Am I still on the Isle of Denial?

I have a definite sense there is a cycle or pattern which I am desperately trying to identify and I think the reason I want to do that is so I can break the sequence and move on. Currently, we are back to the stage of the process where I come up with yet another version of my goal and life’s purpose sermon which always results in my total shock as he yet again reveals how little he knows about himself.

This morning I presented a coloring activity in which we (the girls, my husband and I) identified our goals, skills and interests as well the state of mind we consider to be our best or essentially how we feel when we are in the “zone”. I was absolutely blown away by the girls responses! At 9 and almost 16 years old they both have a strong sense of self and fabulous goals. That made me feel amazing!

My husband basically regurgitated the requirements of his job which are dry and technical. The only thing remotely family oriented was his mention of our dog. I was seriously taken back by the lack of affection and love displayed in his vision.

At one point, I looked at him and asked exactly how / where do we fit in to your life? He looked at the page and pointed to the word care which was listed under his core beliefs and then said “I take care of you all”. Yep. I know you pay the bills; but, that isn’t caring for us.

Caring means: displaying kindness and concern for others.

That you don’t do much. Sorry.

So, earlier this week I *thought* I had finally made the commitment to stop engaging in this stupid argument with myself whereby I outline everything wrong with this guy. This dialogue is totally exhausting and the end result is always the same:  I make another attempt to break through his wall and fail. He just doesn’t get it. And, clearly neither do I as I continue to try.

So now I am sitting here trying to figure out why I am really trying to change / help him. I guess because I believe divorce is synonymous with failure and I don’t like to think of myself as a failure. So, if I can help him find himself then I won’t be a failure, right? Uh, no! I know better than that; but, yet, I think that is what I have been up to here.

What I’d like to do now to break the cycle is to design a fresh vantage point from which I can view this. What if I started to look at this as the greatest victory of my life instead of as a failure? After all I did get four pretty fabulous offspring from the relationship and I now have the opportunity to attain my financial independence.

Divorce actually is the legal dissolution of a marriage by the court. So, it seems to me there is at least a step or two between here and divorce, right? Considering that I should probably just think of divorce as an outcome rather than affixing it to my identity.

From a textbook perspective, I am uncertain if I am still sitting here on the Isle of Denial or if this is the bargaining stage of my five step grieving process. If it’s the later then the next stage is depression followed by acceptance.

I don’t want to be depressed, so let’s plan now to skip that step altogether and move right to acceptance as quickly as possible. Do we have a deal?

Please pray for my speedy acceptance.

Love always,

Me

 

Advertisements

Week 3: My only regret

This summer I spent every spare minute reading. In just a few months I have devoured dozens of self improvement and business books in my quest for the easy way out of this blah relationship. I am currently reading “Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work That Matters” by Jon Acuff.

This morning, Jon asked me to consider what regrets I would have if I were to die today. Most people, he said, would need at least 15 minutes to consider the question. Not me, the answer was immediately on the tip of my tongue.

I would regret never having known true love.

Then, Jon asked me wether or not I was in pursuit of this regret  / dream / goal? Well, I guess I am, it’s just taking me a very long time to finally admit I am stuck in a passionless marriage.

Besides sitting here staring that truth in the face, I have also been busy making great progress on the new business plan and am right on schedule to launch the concept to my world in mid October.

I have mentioned this business plan to my husband in passing and even taken the opportunity shown him the potential income which I could generate. I giggle on the inside as he swallows hard and his eyes begin to bug. Yep, that’s right mister, this power imbalance is almost over.

I am getting stronger.

Please pray for my continued courage and prosperity.

Love always,

Me

 

Week 2, Day 1

The late nights at the library and the extra stress of back to school season has me feeling a little run down today. I know I won’t be able to sustain this pace of 14 hour work days unless I have a solid support system in place.

To help balance the scales, I have called a truce with my husband and he has agreed we will not argue in front of the children. I have also convinced him that before we can begin to talk about our relationship he has to focus solely on his own health. I *think* he is on board because last night while I was at the library he asked the girls to help him find a workout routine on YouTube. So that’s good!

