One year ago I returned from a girl's weekend getaway, several hours earlier than expected.
Mr. Gone said, "Oh, you're back early" without looking at me and went back to his computer game while the kids played video games.
He ignored me the rest of the afternoon.
After the kids were in bed I pressed him to tell me what was wrong. He didn't want to, but finally said, "I like and respect you but I haven't been in love with you for a long time." My life fell apart.
Looking back, I think there was someone else. Several someone elses. There was one affair I suspected around the time #2 was born. Why else would a married man with two small kids go and spend precious weekend time with another woman? And I think he had a fling during his high school reunion. The weirdness and wrong feeling really started then. I think it was guilt.
How much responsibility do I have?
I could have pushed for counseling sooner.
I went through my own perimenopausal crisis, and a couple of SAHM years that sucked. Multiple small kids, grinding monotony, and continuous uncertainty about whether daddy was coming home that night or being shipped off on a two week overseas business trip. I was not happy. But I had come through that to the other side. Made peace with my partner's faults. He was never going to see the dirty dishes in the sink, or underwear and kleenex on the floor. But that was OK, because I loved him for his good and bad parts together.
I let him get away with putting me and the family very last behind his job. I resented his work. The late nights, the missed holidays, the phone calls during dinner where he would turn from daddy to a-hole in front of my eyes. The work paid for the dinner, and the roof over our heads. A choice I made, and that I let him make.
I dismissed his ideas. Rent out the house and live overseas for a year? No. The packing and prep would all fall to me, and I don't really want to live in the middle east.
Buy an investment property and become landlords? No. We SUCK at maintenance. We had no spare time. At least, HE had no spare time and it would have fallen to me, like so many other projects.
Move closer to his office? I found a couple of houses. He didn't like them. I told him to look. He found houses we couldn't afford. No, really, a mortgage that's 50 % of your gross income is a bad move. Really. Really. And then he told me I didn't understand money and real estate was a smart investment.
Mostly, I let him get away with being absent. Emotionally. Physically. When I tried to bring him back, I always backed off so he wouldn't accuse me of being clingy. I worked on myself but didn't urge him enough to work on himself.
But in the end, can we change other people? No. Only ourselves.
So that's how I got to where I was a year ago. Self justifying, maybe. The universal reaction, though, has been, "He's going through a midlife crisis." From my friends. Our mutual friends. Acquaintances. Neighbors.
Next time, the past year in review.
A Roller Coaster Journey
From professional to employed mother to stay at home mother, I'm facing the challenge now of being the wife he left behind. It's a roller coaster ride and I don't know how it will end. But when you're going through hell, you keep going. Thank you for visiting my blog and may it help you on whatever your journey is.