that his brother was out of town so he could be staying at his place, etc.  He said more than once how tired he is and how he falls asleep at 8 most nights.  He talked about HBO and two new female co-workers.

Overall I got too much of a “poor me” vibe and not enough “man of action.” Of course no STD or psychological testing was mentioned.¬† He was full of excuses about looking for a new job even though this one is apparently awful and pays shit (basically his assessment).¬† He did say he feels he is accomplishing something with his therapy to uncover his reasons for lying.¬† That was encouraging.¬† I shared some of my little personal growth moments from the last week.

Finally, near the end of our time together, after I returned from the bathroom and caught two guys checking me out, I mentioned something about his lack of notice/caring/whatever of me. I did it in a very I-know-I’m-hot-so-I-don’t-even-care-that-you-don’t kind of way, with an evil smirk on my face. He said he was just thinking how good I look, but he didn’t want me to think he was being disingenuous or trying to weasel his way back in with me. He said he was completely overthinking things.

The whole lackluster event ended at 8:30, only an hour and a half after it started, without us touching each other once. He didn’t try to hold my hand, hug me, or even really get close at all. He never ate. I paid my bill. He didn’t even walk me to my car.¬† If this was a first date I would not be going on a second one.

However, I know that this WASN’T a first date.¬† We have a lot of baggage trying to tag along.¬† I need to cut myself and him a little slack. ¬†Hopefully they will get better.¬† For now, it’s a start. ¬†I know my expectations were too high. It has only been 2 weeks since our separation. Change is gradual and takes time. That’s why we planned to¬†separate¬†for 3 months. ¬†I have to realize things are messy and complicated right now. I need to let go of my fairy-tale, romantic-movie fantasies. I can’t change him¬†or this night, so I have to work on changing me.¬†¬†I will use this as an opportunity to make myself stronger and healthier.

Confused Much?

22 Oct

My husband is confused.¬† That much is obvious to me.¬† Other than that, I’m really not sure.

He came by tonight to bring me the joint checkbook that he took from the house last week.¬† He knocked.¬† I let him in.¬† He asked if he could use the computer to balance the checkbook (even though he had it for days, apparently he didn’t actually do anything with it).¬† I said, sure.¬† He went to the computer room.

When he had arrived I was in the middle of making myself dinner (it was about 6:30 pm).  I went back to what I was doing, then asked if would like some roasted chicken or a glass of wine (both were sitting on the counter already).  He said no, that he was fine.  I carried on with my preparations, then took my dinner to the den and proceeded to watch The Family Feud.

Once the episode was over, and I had finished my dinner and been properly amused by the silly answers the contestants gave, I started putting things away.¬† Mr. Mess was still in the computer room.¬† I decided on a fudgecicle for dessert, and yelled back to ask if he wanted one.¬† Again, he said no.¬† That was fine with me because those are my favorite treats right now.¬† I get the Healthy Choice sugar-free 100 calorie bars, so I don’t even feel bad about having ice cream.

I went back with my treat on a stick to see what was taking so long.  He was still on the bank site.  He finished up as I watched and told me that he had set up the new password in the computer system.  He said it was the same one he had texted me, except he forgot to capitalize the first letter in his text (which makes a big difference).  I said okay.  He said he was going to head home and go to sleep.  He picked up his mail and exited the house.

I have gotten used to his sullen mood and antisocial tendencies over the last week and a half, so I just let his behavior roll right off of me.¬† A few minutes later I got a text that read: “I dont¬†get you one day you dont want to have dinner with me then you invite me to have wine and dinner.¬† You have done a good job confusing me.”¬† I responded with, “That was before we talked & had the meeting with the therapist.¬† You could have spoken to me while you were here which is really all I was trying to do.¬† That & be kind.”¬† I really don’t get it…¬† He basically pretends I don’t exist while he’s here, then starts texting me when he leaves.¬† Huh?

A few seconds later my phone rang.¬† He said that he is “trying to follow the rules we talked about in therapy”¬†by only talking when we are in a neutral location.¬† That really isn’t how I interpreted things, but okay…¬† We discussed in therapy about sitting down in a neutral place to have a conversation once a week, but we did not say that we should not talk at all outside of that once per week “date” (for lack of a better word).¬† In fact, we discussed making sure to speak about any sensitive subjects or those that could be confusing by phone or in person rather than by text.¬† It seems he was violating a “rule” in his quest to follow another.

