Wednesday, April 28, 2010

When you leap...sometimes you land.

I should be studying. Really, I should.

I'm amazed at where I started a mere 7 months ago, and where I stand today. Seven months ago, my life was devestated, my world was rocked off its foundation, and the man I loved more tha life itself was a louse I had no idea the nature of this man.

I knew two things that day. I knew I had to find a way to stand on my own two feet again. I knew I had to take care of these eight children, no matter what, and make sure their world stayed stable and safe.

Today was the last day of classes for this semester. It was 12 long years between when I was last in a classroom and when I stepped back into one. Yet, I'm there. I've enjoyed. I've learned. Most importantly, I've moved forward.

I still have 4 finals to accomplish. So long as I can perform moderately well and merely hold onto my grades which I am walking in with, I'll complete my first semester back with 3-As and 1-B. I have learned I cannot learn well in an online format, which is really quite a same in this day and age and the opportunities that disasterous experiemnt closes for me.

I've learned the English Department Chair was as arrogant and difficult as I thought, as I passed my English not only with an A but scored one of the elusive High Pass (4 out of 4) scores for the essay the department requires every student pass to recieve credit for their first semester of English Composition.

I've learned that I still love the Social Sciences, but I think I honestly love the life Sciences more than I remembered. I've learned I'm capable of solid A's in both tracks still. I've learned II has to work a great deal harder than I do to score those same A's...or maybe he has to figure it out more because he doesn't really know how to make A's. I've definitely learned we are both capable of being competitive with each other, and he doesn't like when I outperform him.

I've watched my children thrive. Three are in public school now. M is in special education and there is little to be done to help him. I will be surprised if M is capable of reading before he leaves this earth. But, A and E will both make honor roll this final grading period. E will do exactly what I knew she could do and walk away with straight As. A will walk away with mostly As, and I honestly didn't realize he was as smart as he is. I knew he was smart, but he's soared so much more than I thought he would.

I've learned there is life beyond betrayal. II will never be perfect. I will never be perfect. He slips a great deal on his road to recovery from addiction, and he pulls himself back up. He struggles to seek out and be open to intimate connection with me, but the longing to be there never leaves either of us. And, I can accept he is not perfect, nor will he be. I cannot prevent him from cheating again. But, today, he is NOT. In fact, today he is at his SA meeting, despite needing to study for his exams He felt this was a priority for all of us.

I've learned that no one can care for, love and educate my little broken son in the way I can. And, no matter how he entered my home, I can forgive him for being broken and being thrust into my life under such horrible pretences that he had no control over. I can look at him and see him in his brokeness and his deep need for someone to be his mother. I can realize he does not need a mother because he has me. We are joined for better or for worse. And, in the coming school year, my next battle will be to advocate for what the school is failing to give this child. This school year is nearly over, and there is hardly a reason to begin this fight. I require more stamina to fight on his behalf, and more time for the fight to be effective. But, I know this will be in my future next year. I see it and I am biding my time and documenting the journey until we get there now. I didn't want him. I resented him. I didn't understand him. I often wondered if I could return him. But, none of that matters. His issues are more than the others, but they are merely his issues. He is my son and there is this deep drive within my soul to protect him, even knowing that his brokenness will never heal and his heart will never open to me.

Most of all, I'm realizing that I am doing what most dream of doing and never fully find their courage. I am living my dreams again. I am being the mother I was meant to be to the children the Lord blessed me with. I am finding a path to healing with a husband who probably doesn't deserve it, but needs it anyway. Yet, I'm also recognizing the value and importance of me, the dreams I held in my own darkest places that I never dared to consider because they were my world. It didn't have to be that way. It wasn't them versus me. There was room for everyone to live their dreams, except I didn't believe it. Now we're doing exactly that, and we're all so very much better for this leap.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Second verse, same as the first

So, I left II home for Spring Break.

I really had no choice. He just landed a contract job doing IT work, and it was the hotel's biggest event of the year. Not only did we need the income, but if he wasn't available to keep them up and running for the week, he would have lost the contract and all the future income it could provide.

I knew this was a disaster waiting to happen. He hasn't truly been in recovery for 4 months now. I'm on the brink of divorcing him. And, we had no time to prepare safeguards whatsoever.

Mostly, I just hoped that he would be so busy at the hotel he wouldn't have time to mess up. Beyond that, I prayed his supposed committment to honesty and transparency with me would cover whatever other failings he experienced for the week.

