We had a hellish weekend. I had another curled-up-in-a-ball-sobbing-my-heart-out session. He had told me that back when he was working for someone else and never came home on time, it wasn't because of poor time management, it was because he didn't WANT to come home. OUCH!!! So that, to me, meant, "I didn't want to come home to YOU...I didn't want YOU." Which was true, to some extent. He saw me as this nagging, criticizing bitch who never saw anything he did as good enough. Whoa. Who's this we're talking about? ME??? The one who loved you more than the sun and the moon and the stars? The one who held you in such high esteem that when the affairs came out, you had VERY far to fall, indeed. I recognize now, however, what he was talking about.
After reading the Dr. Laura Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands book I learned a TON. It was difficult to take a long, hard look at myself and see the way I really had been treating him. Sadly, I saw myself SO often in her examples of what NOT to do. It was a real wake-up call for me. I'm extremely glad I read it BEFORE the affairs came out because I then had a different perspective of him and of me and I could take responsibility for MY part in the relationship. (NOT take any blame for the affairs, mind you, but own up to the not-so-good things I had been doing.)
So over the weekend, ALL I wanted was to get a Christmas tree, decorate it, get the lights up outside...oh, and get the CAMPING GEAR out of the living room that has been sitting there since AUGUST! (That way we can have room for the Christmas boxes to sit out until mid-January! Grrrrr....) Those were my goals for the ENTIRE weekend. Do you think we could get just that done???? Nope. The tree is half-decorated, the lights were finally finished being put up Tuesday night. The camping gear got put away Monday.
But did he SAY he didn't want to do any of this stuff? Did he explain what his agenda was? No. Evidently the USC football game was on his agenda. As was helping someone from church. Somewhere at the bottom of the list was me and, oh yeah, the kids. He would probably be just fine with no tree, etc. His parents don't make a big deal out of celebrating holidays, birthdays, etc., so it's no big deal to him.
In my therapy yesterday, I realized that he has done whatever he wanted to do for a LONG time. He would give me lip service then do what he wanted - AKA passive aggression. It was easier than having conflict with me. So when he was acting like that again this weekend, it was a HUGE trigger for me. I was back to feeling unimportant.
The fallout from the weekend has lasted all week. The house is a bloody mess - and the housekeeper came on Monday (but will be in Mexico until January, boo hoo. Maybe I'll hire a college kid. I can't keep up even WITH a housekeeper once a week, God knows what this place will look like WITHOUT one for 4 weeks...) We've stayed up till all hours, so we're exhausted and edgy with each other and the kids. Nothing is getting done because we're TIRED. (And here I am at 10:30 writing instead of sleeping!) We've been tip-toeing around each other, either ignoring each other or snapping...
My poor babies. They have borne the brunt of so much of the shit from this past year! They have watched more videos than I care to admit. They have heard us shouting. And I just read yesterday the part in Dr. Phil's Relationship Rescue book where he says not to fight in front of the kids. He says, "To do so is nothing short of child abuse. To fight in front of your children can and will scar them emotionally, all because you don't have the self-control to contain yourself until you and your partner can take it private. Fighting in front of children will scar them emotionally to the point that it changes who they are." Oh, so you mean when my dad got wildly drunk and beat the shit out of my mom on numerous occasions, that changed who I am??? Unfortunately, I didn't have a real good model of self-control, so I'm trying to learn it on my own at 41. About time.
When it all came out last year, I begged off from volunteering at the school, cut out all my extra curricular activities and just buckled up for the ride. And, MAN, what a ride it's been...more on that next time...
OK, I'll get off my soapbox now...