Sunday, December 30, 2007

happy New Year?

I need the discipline of regular posting, or else I let too long go between posts. Also, when my life isn't in absolute crisis mode, I feel like my writing loses some immediacy.

I went back and read all my posts during the month of December, plus a few from the end of November. Good golly, there was a lot of anguish and pain and hurt. I think it will be a long time before I read October and November. I don't think I could handle that right now.

I wrote once that I was a natural optimist. It's very true, I always have been. I remember once when I was in grad school I was so sure I couldn't do it, wouldn't make it. I called my undergrad advisor and poured my heart out and he said, snap out of it. You're one of the most resilient people I know, and this too shall pass. You'll make it. It actually got worse - a whole lot worse - but I did make it with a masters degree. I think of that call often, actually, and try to draw upon that resilience.

Lately, though, I don't want it. Well, I want the resilience. I do want to know I'll make it through. I don't want the optimism, or the happiness. What I really don't want is the feeling when that happiness is crushed. I've been thinking a lot about Tash's most recent post, brought about by Meg's post. 2008 could be worse than 2007 was. It could be much, much worse.

Last night I asked my husband how he thought things were going. He said he thought there was a long way to go, for him, to grow up, to be a different sort of man, to speak up when he was unhappy, instead of burying it so that it all erupted at once. He said, though, that he was happy. Had been happy all week. The contrast between my family, and the forgiveness they offered, versus his family, and the conditions they set, was so extreme it really hit home for him what kind of life he wanted to lead. And it wasn't the life we had before, or the life he tried to create, it was a new family life centered around me and our daughter. I said it was so hard for me to understand where we were after all that had happened - it was almost like he was flipping a switch - from me, to affair, and now back to me. It seemed effortless to him. He said it wasn't effortless, and everything that happened this fall was terrible for him, too. That everything he did to break up our family always felt wrong to him. He had decided he didn't care, and he wanted to leave and wanted "something better," but every step of it felt wrong to him. But he kept pushing it, because he thought it would be better for him in the long run. When he finally set aside that feeling - that determination to leave - he gained clarity that he didn't want to leave at all.

I'm not entirely the pushover, eternal optimist I seem to be here. I have a strong cynical streak, and, um, yeah, not entirely buying it. But I have no way to process what happened or why.

I was pretty checked out of this marriage much of the summer and early fall, wrapped in baby regrets - the lost pregnancy, the secondary infertility. Those things are still there. I am still so sad about my fertility, or lack thereof. Right now, I don't know what to do with that sadness. Where to put it, or how to process it, or what to do with it. I turn 40 in 8 months. 40 in 2008. Not really looking forward to this new year.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

more poetry

A few weeks ago I thought I'd start a Thursday tradition of poetry. But that didn't take hold given how crazy my life was and how much there was to relate. Wow, a few weeks ago? Or more like a month ago. I was thinking this morning about this fall - everything was so intense, it feels like the blink of an eye - where did all that time go? Did I spend it all crying? Fighting? What did I do all fall? What did I do all December? Or all 2007?

I have a few ideas for blog posts (my husband had a counseling session today where he relayed the story of his mom - and counselor says, wow, it's a wonder any of her progeny are capable of adult relationships), but realized it's Thursday, so why not share another poem? (is it illegal to post a poem? Copyright issues? If I put the copyright in does that make it ok?) There are few readers this week, but I think those who are reading would like this. This poem reminds me of you. A few weeks ago (wow, probably a few months ago), in the blogs I read, among comments and on some posts was discussion of having a black heart, and not being nice. I don't remember what started it. This poem makes me think bloggers are poets, too, and reminds me we don't always have to be nice.

The Poet has come back...

The poet has come back to being a poet
after decades of being virtuous instead.

Can't you be both?
No. Not in public.

You could, once,
back when God was still thundering vengeance

and liked the scent of blood,
and hadn't gotten around to slippery forgiveness.

Then you could scatter incense and praise,
and wear your snake necklace,

and hymn the crushed skulls of your enemies
to a pious chorus.

No deferential smiling, no baking of cookies,
no I'm a nice person really.

Welcome back, my dear.
Time to resume our vigil,

time to unlock the cellar door,
time to remind ourselves

that the god of poets has two hands:
the dextrous, the sinister.

- Margaret Atwood, The Door

(From "The Door." Houghton Mifflin. Copyright 2007 by O.W.Toad Ltd.)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

up and down

I don't know what I'm going to do in this new job. I came into work today to get a little quiet, to solve one problem, and most importantly to blog. Where is that blog time going to come if I'm actually busy at work? Hmmm. Perhaps I will learn to be pithy and clever, instead of rambling.

It was a nice Christmas, it really was. We had a very nice Christmas Eve - we went shopping and saw Santa in the morning, wrapped presents in the afternoon, and my folks and sister came over for dinner. We all went to Mass together, and look, lord knows I know the Catholics can be crazy. But there is something so peaceful about sitting in a full church, saying the same familiar words, singing the same songs. I actually love the hour that is mass. It's getting to mass, making the time, ignoring the crazier/political aspects to Catholicism - all the stuff aside from the hour of peace - that I can't stand.