Yeah right. Checked in with him several times a day. Asked point blank for accountings of his temptations and his actions. He was mildly tempted to look at porn, supposedly. Otherwise nothing went on. I strongly, strongly felt this wasn't full disclosure. But, I was 3 states away. What was I supposed to do?

I reconciled things last night. And then I woke him up at 12:30 to give him the opportunity to be honest with me. Took him 2 hours to finally, fully avail himself of Truth.

I knew going into it that he had not hired a hooker again. The bank accounts all show that didn't happen. The cell phone and emai records didn't incidate he was successful at hooking up for free sex. But well...he's used annonymous email accounts in the past so that means very little.

Most significantly, it was obvious he concealed his internet usage, to the point I could not figure out what he did, where he went and how bad it got. The supposedly true confession is no sex this time. Do I believe him? Honestly, with my heart yes I do believe him.

I've worked through most of the partner's workshop with Recovery Nation. One of the things early on it taught me, aside from strong boundaries, is to trust my instincts again. There's a change in how he behaves, how he speaks, how he carries himself and how he reacts to me when he's being fully honest and fully transparent. At 2:30 last night, he hit that change.

The story is that he looked for a porn shop, without success. He looked for hookers on Craig's list, also without success. He looked for a strip club, with no success. And, failing all of those, he settled on porn, a lot, lot, lot of porn. And, the obvious behavior that comes with that much porn. Supposedly, he scared himself back into recovery. He even tried calling his Psych who informed him that the new med he has been taking never hit therapeautic levels in the first place. The sobriety always came from within him. Psych suggested if the placebo effect ceased, then its time to re-enter 12 step recovery.

When I left, I offered him one final chance. I wanted an action plan for how he was going to fix his failings. If he couldn't follow his own plan, then I would file for divorce at the end of the semester.

Then, I spent a week single parenting and realized I cannot single parent these kids. I watched my dad single parenting 4 kids where only 2 have special needs and realized I simply don't have enough hands to do this alone. So, I came home realizing we simply have to go back to Plan B.

I spent all night and day contemplating what was I going to do now. How was I going to respond to these conflicting revalations. Tonight, I talked to II about boundaries. Basically, I had sex with him *before* I caught him, which means I'm already exposed if he cheated. But, I told him that since his truth cannot be verified that he's re-set his timeline for testing anyway. My heart doesn't believe he cheated. But, I won't gamble my health on my heart--which would have never believed he would cheat in the first place.

I want an appointment at the Health Dept for STD testing by end of this week (appointment made, can't control when they can get him in). Otherwise, he's cut off indefinitely--no discussion on this one.

In the future, if I don't trust his truth, he'll re-set his timelines again if his truth cannot be verfied.

He argued, but agreed. He got passive-aggressive and I told him either honor my boundaries with respect and a contrite spirit...or there was the door and he can walk out it. He groused and stopped.

Told him the boundaries are adjusted now. I know I said one thing 6 months ago, but I knew as much about sex addiction as he did back then. I've spent 4 months with a man NOT in recovery, but not actively offending and battling with whether its okay to divorce him or Plan B him when he's not actively offending, but he's not in recovery either.

From here on out, I will only be engaged in intimate relationship (in al its forms) with someone in recovery. If he's not in recovery, I really don't care if he's actively offending or not, he's Plan B.

This is the only way I know to protect my heart and still meet the needs of these kiddos.

I really don't think I can divorce him. I don't think anyone could single parent these children. Unless he's walking out on parenting them, I have to stay with him under one roof and actively co-parenting regardless of the condition of *us*. He swears the only way he would walk out on the kids if he's dead. Only time will tell that one though. If he walks out, then I'll have either child support/alimony or life insurance/SSI funds. Either will help me with raising them. And, if I have to do it alone, then I'll have no choice. But, as long as I have a choice, I have to choose them.

I know this isn't the best option for *me*. But, I made a deliberate choice to take on special needs children. This is the reality of the life we both volunteered to live. We have to see this through before either of us can have our freedom, even if the intimacy were to die.

So, in addition to the STD testing, the rest is where I left it before spring break. I need a written and signed action plan by end of this week (he's given me a verbal one, but I specifically want it in writing from him, for accountability). If he is not meeting that action plan, then at the end of this semester, he has to buy a mattress and boxspring and convert the playroom into his bedroom.