For my own peace of mind, I am practicing 30 minutes of yoga daily and meditating as needed throughout the day. For several years now, I have been very mindful of my diet so I am also using my favorite power foods to sustain myself. Every morning, I have a frozen fruit smoothie with chia seeds and coconut flakes to boost my immune system and maintain a healthy digestive track and in the afternoon I am treating myself to either a glass of iced passion tea or cup of hot green tea.

As mentioned earlier, I am making steady progress on the new business and almost have the marketing plan complete. I feel really good about that!

I want to be vigilant as we move into this truce phase because I know if I don’t continue to hold myself accountable no lasting change will take place and this time we must have a different outcome.

The best case scenario, regardless of our relationship status, would be for me to be financially independent and for him to achieve optimal health. So, I will make that my bottom line and then everything else from there is negotiable.

Please pray for my courage and prosperity.

Love,

Me

 

 

I was caught off guard by this poor choice

This morning over breakfast our 8 year old daughter announced to me that Dad had written something in the notebook. I asked, “how do you know?”, she replied “because he read it to me.”

The notebook was my last formal attempt to try and facilitate healthy communication between the two of us and it was supposed to be private. It was designed to be a place where we could each express our point of view.

Shocked that he would share this with her, I fetched the notebook immediately to see what he had written and what she had absorbed. I wish I would have snapped a photo so I could share it verbatim; but, I was seriously taken aback by the carelessness. It was two or three incomplete sentences affirming his love for us and determination to acknowledge our feelings.

When I finished reading it, I looked over and see our daughter is now crying. I recognize the last few days have been rather unpleasant and she is obviously feeling the tension between us. She then tells me she wishes I would just be nice to her father.

First, I hug her and then I explain I am not being mean to him, I am expressing my needs. I then gave her an analogy she could understand. I explained how she likes to play with the friends who are nice to her and just because she doesn’t play with the other children does not make her mean. She just wants to be with people who make her feel good and there is nothing wrong with that.

I don’t want to spend much time with Dad because he does not make me feel good and sometimes acts in ways that hurt my feelings, I continued. She was still crying. I know she really wanted to just ask if we were getting divorced; but, I am glad she didn’t because I don’t lie.

I explained to her that it was very unfair for her Dad to put her in that position and that I know she loves us both and just wants for us to be happy. I then instructed her how to handle the situation if it happens again and gave her permission to tell him firmly: I love you and Mom both and I don’t want to be in the middle of this discussion.

I then assured her that I would always make excellent decisions for her and asked her if she trusted me to do that. She nodded. I gave her another big hug and we finished breakfast.

Although I really wanted to call him up and scream at him for doing something so unthoughtful, I didn’t and I refrained from sending an angry text later in the day. Instead, for the record, I wrote a reply in the notebook that explained his action was carless and insensitive and I would suggest he not involve a helpless 8 year old in our problems.

As precaution, I did mention the incident to our 15 year old and asked her to please be more mindful of what her younger sister is being exposed to while I am at the library growing this new company. She looked appalled as well and agreed to entertain the little one while I do what I need to do.

I am not going to elevate this incident into a fight; but, if I feel I need to, I will hire a family counselor to explain this all to the children; but, for now I must continue to plan and move forward with this divorce and that does require me being absent in the evenings.

Normally this type of action would be enough for me to drop my “big” plans and come running home to keep the kids safe from his careless parenting like I have done more than once before. I can’t do that now. I have to find a way to support myself and these girls quickly. So we’ll have to hope for the best and fix what needs fixing after I have my freedom.

Please pray for my courage and prosperity.

Love,

Me

Like clockwork, he wants to just know how to fix it

Over the last ten years I have managed to fill up dozens of journals with my thoughts surrounding this relationship. I can clearly see a cycle whereby we can get along for about 6 weeks and then POP. I used to think it was related to my menstrual cycle; but, now I know that was just his way of trying to make this my problem and not his.

It’s always the same circumstances surrounding the upset and we consistently end up with the same outcome. I feel like I have tried all kinds of strategies to improve our communication; but, now it has occurred to me he will just keep repeating the same behaviors until there is a real consequence he can attribute to his actions or lack thereof.

