Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Things I Will Never Know If I Stay With My Husband

If I stay with my husband I will never know...

What it's like to be wanted, to be truly desired, physically and in every other way.  What it's like to ache with need for someone and have that need joyfully quenched.

What it's like to be loved with a love that is selfless.  What it's like to be loved by someone who loves me MORE than they love themselves.  What it's like to be loved by someone who is capable of self-sacrificial giving.

What it's like to be taken care of.  To be wrapped in another's arms and know that you are safe.

What it's like to have a partner you can depend on rather than needing to ultimately rely on myself.

What it's like to have a little extra pampering.  Especially what it's like to have a pregnancy where my husband actually wants to take care of me so I can take care of the baby.

If I could've been strong enough to make it on my own.

The abject, empty landscape of a life without my husband.

And it is that last, that trumps all the rest.  Life without my husband is barren, and empty, and cold, and FAR WORSE than life with my husband.  And it's not because I think I don't deserve better... I know I do.  And it's not because I think I can't find better... I probably could.  It's because my husband, while being the greatest sorrow and pain of my life... is also the greatest joy and happiness of my life.  I do not want to live in a world where he is not the one by my side through it all... even if I have to be the strong one, the rock... even if I have to never know what it is to be really loved.  Even if I am always the giver and never the taker.  ALL of that is worth it to have that man by my side.  Because HE, in all his infuriating frustration, is still an amazing soul, and I love him with every fiber of my being, and I will never, ever let go, regardless of the cost.

I've counted the cost, and he's worth the loss.  Now, now I just need to find a way to grieve, and find the strength to do the hard work it will always take to be married to him.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Never Good Enough

Lee hasn't even been gone a whole week, and I want him back.  I'm aching, begging, dying without him.

I see all these happy couples... happy families... and that's all I want.  I don't think it's too much to ask.  I just want to be with a man I adore, who adores me, and we can adore our kids together.  And I just want Lee to come HOME so that we can be that.  So we can have that.  That's all I've ever wanted.

We don't have that.  We can't have that.  He doesn't adore me, and I don't know if he ever did.  I don't adore him anymore.  Love him, yes.  Miss him, terribly.  Adore him, no.  I used to.

I just want my happily ever after.  I thought I HAD it, and it turns out it was all based on a lie.

And when I say I miss Lee, I DO miss him.  I miss him terribly.  I miss HIM... his goofiness, his silliness... the unique and myriad things that make Lee LEE.  But... I don't really miss him as he was... the selfishness... the me-first attitude.  That, I do not miss.

I miss the fantasy I had built in my head of how Lee was supposed to act, of what having a husband would be like.  And lets be clear, I don't think my fantasy was unreasonable.  I just pictured him taking care of me when life got hard.  I also pictured myself taking care of him when life got hard.

But after 6 years of always being asked to give, and never, ever receiving... after 6 years of always being told that what I was giving wasn't good enough, wasn't the exact right thing... wasn't grand enough, large enough, enough enough... That I wasn't giving enough, and I always needed to give more, more, more... and if I gave this much, THEN he would in turn have something to give to me... so I pushed myself to give that much, only to be told that I didn't do it right, and I needed to do it THIS way instead... after six years of turning myself inside out trying to give him ENOUGH so that I could get my needs met too... I have come to the realization.

It will never be my turn.

I will never be able to give enough. The bar will always be set higher.

I will never have my happily ever after... and we will never be a happy family.

Not without some changes.

Lee says I need to make some changes too.

To which I say.

You first.

It's my fucking turn.

And I miss you... God I miss you so much.  But the you I miss... isn't real and never was real... and never will be real.  Life without you sucks... and its hard... and we belong together in a way that I can't even begin to describe... and I miss you so fucking terribly sometimes I can't breathe...

You being gone sure as hell isn't getting my needs met either... but you being here... me constantly begging for scraps and crumbs and being told that I don't even deserve the scraps and crumbs you're throwing my way because I didn't take care of you good enough.

Fuck that. I'm done.


It is my turn.

Friday, October 18, 2013


So, it's official.  Lee is moving into his sisters' house on Sunday.  We've worked out a tentative child-sharing agreement, plan for child support... it all seems so formal.  And yet, it's not really formal.  We're not getting the courts involved just yet.  It's not OVER over... this is a last ditch effort to get both of us the space we need to heal individually.  We'll be getting couples counseling as soon as it can be arranged, and hopefully have regular date nights.

But I have to say... I don't have much hope.  And so the closer it gets to Sunday, the clingier I get.  The tighter I cling to Lee, desperately begging him to fix this so he doesn't have to leave... so I don't have to lose him.  The closer it gets to Sunday, the more I start wondering... was it really that bad... am I over-exaggerating... can't I live with how it was, wouldn't I rather live with how it was than live without him?

No. I wouldn't.  But I'm still broken-hearted that I'm going to lose him... and though it's hopefully temporary, I'm going into it with the mindset that it is probably forever.  I'm probably going to be saying goodbye to Lee as my husband forever.  Sunday will be the saddest day of my life.

And the motherfucker is EXCITED about leaving.  No, seriously, Lee is EXCITED about moving out for awhile. And I'll tell you why he's excited.  No, this isn't why HE says he's excited, but it's still the reason.  It's because his sisters are going to spoil him.  They're not going to make any demands of him, let him do whatever he wants, and probably do the bulk of the childcare FOR him during his parenting time.  He is going to have the cushiest life ever.  Meanwhile I'm going to have to go be a single parent with next to no support.  To two kids, because yes, I'm pregnant.  It wasn't on purpose, but we weren't exactly taking precautions either.  And I'm excited about this new kid, I love him or her, but what rotten timing.  I feel so guilty for bringing a child into this mess.  I'm going to have to struggle and stretch and go without... and he's going to have all his creature comforts handed to him on a fucking silver platter.  No wonder he's excited.