I said that I am still more than happy to do that, he just hasn’t made an effort.¬† He said that he is planning to set something up later this week, but he didn’t think we should talk at my house.¬† I asked why he decided to come here today then.¬† He said “to drop off the checkbook,”¬†then said that he wants to spend as little time as possible at my house¬†right now because he feels “uncomfortable” here.¬† I questioned why he chose to come here and stay for 45 minutes then.¬† He had some excuses about being tired, not having computer access at his house, not wanting to drive to the library to balance the checkbook, etc., etc.¬† Again, they were excuses, not valid reasons.

He also said that he doesn’t understand why I would offer him something to eat or drink.¬† I asked what he would rather I do – ignore him and be mean?¬† He said no.¬† Again, I just said okay…

I really don’t know what is so confusing about me being polite to him.¬† I didn’t ask him for anything, I¬†just offered some of the chicken that was already prepared.¬† I didn’t even ask him to leave the room he was in.¬† He said that he “doesn’t feel welcome” in my house and that I have made that “obvious”…¬† I guess my friendly offer was somehow nefarious or had ulterior motives in his mind…?¬† He said it was “implied”¬†that I wanted him to sit and have a deep conversation with me, which he didn’t think was appropriate.¬† Again…. huh?¬† When I was noticeably confused by his answers he said that he must not know how to take me, or something like that.¬† At least we were on the same page with that one.

I tried to see what he meant by what he was saying.¬†¬†More than once I asked him “In what way?” or “What do you mean by that?” in response to one of his vague statements.¬† He would usually just repeat the last thing he said, like I had told him that I couldn’t hear him, not that I couldn’t grasp his thought-process.¬† I know that move – it’s his way of shutting me down and stopping any conversation from going deeper than the shallow end of the pool.

In the end he said that he was feeling too emotional to have this conversation.¬† I asked him how we are ever going to reconcile and have a real relationship if he runs away and hides every time he has an emotion.¬† He said that he is not running away.¬† I told him that I really don’t see what else this could be…¬† He waits until he leaves to text me, then calls instead of speaking to me in person, then avoids any real conversation by saying we will talk “later.”¬† The only problem is that “later” will never come – at least not if history is any indication.¬† He has already said once this week that we would talk “later” about the anger that came out of nowhere this weekend.¬† I think it’s probably clear that didn’t happen since he is barely speaking to me right now.

Tonight he has me wondering why he pushes me away anytime I try to be¬†the least bit cordial to him.¬† It seems that he has already decided that I am angry or bitter or want this marriage to be over.¬† Anytime my actions don’t fit with this fabricated reality he doesn’t seem to know what to do.¬† Or maybe it’s just that he is miserable and can’t stand that I’m not.¬† Who knows…

What I do know is that I’m going to continue trying over the next 3 months.¬† Whether he chooses to try as well is up to him.¬† After all, that’s what this separation is all about.¬† Will he step up or won’t he?¬† That is the question at the moment.

The Start of Our Separation Guidelines

19 Oct

Yesterday morning my husband and I had our marriage counseling session.¬† He was late, and for the first time ever (seriously) our marriage therapist was running a bit early.¬† That meant I had about 5 minutes or so to tell our therapist the story of the straw that broke the camel’s back.¬† Okay, it was more like a beam than a straw, but you get the point.

Once Mr. Mess arrived he told the therapist we had been separated since the previous Wednesday…¬† Really?¬† You can’t even remember when¬†this all happened?¬† Apparently the separation seemed to have lasted longer for him than 5 days.¬† He was kinda sullen and frowny-faced.¬† We had a bit of a moment where we disagreed in the re-telling of an incident.

None of that is really the point of this post, though.¬† Those little details don’t matter at all.¬† What does matter is that we both agreed that the separation needs to continue so that we can focus on ourselves.¬† Our marriage counselor concurred.¬† He felt that at this point it was a healthy, positive decision for us as individuals and for our marriage.

Once that was decided, we set upon the task of setting a few guidelines for the separation.¬† We didn’t cover everything there is to cover, but we did get a good foundation laid.¬† He utilized the book Should I Stay Or Go? : How Controlled Separation (CS) Can Save Your Marriage by Lee Raffel.¬† I have already ordered the book so I can read the rest.

The first thing our marriage counselor covered was a time limit.  He said that in a controlled separation it is helpful to have an idea of when we want to sit down, take stock, and consider moving back into the same house again.  He recommended a time limit in the 1-6 month range.  He advised that both extremes of that time limit would probably not be the best choice at this time.  We settled on 3 months.