The sermon was very good. I keep meaning to ask my husband how much he paid attention (he had our daughter on his lap during the sermon). The priest, who of course has no idea what it's really like, talked about the sacrifices you make for a new baby, how you have to grow up and accept responsibility for a new life, and how as hard as it is to have a new baby, it only gets harder as the child grows, and how parents readily accept that sacrifice of their own lives to create a better life for their child. It was better than I'm describing it, and truly relevant for our lives right now.

On Christmas Day, my daughter slept in til almost 9 am. Yes! Then opened one present - a Mr Potato Head - that kept her happily entertained. We really didn't need to get her anything else. We had panicked a little - hadn't planned to get her much, knowing we'd be at my in laws and my mother in law would shower her with presents. Since that didn't work out, we bought a few more things than planned. My folks and sister came over in late morning and hung out, and more presents were opened.

My husband got me far too many things (I do not need 5 cashmere sweaters. Seriously.), including a pretty ring and gorgeous earrings. He also got me a card that said how much it meant to him to have me as his wife. It was all just nice. Everything was nice. Normal.

I will say I had my moments of thinking, ok, if we weren't trying to save our marriage, he would have come over in the morning, he would have left by now, I would be doing this, or how would I be feeling right now. Those thoughts were fleeting, but there.

At one point, I went upstairs and just laid down on the bed for a few minutes. And then my husband's phone chirped with a text message. And I looked. It was his affair (I have no idea what to call this girl - his fling? his ex? What?). Simple message - Merry Christmas! She might have sent it to everyone in her address book. Or to everyone in their company. Or, just to him. I don't know. But it was a punch to the gut. At any time, at any place, she can inject herself into my life. Even on Christmas Day - a good, loving day spent together.

I went downstairs and walked outside, fighting for control. My parents were still there, it was Christmas, we had had as close to a perfect day as I could have hoped. My husband stepped outside and said what's up? I just said you got a text. We walked around the block, him saying it was nothing. Him also anxiously asking if I had texted anything back, and me saying no, of course not. He stopped me walking at one point, and put his arms around me and said there was no place else he wanted to be, no one else he wanted to be with.

Recovering from infidelity is just so hard. I think he genuinely thinks this will just blow over. Or no, he's not that dumb. I don't know what he thinks. I said why was it so hard for him to understand that zero contact was zero contact? He assured me they were only interacting professionally, though I told him I had also seen a friendly interaction in the texts. He said oh, right, that was a week or so ago, and he was just being friendly. I asked Why? Why be friendly? Why be friendly when it hurts me so much?

I feel like a jealous freak typing this out. But I am not being a jealous freak. My husband had an affair. He tried to destroy our marriage. And if we're to put it back together, he needs to cut off contact. Period.

We got back to the house, said goodbye to my parents without incident, put our daughter down for a nap. I finally said to him, it was a good reminder for me. A reminder that I can't count on him.

That's the thing. I count on him. To be there, to be a help, to be a support. I count on him too much, and I have to remember that I cannot count on him. I have to stand on my own, and maybe he'll be there, and maybe he won't.

We went to my brother's for dinner, and while he and I were distant, it was a continuation of the niceness the entire holiday had been. A good meal, fun with our niece and nephew, my daughter hero worshipping her older cousins.

We got home, got our daughter to bed. I sat in the living room, flipping channels. And he came in and sat down, and I realized he was crying. He said, it was all too much. How could my family be so wonderful, and his so horrible? And then he sad, until that bitch texted me, I was happy. Really happy.

I didn't know what to say. There's so much - I wanted to say I had been happy, too, but at the same time thinking about how horrible the holiday might have been had we separated. I wanted to say he did this. He brought it on, and now we both had to deal with the repercussions. I wanted to say I was so so sorry about his family. No one should have to deal with so much - I shouldn't, and he shouldn't, either. It has to suck to go the entire day - Christmas Day - and not hear from your family. But I didn't say anything. Should I have? Or is it all too much? Is it better to listen?

He was exhausted and said he was going to go to bed, but it was only 8:30. I suggested we watch Tivo, and so we spent the evening slowly working through saved Offices. End of October - oh, here's the night he spent with her. November - here's the night we had that huge fight. He's the night he spent looking for apartments. Working our way through back episodes, it was all a reminder of time wasted that I'll never get back. September, October, November of this year - months I would not wish on anyone. December had highs and lows. What will 2008 bring?

Today has been ok. My entire family is coming over for dinner, and that'll be a good time. My folks and sister leave tomorrow.

My husband's sister e-mailed him, just thanks for the present. He's not heard a word from his parents. I cannot believe they are doing this, but it's nothing new from his mom.