Here’s the cycle from my perspective:

He neglects my feelings and needs for about 3 weeks.

Eventually I just can’t take it any longer and begin to point out the obvious lack of consideration.

He takes offense immediately and is quick to twist my words.

Steadfast, I continue present my point of view in various ways with the hope he will understand what it is that I need.

Eventually he gets overwhelmed, steps into a childlike state of mind, and says something to the likes of  “Fine, you win!”

I then do my best to point out there is no prize and I am not trying to win anything. I just want to know my needs are being heard.

On the second day, he starts to apologize profusely as if he’s genuinely realized the pain caused by his non-responsiveness.

A few weeks will go by without upset and then he slips right back in to his unthoughtful and mindless patterns. Like a hamster on a wheel. That’s why this blog will be so good for me. It is a space where I can be totally honest and there is very little chance he is ever going to read this like my journals at home which I am pretty sure were tampered with yesterday while I was out. There’s nothing exciting in the ones I keep by the bedside. Just good ideas and design drawings. I was so taken aback the first time he read my journal without permission that I never felt comfortable letting it all out on paper again. The original journals are all now stored safely in my studio. So he would have to go to extraordinary lengths to snoop those. I’ll continue to keep a close eye on the journals at home and see if the placement changes any and then likely confront him about his snooping again.

I am very particular how I close the journals and stack them; whereas, he is sloppy and pays little attention to detail. So, he’s pretty easy to catch in most lies. I personally don’t lie; whereas, he will lie about the stupidest things. He likes to tell our youngest daughter not to tell me things that he thinks will upset me. She always does. I must add lying to the list of undesirable traits he exhibits.

As of late, I’ve been asking myself what if anything could he actually do to change this circumstance and make me fall in love again?

I think the biggest change he could make would be to start living again. Set some big goals, break them down and go after them with all his heart.

Saying kind things to me when I express my feelings would also be nice.

If I explain it has been a long day, I’d love it if he said “I understand. I will run you a hot bath after dinner and you can take some time to yourself.”

Instead he just ignores me or quickly makes it all about himself and asks if he did something wrong.

I’d also really appreciate it if he would try to listen to the children better. The two that are still at home can express their needs and feelings very well and he does the same thing to them. Halfway listening and then replying with very little emotion or thought. Children can see right through that. Then they come to me for everything; because they know I will hear them. It is very exhausting to be the only emotional caregiver.

On the upside of this, I am beginning to formulate my financial plan and am starting to get excited. The more confidence I gain the better things are looking for me. I have undervalued my skills and my company resources for sure. I have a project on the design board that has the potential to fund this separation, pay off my portion of our debt and support a lifestyle similar to the one I enjoy now. That gives me more confidence.

And, in a gutsy move yesterday, I told him that every night after dinner I was going to the library to work on a project that was important to me and that time was officially non-negotiable. Since he’s in his kowtowing apologetic state it was an easy sell and I have now officially secured 2 hours of total silence 4 days per week to make this project a success.

Please pray for my strength and prosperity.

Love,

Me

 

 

 

Now he claims to be like most guys

The weekends are harder than the evenings. The concentration of time together is absolutely exhausting to me. Even a few hours together requires all of my self-control to avoid confrontation or irritation.

I purposefully scheduled myself to work all day Saturday. I have an adorable studio outside of the home that is my Happy Spot. That’s where the magic happens and where I run my business. So I hung out there all day Saturday, creating things and making money. It was a good day.

On Saturday night, over dinner, we talked more about goal setting. Brainstorming things he might enjoy doing. We discussed the possibility of creating a business and expanding his innate interests. Our 15 year old teenage daughter was quick to join in on the conversation, as all the children recognize how miserable their father is, and was excited to contribute her thoughts as to what his strengths are. For a few hours, I was hopeful he might actually try and start something fun up. Maybe a YouTube Channel or website we suggested as that would be low cost and very easy to manage with just evenings and weekends. Heck, you could run it all from your iPhone we enthused!