For the next 3 months that means we will maintain separate residences.  Both of us also agree not to file for divorce or see a lawyer to move forward with divorce proceedings.  At the end of the three month period we will talk about whether we want to move back in together, extend the separation for a period of time, or divorce.  In those three months we will continue going to marriage counseling together once per week or as often as both of our schedules allow.

The next issue was to decide on our continuing relationship and contact outside of marriage counseling.  He gave us both an opportunity to offer suggestions and provide our ideas on things that we want, need, or expect during this time.  Based on my not-so-great experiences of the previous 5 days, I proposed no contact after 9 pm.  He agreed, and our marriage counselor added his suggestion that we only use texting for basic housekeeping and non-emotional topics Рno strong feelings or loaded conversations allowed.  That sounded like a good idea for me.

I also asked that Mr. Mess announcement himself before entering the marital home.¬† In the 4 days before our counseling session there had been a few times when he just used his key to walk right in unannounced.¬† He would send a vague text like “I’ll be coming by at some point tomorrow for some things,” but I didn’t get any real idea of when until he was letting himself in.¬† I asked for that to stop, and to at least get a specific call or text with notice and a knock at the door when he arrives.¬† He agreed, then upped the ante by saying he will give me the key back.¬† Okay…¬† I didn’t ask for that, but I’ll take it if that’s what he wants.

Contact-wise, those were my main requests.¬† Then it was Mr. Mess’s turn.¬† He said he is fine with my requests, then said that he would like to have some face-to-face contact with me at least once per week outside of marriage counseling.¬† He suggested meeting at a neutral place just to talk about how we are doing in our respective recoveries, how things are going in general, and other lighter topics that we should be able to handle without a mediator.

I considered that request, and didn’t see a reason not to comply at this point.¬† I truly do not have animosity towards him.¬† I just can’t have him be a constant presence in my life while he isn’t a trustworthy person.¬† Always a details girl, I asked how these meetings will be coordinated.¬† Our marriage counselor said that he would recommend that my husband take the lead and show initiative in this area.¬† He (very aptly) explained to my husband that I am looking for him to step up and show me that he is invested¬†in this marriage and willing to fight for it.¬† I didn’t even have to be the one to say it…¬† I love our marriage counselor!

Somewhat surprisingly, Mr. Mess said that¬†was absolutely his plan¬†(although really, how could he say anything different?).¬† He said that he will contact me a few days in advance with¬†a suggestion of a time and place we can meet.¬† He even said that he will choose a location close to where I am since he isn’t sure yet where he will be staying.¬† No matter where he ends up, he said he is willing to come to an area that I am comfortable and familiar with.

In the final few minutes we decided on a basic financial arrangement for joint bills like his car payment, car insurance and our cell phones.¬† I include his car payment on this list only because it is in MY name, not because I will actually be putting any money towards it.¬† In fact, that car payment is the bulk of what he is contributing to “joint” bills – 3/4 of the amount we agreed on, in fact.

He suggested removing himself from the cell phone plan and getting his own.¬† That immediately triggered me.¬† First of all, most of these plans require a 2 year contract.¬† If he is going to get off of our joint account and commit himself to 2 years on his own, then my thinking is we may as well proceed with the divorce.¬† Suddently¬†3 months of separation is turning into 2 years?¬† Uhhh….¬† what did I miss?

Secondly, it made me think that he is looking to hide things from me.¬† Why else would he need his own cell phone plan?¬† Joint plans are always cheaper, and he isn’t making a ton of money.¬† In fact, in our financial discussion of just a few minutes prior he made a point of how little he will have left over once he puts in for the 3 joint bills he would currently have to contribute towards.¬† So WHY exactly would you be looking to increase one of those expenses?¬† His current payment for his cell phone is $50 – with unlimited texting, a decent amount of minutes, and free nights and weekends.¬† It is actually on the lower end of plans that Verizon offers, and I can’t imagine even on a bare bones pre-paid phone he would pay much less than that…

It just got my spidey senses tingling and made me feel uncomfortable.¬† The marriage counselor advised against separating things too far or making any changes that aren’t necessary, especially long-term ones.¬† Mr. Mess said that was “fine” with him, but never offered his reasoning for not wanting his phone connected to me.¬† I still find it very strange and disconcerting.¬† When I pair that with the fact that he changed the password to our joint account without telling me and took the checkbook and register out of the house (again without telling me), I am feeling more uneasy today than I was yesterday.