And I actually think, as far as struggling and stretching and making do goes, I'll be better off without Lee around to demand the impossible.  But still. Pregnant, with a toddler... on my own.  My life is going to get worse.  And his is going to get so. much. easier.  Fuck him.

Because a big part of the reason we're separating is because he doesn't get it.  He doesn't get the burden he places on me when he decides that his illness prevents him from being a functioning member of society.  Maybe it DOES.  Maybe it does.  But then he has to make sacrifices.  And he can't.  He wants it ALL... and he wants me to provide it ALL while he doesn't lift a finger.  Well, fuck that. I tried, for two years, to give that to him.  Bullshit. I can't DO it.  I can't.  I'm not superhuman.  But in leaving, I was hoping he would get it.  But he won't, because his sisters are going to take care of him and give him everything he wants.  So this is not going to be a learning experience to him of how hard it is to live in the real world and how much he was asking of me.  Nope.  Instead, he's going to get reinforced at how "mean" I am to insist he pull his own weight.  How "mean" I am to tell him that we just don't have the money in the budget for all his creature comforts.  How "mean" I am to tell him that after working and stressing and taking care of Olivia all day, I cannot ALSO clean the house even though a clean house is "so important" to his mental well-being.  How "mean" I am to not just accept him the way he is.

The clingier I get, the more self-righteous Lee gets.  The clingier I get, the more he tells me that I can keep him if I "do what it takes" to keep him.  Which he defines as "accepting" him.  As far as I can tell, "accepting" him means letting him do whatever he wants with no repercussions.  He says I need to take responsibility for my own part in all this.  And I agree, I do.  But as far as I can tell, the bulk of "my part" is insisting that he act like an adult instead of a spoiled child.  He thinks I'm punishing him.  I'm not.  I'm just not protecting him from the consequences of his own actions anymore.  This is how the real world works.  Learn to live in it, or learn to live without me.

Problem is, living without me seems easier for him than living without him is for me.  I'm leaving because it's my only currency to get him to start acting like a true partner.  Turns out, my currency isn't worth anything.  So, I still have to go, but it is KILLING me that it hurts me more than it hurts him.  I'm the one suffering.  He's looking forward to it.

But isn't that how it's been this entire marriage?  I suffer the consequences of his actions while he goes blithely on his way.  At least I'm not the one enabling him anymore.  Apparently I've just passed that job along to his sisters.

Friday, October 11, 2013

When It's All Over But The Crying

I can't start mourning the end of my marriage quite yet.  After all, it isn't over until the fat lady sings.  But, barring a miracle, the fat lady is warming up in the wings.  I just got a new job, one that will require me to move in the next couple months.  In all likelihood, I'll be moving by myself.

I can't... I can't even handle that thought right now.

And the thing that bothers me most is that to me it feels so inevitable.  I have given all there is to give.  I have bled, I have cried, I have tried. There is nothing more I can do. I cannot change the situation.  LEE has to change the situation.

But Lee acts like it's so inevitable too.  Like he's resigned himself to losing me.  And I'm SO ANGRY.  I want to shake him and scream at him and say "FIGHT!"  "FIGHT DAMN YOU!!!"  "It doesn't have to be this way.  It doesn't have to end this way.  It is entirely up to you.  It is in YOUR hands.  All you have to do is accept responsibility for the way you've treated me and change and make it right.  It's a tall order, but I don't think I'm asking too much.  I'm asking for you to be a partner. To treat me as an equal.  To love me as much as you love yourself.  To ask for more from this marriage then that I will exist to make your life as easy and pleasant as possible at my own expense.  FIGHT! Please... don't let me go... I don't WANT to go... I want to stay... I love you so much and I want nothing more than to stay and love you for the rest of my life... PLEASE fight for me!!!!"

But he won't, or can't, I'm not sure which.  Either way, it's the hardest thing to accept.  Because if he won't fight for me... then he doesn't really love me.  Oh, yes, he loves me but... not the way I need to be loved.  Not the way I deserve to be loved.  Not enough.  Enough to want me around when I make his life better but not enough to do the hard things it takes to keep me.  I am not worth the hardship to him.  And he is my everything... and I am going to lose my everything.

I think he thinks I could make this all go away if I would just shut up about it all.  But I can't.  My eyes have been opened and I can shut them no longer.  I can no longer bear all the burdens alone, put up with the nagging, the insults, the emotional control. I can no longer let his failings drag the whole family down with him.  I have to protect myself, and protect my kid.  I can't do it anymore.  Believe me, if I could, I almost would... it would almost be worth it not to lose him... when I love him so much and I'm losing my damn mind imagining a world without him in it.

But I can't. I deserve better. I know myself now, love myself now, respect myself now.  Problem is, I can't convince him that he's really done something so egregiously wrong.  And its the very fact that I can't convince him that makes the marriage so doomed.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What Are Things Worth?

So, Olivia wants to be a dinosaur for Halloween.  And I've been searching for a dinosaur costume for her.  Most dinosaur costumes are cheap and flimsy and deliberately designed for boys.  And while I didn't MIND her wearing a boys costume, it was bugging me that all the dinosaur costumes were for boys.  Hello, girls like dinosaurs too, particularly my little girl who is OBSESSED with them right now.

I happened to stumble across a seller on Etsy who makes spiked dinosaur hoodies and strap-on tails.  I liked the idea immediately, because the hoodie would be something Olivia could wear all the time (and trust me, she will wear it all. the. time.) even after Halloween was over.  Also, we could customize the colors of the costume.  Only thing was, it was forty three dollars. Plus ten dollars shipping. Which is a lot of money for a Halloween costume, especially since we'll still have to buy a cheap pair of sweatpants to match, not that she can't get a lot of use out of a pair of black sweatpants.