He wrapped the conversation up on a humdrum note by saying, “I’ll have to think about it some more”. Then my daughter and I headed to the craft store for some beads she wanted to make bracelets. We lingered in the isles, soaking up the creativity. I asked her if she thought he would carry through? She just shrugged and said she didn’t know for sure. I had my doubts.

Sunday morning came, and he appeared to be the same old boring bump on a log. Devoid of anything interesting to say. I managed to stay out of the house most of the day as the children keep me busy with back to school errands this time of year.

That evening, I got agitated because he started reviewing emails with me as if I don’t get the same school related reminder emails too. Like most of the world, I receive notifications on my phone, my watch and my computer. I really don’t need notifications from my husband too. I got this kid thing down. Really, I do.

What I need, and proceeded to tell him, is some interesting and engaging conversation! He says, like five things over and over and over.

  1. Hello.
  2. How are you?
  3. I love you.
  4. Have a good day.
  5. And, routinely gives either “yes”,  “no” or “I don’t know” responses to any questions asked.

Whenever I tell him I need to him to engage my brain he just stares at me with a blank look that implies he has no idea what I am talking about.

So, the discussion escalated and I pointed out some of his other major flaws. And, he began to embody his five year old personality, refusing to speak to me and insisting he needed days to think about what I have said.

Next thing I knew, there I am once again explaining Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to him. While I appreciate he is the primary breadwinner of the household and does provide for my physiological needs of food, water, warmth and (by special request) an occasional good night of rest; he rarely contributes to my psychological need for an intimate relationship.

You have seriously overestimated your contribution as a provider and seriously underestimated mine as the architect and executor here. You did not facilitate this home or this family. I envisioned, designed and nurtured everything under this roof, I expounded.

That stopped him dead in his tracks. Speechless. After a few moments of silence he said “Fine, what can we do about this?” I said, “Can you recollect ever having this conversation with me before?” He couldn’t, although I have voiced all of these same concerns hundreds of times. He then went into this rant about how he’s been reading how when guys are yelled at they release cortisol and all I do is yell at him, so he is just paralyzed by cortisol, like most guys are. I said, yes, we know you have lots of cortisol; but, that isn’t from me. That is because you can’t process your emotions or mine. No one else can make you feel bad. Only you. This feeling you describe is a result of you refusing to care for your own needs and continuously rejecting mine.

I then pointed out how I felt he had built a wall between us that was as thick as the actual distance he was standing from me.

About ten feet, that is how thick the wall is between the two of us and I am not sure how tall it is, I reiterated.

Rather than move in and try to narrow the distance, he instead walked away and slept on the couch, thankfully. When morning came a sense of dread filled my being and my first thought was “ugh, I am still here.” That’s the first time I have ever felt like that in the morning and I don’t like it. I want to wake up refreshed and excited for my day!

Normally he’d bring me coffee. Not today. I fetched it myself. Normally he says “Have a good day” and “I love you” before leaving. Today, instead he said, “I’ll see you later.”

Well, at least that’s something new.

Please pray for my courage.

Love,

Me

 

 

 

Everyone needs a goal

Yesterday’s conversation about love has now turned to goal setting and his lack of purpose in life. At 54 years of age, I think everyone should have a pretty good idea of their purpose in life. He apparently has no idea.

What I think happened here is the heartbreak from loosing his first passion in life has never fully healed. It’s as if he has built a wall so thick around his heart that nothing is getting through. Not even me.

You know how some people have a gut wrenching breakup and then refuse to ever love again. Well for him, I imagine it is like. There was a time when he once thought he had it all figured out right down to the very last detail and then BAM life through him a curve ball and he just laid down and quit.

This morning I asked him to pretend his Fairy Godmother was standing here ready to grant his single wish. He could be or do anything he wanted in the world. What would he  do? Um, I don’t know. I’ll have to get back to you on that. He said.

Ok. Fair enough. I’ve been waiting ten years for you to find yourself. What’s another 39 weeks. You think on that and let me know if you figure out what you want to be.

Please pray for my courage.

Love,

Me

I hate the evenings the most. They make me so cranky.

As you can imagine, our together time is not very pleasant. My husband won’t argue or pick a fight about anything—ever. He will avoid conflict at all costs. I am the one with the disgruntled disposition and vocal cords.