Still, I’m trying to give this separation a chance.¬† I committed to 3 months of the above plan.¬† We would have to be¬†separated for 6 months in order to be granted a divorce anyway, so there is no use in me getting caught up in a “what if” or “what is he doing” panic.¬† Instead, I choose to focus on the positive, and on how I can keep my serenity during this time.

One really fantastic thing has been the support of my S-Anon group.¬† ¬†Tonight I went out with a few women who I have gotten to know.¬† We had dinner at a Mexican place, a few of the women had a margarita (me included – raspberry – yummm), and then we went to see Taken 2.¬† I love, love, love the first movie!¬† The second movie wasn’t quite as good (in my opinion), but it was just perfect for tonight.

I found myself laughing, cheering, shouting at the screen, and getting caught up in the action (yes – I am one of those¬†people).¬† I wasn’t alone.¬† The whole theater seemed to be¬†sucked into the storyline. ¬†I really couldn’t believe how fast the movie seemed to end.¬† A glance at my watch confirmed that it had run the proper amount of time – it just flew.

I’m still on a little bit¬†of a high from the pumped up action.¬† Plus, who wouldn’t want a man like Liam Neeson who is handsome, rugged, bad-ass, and who will go to any lengths for his family?¬† Especially when so far¬†the man in my life has put forth a¬†very lackluster, pitiful effort on the simplest things – like getting STD tested or telling the truth.¬† Maybe he should watch the movie for a little inspiration.

Be Honest With Me

18 Oct

What Are We Doing Now Regarding Separation?

18 Oct

Like these two trees, we are separate to the naked eye, but below ground our roots are still very tangled.

I thought I had already published this, but obviously I hadn’t. I will have a more updated version of this later now that we have been to marriage counseling this morning.

A continuation of my answers to questions from a reader that I posted here.

So what are you doing now then‚Äďregarding separation? Are you waiting for counseling on Thursday to decide? Are you not in the same house now?

I’m going to answer all of these at once.¬† Right now, regarding separation, we are not staying in the same house.¬† I’m not sure where he is staying, and I have decided not to ask or go searching for the answer.¬† I really am waiting for counseling on Thursday to make any long-lasting, more “permanent” (to use his word) decisions.

Saturday he came by and picked up a few things.  I was feeling very sick, but got a deep urge to clean and organize.  I wanted things germ-free and more serene.  So I did about 4 loads of laundry.  I cleaned the dishes, the kitchen table, the counter-tops.  As I was doing laundry I started separating out his things because I noticed some of his work clothes.

That led to me separating all of our clothes in the massive pile of laundry I had accumulated in the den.  In order to get his stuff out of my way and make it easier for him to pick up what he needed, I put those items of clothing in the spare back bedroom.  I cleaned some of my new clothes off of the couch and chaise in the living room where they had been sitting for a few days (yes, our house looked like a clothes bomb had dropped on it before all of this organizing).  I started putting those things away.

While I was in the bedroom I got tired of his clothes that were overflowing out of his laundry basket into the floor, blocking the closet doors from opening all the way.  In my cleaning frenzy and frustration, I picked up his dirty laundry hamper and all those annoying, closet-blocking clothes and moved them to the back bedroom, too.

From there, I decided to just continue and clear out the dresser and closet of the remaining clothes that were cluttering everything up.  I figured I was killing three birds with one stone (I really am multi-talented, see?) Рput everything in one place for him (how convenient), make my cleaning/ organizing job easier, and reclaim my space.  When he texted to say he needed to pick up his badge for work on Sunday, I moved that into the back bedroom with all of the other stuff, too.

By the time he came by I had also added two pictures of his parents to the pile.  I had just unpacked a Yankee Candles purchase (from weeks before Рmy shopping was really getting out of control), and
le looking for a place to put the new candles I decided he would probably want those pictures as well.¬† After all, what am I going to do with them?¬† I never met his parents because they passed away before I met my husband.¬† I also figured it might make him feel more “at home” or at least comfortable wherever he was if he had something familiar like a picture of family around.

I wasn’t angry or bitter in taking any of those actions, just in sick, cleaning/organization mode.¬† I was probably also trying bolster my sanity by removing his things from the bedroom I knew I was going to be sleeping in all alone that night.¬† Lighting a few candles, having things clean and organized, not tripping over his clothes or slippers – they all made me feel more calm and at peace.

I’m sure he probably didn’t perceive things that way.¬† I definitely didn’t volunteer the information.¬† Not my best communication ever, in retrospect.

Find a Way or Find an Excuse?