Monday, December 24, 2007

a new reality

Wow, so Christmas Eve. My daughter is in bed, my presents are all bought and wrapped, my husband is wrapping far too many presents for me. We had Christmas Eve dinner at our house with my parents and sister, and we all went to church with my brother, too (he went to church earlier with his wife and kids, so they weren't able to come over for dinner).

In a lot of ways, this was as close to a really good day as could be. Lurking under the surface, though, was a world of hurt and regret.

At the top of the list, we were supposed to be at my husband's parents. Didn't quite work out that way, as regular readers know.

So, on Saturday, we went to my husband's brother's daughter's birthday. (whew, that is a lot of apostrophes). My niece's birthday party. It was held at a YMCA (gym activities, then pizza and cake), then family over to my brother in law's house for presents and family time. All together, 4.5 hours.

That would be 4.5 hours of being studiously ignored by my mother in law. And father in law. And sister in law (husband's sister who lives at home). Yes, you read that right. My husband has an affair, almost leaves me, breaks my heart, and my family welcomes him this Christmas with open arms (a teeny bit chilly, but open arms nonetheless). My husband tells his mom that we are splitting Christmas Day between them and home, and we get frozen out.

It gets worse, though. I'm a big girl. I can take silence and whatever else that crazy hag tries to dish out. Bring it on, lady. What is totally unacceptable is her trying to freeze out my 2 year old.

Yes, you read that right. My mother in law tried to ignore my daughter for 4.5 hours. A two year old. A two year old who worships her grandmother. And who was clearly puzzled by how her grandmother was not acting as usual. Luckily, when you're 2, there's a lot to distract you, and so momentary puzzlement could give way to look! Trampoline! Or look! Cake!

When my daughter would come up to her, my mother in law would speak to her, or interact slightly. But nothing like usual.

Then, at the after party, my daughter was playing with a large toy right by her grandmother. My sister in law was there, too, and was my husband. I was about 10 feet away. My daughter slightly fell, nothing serious, just lost her balance a little bit. My sister in law reacted, bent slightly as if to right my daughter. And my mother in law looks at her daughter and says, don't bother.

My husband shouted, in his very scary voice, WHAT?

And they had a little standoff - my husband told me about this later, as I wasn't sure what was happening from my distance. Apparently, he had been watching his mom ignore her granddaughter and getting more and more pissed, and he said through gritted teeth, you're supposed to be a grandmother, act like it. And she countered, you act like a man. And she walked away.

Then later, opening presents, she pulled my daughter on her lap and cuddled her a little.

I took my daughter up to change her into her PJs for the long drive back home, and my inlaws decided to leave when I was upstairs. My husband ran up, grabbed our daughter, and said to me I'm not going to let them leave without saying goodbye. I stayed upstairs, so also heard about this on the drive home.

He took our daughter to the door, and handed her to his dad, who hugged her and handed her back, and said to my husband, thank you. My husband had to call his mom back from outside to say goodbye. My mother in law came back, hugged my daughter, pulled away, looked my two year old in the eye, and said, your dad sucks. And turned and walked away.

Un-fucking-believable. What kind of person involves a TWO YEAR OLD in her crazy world??

If nothing else, this is actually bringing my husband and me closer together.

I'll tell you one thing. If that stupid woman thinks she is ever, EVER going to spend time alone with my daughter again, she's as stupid as she is crazy.

Merry f'ing Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2007


Whew. What a freaking week. What a month, what a fall, what a year.

I didn't weigh myself today - I've been eating a lot lately and not exercising. I definitely have the blues - not the panicked oh my god franticness of much of the fall. Just settling in now for the long winter of discontent. I couldn't face a higher number on the scale. I know I'll feel better if I start exercising and taking better care of myself, but with the shitstorm that is my life, it's just not been something I could will myself to do these past two weeks.

First, the good news. I resigned today! Finally, finally this week I got the final contract, I signed on Tuesday and they signed on Thursday. Everyone has reacted rather well here (so far), so I am hoping for a peaceful two weeks of handing things off and packing up, though I am hoping to not be here much of next week. I am nervous about the new job. There are so many unknowns! I don't even know where I am going to start. The only bad part is that since I will be paid on contract, I won't start realizing new money until 30 days after I start. That's ok from a financial viewpoint - in general, my husband and I budget trying to pay living expenses off his salary and extras off mine, and we have some savings, but one of the nice things about taking a new job and getting a 50% raise should be a nice little splurge for myself, right? It'll be delayed, but dadgummit, I want a splurge. Maybe an inexpensive piece of art, or some long delayed project on the house. It would actually make me feel better to have the house come together more.

Then, the rest of my life. My husband is actually being strong with his family - stronger than I am. We're not going to visit them if this is the way they're going to act. I "feel badly" though. Your family shouldn't treat you like crap. He even said today that he wasn't going to let his mom just gloss this over - that real change was going to have to come in his family. That might be a little overly ambitious! I've read many of your blogs, and heard stories of horrible things family can do, and it's so outside my realm of experience, I have a hard time understanding. My family isn't perfect, but lordy. We all respect each other as people and treat each other accordingly, with the baseline assumption we're all doing the best we can. In women's magazines the experts say set boundaries and reign in the crazy, but in reality, if the person you are dealing with is crazy, what type of boundary can you set? I guess that's how it spirals out of control, until you are forced to cut off all contact. I hate this, though. This level of crazy this year is too much to take.