Last night, I convinced him to sleep on the couch so I could get a full nights sleep. Hoping that would help with my crankiness. As always, he said “I love you” and this time I replied “Why?” He just gave me a snarly look and said something like “Why do you have to be like this? You’re just being mean.” And, then he left the bedroom and the question unanswered.

This morning I woke up to a handwritten note on my desk from him:

Why?

I love you because in the core of my soul I feel we have a genuine connection to each other, common beliefs, goals and desires for our family, life and future. I will do anything for you! I love you!

A few years ago, I would have accepted that. However, I can not list a single common belief, goal or desire we have. And, we know he won’t do anything for me; because he refuses to set me free.

I hate to argue in front of the girls as it stresses them out. They just want us both to be happy; but, I am going to text him this afternoon and ask him to get really specific about these common beliefs, goals and desires!

For God’s sake, if we had even one of those things…I wouldn’t be here writing you.

Please pray for my courage.

Love,

Me

Day 1, Week 1

As I set up this new blog Eye of the Tiger is playing in the background. Coincidence, I think not. As I begin to write, I find myself singing along to Only Time Will Tell by Asia.

You’re leaving now
It’s in your eyes
There’s no disguising it
It really comes as no surprise
To find that you planned it all along
I see it now
Becomes so clear
Your insincerity
And me all starry-eyed
You’d think that I would have known by now
Now, sure as the sun will cross the sky
This lie is over
Lost, like the tears that used to tide me over
One thing is sure
That time will tell
(Only time will tell)
If you were wrong
The brightest ring around the moon
Will darken when I die
Now, sure as the sun will cross the sky
This lie is over
Lost, like the tears that used to tide me over
You’re leaving now
It’s in your eyes
There’s no disguising it
It really comes as no surprise
To find that you planned it all along
I see it now
Becomes so clear
Your insincerity

First things first. No, as far as I know my husband has never cheated on me and I have always been faithful to him. We have been married almost 23 years and have four otherwise perfect children in regards to health, intelligence and beauty. Two of the four are now adults and two are still at home. So we’re a little more than three quarters the way done with parenthood.

I have no real girlfriends to lean on so that’s why I am here. I have never been one to engage in small talk, gossiping or bitching so it has been difficult to make friends since leaving the workforce and having children. I am friendly with everyone; but, close to very few people.

As a result, I just beat along to my own drummer and do my best not to get caught in the crosshairs of suburban moms. I am officially estranged from my sister and her family, my father and his family and not currently on speaking terms with my son. I do visit often, yet cautiously, with my mother; but, I can’t tell her the truth. I’ve tried. She runs in the other direction as fast as she can to the Land of Denial. I have a fabulous relationship with all of my daughters; but, they don’t want to, nor should they have to hear this story.

A few years back, I called my mom and announced I simply must get divorced. Rather than offer her support, she told me that I’d never meet anyone else. What the ****? Really? I doubt that statement would be true for anyone and honestly I don’t care if I ever meet anyone else. I just want to be happy inside my own home.

None the less, I retreated and concluded maybe it would be a mistake to get divorced and instead called in the help of a seasoned marriage counselor.

Fast forward three years later and I find myself on the phone again with Mom announcing I must must must get a divorce. Thankfully she listened a little better; but she wasn’t very helpful. All I took away from the conversation was that she feared I wouldn’t be able to support myself much less the two children we still have at home. And, then…get this…she, never, ever mentioned the subject again. Thanks Mom. I actually do need someone to talk to!

So, it’s a conservative estimate to say I’ve wrangled this divorce beast for about 8 years on and off by myself and today I  came to the sudden realization that I can not do this any longer.  Now, I am here listening to 80’s music and writing to you.

After two decades of marriage you can imagine there are many facets to this story. I’ll start, somewhat ironically, on Independence Day 2017 which is the first time I met and hugged Amma (a renowned spiritual leader). Obviously it was a holiday, so I felt compelled to invite my daughters and my husband to tag along and wait in a long line to hug her too. I had heard from multiple sources that hugging Amma would change your life forever and that sounded like just what I needed, so, you can just imagine my excitement!

