Today's guest post is from Kari at I left my heart at preschool. I intended on posting this last night, but I couldn't think of what to say in this intro. I want to tell you how sweet and kind Kari is, because it's true. That she is a good writer and friend. I want to tell you how adorable her girls are; how much prettier her blog is than mine and how I can't wait to drink some wine with her at BlogHer this summer.
Mostly though, I want to just let her words speak for her. I think that is possibly the best thing to do. Please, please support this lovely friend of mine, because I think she could use some kindness right now.
When Issa asked me to write a guest post, I was more than happy to help her out. Because what she is going through, how she just isn’t inspired to write a lot lately, I get it. I’ve actually been feeling the same way myself lately. The main reason I’ve personally been ignoring my blog lately, is because there’s something that I’ve wanted to write about for a long time now, it’s just been too jumbled up in my mind to come out as a coherent post. Also because it’s not something I’m comfortable posting on my own blog. Too many family and co-workers read my blog, and I’m not ready to get too naked in front of them at this point. So I guess I’m also taking this guest post as an opportunity to get naked in Issa’s backyard instead…thanks Issa!
My marriage sucks.
We’ve never had what you’d call an easy relationship, but the past few years especially, I feel like for every step forward we take, we end up taking a few steps backwards shortly after. To start at the very beginning would make this post the length of a novel…my husband and I have been married for eleven years, and have known each other for eighteen years in total. So I’ll start a few years after we were married. We hit a turning point in our marriage, where we easily could have split up before starting a family together – but ended up staying together. Sometimes I wonder if I stayed partially out of guilt. For quite a while before that point, when things were going badly in our relationship, I withdrew – almost entirely. But I felt like I had invested so much of my life into this relationship, with a man that I loved dearly – that I owed us both a chance to focus completely on making it work. And we did. We went to counseling, we decided to move closer to our families and we started our lives over again, so to speak. When things were solid in our marriage, we decided to start a family together.
We struggled every now and then, but we were able to keep working through our issues. There was, however, a strange undercurrent in our relationship that kept pulling us back to seemingly the same problems. So about a year ago, we decided to go to counseling again. I got a lot out of our counseling sessions, and I thought we grew as a couple because of them. I continued going on my own for a while after our couple sessions were over, which made a huge difference for me personally. Then, not too long after counseling, we were arguing over something that I cannot even remember – when he told me that he was unhappy in our relationship solely because I am overweight. According to him, this was the one thing that everything else hinged on, and the one thing that has kept him from being happy ever since we were married – so for the past ten years.
I was broken. I’m not even going to go into whether or not I feel that I am overweight – or the history of my weight in the time of our marriage – because I think it’s irrelevant. I was broken by the fact that something external was his entire basis for happiness with me. I was torn between wondering if I would do more damage to my kids by leaving, or by staying with someone who puts that much weight in weight. Pun intended.
I spent months being angry, and putting on even more weight – probably as my “F you” to him – I had decided that this was his problem, not mine. Eventually, I made peace with it. I finally told him how hurt I was. He told me about his hurt. I listened. He listened. We both agreed that we were essentially staying together for the kids. We both agreed that it wasn’t good for them or for us, to be unhappy together in our marriage. We both agreed that we’re not ready to give up. We both agreed that we have no idea how to make it better.
I put a lot of thought into how to make things better. He was just about to leave for a week long business trip, when I told him about one idea that I had. We would both write down five things that were really important to us, and the other person would try their best to do those things. Neither of us actually took pen to paper, but knowing at least one thing that is apparently THE most important thing to him, I set out to lose weight. In attempting to understand him, I was also able to feel more loving and accepting towards him. I wrote him a long letter and put it in his suitcase. He called me the day after he landed and told me it was the best card I’d ever given him. Finally, I felt like we were taking some steps forward.
It’s been hard keeping up my personal motivation, because I feel like since then, he has not acknowledged anything that I’ve done to try to make things better for us. I also feel like he has not been putting in any effort from his side. Maybe he has, and I haven’t seen it, just as he hasn’t seen any of my efforts.
Tonight, we got into another fight about our different parenting styles. He seems just as angry and unhappy as the day he first told me about how unhappy he really was, if not more. He said something about how there’s no point talking about anything, because nothing will ever change. I said if we can’t continue to talk about parenting, then what is the point of being together. I feel like the kids are better off, if we just parent them completely separately. He said he thinks that is what we are doing right now.
Three steps back. I wonder how many steps backwards are left, before we fall off the cliff. I feel like we’re so close, I can’t see how we can come back to safety.
I keep thinking about a plaque that a friend gave me recently. It says, “Faith is daring the soul to go, where the eyes cannot see.” I do have Faith. I’ve never lost it. I dare my heart and my mind, to keep going, even though I cannot see what is in front of me.