We had an extra counseling session. The joint counselor feels I show too much anger in those sessions, and so they aren't productive. It's true, I save up my anger for there. I don't know how to release it outside of a safe place like the session. Bottom line, it's not entirely working for me. I also saw my counselor, and they both suggested we meet next all 4 together - my husband, me, joint counselor (who is also husband's counselor) and my counselor. So that's scheduled after the new year.

Not sure what the hell we are going to do for Christmas itself. My parents made it to town, and are at my brothers. I have NO christmas shopping done. None. Nor do I really feel like doing any, but in this case I will feel better if I just suck it up and think of the recipients. Just cause my life sucks doesn't mean my sister shouldn't get a nice gift. My husband and I were talking about going away to a resort for a couple of days. But maybe we should stay home, finish shopping, just be home all together as a family. I don't know.

Ugh, I am going nowhere with this post. No point, no thread to tie it all together, no thought of what it means or where things are going. I'm just blue today. I think PMS, and honestly, that makes me saddest of all. Why the hell am I experiencing regular 28 day cycles, with wicked PMS, with no ovulation since July?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Now what?

OK, so the phone call with his mother did not go well. I did end up going to the store, and when I got home he had just hung up with his mother. 90 minutes. No resolution. He did say she offered a counter proposal - we don't go the our niece's birthday party on the 22nd, we come up on the 24th, spend the night the 24th and 25th, leave the 26th. Apparently all that matters to her is that we are in her house all day on the 25th.

So now what? Narcissistic personality disorder, indeed. I should read up on that. Seriously, what are we supposed to do now? Do we accede to her plan? Not go at all? Go to the niece's party but nothing else? How am I supposed to go when she called my family selfish for driving up here to spend time with their heartbroken daughter?

This led to a huge fight with my husband. I was unhappy with the counseling session in the morning, I was unhappy where things were in general, I was unhappy feeling that he had thrown me and my family under the bus in the call with his mother.

I'm not a nice person. The fight ended with me letting my husband know the night I re-discovered his affair, I had sent myself incriminating e-mails from his phone to me. And that if he lied to me again, those were going to the person he hated most on the board of his company, and the one most damaging/humiliating to his girlfriend was going to everyone on staff in the company. I shouldn't have told him. It was too hateful a thing to say, much less to ever do, and while he's let loose some really hateful things, I've tried not to retaliate, to be a bigger person, to be a better person. Or really to be the only decent person in this whole sordid mess. Now I'm sunk to their level.

What I've hated most of all - what I said to him on Friday, and again in the counseling session, is that this right now can't be about moving forward. How can he MAKE UP for the hurt he's caused. It's not enough that he's there.

So, he's back in the spare room. He did keep coming into my room, asked me if I had my anti-anxiety medicine, should I take it, he wanted me to be able to sleep, etc. One visit he said he thought he had known the depths to which he had hurt me and obviously he did not. I finally told him I had taken care of myself just fine without him for 8 weeks, I could handle that night. That ended the visits.

Except of course I woke up sobbing.

We left it this morning with me saying we should try to see our counselor again this week, and he will call and try to set it up.

Things are always better for me when I'm being strong and doing my own thing. Tonight I have dinner with friends, tomorrow night is my office Christmas party and I'll go with my daughter.

Seriously, what's the right thing to do with his mom? With holidays? How do you handle narcissistic personality disorder without getting sucked into the madness? How do you juggle holidays and in-laws when one player is insane? I'm not a monster, and I know he needs time with his family over the holiday, but dear god almighty, how can that possibly happen in a way that helps us/me?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

storm brewing

There's a very good explanation for why my husband is an immature jerk. If you're raised by immature jerks, it appears to be tough to overcome.

On Sunday my husband called his family to discuss holiday plans. His entire family (parents, brother, sister) live 2 hours away. His brother's daughter's birthday is the 22nd, and there's a party. Over Thanksgiving, my parents decided to drive 1000 miles to spend the holidays here, the 20th-27th, to be supportive of me. My brother lives in this area, about 30 minutes from me, and my sister can travel here too. Last year we went to my family's house for Christmas. So those are all the variables, and my husband and I decided the best thing to do was go to the party on the 22nd, stay at his parent's house til the 25th, leave midday, during our daughter's nap, and drive back here, having dinner at my brothers. That way we'd have part of the 25 and the 26th with my folks.

So my husband calls his parents Sunday night and relays this plan. His mother says, I thought I'd get all Christmas Day! Husband replies we have a lot to juggle, she knows this has been a hard year, and this is the best solution for us. She is clearly not satisfied, but they leave it at that. Oh, yeah, and my husband hasn't talked to his parents since Thanksgiving and his change of plans the first week in December. So the last they had heard, he had a lawyer, an apartment, and was moving out. He says on Sunday he'll call them and talk to them on Monday.

