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I've had other entrees I've wanted to make... - John [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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I've had other entrees I've wanted to make... [Sep. 24th, 2002|06:59 pm]
but, this one probably shouldn't be put off.

Today, I told my wife that we should probably start looking for other partners.

That, although there's no reason to get a divorce (because neither of us needs that freedom right away), I've seen no signs that things will get any better, ever.

There is no crime involved here. No one's done something evil to the other. But, she's been sick and unattentive for a large percentage of our five years of marriage. How much was sickness, and how much was just thoughtlessness? I don't know, but for her sake, I'll pretend it was 100% and 0% respectively.

I've told her I'm willing to talk. I've told her I'm willing to try to rebuild things if she has any ideas. And, I am.

I love her dearly. I'd sacrifice a lot if I knew it would make things better. I'd sacrifice a lot if I thought there was a large chance it would make things better.

But, at the age of 36, I'm already resenting the portion of my life I've given up to her, freely, and of my own will. (Can you guess that my mind supplies "she stole from me" to describe that time instead?) For all three of us - her, me, and whatever 'us' there could be, now was one of the last few times I could make this decision. Maybe I'll celebrate this the standard guy way, and spend the rest of tonight getting drunk.

From: kshandra
2002-09-24 08:41 pm (UTC)

I understand far too well.... gridlore has been sick now longer than he's been healthy in our relationship, and Christ knows it hasn't been easy. And if we're not careful, it's a drain on our otherloves, as well - I've discussed this at length with kightp in the recent past. I'm not yet ready to throw in the towel - he's certainly healthier than he's been, and I do see occasional sparks of something that resembles willingness to work - but I absolutely do not fault you for saying "Enough." Only you can decide for you when that is.

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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2002-10-01 04:34 pm (UTC)
It's actually a bit more than just deciding that I've had enough, though I understand that you don't mean anything bad by that. I'm also concerned about her. If she couldn't work, couldn't keep house, couldn't go food shopping, etc., because she was drinking too much, I'd be called an 'enabler' or 'co-dependent' for covering for her problems. I'd finally decided that I was probably hurting us both by leaving things alone.

Herm. Do you detect a bit of guilt-driven defensiveness over this? It's not surprising if you are. But, I also think that I'm right about this (that it is hurting her to keep propping her up).
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From: kshandra
2002-10-01 08:21 pm (UTC)
I'm also concerned about her. If she couldn't work, couldn't keep house, couldn't go food shopping, etc., because she was drinking too much, I'd be called an 'enabler' or 'co-dependent' for covering for her problems. I'd finally decided that I was probably hurting us both by leaving things alone.

*nod* And that's not an easy balance to maintain, for either of us - where is the line between "trying to help" and "trying to hide"? It got to a point where I was afraid to leave him alone in the house for more than a day at a time, because he wouldn't eat if someone wasn't there to make dinner. He was afraid to cook. And the resentment over being treated like a parent instead of a partner finally got to be too much for me. Things actually have been better since that argument - but I think I'll likely always be waiting for the other shoe to drop. And I have to decide if that's an acceptable outcome for me.
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[User Picture]From: beki
2002-09-24 08:53 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2002-10-01 04:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you... hugs are much appreciated, and desperately needed right now.
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[User Picture]From: mittelbar
2002-09-24 09:23 pm (UTC)

hugs from the peanut gallery

Thank you for letting us know.
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[User Picture]From: jilesa
2002-09-24 09:24 pm (UTC)
For what it's worth, John, I have tremendous respect for your integrity in communicating honestly with your wife about this. I can understand that it must be incredibly stressful and difficult, but it seems to me that you're handling it with as much kindness and integrity as is possible. *hugs offered* If there's anything I can do, my email box is always open.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2002-10-01 04:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you; I know you probably won't see this for a few days, which really makes me wish I'd gotten to this earlier, but it's very much appreciated. I still feel like an ogre from time to time, but I also think I'm coming to grips with the necessity of it, as well.
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From: kightp
2002-09-24 09:40 pm (UTC)
*hugs* already offered, reiterated and ... well, anything else you need to help get you both through this as best as is possible.
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From: griffen
2002-09-24 10:42 pm (UTC)
*hugs....* just... *hugs*
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[User Picture]From: donpaul
2002-09-24 11:53 pm (UTC)

Just a thought

Do it now. Don't postpone, prevaricate and putz around. Do it gently by all means, but do it soon and when you do it, do it swiftly - don't drag it out.

Do it before it's too late for both of you.I speak from some experience. The LSD and moi, well, we waited too long.
At your age, to start again is not a train smash. It's almost reasonable. At my age, a glowing 49, it's nigh on a nightmare. The women I meet want to have families of their own. Presumably, so do you. You can. I can't. We waited too long. The years come rushing at you. Don't waste them trying to fix something that's too broke to be mended. Use your time to build a shiny new thing.

Because not everyone in this world wants to drive around in an antique motor that takes ages of downtime and labour just to keep the wheels rolling for a couple of smug hours on a weekend.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2002-10-01 04:40 pm (UTC)

Re: Just a thought

Chuckle... you know, I'm really glad I got this message, and it helped to hear what my 'beast backbrain' was also telling me. But, I told myself about a year and a half ago that I had to change things *BEFORE* I'd hate her for taking too much of my life.

And, while I partly want to dress it up as noble and "it's what's best for both of us, by which I mean, it's best for HER!", you're right.
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[User Picture]From: claire
2002-09-25 02:37 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2002-10-01 04:41 pm (UTC)
smile; yes, I'll take hugs from a growling rubber ducky(Ref: the userpic, in case it doesn't show up for someone)... and certainly from you, as well, Claire
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[User Picture]From: nsingman
2002-09-25 03:24 am (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear this, John, but glad that you phrased it the way you did. I'm pleased, though not at all surprised, that you state so clearly that these things can happen, and no one need be at "fault." My best wishes for all concerned.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2002-10-01 04:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your good wishes, and thanks also for helping me feel better. My big worry over this whole thing, and making it public, is the fear that I'll paint myself out to be the nobly suffering husband tormented by the evil uncaring wife.
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[User Picture]From: ziactrice
2002-09-25 07:55 am (UTC)
Hmmmm. I put 13 years into the relationship I had to leave was forced out of by physical and emotional violence. The first four years were great. The next four years were okay. The last five years... it was bad. At least I've learned that you can't change another person, and if that other person changes in a bad way, there is little you can do to help if you're not allowed to do so.

I do wish I'd been willing (confident enough?) to let myself "fail" earlier, though.
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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2002-10-01 04:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you... and thank you especially for the perspective, because it helps me be sure I'm doing things right. That's been part of what's been holding me back, is a refusal to admit that I can't fix things, when I honestly can't. It's even possible that Chris couldn't fix things. Even if she started doing everything right (whatever that might mean), there are still some deep wounds that would have to heal.
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