So I weighed my options. I could buy this super-cute, customizable, reusable outfit for a lot of money, or I could go to a Halloween store and buy a flimsy, generic-looking costume that would be only used one day, but would cost me half as much.

We went with the Etsy seller.  Black, with pink and orange spikes.  Olivia loves pink and orange.  It's super adorable.

My mom took one look at the costume and said "it's cute, but you know it's not worth 50 dollars, right?"

Well, no, mom, I don't know that.  Shipping was 10 dollars.  That seems a reasonable price for shipping something bulky and awkward like the tail.  The materials themselves probably cost AT LEAST 20 dollars.  That only leaves about 20 dollars for the labor.  Now, I would guess this seller is fairly skilled and, since she makes a lot of them, can whip one out in a couple hours.  But that's still only about 10 dollars an hour, which is barely above minimum wage.  I don't know anything about this seller, but I imagine that this is something she does to supplement her family's income.  10 dollars an hour is MORE than reasonable and fair.

I'm really sick of people acting like other people's labor isn't worth anything.  That it would be unfair to raise minimum wage or pay fast food workers a living wage, because heaven forbid I pay a little bit extra for a burger.  That burger isn't worth that.

Maybe not, but people's lives are.  People deserve to make a living wage.  Labor costs are PART of what makes a product "worth" the money you spend on it.  Because when I spent $50 on that Halloween costume, I was paying for the costume, yes, but I was ALSO paying for the labor of the person involved in making it.  More than worth the money I spent.  Plus, I was supporting small business, rather than big box chains.  I was supporting someone who can demand her own wage and profits, rather than a company that makes tons of profits off the backs of workers in Indonesia or Bangladesh or where ever who live in horrible working conditions and make pennies a day.  Yeah, you'd better believe that's WORTH $50 to me.

Look, I'm pretty poor.  I don't always have the money to buy the fair trade, more ethical options.  And, the way our society is set up, I don't always even have the option to do so.  But whenever I can, I try to support small businesses, local if possible, or companies that I know treat their employees well rather than ones that treat them like dirt.  The way our society is set up, its almost impossible to avoid exploiting people when you make your consumption choices.  But I did NOT exploit the person who made my daughter's Halloween costume.

But you know what? It's not like I was thinking about all this global and ethical stuff when I made the purchase.  No, the seller just made a good product that was worth it to me to buy.

Worth $50 mom? Why yes, I think so! On every level.

If anybody who reads this is interested to know where to buy a super cute, customizable and practical dinosaur costume, check out http://www.etsy.com/shop/KidHub?ref=l2-shopheader-name

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Why I'm a Feminist

So, I have a friend who doesn't believe I'm a feminist.  Mainly because he has the impression that feminists hate men, and I don't hate men.  But I don't want to paint him as a bad guy.  He's not, and he agrees that men and women should be equal.  I think, like a lot of men, he's a little blind to the ways that men and women are still not yet treated equally, things that women are naturally more sensitive to.  But we have rousing discussions and we still respect each other and its all good.

But I thought, for him, I'd try to write a post that explains what it means to me to be a feminist, and why I'm a feminist.

See, I have another friend, Seth.  Seth recently converted to the orthodox church, and he's been trying to sell Lee and I on it.  So I asked him a quite natural question.  Do they ordain women?  To me, this is one of the most important questions in deciding a church denomination, not as much for my sake but for my daughter's.  And it sounds like there's a lot to like about the orthodox church, but do they ordain women?

Seth's answer broke my heart.  "No, they don't.  I don't have any problems personally with female pastors.  Females can be great pastors.  But not a priest.  A priest is different, and a woman couldn't handle it."

Friday, September 13, 2013

Your "Convictions" are Bullshit!

So, one of my good friends is getting married.  And I have to admit that even though I'm a much less judgmental person lately, I've been a little bit judge-y when it comes to her wedding.  This is her third fiance in two years.  Bit hard to take it seriously.  But I love her, and I'm glad she's happy.  I just wish she'd slow down a little bit.  Her life, not mine, and she gets to live it how she wants to.  MY only job is to support her.

So imagine my fury when my mother told me that the reason her wedding was at a local campground instead of my old home church is because the pastor refused to marry them in the church.

"I hate the church." I exclaimed.

And my mother told me that I was wrong to hate the church because "people have to be allowed to stand up for their convictions."

Well, yeah. People do.  Me included.  And this is me, standing up for my convictions.

If your convictions value punishing sin over showing grace, that's bullshit.  If you hurt my friend in the name of "standing up for your convictions," I will hate you.  I will think that you have no love in your heart because you are NOT DISPLAYING LOVE.  And I will think that's wrong.  I will think it's bullshit.  And I will have every right to say I hate the church.

Because the modern, fundamental, evangelical church?  I hate them.  I hate their nasty, tyrannical god whose love is always qualified by wrath.  Whose mercy is always tempered by "justice" (and not the justice that requires them to take care of the poor, the widows, and the children, but the justice that leaves them foaming at the mouth for God to send everyone they disagree with to hell) rather than justice by grace and mercy.

You know what? That's the god I was taught to believe in, and I reject him wholeheartedly.  Lets be clear, I don't think he exists.  I believe in a God of love and mercy and JUSTICE, the type of justice that Martin Luther King Jr. hoped would roll down like waters...  That's the God I believe in.  That's the God I know.

But if it turns out you're right and God is like your nasty, petty, god who supports you in your "convictions" that you just use to hurt people...

I still reject your god.  I'd rather go to hell than worship your god.

And I think your convictions are bullshit.  And I hate your church and I hate the false god, the idol you worship.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

What If We're Just Incompatible?

What do I want out of my marriage?