Which he does not do.

Over dinner tonight I asked if he called his folks. No, but his dad called him in a panic. In a panic? Yes, his mom was on the warpath, and his dad asked if there was any way we could change our plans to be there all Christmas. After all, last year we spent the whole day at my folks - over 1000 miles away.

His mother is, in a word, a lunatic. A stark raving mad crazy woman who does not hesitate to throw massive temper tantrums to get her way. I best describe her using a stereotype, and I apologize for this in advance, but she just meets it so well. She's an Italian mother from New Jersey. Plus, she's crazy. She rages, she screams, she cries, she throws things, she threatens....she is a force with which to be reckoned.

She wore a long white dress to our summer afternoon wedding.

She screamed at me in April of the year we got married because I wasn't playing along with her plans, and she didn't speak to me again until the reception (August), when she sidled up to me and asked, so we're ok, right? She moved her entire family out of the hotel my husband and I had selected to another hotel 15 miles away, and threw a brunch the day after the wedding for her family. My family (and my new father-in-law's family) was not invited. (I'm still annoyed I caved and agreed to endorse that bad behavior with my presence.)

She got mad at my husband's brother when his wife was pregnant, didn't speak to them for about 6 months, and refused to attend the baby shower. My in-laws go on vacation to tropical islands once or twice per year (despite the fact they can't afford it, but their crazy money habits that have already driven them to bankruptcy once before are a post for another day), and never invite anyone else along, but when my brother in-law went on vacation with his in-laws, she hit the roof, screamed, pouted and cried and didn't speak to them for another 3 months because he was favoring HIS in-laws over her.

My husband was raised in a household that walked in fear of her tantrums, her rages, her insanity. She beat them with hairbrushes. Got in feuds with teachers at schools and put them in 5 different private schools, yanking them from their school after each feud. Banned one of their friends from their house for two years for no reason, until one night just lifting the ban for no reason. A deeply insecure woman, she showered the kids with clothes that had the right labels so they'd fit in (see bankruptcy, above). She dressed my husband and brother-in-law (2 years apart) in the same clothes growing up, and still - STILL - gives them the same outfits at Christmas and birthdays. And she labeled them from the earliest age, my husband was the good one, the smart one. Brother was the bad one, the cute one, the athletic one.

Of her three children, my husband lies on a regular basis, and has had two affairs. But at least he's left the immediate circle of influence. His brother lives 20 minutes away from the family and spends as many nights at his parent's house as he can. Oh, also he's a drug user/addict/alcoholic who is about 100 pounds overweight and had a long-term affair (~2 years long) soon after getting married. You think I'm crazy for sticking it out with my husband? Maybe because his wife has it so much worse than me my perspective is skewed. And my husband's sister? Still lives at home at 31. Essentially, my mother-in-law raised three kids to never grow up and be adults, never separate from their family of origin, and always, always orbiting about her world tightly.

My husband and I have joked - that's not the right word - that we've had three years of peace, and it's going to break soon. My husband has thought we now hold the ultimate trump card - the grandchild - and with any luck, she knows better than to pull any crap with us because she won't want access to the grandchild pulled.

I have to say as crazy as she can be at times, she also has periods of relative normalcy. And my daughter adores her. My mother-in-law is good with small children and I've never had any doubts about leaving my daughter with her, or having our daughter visit. (Keeping my eyes WIDE open that could change at any time, and absolutely knowing I'd act if there was ever a whiff of craziness in her interactions with my child - I may be a fool for my husband but NEVER for my child.)

I'm typing in the living room listening to my husband, who is in the kitchen, argue with his mom. Good googly moogly. This is not going to end well. I need to go to the grocery store and get the heck out of the house and not listen to this. My husband is holding firm, but I cannot imagine how this crazy woman is going to treat me over the holidays.

The first year we got married, we went up there after Christmas (we went to my folks, and believe me she keeps score) and my husband unwrapped present after present - shirts, pants, socks, underwear, ties, games - the stack of presents was 3 feet high for him. I unwrapped two - she got me a quilted set of boxes in which to store china.

I have a lot to update you all on, addressing some points from yesterday's comments, relaying our counseling session today, but this is already long and I do actually really need to go to the store. And I can't listen to my husband try to reason with a crazy woman any longer. She won't relent, and there are going to be repercussions. I cannot even imagine how this one is going to resolve. Gee, wonder why my marriage is in trouble. Marrying someone raised by an insane woman is not the firmest foundation.

UGH. More later.

Monday, December 17, 2007

One day at a time

I grew up in a small town. Extremely small - one of those places where you know everyone, and they know you, and you're really never anything different than the kid you were in kindergarten. I grew up in a state that during the 80s slowly switched from Democratic to Republican during the Reagan revolution. I think I was the only kid who stayed a liberal. Well, at least I was the loudest.