I told him I'm pissed as hell that he LIED to me. But, other than the lying, nothing has really changed. Told him I would give him ONE pass on the lying. He's destroyed 6 months of restoring trust. but, I don't see the point of any other boundaries, because I aready established them. Told him if he lies to me again, heads will roll. Not sure what the boundary will be, only that he will NOT like it.

Just wish I weren't here all.over.again. Supposedly, he's restarted Recovery Nation and will be attending SA this week. It seems there is a weeknight meeting I knew nothing about and he wasn't terribly honest with me about it existing in the first place. Time will tell. Pardon me if I don't get my hopes up all over again. Disappointment seems to be easier to face when I don't anymore.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Submissive wife

I was a bad submissive wife. Even in the best of times, though I truly tried to be a "good" wife, I couldn't follow the paradigm well.

I found this list on a blog today, and sitting here six months escaped from this nightmare, I start to realize why I'm struggling so badly at becoming a human again.

This is not a checklist, or list of standards; it is just a cheat sheet of ideas.

1. Refuse to miss a day of Bible Reading

Do not read in front of your husband – keep it private to avoid conflicts that some marriage have about "trying to be more spiritual"
2. Pray before reading your Bible, “Open my eyes, Lord.”
3. Teach the Word to your children through the course of regular interactions
4. Make a commitment to prayer.
5. Make a habit of prayer.
6. Acknowledge any sin God reveals to you and confess it to the Lord.
7. Pray for your husband.

Pray for God to bless him as the leader of your family.
Pray for God to bless him as a man of God.
Pray for God to grow him spiritually.
8. Pray for your children.

Pray for them to grow strong in the Lord.
Pray for them to be trained up in the way they should go.
Pray that you would be able to train them the way God wants you to.
Pray for God to bless them.
9. Seek to know your God-given role as a wife and mother.

Find books, sermons on CD or DVD, articles, and blogs while you study and meditate on God’s Word and the teachings that apply to the most important things in your life: being a wife and mother!
10. Keep a song of praise in your heart at all times.
11. Keep a prayer in your mind at all times.

“Lord, be with me at work at this moment and let me be a testimony.”
“Lord, give me the energy to joyfully do my job for just five more minutes.”
“Lord, thank you for the home you have provided me.”
“Lord, thank you for this hot running water.”
“Lord, thank you for a husband and children. Help me to be the wife and mother You want me to be.”
“Lord, bless my child and help her to grow to be a strong Christian.”
“Lord, bless my husband wherever he is at this moment.”
“Lord, I am so angry right now, I’m just going to tell you about it.”
“Lord, I am so hurt right now, I’m just going to tell you about it.”
12. Study and know your husband.
13. Be a servant to your husband.

Let me get that! (water, keys, coat, shoes, seconds at dinner, ketchup, dessert, the remote, a snack, a tool, etc.)
Keep his clothes clean and put away so that they are easy to find.
Keep his “area” neat (favorite chair, desk, his side of the bed, his toiletries)

14. Follow his leadership at the slightest opportunity (where to eat out, how to handle a home situation, whether or not to go somewhere, whether or not to buy something, what to watch on TV, how to fix something, etc.)
15. Readily accept his advice for any situation and acknowledge that it is good advice, and thank him for it.
16. Don’t be contentious or resistant to him in your spirit.
17. Don’t embarrass your husband (your speech, appearance, behavior, neglect of your family or home)
18. Prepare for his arrival each day (make sure his first perception of the house is that it is clean—even if it’s only the entry way and the area where he sits to relax, have a smile on your face, freshen your hair, clothes, or make-up, have the children clean and occupied, and have a smile on your face.)
19. Never belittle him or make cutting remarks of any kind, even in jest.
20. Speak a sincere word of praise or appreciation whenever possible:

“I don’t understand how you can fix that. I’m completely clueless.”
“Thank you for fixing that. I’m so fortunate to have a husband who can do that.”
“Absolutely you made the right decision.”
“You are absolutely right.”
“You couldn’t have handled that (work situation, etc.) better.
“That was very smart.”
“That was totally the right thing to do.”
21. Meet his gaze showing your love and acceptance of him—do not avert your eyes to show your hurt or disapproval and to punish him.
22. Respond readily to his physical affection.