Love... respect... kindness... partnership... and passion.

But 4 out of 5 ain't bad, right?

Now that Lee is getting better, we have the first four again.  Lee is now a good co-parent, a good financial partner, a good roommate, a good best friend.  He respects me again, thinks about my needs again (most of the time), listens again.  He is a man I want to build my life with, build a family with.  (Of course, it's way too soon to tell, and this could all just be honeymoon phase, but proper medication CAN be and seems to be a life changer).

But he isn't my lover.  And I'm not sure he ever can be.  Because at the very core of who he is, passion is not something he feels.  Or rather, it is something he feels, but he feels it in such a way that it is invisible to me.  His version of passion and my version of passion are incompatible.

We had a discussion about it last night.  And I said, and he agreed, that my version of passion feels to him like trying to take a drink from a fire hose.  And his version of passion feels to me like being parched in the desert and offered a drink of water from an eyedropper.

He is not wrong for being the way he is.  I am not wrong for being the way I am.  But at our cores, I'm not sure we can make each other happy.

He's made his choice.  His love for me is such that he'd rather deal with feeling drowned under the onslaught of my passionate desires than live without me.  But that's easy for him to say, because passion is such a compartmentalized part of his life.  He can have 4 out of 5... which for him looks like 5 out of 5 because his capacity for the reception of passion is overflowing.  But he could have 4 out of 5 no problem because to him passion is a separate component.

For me, it is an integral part of my life.  And I don't want to be with someone who feels like they are drowning under the weight of my passions, which are part of the core of who I am.  I want to be with someone who accepts them, appreciates them for the gift that they are.  And I don't want to constantly feel like I'm starving, parched, dying for a little bit of the fire hose I'm directing at him to be returned to me.  I'm not sure I can be happy with 4 out of 5... I'm not sure I can HAVE 4 out of 5 without the lack of the fifth poisoning the first 4.

And right now, my fire hose isn't really directed at him anyway.  The passion I felt for him, specifically, is a dying ember.  My body doesn't really respond to his touch anymore.  I no longer look at him and feel butterflies, feel my heart skip a beat, feel my breath catch in my chest.  His touch no longer inflames my skin, his kisses no longer make me weak in the knees.  My passion, directed at him, was flung back in my face, rejected so viscerally, so many times that it is going... going... gone? I hope not totally gone.

And the thing with Bobby didn't help, of course.  Because with Bobby I felt passion in a way I've NEVER felt with Lee, probably because with Bobby it was mutual, it was returned in a way Lee has never returned it.  And I don't really know how much of that was real and how much of it was fake and how much of it was circumstantial but I still know exactly what I'm missing... the physical feelings and the passion that I'm missing, that I want to experience again and if I stay with Lee probably never will.

But 1 out of 5 is no good either.

I'm not asking for the moon here.  I know that in a relationship with longevity the passion will and does fade.  I'm not asking for butterflies and rocketships and fireworks every single night.  Just sometimes.  But when even on my honeymoon (and keep in mind we had NEVER had sex before, so it was brand new to both of us at the time) I'm being rejected and told not to ask for sex so much, not to think about sex so much, not to talk about sex so much... I have never had a passionate lover the way I so desperately crave and want.

For the first six years of our marriage, we kept trying to convince the other that THEIR way of being was wrong.  He is not wrong to be the way he is.  I am not wrong to be the way I am.  But what if we really, truly  are incompatible?  What if he can never satisfy me, what if I will always overwhelm him, what if the reason he can't satisfy me is because I can't stand having the gift of my sexuality thrown back in my face all the time BECAUSE it overwhelms him?

Because here's the situation in a nutshell.  Last night, after a tearful conversation about all of this, I felt it sweep over me again.  The passionate desire for the man in bed with me.  The best thing that could have happened in that moment (even if I hadn't been personally feeling the desire, but especially since I was) would have been for him to reach for me for a passionate kiss (and maybe more, but he worked a 12 hour shift yesterday and I'm not an unfeeling monster).  The second best thing would have been for me to be able to go with it... to go with the feeling... to attack him and to kiss him and grab him fiercely, pull him as tightly to myself as possible and let the passion sweep over both of us.  But I didn't, because I knew I would be rejected, pushed away, as I have been so many times in the past that I don't even try anymore.

Instead I started crying harder.  And in bewilderment Lee asked what was wrong.  And I told him exactly what I said here.  And he STILL did not reach for me to give me the reassurance of a kiss, nor even give me any sort of hint that my advances would be favorably received if I were to reach for him.  And we both went to sleep, and we both slept badly.

I want a partner.  I want a best friend.  I want a LOVER.  All three in one.

Mostly, I want LEE... so badly do I still want him that the thought of life without him is bleak and unbearable.  I want LEE to be my partner, my best friend, and my lover.

2 out of 3 ain't bad, right?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Feeling Trapped is Not a Good Sign

So the more my husband improves, the more I'm starting to feel slightly trapped.  Isn't that weird?  But he is making great strides towards improvement.  The new medication regimen seems to finally be the correct one, and he is light years different than he has been in years.  He's helpful, and sensitive, and hardworking, his anger issues are much less (still present, but much less), he is far less whiny.  There are still times where he is SO convinced that his way of viewing a situation is the right one that it feels futile to try to make him see my point of view... but those times are fewer and farther between.  Mostly he listens to me and we compromise. He's fun, again.  I mean, we can have fun together again.  We laugh more.

Things are good.  Oh, it's far too early for me to trust that things are going to stay good... I still worry that he's only on his best behavior because he's afraid of losing me, but it truly does seem that with the right medication, he's back to being the person I married... even better than that.  But most days I am content.  And if I take things day by day, I think that my marriage just might survive.