I remember in high school civics class, no matter the subject, I was the one who would say, well, I feel bad. I feel badly for the poor and downtrodden, or I feel badly for those who commit crimes because they were raised in circumstances that led them to their poor life decisions. It got so the loudest conservative (who is still a good friend) would start a discussion by saying, ok, we know WhichBox feels badly, so let's move on from there.

I'm no longer the kid I was in kindergarten. But, I can still say I excel at putting myself in other's positions. Maybe a bit too much. I like to hear what others think, and value other perspectives and the background people bring to discussion.

A few people have written me privately (I need to put an e-mail me link on here - maybe I'll try to figure out how to do that next if anyone does want to weigh in privately) and said they hope I'm not taking strong comments/criticisms too personally, and that only I can make decisions for my life. I wouldn't be blogging if I didn't want comments. I want comments. I've gotten incredibly valuable advice from readers, and i am extremely touched that people care enough to weigh in. It's helped me see some things in different lights, and brought some clarity when I was feeling all muddled. You all have helped me be stronger.

I think people react to betrayal, infidelity, loss, and everything else very individually. There are those who would say after betrayal they'd walk away without looking back. And others who say anything is forgivable, under the right circumstances.

Despite my extreme liberal leanings, I used to be a very judgmental person. And then my husband and I went through a very rough time in 2003, that involved infidelity on his part. I don't think I've written about it, though I have alluded to it. The biggest lesson I learned was that no one can ever really know what goes on between two people. And, more importantly, even though you think you know someone inside and out, you can't ever really know the true heart of another person.

So, I don't know where I'm going with all these disparate pieces of information. Still trying to make sense of what's going on in my life, and what's the right path for me.

Maybe I'm better off when I just relay the story, and listen to your comments after?!

So, I got home Friday evening. Once my daughter had gone to bed, my husband and I talked. He had tried to kiss me when I came in and I refused. He told me he had a good counseling session on Wednesday, and that he knew he had messed up. He didn't want to be a coward anymore, he wanted to face and address the things that made him act in destructive ways, and wanted another chance. I said, so I'm supposed to give you a THIRD chance? And he said please, yes.

I said it was possible to tell so many lies, nothing he said was believable. He said he knew, and he wanted to win back my trust.

I said after the last affair, he had said there was nothing he could do to make it up, and so he didn't do anything. And that wasn't going to cut it this time. He said he knew.

He said he had said a lot about the things I needed to change to meet his needs, and he needed to hear from me what he needed to change to meet mine. I said I didn't think he would be willing or able to do the things necessary to do that. Bottom line, I want to be with someone who is a family man, who puts family ahead of his own selfish pleasures. Someone who doesn't NEED to go out with the guys, someone who wants to put his family first in his life. And I wouldn't accept anything less.

He said he had missed me so much Tuesday night, and Wednesday, and had just been so excited our conversation on Tuesday had gone well and was just devastated he had lied about the party. He said he had wanted to move back into our room this weekend. And I quickly said that was not going to happen. He talked some more about improving our relationship in general, and I finally cut him off - all that talk was ignoring the fact he had betrayed me. He had an affair. He put another woman ahead of me - and our daughter - and he was still doing so, every single day. He said he had been, and he was so sorry, and it wasn't that way anymore, and he was taking steps to network and leave his current job.

We left it at that. Saturday was my brother's kid's birthday (twins). He, my daughter and I went there for lunch and it went well. My brother was fine, my sister in law actually gave him a big hug. So it went well. So he cleared one hurdle with my family.

Saturday night we decided to watch a movie, and I let him sit next to me on the couch. (music and Lyrics, very cute). We talked again after the movie was over. We had said during the day we needed to discuss our holiday plans. I said that there were things we had to work out, and I wasn't sure we could do so outside of counseling. He agreed. I thought about it a minute, and decided to just put it out there - I said I was really concerned with his New Year's plans. Without pausing, he said, I'll cancel them.

He planned with his best friend/coworker to go to a college bowl game. Unbeknownst to me, the friend actually bought plane tickets already. The plan was to go on the 31st, return on the 2nd. I've been thinking about it for days, and it was a litmus test - if he went on this trip, he'd return to find his belongings boxed up and my daughter and I gone for a few days until he was able to move out. I didn't say that.

Needless to say, I was surprised at how quickly he said he'd cancel. A part of me doesn't believe he will. He's going to tell his friend, who will make the "whipped" sound effect/hand gesture, and he'll feel peer pressure to still go. It's non-negotiable. Well, it's actually not non-negotiable. If I was going, or if we went as a family, it could be fun. Him going with his friend - his friend the king of one night stands while on travel - alone, over New Years Eve, is non-negotiable.

He just said again how sorry he was, how he knows he needs to change, and how hard he will work to be the man he wants to be.

So now we come to the hard to blog part. I let him move back into our room that night. I even said geez, I hate that I'm caving after 24 hours, I was really hoping to make it to 48. People, it is COLD in the mid-Atlantic.