Do not be stiff when receiving a hug or a kiss.
Do not resist physical advances: Pray instead. God will provide the grace.
23. Offer a warm hug, a warm smile, and an unexpected kiss of approval and appreciation.
24. Do not be financially independent. Let him control the finances.

Even if you have always controlled and balanced the checkbook, start checking with him on budget amounts and spending decisions. Immediately concede to his input of any kind.
Look for every opportunity to praise his wise financial decisions.
Do not spend money foolishly—make sure he never has to worry about how his wife will spend money.
Check with him on any purchase that is not a necessity.
Do not argue or resist his financial decisions, even if you know they are bad ones. Pray instead. (Your silence and support is actually more powerful of an influence—try it and you will see!)
Remember that whatever decision your husband makes, it is God’s will for you. Your resistance and interference will actually cause more problems.

25. Do not take matters into your own hands. Defer to your husband’s decisions whenever possible.
26. Do not be your husband’s conscience.
27. Do not nag. Ever. It is never a life or death matter.
28. Show loyalty to him at all times.

Never seek counsel outside of him without his approval.
29. Encourage and wholeheartedly support any idea or goal he shares with you.
30. Listen with your eyes, your ears, and be aware of your body language. It doesn’t matter how busy you are. Stop and listen and show him he is important to you and that you support him.
31. Share his excitement over anything.
32. Laugh at his jokes
33. Look at him with admiration when he is around his peers to inspire their respect. (It is your job from the Lord to reverence him and to make him look good at all times.)
34. Always seek to make him look successful.
35. Spend the time and effort needed on your appearance because it shows you reverence your husband.
36. Dress to please your husband.
37. Dress modestly so he does not worry that you may be trying to attract other men.
38. Remember what your husband likes:

Cook his favorite meals.
Keep his favorite snacks handy.
Keep his favorite beverages handy.
Wear clothing you know he likes on you.
Wear your hair the way you know he likes.
Wear a perfume you know he likes.
Keep the children quiet, entertained, happy, engaged--whatever he likes!
39. Care for your clothes and his clothes. Eliminate unused clothes.
40. Create order in his environment (one step at a time is fine)

Organize the bathroom cabinets
Organize his socks and underwear and keep it that way.
Make a permanent and tidy place for his pocket stuff (wallet, keys, change, receipts, screws, batteries, business cards).
Keep track of his “stuff” however you can

41. Keep the home free of clutter
42. Train your children to be neat, clean and organized
43. Keep a meek and quiet spirit
44. Do not speak in anger
45. Stop a backbiting tongue by silence (Proverbs 26:20)
46. Ask your husband your spiritual questions.
47. Expect nothing from him (put all your expectation for fulfillment on the Lord, especially in moments where you feel empty or alone)
48. Do not have the “marriage is teamwork and you’re not pulling your share” attitude. YOU commit 100% to your husband, regardless of how you think he is performing (you will only answer to God in the end for the kind of wife you were to your husband).
49. Learn to prioritize (quick prayers often clear up moments or days of confusion).
50. Organize one drawer, shelf, or area a day until your home has a place for everything and everything in its place—then keep it there.
51. Train the children so that they make him proud.
52. Train the children to love him and respect him.
53. Never say a bad word about your husband to your children. Don’t even suggest in any way to them that he is not the “dad” he should be.
54. Do not try to solve any of his problems without his consent.
55. Overlook his faults.
56. Overlook his little mistakes.
57. Overlook his big mistakes.
58. Forgive any offense that hurts you as quickly as you can (urgent prayer will take care of this—pray until you feel your anger subside and your pleasure in your husband return. At first this may take a few days. After a while, you will cut it to a few hours. With continued practice, you will be able to forgive, with prayer and God’s help, within a few minutes to a few seconds)
59. Remember DAILY back to the beginning of your relationship and all the things that attracted you to him. Recall the smiles you had for him them and smile them all again.
60. Stop for one minute and thank the Lord for your husband.
61. Pray for God to bless your husband as the leader of your home and as the provider for your family.
62. Smile.
63. Laugh.
64. Have joy.
65. Be lighthearted and create a lighthearted mood in your home.
66. Make him proud of his home, his wife, and his children.
67. Make sure that he would be proud to invite his boss to dinner.
68. Ask him for advice whenever you can, and always take it seriously—and tell him what good advice it is.
69. When he tells you about his work, tell him how good he is at his job, in his position, and praise his strengths at work (his leadership, his diligence, his honesty, his integrity).
70. Try to make all your words positive.
71. Never talk bad about his friends or coworkers. Do not affirm when he talks bad about someone. You can nod sympathetically, but do not verbally agree.
72. Do not be negative.
73. Keep your speech clean and pretty—becoming to a lovely wife with a sweet spirit.
74. Do not correct him. Especially in front of others. Let it go unless your life is on the line (it really doesn't happen often!)
75. Do not criticize him about anything. Not even about a shirt, how his hair looks, how he spends his time, what he spent his money on, or…anything.
76. Pray for God’s strength and grace whenever—WHENEVER—you feel tired, angry, or that you just can’t do it. Even if it means praying 2,000 times a day. All you have to say is one word, “HELP!” He will.
77. Pray for God to reveal to you the opportunity to do something on this list whenever possible.