But if I imagine the future, if I imagine our marriage ACTUALLY making it and going the distance... if I imagine actually being with this man for the REST OF MY LIFE... I start to panic.  What once seemed comforting and wonderful has begun to feel like a trap.

I don't want to lose Lee... but I don't want to be stuck with Lee either.  And I still feel stuck.  And I don't know what it will take to make me feel unstuck.  And it scares me.

And my instinct is still to give Lee what he needs.  And he's still so afraid that he's going to end up alone.  So I'm constantly reassuring him that that's not going to happen... that we're going to make it.

And the thing is, I think that might be true... and I'm still paralyzed... utterly unsure if that's actually what I WANT.  I don't want to make it by default... to end up together just because that's the status quo and it's harder to break the status quo.  And honestly... things are getting so much better that there isn't going to be a reason to pull the plug.  The desperation that might have given me the courage to pull the plug is fading, fading... and I want to stay because I want to stay, not because I was too lazy to leave.

And I DO want to stay.  I love this man with all my heart... I can't imagine life without him...

"The grass ain't always greener on the other side, it's green where you water it." (apologies for quoting a Justin Bieber song)

Well I'm watering my grass. It's getting greener... the grass on the other side still looks greener yet.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Help! Somebody Give Me a Sex Talk, Please!

So, I grew up in such a strictly Evangelical Christian home that I didn't get much in the way of sex ed. In fact, I was opted out of sex ed in health class. So my sex ed consisted of "don't do it until you get married" and "here are STD's you can (WILL) get if you do it" and "this is what the parts are called and this is what happens."

I remember, the first time I ever felt truly aroused, making out with Lee back when we were still dating... I was utterly surprised and shocked and completely unprepared for the sensation. Like, nobody had ever told me that girls get aroused like that.  I thought it was a guy thing.  I mean, I knew sex was supposed to feel good for girls, but I thought only guys got that physical HUNGER for it.

I've been married for 6 years. I've had a LOT of sex (not nearly as much as I would've liked to have had over the past 6 years, but quite a bit).  But when it comes to sex... I still feel a little lost and naive. Like, I understand how sex WORKS, obviously. I'm even pretty good at it.  But since I was raised to believe that there was no more emotional nuance to sex than "don't do it before you're married and once you're married do it as often as your husband wants whether you want to or not" I feel like there is a lot about sex that goes over my head.

And as I said recently, I recently cheated on my husband.  It's a bit more complicated than that, really. He asked me to sleep with another guy... arranged it actually... and then chickened out and asked me to stop. But I didn't want to stop and so I didn't.  But now I'm finding that I don't know how to handle what happened.

You see, sex with Lee has always been fraught with difficulties. I want it, he doesn't. We don't have it nearly often enough.  When we have it, he's been pretty selfish and clumsy and... not very good.

So I slept with Bobby. It was one night. And that one night has shaken me to my foundations and left me wondering what the hell my response is supposed to be.

You see, I read a lot of romance novels.  And a staple of romance stories is that when the hero kisses the heroine she becomes incoherent. Incapable of thought.  Only capable of feeling the sensations sweeping over her.  And even when sex is at its best with Lee (and it CAN be very, very good with Lee) I have never, ever felt that brain scrambling lack of thought.  I was okay with never feeling that.  I thought it was something that only happened in novels and wasn't something that happened in real life.  I mean, nobody sees ACTUAL fireworks.  I just figured that in real life people's brains don't just shut down.  Or maybe it happens to some people, but I'm just not wired that way.

And then... and then...

And then I was with Bobby. And I felt that.  That wit scrambling, utter incapability of doing anything other than feel the fiery sensations.  From the second he leaned over and kissed my neck the very first time... when we were still discussing whether or not it was a good idea to ACTUALLY go through with it and he gave me this little experimental smile and leaned over and kissed my neck and I... exploded.  My whole body reacted instantaneously in a way I never expected and was utterly unprepared for.  The chemistry was... insane.

So. Now what?

I'm not saying sex with Lee is bad, or even that it's worse than it was with Bobby.  I've had both better and worse experiences with Lee.  But with Lee, it's work.  Sex is work. And he hates that it's work and that's a big part of the reason why he wants to do it so seldomly.  And with Bobby it was just... effortless.

And Bobby has a girlfriend. And I will never get a chance to be with him again.  And I want to... because I want that feeling again. I am angry with him for not giving that to me again, even though I know he's under no obligation to do so.  And that feeling, it is like a drug.  I feel like I would pay any price... my marriage, my soul, just to have it ONE more time.  And, like all drugs, I know that if I get it one more time, the withdrawal will just be worse next time, and the price I'd be willing to pay would get higher. It's no good.

And the thing is, Lee is really trying to get better.  He's being less selfish... he's finally learning about how to please me.  But, on my end at least, a lot of the passion I once felt for him is just gone.  And, also, no amount of selflessness... no amount of improvement in technique is going to make the chemistry any better.

And I thought my chemistry with Lee was just fine until I experienced something different. And the thing is... sex with intimacy is better than sex with chemistry only... but is it too much to ask to have both?

But if I leave in search of someone I could have both with... I would be throwing so much away. Is sex really worth it?

And was the chemistry only there because it was new and exciting and the forbidden fruit?

Only I don't ever remember having chemistry THAT intense with Lee.  Intenser than it is now, certainly, back before our relationship started falling apart and sex became such a chore and everything got hard. But never that intense.

Passion can be revived, I believe that. If Lee and I fix the sludge in our marriage, we can revive the passion that was once there. But what if even that isn't enough for me anymore?

But how can I be selfish enough to hurt him to chase a rainbow? A dream that maybe can never be?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

He's Still a Piece of Me

I've known my husband for 17 years. I'm only 24.  You do the math.