17 Oct

If something is important, you’ll find a way.¬† If it isn’t, you’ll find an excuse.

What’s Next? What SHOULD We Be Doing?

17 Oct

The final post in the series answering questions from a reader about our separation.

And what do you think you should be doing?

This is probably the hardest question of all.¬† I think I should be really thinking things out.¬† I have been doing that, for the most part, once my body started recovering (thanks to the amoxicillin).¬† I have been doing a LOT¬†of journaling. ¬†I’m trying to take this time to decide what it is that I want from this marriage, what it is that I need to be¬†happy, and how I think that can be accomplished.¬† I definitely don’t have all of the answers.¬† I have started coming up with the questions, though.¬† That’s a step in the correct direction, right?

For example, some of the things I have written under the title Questions to Consider in my journal are:

  • Am I running and hiding from my own problem by asking him to move out?¬† Or am I protecting myself?
    • Can an in-house separation work or is that setting us both up for failure?
    • Is separation a way for us both to deal with our respective issues?¬†
    • How long?
    • End goal?
    • How much contact?
    • What terms?
    • Money?¬† Bills?
    • Viability of that plan?
    • Avoiding complacency – Does this force us to push ourselves out of our boxes and discover ourselves separate from one another?
    • Does that have to happen before we can work on our marriage?
  • I can’t control the outcome!!
  • Can he be honest with me?
    • What matters in order to move forward is honesty.¬† In fact, it’s the single most important factor in whether this marriage can continue
    • He has a choice to make – continue to be selfish and choose himself by lying to me or choose our marriage and STOP lying
    • That really determines our future
    • Choose lying & choose to stay gone and turn this separation into divorce
    • Or work on himself, really dig into the lying, solve that issue, and maybe move home.
  • I need him to FIGHT for me (bottom line)

That’s as far as I’ve gotten in my stream-of-consciousness writing.¬† My goal would be to work towards REAL recovery and reconciliation where we are each taking responsibility for our own healing.¬† I feel like that has to happen before I can say whether this marriage will ever be able to work long-term.¬† I want it to.¬† I really, really want it to.¬† But I’m starting to realize that may not be a possibility unless some drastic changes happen in both of us.

I know that I have made a lot of posts¬†recently¬†(if you were only in my brain you would really know how this is).¬† For that reason, I will share the things I have gained in the last few days about my own self-awareness in another post.¬† Probably tomorrow.¬† Unless something more pressing comes up before I get around to it or I get the urge to share earlier (very specific, aren’t I?)

Collective Wisdom

16 Oct

I am constantly reminded of the benefit of the collective wisdom that can be gained by sharing my thoughts and getting feedback and perspective from other people.  Today was no exception.  I decided to post some of my previously private ramblings (here) which included more details about the incident and conversation leading up to my present situation.  I received this very insightful and thought-provoking comment from a reader:


I am so sorry. Your situation has had me concerned as it has progressed. You seem like a strong woman‚Äďnot the victim type at all!

I believe in marriage, but that doesn‚Äôt mean I feel there aren’t exceptions to my no-divorce rule. Addictions is one of those exceptions‚Äďhe is refusing recovery. Serial affairs are another exception‚Äďand since his addiction is sex‚Äďthat‚Äôs two exceptions right there.

And you have been doing the work to earn your way either into reconciliation or out of your marriage.
I also did not think you were behaving codependently in that situation. You had a Knowing‚Äďan inuitive hit or whatever you want to call it. I discovered that if I ignore those, they bring anxiety‚Äďeven if I am not mentally feeling anxious my body reacts with the physiological symptoms of panic and anxiety.

When you said you asked for a separation, what did that mean? Here‚Äôs what I mean by my question: I am a sticker for precise language. When Sweetheart asked me for a divorce, I told him ‚Äėno.‚Äô Hey, he was asking! Were you asking for permission or agreement‚Äďdid it need to be a joint decision that he could void by disagreeing?

What did asking for‚Äďor saying you wanted‚Äďa separation mean for that day? Did it mean he could come home, stay the night and you would talk about it? Basically, how firm was the boundary? Did you or do you have a formal Plan of Action for boundary breaches?

Ex: For me it was if Sweetheart was continuing his relationship with the alienator he could not live at home and he could not be in a marital relationship with me until she was out of the picture. So when I discovered he was still seeing her (this was back in 2007), I kicked him out. I was not perfect in the boundary, he came home the first night and I packed his bags while he was at work the next day. When he got home, he entered through the back door and I walked him through the house and out the front. No explanation was necessary because Boundaries are communicated ahead of time; he knew why.