I know its long, but its so genuinely what that world believes...and so much of what I was fed by my friends and my community. I was a member of momys dot com. I was married in a Conservative Mennonite church. My brainwashing was begun before my wedding, by my mother but also by my church. Conservative, not to be confused with the Plain People--the Amish Mennonites nor other groups that completely sequester from the world. But, conservative and steeped in Patriarchy and Quiverful mentality. Everyone homeschooled. Everyone had large families--or were working towards those. All the wives were homemakers. From there, I entered the community fully and even when geography caused us to stop attending that Mennonite Church, the theology was well engrained in my heart and life.

I was banned from the quiverful message board, ironically mostly because I was still very vocally against aspects of Patriarchy and Quiverful. In too deep to save myself, but not far enough for them to tolerate and consider me legitimate, not when I kept preaching mercy and grace. Seriously, the two biggest problems anyone had with me were my fierce stance on gentle parenting, and my just as fierce stance that quiverful should always, always contain a mercy clause. In the end, I was banned for trumped up charges, accusations I never, ever did. And, the board violated their own written policies in banning me. II actually insisted I go to the board owner--a man, of course, and appeal the action.

We found churches with other Patriarchial minded families, homeschoolers who were often quiverful as well. I remember many, many discussions about how we wanted to keep the world away from our children. Courtship, sheltering, all good actions that loving parents do to keep that big bad wolf of the world away from their precious innocent children. Until they too turned on us. I was never actually sure why the church did it. We lost our last support system and our children lost their best friends, and no one ever gave us an explanation of why. It seemed to center over our decision to adopt M. He was broken, far more than they could handle facing. I think they truly thought they could force our hand and get us to return him, like a piece of garbage. What was clear was that they removed us from their fellowship when baby J was born.

Today, I'm glad I walked away. Then, I was devestated to lose all my connections with people who understood me and didn't demonize me for being 'different'. Oh, how the brainwashing went.

I had other friends. I had to learn to find them over the years, because I was never going to tow the party line and therefore never going to be fully accepted. And, it was probably those friends who started my healing and my exit of that world. Those friends still speak to me. They still sit in my living room, or invite me into their living rooms. They don't run away from my broken son, and they don't hide from my broken husband. Were not for that contingent of gentle, loving, Christian friends, I would have given up on Christianity now. They serve as a embodiment of Christ to my bleeding soul and remind me that living in faith is NOT the world I entered but something far different.

Yet, I read that list, and all I can do is puzzle. First, I feel guilty all over again to read it and know there is NO WAY I will attempt to follow it again. Second, my boundary of considering divorce to II would have gotten me banished if I weren't already. Because he is contrite and no longer sinning, in that world, my role and choice in that world would be to stand beside him. If he continued to cheat, then it would be acceptable for me to walk away with the children and rebuild with a 'better' head of the household. But, II is not continuing to cheat. He is doing everything 'right'. He would be set up with a mentor/accountability partner. He would be given "Every Man's Battle" and some other titles from great leaders in the movement. He would be assured that all men struggle and he'll be okay. And, I would be told to forgive and submit.

I cannot even fathom staying in that world now. It is no longer enough for him to go and sin no more. I want him to love me and to cherish me. And, for the first time in my life, I realize that I will not settle for less than my heart anymore. I'm not going to be the good wife anymore. I'm going to break every one of those "suggestions" (suggestions my ass, welcome to the Patriarchal legalism of marriage--you can be sure no such list exists for how a man is to love and honor his WIFE in that world). I am as fully human and worthy as II is. And, I deserve every bit as much respect, worth and value as he does. Never again will I let anyone tell me I deserve anything less because I lack a garden hose in my pocket!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

He wants another chance. I fee like I'm dealing with M, who meets every consequence with, "Just let me have one more second chance!" when he's usually on his fourth or fifth chance in the first place.