We were best friends, almost from the get-go. His mom used to babysit me.  We used to walk and talk for hours.  He talked me through every crush and every broken heart and I did the same for him.

I was in love with him, again from the time I knew what love was. He was always the one I wanted to grow up and marry.

He's so much a part of my life.  We are so entwined together.  One flesh, one heart... the way marriage is supposed to be.  Cut him, and I will bleed.  There's co-dependence and emotional controllingness and a whole shit ton of bad stuff that needs to be cleared out, but at the base of it, at the heart of it... he is a part of me. And I am a part of him.  Severing that would be the most painful thing of all.

It would be more painful for him than me.  I'm just saying.  It would hurt me like crazy, but I am more adaptable than he is. I am also much more dissatisfied with life the way it is now. I would be more okay than he would if we ended.


Cut him, and I bleed.

The passion is gone right now.  I'm trying to figure out if there's still an ember or if it's a cold dead coal.  If there is an ember, there is hope.  There is hope that when the relationship gets back on track... and you know, it looks like its heading that way although it's way too early to get my hopes up... when we get all the nastiness figured out, the spark can be brought back to life.

Because mostly dead is slightly alive.  But all dead... there is nothing you can do with all dead.  And if the passion I once felt for him is all dead then... then... then I have to crush him.  I have to break his heart.  And it is no consolation to me that he brought it on himself.  It is no consolation to me that he is in fact the one who killed the passion.  Because if we fall apart... it will hurt me, but there's a part of me that also looks forward to a fresh start.  But it would utterly devastate him.

Cut him, and I bleed.

Now what?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

When Cheesy Bad Poetry Is the Cure

There's a reason I stick to prose and never write poetry. The written word is hard to master, the rhythmic word even harder.  Poetry is extremely difficult to write and not end up sounding cheesy.

However, sometimes the best cure for a broken heart is indulging in the writing of a little cheesy bad poetry.  So with no further ado I give you this fine specimen.

It’s over now, and all that’s left
Is the fantasies and the memories
The what ifs and maybes and might have beens
And the ghost of your touch still on my skin.
I close my eyes and feel you on top of me again.
One single thought of you can take away my breath
Or leave me gasping for air, feeling the hole in my chest.
It gets smaller and larger as the days pass by
Pulsing, screaming, aching, leaving
Only to show up again when I least expect.
It would be easier to hate you, but I find that I can’t.
I want you too badly, too madly, sadly.
And how can this be the end?
When there was never a beginning?
And how can I let go?

When I’m only holding on to smoke?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Okay, So What Do I Want?

So in my last post I said I settled for less than the marriage I wanted, because my husband and I weren't mature enough to be married when we did.  So I'm trying to put together a proactive list of things I do want in a marriage, so that I'll know if and when I get it.

I want...

Friday, August 9, 2013

Why You Shouldn't Get Married at 18... and Why You Can't Tell an 18 Year Old That

I got married at the age of 18.  I knew all of the statistics... early marriages are more likely to end in divorce... your brain isn't fully matured until the age of 25... you don't know who you ARE yet at the age of 18, you're still trying on different identities.  And so on and so forth.

I made the decision to get married anyway.  After all, by the time I was 18, I'd already known and been close friends with my husband for TEN YEARS.  I'd already finished two years of college.  And I was dead certain that I knew exactly who I was, and that while some small things might change, my basic identity was already fixed.  Besides which, even if I changed, I was certain that the only thing required for a healthy marriage was commitment.  Sure, we'll grow and change, I thought, but we'll just make sure we grow TOGETHER and everything will be FINE.

This is why you can't tell 18 year olds anything.  They always think that they are the exception to the rule.  And since there always ARE some exceptions to the rule, you can never convince them otherwise.

By the way, this doesn't only apply to teenagers.  I think everyone, from 9 to 99, has the tendency to whine "but it's DIFFERENT with ME!!!"

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Does What I Want Matter?

Today was actually a good day with my husband.  Those are rare lately, and that gives me all the more reason to treasure them.  But I also feel like I have to remember to be skeptical on days like today.  So often in the past I've been fooled by one good day or even a string of good days, fooled into believing that everything was going to be better now.  Then I get hit with the sledgehammer all over again, feeling like the bottom drops out of my world all over again.  Well, this time I'm staying firmly at the bottom, because it is at least solid ground.  I am going to climb, if I climb at all, very cautiously out, poking my head around and feeling my footing with every step to make sure it is solid.  I will not trust very easily.  But I'm an optimistic person, so that's hard for me.  I tend to believe good things easily and dismiss bad things easily.  It's just that the good I believe has so far always turned out to be insubstantial mist.  Enough rambling.

Tonight, I complimented my husband on what a good day we had.  He went to work. We worked together. We compromised. We cared for and took care of each other.  It was very mutual.  Mutuality is what we've lacked more than anything else in our relationship.  Usually it is him taking and me giving until I am bled dry.  So I complimented him on a good evening.  And he said something that really rubbed me the wrong way, but it isn't until now, several hours later, that I can articulate why.  He said "I have plans for my life. And they don't include losing you."  And I know he meant it in the sweetest way possible.  I have been begging him to fight for us, because I simply can't fight alone any more.  And he meant that he was fighting for us.  He needs to.  He needs to try, he needs to be better, because I simply can't live any longer in a marriage that is all about him and his needs.

But that's the problem.  He has plans for his life, and they don't include losing me.  Therefore, I am not allowed to choose differently.  What if he does everything right, and I still don't want to be with him?