So what are you doing now then‚Äďregarding separation? Are you waiting for counseling on Thursday to decide? Are you not in the same house now? And what do you think you should be doing?

See….¬† THIS is why I posted my thoughts and asked for feedback.¬† She asked some really great questions and made fantastic points.¬† I had to actually step back and consider a bit before I knew how to answer.¬† I started answering her comment in that post, but then realized that I had so much to say that I needed to create a new post to share my answers with everyone.

In fact, my answer got so long that I’m going to be¬†making several posts for¬†the questions/comments that I want to address so that you can pick and choose which ones you want to know the answer to without having to sift through thousands of words (aren’t I considerate?)¬† ūüôā

We Obviously Need to Wait for Thursday

16 Oct

I learned another hard lesson today:¬† I should not text late at night or when I’m feeling lonely and tired.¬† This lesson was one that I should already have learned the night before (see the account of my last late-night texting adventure here).¬† However, I am nothing if not hard-headed…

Yesterday my husband asked if we could meet after work today (Tuesday) to talk about this separation and our plans moving forward.  At first I agreed, but then I really thought about it.  I have a lot of things to consider.  I have a lot of questions going on in my head.

When my husband came by yesterday to pick up some clothes his frowney face and surly attitude also told me that he wasn’t exactly feeling remorseful about his lying.¬† At least it didn’t seem that way.¬† He also made a comment that led me to believe he was going to push this whole thing off on me.

Keeping that in mind, I asked if he could wait until Thursday to talk since we already have a marriage counseling appointment set up at 9 am, and I want to make sure we are being productive.¬† He said something like “Whatever is more convenient for you.”

I should have left it at that.

I fully intended to.

Photo Credit: Alex Ragone/

Then around 9 pm my husband texted me and said, “I just remembered there are two whole chickens in the bottom drawer in the fridge you should freeze them so they don’t go bad.”

First of all, I know that text is perfectly fine.¬† It’s very nice of him to let me know that so the chickens don’t go bad.¬† I never look in that bottom drawer and would not have known they were there.

Secondly, I realize that 9 pm does not sound very late to most adults on the planet.  However, I was hopped up on medicine for my strep and ear infection and had been laying in bed for at least 30 minutes, so it was already too late for my brain to function properly.

Like a moron, I texted: “If you want to come over tomorrow night for dinner I might roast one of them.”¬† Insert foot in mouth.

I want to defend myself by saying that I didn’t think before I texted.¬† Bad idea.¬† I had been thinking about roasting a chicken all day, but didn’t realize there were any in the house.¬† We love roasting chickens with the rotisserie in the convection toaster-oven that I bought him for his birthday in August.¬† We have this amazing smoked sea salt that makes them absolutely delicious.¬† I knew I couldn’t eat a whole chicken by myself.¬† I thought maybe dinner would be nice.¬† Blah, blah, blah…

To his credit, he responded with, “I will let you know tomorrow.”

This morning, after getting sufficient sleep to improve my brain function and let all cold medicines wear off in the night, I awoke with a pit in my stomach.¬† I quickly texted him, “That probably wasn’t a good idea.”¬† I didn’t hear from him again until lunch-time today, when the following text disaster occurred:

Him: “I guess you are talking about having dinner together not being a good idea i never said that.”

Me: “Yeah, but it was kinda implied.¬† And it might be a bad idea.”

Him: “If you say so.”¬† (passive-aggressive much?)

Me: “I don’t.¬† I just don’t know.”

Him: “That last statement does not make since to me.¬† You know how you feel and by what you have been saying i dont think having dinner with me is what you want”

Me: “I do not really know what I feel right now.¬† Thats the thing.¬† I don’t know if it would help or hurt things so I guess the safest bet is to talk in MC.” (MC stands for marriage counseling)

Him: “All i know is “i dont know” has never been an acceptable answer from me yet im accepting it from you.¬† I hope you figure it out then we will both know” (Ok, Buddy, now you’ve crossed a line!)

Me: “Its not fair to put everything on me.¬† You put us in this situation with your lies then expect me to make all the decisions about where that leaves us.”

Him: “Im not asking where it leave us im asking where it leaves you.”

Me: “Thats the same thing.”

Him: “We should just keep this conversation for thursday.”

Me:¬† “That’s exactly what I was saying.”

So, we now officially have a gag order in place until Thursday, at least in my mind.¬† I think no contact for a day and a half really won’t be a bad thing.

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