Yet, I've talked to four friends this week, healthy marriage, in crisis marriage, in process of divorce and divorced. Only the friend in the healthy marriage votes to not give him one last chance. Last night, the friend in a crisis marriage herself said, "I want to know that I walked out that pier, I jumped in the water and I swam 20 yards from shore. When I was drowning and finally had to save myself is the point that I went back. But, I want to know I gave him that one last chance anyway."

My divorced friend said he wants to believe that if his ex-wife had been willing to stay together for their son he would have stayed through anything. He says he cannot say that because he didn't see how horrible it was until it was over. But, he can tell me that its horrible to have to raise his son like this. For his son, he would give anything to have that child in an intact home instead of sharing custody.

I do not believe he will use one last chance wisely. I believe he will squander it like he has squandered the last three I have given him. But, I want to be able to tell my children that I gave their father EVERY chance my heart could stand to give him before I disrupted their entire worlds and walked away.

I need him to spend Spring Break examining his own heart and life and figuring out what he needs to fix. I need him write an action plan. Quit asking me to tell him what to change and figure it out for himself. Not merely what needs to change, but how he intends to change it. Then, I need him to FOLLOW through on the plan he creates, to effect fundamental and lasting change.

I will do nothing until the end of this semester. If he has not done this self-examination and begun to make changes by the end of the semester, then I will file. I'll allow him to stay in the playroom long enough to find a full-time job and a place to live, provided he sets a goal to be settled elsewhere before the kids start school in the fall. I made him sit down and discuss the details of divorce, child support and alimony, custody, medical decisions, division of debt, what does he want to take from this house with him. We went through it all. I will write it all down and we will both sign it. If he cannot make the changes that need to happen, then we will abide by that agreement. He says if he fails in this chance, then he will not fight me and help me file an amicable petition to allow me to move forward. I'm not so sure he will do tha when the time comes. But, if I write down the division now, then its a starting point when I have to go and file just the same.

I believe in my heart he will fail. He has failed at every promise he has ever made to me in nearly 12 years of marriage. He has delivered on what he felt was the most minimal of effort to this marriage that was required of him and nothing more. Even in the last six months, when everything depended upon his choosing to change, he did the same thing. I believe he will do so this time as well. But, I want to know that before I destroyed the lives of eight children, I gave him even that last chance that I didn't think my heart COULD take, for their sake I gave it anyway.

Friday, April 2, 2010

What if I Stumble DC Talk

"The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today
Is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips
Then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle.
That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable."

Is this one for the people? Is this one for the Lord?
Or do I simply serenade for things I must afford?
You can jumble them together, my conflict still remains
Holiness is calling, in the midst of courting fame
Cause I see the trust in their eyes
Though the sky is falling
They need Your love in their lives
Compromise is calling

What if I stumble, what if I fall?
What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all?
Will the love continue when my walk becomes a crawl?
What if I stumble, and what if I fall?

What if I stumble, what if I fall?
You never turn in the heat of it all
What if I stumble, what if I fall?

Father please forgive me for I can not compose
The fear that lives within me
Or the rate at which it grows
If struggle has a purpose on the narrow road you've carved
Why do I dread my trespasses will leave a deadly scar
Do they see the fear in my eyes? Are they so revealing?
This time I cannot disguise all the doubt I'm feeling

What if I stumble, what if I fall?
What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all?
Will the love continue when my walk becomes a crawl?
What if I stumble, and what if I fall?

What if I stumble?
Everyone's got to crawl when you know that
You're up against a wall, it's about to fall
Everyone's got to crawl when you know that

I hear You whispering my name [You say]
"My love for You will never change" [never change]

What if I stumble, what if I fall?
What if I lose my step and I make fools of us all?
Will the love continue when my walk becomes a crawl?
What if I stumble, and what if I fall?

What if I stumble, what if I fall?
You never turn in the heat of it all
What if I stumble, what if I fall?
You are my comfort, and my God

Is this one for the people, is this one for the Lord?

Still struggling

So, he swears he gets it now. He swears he finally understands. He wants one more chance. He wants to prove he can do this. He wants me to let him try one more time.