I'm trying to make light of this. Yes, I'm not sure I did the right thing. I thought a lot about separating. IT just did not feel right. I don't know what the right thing is. I've hated that my daughter is learning to say/distinguish mommy's room and daddy's room. I hate that.

Things aren't perfect, or even back to normal. Though with the other family things we did this weekend, plus snuggling in bed between us on Sunday morning, my daughter is measurably a happier kid. And that counts for something.

I am scared to death that I'll get hurt more. That my daughter will be hurt further. My husband is not a bad person, though he has done bad things. Do not misunderstand me - there is no excuse for his behavior, and he is damn lucky to be getting a third chance. He better not blow it.

We have a joint session tomorrow. I hope it will help make some sense out of where we are now. Cause I'm not sure. I'm not. I really do not know how we're going to recover from these past few months.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Do you know the way?

I'm running out of CA songs after two, so good thing I am going home tomorrow.

The thing is I don't know the way. I don't know what way I want to go, or where I want to go, or which way I'm going.

Am I doing OK? asked if my husband was checking this blog. He knows about it - he found it just after our really disastrous weekend, when I found out (via text message) that he hadn't stopped the affair. He read it through at that point, but I am fairly certain he's not read it since. There are some things I've left out of blogging, just in case he was checking. If it were me, I'd be checking. I almost feel like the fact he does'nt check says more about how he feels about me than anything else.

Anyway, time to update the latest. So, when I left off, things were actually good. We had a good conversation Tuesday night and I thought he was missing me and really thinking about me.

Wednesday morning I got a text from him asking me to call. He had an individual session Wednesday, and I had been curious how it went, but determined I wasn't going to ask him. With his text invite, I made the call. Our counselor also sponsors a support group for couples who have lost babies like we did. It's late in the evening, so inconvenient for us with our 2 year old. I went by myself in July. We went together in September. And then all hell broke loose in October. Our counselor suggested my husband go last night, she thought it would be of benefit for him. Turns out, unlike in other groups (or stereotypes), the husbands actually do a lot of talking in this group. This group of men is really open with their feelings and their grief. My husband asks me what I think about his going. What I actually think is this does not strike me as something he needed to talk to me about, but ok, nice of him to ask me. We agree he should go, ask our nanny to stay late, etc. We also talk about our attic project, and he says he'll call the contractor and see if he can start work.

Later in the day I e-mail him and ask if he'd buy a paper from that day, as there's an article I'd like to see. He responds and says yes, and asks a few questions and it's just generally such a "normal" (ie, prior to cheating) e-mail exchange. It's nice. I miss my partner, my friend, my husband. I miss e-mailing him during the day. He tells me he'll be home soon, so I plan to call home when he is there, to talk with our daughter.

So I call, and of course he is not there. I like our nanny, she and I chat, I say good night to our daughter, and hang up the phone, pissed. Of course he didn't leave work when he said he would, of course he isn't home when he said he would be.

About 30 minutes later he calls. He had "gotten hung up at work," (like what else is new) and was mad he only had 10 minutes with our daughter, was now going to be late to the support group, traffic was bad, etc etc. (funny, he had'nt minded not seeing our daughter at all last Thursday night, when he went out drinking after work). He said our nanny had told him I'd called. I was pretty sure this was his CYA call to let me know he had gone home. Even so, we had a good quick talk, and agreed I'd call him later to see how it all went.

So I go to a work function. One of the few things I'm actually doing out here. It's a two hour long reception. I duck out at an hour to call him. We talk a lot about the support group. He said it was good. He tells me who was there, and what people talked about. Our loss was in February. There's a new couple there who suffered their loss only two months ago. He says he said that he feels like he should be further along in his grief than this new couple, and one of the guys told him, hey, you can't put a timeline on grief. He tells me a lot about how he felt like he was the old timer and he should be offering something to the group, showing them how to move forward.

Oh really, I think, but don't say. Are any of the other men contemplating leaving their wives? Having an affair with their junior staffer? Telling their wife that he had totally forgotten the due date, and it hadn't really mattered (that was two counseling sessions ago - we were talking about something that had happened in August and I brought up the due date and he shrugged it off, said he had purposely decided to forget when it was)? I think all those things, but don't say them. Try to listen, try to hear him. He had been insistent that he was totally over the loss. I had said at one point during the affair didn't he realize our troubles were directly tied to the loss? And he had insisted they were not.

Then he tells me that one of the women is doing accupuncture, to deal with her loss and to try to get pregnant again, and he took down the info for me. What the fuck again. Why is he doing/saying this? What is he saying? He knows how much I want(ed) a second child. Is he dangling that out there as possibility? (forgetting that I am 39 and not fucking ovulating.)

I mean, is he just pretending that we've not been through hell the past 7 weeks? That he just ended his affair, that he's probably going to have to leave his job, that he tells me he isn't happy but isn't unhappy being home, trying again, with me? Just pretending everything is back to "normal?"

We finish talking about the session, and talk about my work, a few other things. Suddenly, I don't know why, I say, hey, what ever happened with your company's Christmas party? What did they ever decide to do? (before affair, I had volunteered to organize it for them).