While I can’t say for sure what Amma whispered in my ear when I hugged her because she was speaking another language; in my heart I know she told me to leave my husband. I imagine the translation would have sounded something like “be free my dear…”

After my long smothering rose scented Amma hug I took a seat on the stage with the other huggies and I watched my husband receive his hug. It struck me as odd that he pulled away from her and then starred straight into her eyes with this stone cold look on his face. My God, was he trying to bully Amma?  What the hell is this guy doing? I just cringed.

Naturally, most people in the room were conversing about what it felt like to hug her and such. I was in a state of euphoria on one hand and a state of disgust on the other after witnessing my husbands hug. My girls appeared to be enjoying the giddy euphoria as well and were touched by the moment for sure. My husband, felt nothing, he claims; but, was very quick to point out the fact that she would not look him in the eye.

Amma is a Saint by all accounts so his odd behavior did startle me. I’m guessing the only reason he was probably there was just to make sure she didn’t actually change my life too much.

To everyone else (besides maybe our children who have witnessed my tears and rants over the years) we appear to have a happy marriage and are a typical family. I have never relayed my unhappiness to anyone else because I have always been a private person; but, I now realize I was just running from the truth.

Um, Aerosmith, Dream On is now playing…

Every time when I look in the mirror
All these lines on my face getting clearer
The past is gone
It went by, like dusk to dawn
Isn’t that the way
Everybody’s got the dues in life to pay
I know nobody knows
Where it comes and where it goes
I know it’s everybody sin
You got to lose to know how to win
Half my life
Is books written pages
Live and learn from fools and
From sages
You know it’s true, oh
All these things you do come back to you
Sing with me, sing for the years
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears
Sing with me, just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good lord will take you away
Yeah, sing with me, sing for the year
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tear
Sing with me, just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away
Dream on
Dream on

Let me start by just telling you what the last half of our marriage has been like because the first half was much better 1.) because he traveled half the time and 2.) I had little children to care for so there was no time to consider my own happiness. Mistake #1.

More than a decade ago my husband suffered a massive identity crisis as a result of a forced career change and then fell into a deep depression for two years followed by a total collapse of his body.

Yeah, it’s fair to say that time pretty much sucked for us both!

He finally found his way out of the fog; but, still hasn’t really started living again. Meaning: setting goals, taking joy in everyday things, laughing out loud…acting like the person I used to know. Nope. He is more like a robot. Just going through the everyday motions. Surviving. He wears the same clothes he’s had for 8 years, has the same hair cut, keeps the same routine. Says the same things, day after day.

In general he is pretty boring and I have told him that many times as kindly as possible, of course, and sometimes not so nicely. He has no spiritual compass or religious affiliations. He just goes to work, does a job he hates, and comes home to make me miserable.

Now, up until this point, we’ve primarily just talked about his physical traits which might make me sound kinda mean. I promise you I am not really a mean person; but, he has done some pretty crappy stuff in our marriage that I think most people would find unacceptable. I only write about it here so I don’t later suffer a lapse of memory and then back out of this divorce…yet, again…only to find myself going through all the same stories 8 years down the road.

The worst, I guess, is when he left me home alone with our four children, ages 2 to 14, to have my first miscarriage. I was terrified. The blood clots were the size of oranges and I genuinely thought I might bleed to death on the toilet. He came home roughly 8 hours later from the company sponsored Christmas party he felt he must attend and seriously acted as if nothing was wrong. He never even so much as called to check on me or even bothered to send a text message to see how it was going. I am totally not bullshitting you. This is the truth. Sadly I did suffer another miscarriage six months later. We never tried again after that one.

There’s not really a second worse, just a series of unkind acts beginning with my first Mother’s Day when he responded with “What? You aren’t my mother” as I expressed my genuine sadness that he didn’t at least buy me a card to celebrate the big day. Ouch, is right. Our son was just 4 weeks old.

Then there were multiple birthday’s he claimed he couldn’t find anything I would like and lots of Christmas’s when he made a similar argument.