Monday, July 29, 2013

How My Bipolar Husband Affects Our Daughter

Living with a bi polar husband is hard.  But at least I understand, to a degree, what’s going on.  He’s sick, and I have to not take it personally.  I can’t imagine how hard it is to live with a bi polar father.  And so far, I had hoped that my two and a half year old had been mostly oblivious to the struggles.  I mean, he has anger management issues due to his disease, and sometime he snaps angrily at her and makes her cry, but he always apologizes and so far it doesn't seem to affect her for more than a few minutes at a time.  I hate, hate, hate that he does this, and every time it makes me want to gather my baby girl in my arms and protect her.  Which sucks when he’s yelling at her about something she’s legitimately doing wrong, and I have to back him up when every instinct in me is screaming at me to comfort her.  All of this is a terrible dynamic, but I still had hopes that I had some time to make decisions, some time to allow him to continue working on himself, before it started really affecting Olivia.  Well, I didn't reckon on how perceptive and dang SMART my kid is.  She and I had a conversation this morning that made me realize that I am running out of time.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Good Christian Girl is Dead

I'm going through an identity crisis right now.  See, my identity has always been wrapped up in being the "Good Little Christian Girl."  And even though over the past few years I've been slowly changing my theology from the fundamentalist evangelical upbringing I had, my identity has still been wrapped up in being the "Good Little Christian Girl."  I just began defining it differently. I could still be GLCG and believe in feminism. In social justice. In universalism. In gay rights. In abortion rights. In evolution. In a non-inerrant Bible.  Even as all my GLCG beliefs eroded, I still clung to being GLCG.  That's who I was, and I couldn't imagine myself as anything different.  And really, GLCG was not a healthy identity for me any longer.  It wasn't even really who I was anymore, with all my changing beliefs.  But I couldn't let her go.

She had to die instead.  And I struck her a death blow.  See, I could change all my most important beliefs and still pretend I was GLCG.  I had to DO something, something GLCG would NEVER have considered doing in a million years.  And I did. I cheated on my husband.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

God is NOT a dick!

So, this "cute" little story / allegory / whatever you want to call it showed up across my Facebook news feed today, shared by one of my friends.

I keep thinking about that story of the little girl with the fake pearls. A five-year-old girl bought her very own plastic pearl necklace with her very own money that she saved all year long. The little girl loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Her mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green. The pearls weren’t real but it didn’t matter to the little girl. She had bought them herself!The little girl had a very loving father. One day he said, “Sweetheart, do you love me?”“Oh yes, Daddy. You know that I love you.”“Then give me your pearls.”“Not my pearls! You can have my toy horse.”“That’s okay, Honey. Daddy loves you.” And he brushed her cheek with a kiss.About a week later, the little girl’s father asked again, “Do you love me?”“Daddy, you know I love you.”“Then give me your pearls.”“Not my pearls. You can have my baby doll.”“That’s okay. Daddy loves you.” And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.This happened over and over and the little girl wondered anxiously, “If he loves me, why does he want to take away something I love?”Eventually, the little girl nervously and teary eyed walked up to her father and held out her fake pearl necklace. “Here, Daddy. This is for you.”The father reached out with one hand to take the imitation pearl necklace and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to his daughter. He had had them all the time, but was waiting for her to give up what she had to give her something even better.I’ve been wondering lately if what I cling to and am so afraid of losing are actually fake pearls…and when the time comes when I’m willing to lay them down and give them up, then God will be able to do immeasurably more than I could ask or imagine. (Copied from Kathystock.com)

 And as I read the story, all I could think to say was... this dad is a DICK!  He's a JERK!  What a mean, cruel thing to do to your daughter!  He's playing games with her to make her "prove" that she loves him before he gives her this amazing gift he got her.  Also, why the hell can't she keep her plastic pearls and still have the real ones? Is there some law against having both?  The plastic pearls for every day, the real pearls for special occasions? Because, remember, she wears her fake pearls all the time and never takes them off.  You really think daddy dearest is gonna let her do that with real pearls?  A FIVE YEAR OLD???  I'm not sure a five year old is actually even going to see real pearls as a better gift than fake pearls.

But so many, many evangelicals have this view of God, that God is very like this father.  That God, in fact, is a dick, a jerk, a sociopath who makes us "prove" our love over and over and over before giving us blessings.  Oh, they'd never admit that, they'd never use those words... but that's the attitude they have towards God.  I know, because that's the attitude I had towards God.  I had to bend over backwards to please Him, never even knowing exactly where the mark was so I could hit it, and if I did one thing wrong he'd "discipline" me by allowing me to go through terrible trials, but if I got it all right, then he'd (maybe) give me blessings.

And one day, I woke up, and I said "if that is what God is like, then he's a bully and a tyrant.  Bullies and tyrants deserve to be opposed, not worshiped."  And I spent a year or so wrestling within myself, trying to decide if God was even real, and if he was, was he good.

God met me one day, where my soul was crying out, and reassured me that God is good, fully good, and fully loving.  That he loves me, that he wouldn't pull the kind of shenanigans described in the story.  I'm sorry, but if THAT is your God, I reject him wholeheartedly.  Fortunately, God is NOT a dick!  He's loving, and holy, and good, and he is absolutely not going to force me to prove my love to him through sadistic tests before he demonstrates his love in return.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:9-11

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

March Madness

It's time for March Madness, everybody!  Fill out your brackets, root for your favorite team, and get ready for a wild ride!!!!

Oh wait, not everybody is as basketball crazy as we are at my house?  You're forgiven.  I wasn't really basketball crazy either until I married Lee.  I had to learn to be basketball crazy in self defense.  Baseball crazy too, but I've got a couple weeks before the season starts.  Fortunately for me, it ends there.  Lee isn't really much of a football or hockey or soccer fan.