Whatever. That's what he has said the last 3 times I've reached this point. He doesn't get it. He's never going to change. It is what it is.

However, to help him let go, I've agreed to one more chance. Except, I've very clearly and very extensively defined this one. I set an impossible standard. I agreed that if he can not break one SINGLE promise he makes to me about ANYTHING before the end of the semester and if he can not make one SINGLE verbal attack on me when he screws up within the same time frame...that if he gets to the end of the semester I will consider Plan B back on the table, or maritial counseling (after he starts individual counseling only) or some other negotiation beyond divorce. However, the first time he breaks a promise to me or verbally tears me down, I will make the appointment with Legal Aid immediately. There will be no discussion, no warnings, no excuses. This includes that limetime of "never get around to it" emotions, projects, goals that he has accumulated. I want him going down his list of delayed life and giving me exact dates when he is going to accomplish each and every one of them--from the half painted living room to the pile of trash sitting in the backyard to the Daddy dates he never delivered on giving to his children.

Its impossible. He won't accomplish it. Fundamentally he cannot and will not change. He will make this promise to me and it won't take him the month I have given him to fail in this. I think he will fail before the end of spring break. Because, this requires a permenant personality change, an active decision to be and do something DIFFERENT than the lifetime of mediocracy he has settles for. It requires him to quit wallowing in his self pity that has only grown in the last 6 months and to claim his life for his own because his family and future depends upon it. It also requires this change be instant, permenant and with out slip-ups. Even if he were doing everything he could and totally self motivated to fight for this, he would make mistakes, everyone does. If his desire were genuine he would recognize and understand that change cannot be sustained in perfection and without mistakes allowed. That he accepts these parameters by itself tells me he still absolutely, unequvicoably does not get it and will not get it.

But perhaps, when he fails and he sees that he knew what was at stake and simply could NOT accomplish what was necessary, he will let go. If he does not, then I will know that I gave him one final chance to grasp why it has come to this and why loving him is killing me and has to stop.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

This is what it is.

And now the gloves come off, don't they.

I tell him that I don't believe he loves me, and he declares he loves me more than life itself.

And yet, the moment I stop fighting FOR this marriage, he declares he's done and its all my fault.

I tell him that I don't believe he loves me unconditionally, and he swears its all he does and he'll love me until his dying day.

And then he declares there's no point in fighting for this and walks out in anger.

I tell him the only chance he has to make this marriage work is to fight for me, to love me unconditionally, to reach out to me even when I cannot reach out to him, and to hope that if he shows me that love and that committment then the pain might stop before I figure out how to seperate without destroying the children. He swears he will do this. He will reach out to me, even when he understands I cannot reach to him. He will support me, love me, even sleep in the bathroom if he must just to be here and to accept every day left that I can give him.

Then he pops off that I'm the one who has given up, the destruction of this marriage is all my fault. If I'm not going to commit to this, then there is just no point in trying. He wants me to promise I'll stay in this, or he won't even try. He wants me to tell him I love him, to fight for this, to fight him. He wants the WORLD from me. But, he wants me to know that its MY fault that its not happening. Its MY fault that this marriage is dying now. He just cannot try to touch me when I'm cold, when I turn away and when I shut him out. He won't do this. He's tried everything he knows (except of course everything I've told him I need from him) and it just is not working. Because there's no instant solution, because I dare to be stuck in pain from what he did, because I cannot fight, am not strong and do not want to be here. He's done. I have the divorce I want now.

I need to work out the finances and logistics. I'm going to my father's for spring break. I have rent through the summer, but I won't have it come fall. I have food money, enough to pay the bills (especially if I'm not paying his stupid car payment nor anything on the house he cost us) and meet the children's needs. I have school taken care of for the fall. I don't have all of the rent money come fall. I do, thankfully, have childcare to continue my education. I just need to figure out how to come up with about $500/month for rent. I guess I'll file for welfare until the state can go after him for child support. But, he needs a higher paying job before the state is going to go after him for anything. Right now, he's not making enough a month to meet his own financial needs, much less to provide for his kids if we're in two households.

Never did I imagine it would come to this. But, I just do not understand this disconnect. How can he swear he loves me and will do anything to fight for us...and continue doing what he does.

This isn't the ending I imagined for this marriage. It isn't the world I wanted for my children. It isn't the future I wanted for me. It is what it is. Maybe something will change over spring break, most likely it simply won't.