Followed by the time he put an herbal supplement called fenugreek in my coffee without my permission for weeks to make my boobs grow; then…

Lost $60,000 of our retirement account in a private placement set up by a fraternity brother that ended up being a scam.

Adamantly denied my request for a third child for 5 years.

Absolutely refused to accept multiple employment offers he deemed beneath him (even though one job paid $70,000!) for two years during which time I was pregnant with our fourth child and as a result the baby and I had inferior health care and I could have died giving birth to her because they refused to admit me to the hospital until she was crowning. I didn’t die; but, I did have to birth a 10 pound baby with no epidural.

Then, just a few weeks later, he stood idly by while the doctors tried to kill me once more when I need an emergency gall bladder removal. Obviously no one was actually trying to kill me; but, to a new Mom it felt like it and that insurance was subpar for sure! We tried to buy real insurance; but, we were denied because of his high blood pressure and obesity.

You’d think that would wake him up. Nope. He continued to neglect his body, gain weight, eat too much and finally ended up being diagnosed with stage 2 kidney disease.

Two years ago, for reasons unknown, he suffered a full seizure and lost his driving privileges for 6 months which as you might imagine was a huge burden to me to have to drive him everywhere.

More recently he read my journal without permission to find out “what was going on with me”. Yeah, right.

As mentioned, we spent thousands of dollars going to an excellent marriage counselor and he seems to have forgotten everything we learned and didn’t follow through with any of the promises he made in counseling.

For most of our marriage I have been a stay at home mom with odd jobs like (babysitting, writing, craft fairs) to earn extra money for groceries and such. My number one priority has always been to be home for my children. In 2006, when he lost his job I did start writing for a local newspaper and founded my own little creative company. I am still in business today and I do love my work with all my heart. Currently, I do not make enough to support myself or my children as Mom so lovingly pointed out; but, I am determined to do everything in my power to change that and become a successful entrepreneur who is financially independent!

So, back to that last request I made for a divorce. About a year ago, I finally finished reading that popular Conscious Uncoupling book and worked up enough nerve to ask for the divorce again. Even though I still didn’t have a reliable income or means to support myself or the children lined up.

My husband began hyperventilating, hitting the walls and repeating no, no, no over and over and then he actually accused me of having an affair! He was a total mess, like a massive disaster had struck. All I could think is “How could he be so upset?” “Didn’t he see this coming?” We haven’t had sex for months! Nonetheless, he was so distraught that I backed off and we have not discussed the topic again. It some respects it feels like I have been holding my breath all this time and I just exhaled.

So what happens now? The first step, acceptance, is done. I accept this relationship has served its useful life. I connected with a lot of what I read in the conscious uncoupling book and would like to do this with as much compassion as possible. I am at a significant disadvantage though as my husband clearly does not want a divorce and is in a serious state of denial.

It’s worth noting that when I settled the last time I thought I would just hang around until our youngest graduates from high school and then just disappear roughly 3,800 days from now. That idea seemed solid until I realized it is terribly foolish to give up even one day of happiness as I have no idea how long my life will be. I also realized I would be sacrificing all of my remaining parenting years to this current state of misery. I love being a Mom and I don’t want to be miserable like this. So, I have made the decision this divorce needs to happen much sooner. Today, I settled on a 40 week timeline. As you may know, that is the same amount of time it takes to create a life and give birth to a healthy baby. Hence the name of this blog: 40 Weeks to Freedom

My mission: To allow myself 40 weeks to conceive and birth my new life. My due date is Thursday, May 24, 2018 and this space is where I will hold myself accountable.

I hope you understand, for the sake of our children and any future partners my husband or I may have I will remain anonymous through this journey. I genuinely do hope he finds true love one day. I also believe I can not possibly be the only person in this situation and perhaps my journey will help another person along the path.

I’ll be the first to admit, it isn’t going to be easy. I’ve tried and failed before. In fact, when I think about it, I often just find myself completely overcome with fear.

One other thing I forgot to mention. I initially got married because I was pregnant and we needed health insurance. I stayed married this long because I felt I had no way to support myself or my children. I love my children so much and I have always just wanted what is best for them. Now I realize I have to do what is best for me too.

Please pray for my courage.

Love,

Me