I've really been thinking about the way other people influence our own likes and dislikes, and particularly how that works when parents are the ones influencing their children.  So I'm breaking it down into the microcosm of sports.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

So Apparently An Education Doesn't Really Last Forever

I’m dealing with some frustrations right now due to my husband’s student loans.  See, my husband graduated 3 years ago, and for the past 3 years, has looked for a job in his field. Unfortunately, his field is pastoring.  See, my husband got a degree in religion, which is 100% useless unless you want to be a pastor.  Which he does.  But for 3 years he’s worked a series of minimum wage jobs, trying to keep a roof over our heads while he hunts for a pastoring job.  Due to health concerns, he hasn’t even always managed to do that much.  I just graduated in August, so I’m able to pick up some of the slack now, but it was a tough three years.

During those three years, his student loan payments were beyond our reach.  We tried doing hardship deferments, income based payments, whatever, but somehow some paperwork slipped through the cracks and one of his loans ended up in default anyway.  So now that he’s finally come through the other side of his health issues, and is trying to pick up the pieces of the last few years, he’s trying to figure out what to do with his life.  Pretty much all of the options involve going back to school somehow.  So he’s been applying to different programs, just to explore his options and see what’s a good fit, and his college WON’T RELEASE HIS TRANSCRIPTS because his loan is in default.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The 2013 Oscars and Seth MacFarlane's "We Saw Your Boobs" Skit

Due to the fact that my husband is a huge Walking Dead fan, I didn't get to watch much of the Oscars last night.  Between the new episode of Walking Dead and the follow-up discussion show Talking Dead, the hours of 9 to 11 were already spoken for.  After that, I just went to bed, although I hear the Oscars lasted for like 3 and a half hours this year, so I guess I could have still watched a good chunk of it.  As it is, though, the only part of the Oscars I watched was Seth MacFarlane’s opening bit.  I watched it because I've become a bit of a Seth MacFarlane fan ever since he hosted SNL recently, and because the opening bit of the Oscars is always the best part (though if you ask me nothing will ever beat the year Hugh Jackman hosted.)

The point is I watched Seth MacFarlane’s opening monologue.  And I was uncomfortable, deeply uncomfortable, with his “We Saw Your Boobs” musical number.  But I couldn't quite put my finger on why.  It remained with me all day (not the least of reasons because it was so dang catchy).  Something bothered me.  Something upset me.  Something made me uncomfortable, and I was loathe to admit it.  After all, it was supposed to be funny.  It was a joke.  Supposedly those “reaction” shots of celebrities he mentioned were staged, faked for the sake of the joke inside the joke, the joke that the song that Seth MacFarlane sang was crass and unprofessional and “ruined” the Oscars.  (So Meta, right?)  But something made me go… that wasn't funny.  That crossed a line.  But I couldn't articulate, even to myself, why I felt it crossed a line, so I worried I was being too over-sensitive.  I checked the blogs I usually read.  When there’s an egregious display of sexism in pop culture, I can usually count on them to be all over it, to parse it, to explain to me what I was already feeling, deep down, but couldn't express.  But nobody seems to be talking about this one.  So I thought, and I thought, and I thought some more.  I started to feel like Winnie the Pooh when he thinks too hard.  And finally, I figured it out.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Seriously, How Is This The Government's Fault?

I believe I've mentioned that I work at a grocery store and frequently have to deal with people’s unpleasantness while I’m checking them out.  My absolute least favorite customer to deal with is the one who goes on a political rant.

As a side bar, why are the nut-jobs who go on political rants to unsuspecting check out workers always conservatives?  I’m not saying there are no ranting liberal nut-jobs out there… there totally are and I don’t like them any better than I like conservative ones, even if I’m more likely to agree with the spirit of what they’re saying, though not the content or the tone.  Yes, I lean liberal, and I’m not ashamed of it, but I feel it is important to admit my biases.  Okay, disclaimer over.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

I Know What's Best For You

Little Olivia has been giving Lee and I a problem lately.  She just hasn't been sleeping enough.  She wakes up at 6:00 in the morning (sometimes 5:30) no matter what time we put her to bed.  This would be bad enough if it was just her biological clock resetting, because Hubby and I are not morning people and don’t like being up that early.  But it’s worse, because she’s not a morning person either.  In the two weeks she’s been doing this, the pattern has been that she wakes up around 6ish, is cranky, and crabby, and angry all morning, throwing tantrum after tantrum over the smallest things.  Then if we’re lucky she takes a nap and she’s back to her normal, sunny self all afternoon.  If we’re not lucky, she’s too tired and cranky to fall asleep, and she’s awful all day long until bedtime.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

On Holiday Greetings

Well, if anyone was counting, then you know my previous blog post was just a smidge shy of 500 words.  That means tonight you get a twofer!  So before I have to wait a whole year for this post to be relevant again, here are my thoughts on holiday greetings and the “war” on Christmas.  Or, you know, I could just stop here, as I’ve now hit my word quota.  But that would be teasing. And cheating. So here goes.

I work retail, specifically, in a grocery store.  That means I interact with a couple hundred customers a day.  And that means I have to navigate the minefield that is wishing someone well during the holiday season.  There are so many choices.  I could go with “Season’s Greetings!”  I could go with “Happy Holidays!”  I could go with “Merry Christmas!”  I could go with “Cool Yule!” (Okay, no I couldn’t.  I’m not awesome enough to make that happen… but someone somewhere needs to).

New Year's Resolutions

Well, I can pretty much say without a doubt that 2012 was the worst year of my life.  Here’s to 2013 being better.  I started this blog back in early August with the best of intentions.  Life really got in the way.  Just after I started the blog, my husband was hospitalized for a week for suicidal and homicidal thoughts.  He spent several months trying to find the correct diagnosis and the correct medicines, and during that time my little family had to survive on my income alone.  Yeah, here’s the thing… I worked at McDonalds.  We got kicked out of our house, we spent many nights wondering where our next meal was going to come from, and through it all I had to take care of my husband and my daughter with very little help.  Needless to say the stress kept me from this blog.