There's a long pause. He says, very awkwardly, they had it already. Just an after work happy hour. Last week.

Oh, I say.

There's a longer pause. So long I think we've been disconnected. Hello?! I say. Yeah. he sighs. I was going to tell you when you got home, but now you've asked, and I can't lie. It was Friday. Last Friday.

FRIDAY. Friday the night I was going out with my friends, when he "worked late" and made me late to my night out (after he had gone out drinking on Thursday night, not even bothering to come home. Friday when I got home the dog had crapped all over the floor, and I had cleaned it up. Friday.

I'm digesting that when he starts in with a note of desperation to his voice. It wasn't any big deal. It wasn't any fun. Hardly anyone was there. Less than half the people were there. It was really lame.

I finally say, Friday. Friday my night out.

And he says, traffic was bad, I went late, I left early, the traffic was just so bad it made me late. It took me an hour and a half to get home.

He had called me Friday night and said he had gotten hung up at work and was on his way home and how sorry he was. FUCKING LIAR. HUNG UP AT WORK. OR, DRINKING WITH HIS TRAMP MISTRESS. Gee, easy to get those confused.

He's told me a lot of lies these past few months. He's been an absolute jerk throughout the pregnancy and loss. He's lied so many times. And this might just be the lie that breaks the proverbial camel's back. I just felt shattered.

I say ok, I've got to go. He starts to say I miss yo...and I just say bye and hang up. Try to hold it together. I'm still at my damn work reception. I gather my coat, people are leaving, I stand with my colleagues for a few, and then just take off. I'm shattered. Just absolutely shattered. Walk back to the hotel just numb.

I woke up at 4 am. Lovely time change. And as I'm waking up, I remember. I had taken his car out on Friday. When I got in the car I thought I smelled beer. Nah, I thought. Couldn't possibly be. He was at work. There was no time for him to stop after work and drink a beer. Just my nose playing tricks on me. See how I BELIEVE him at every opportunity?

So now it's today. Before I started typing, I called to check in. Talk to my daughter, then briefly to him. Asked about the weather. He starts to talk about something and I cut him off. Told him I really just called to talk to her. He says, yeah, I figured that. Says he wants to bring her to the airport, we can go out to dinner. I say no. The airport is far away, I have the car there, I'll just come home. He says she misses me, he misses me.

I want to say, it's possible to tell so many lies that nothing that you ever say is believable. But I'm in the hallway of the conference center.

He says, I want to change. I want to put you first. I want this to be different.

I don't think I said anything.

Seven weeks. I've held it together for 7 weeks. I've insisted that he has to give it a shot. That our daughter's life will be better off if we can come to a new place. Work things out, make our relationship better. It's the right thing to do.

Now, I don't know the way to do that. How many lies can I be expected to take? How much more can I take? What is the right way forward? For our daughter, for me. I think I've reached my limit.

I left my heart

I left my heart at home, but my body is here in California, at a conference. My last trip for this job. It's hard not to want to say goodbye to people I probably won't ever see again. When I get back on Monday, I'll sign the contract and resign, so best to just keep it to myself for another few days.

It's good to be out of town. My husband misses me, he says. He's also been more open over the phone. Thing is, I'm just not so sure it matters. I'm having hard time thinking what's the point. How in the world am I supposed to put things together with a guy who's cheated TWICE, and who made it expressly clear that ever since we've been dating he's thought he could do better?

Let's catch up. So, on Monday, we had the counseling sessions. Husband makes it clear he's not unhappy to be home, but also not happy, either.

We drove separately. I can't stand to be in the car with him driving there and back anymore. We've had some rough times in the car commuting to counseling.

So I drove into work and parked in the garage at my work. While we have two cars, we only have one car seat, so the plan was I'd drive "his car" to the airport and he'd have "my car" this week. I noticed the car didn't have much gas. So in addition to leaving work early as I always do to relieve the nanny, I left work extra early so I could stop and get gas. We talked, as we usually do, near the end of the day and he said he'd be home before dinner. Of course, he called after dinner, and said he had to work late and was on his way home. When he got home, he said, oh, sorry, the car gauge says there's only 30 miles left. You'll have to stop for gas on the way to airport tomorrow.

What. The. Fuck. Does that sum up our relationship, or what? I leave work early, fill up the car, just so he won't have to worry about it if he takes our daughter anyplace. I have a first thing in the morning flight, a 30 mile drive to the airport, and he can't be bothered to put in any gas at all.

After our daughter goes to bed, I take the car and get extra gas. So now I've put gas in both cars. When I get home he says, I'm really sorry. I just explode. Not only about this, but I bring up last Friday night - my night out, the night he works late and makes me late to my one night out a month. The night I go out with my mom's group - not like his nights out with the cheating crowd. I say, I'm just so tired of being....last. What I should have said was I'm just so tired of being disappointed. I'm just constantly disappointed in/with him.

I go to bed mad, I get up mad, I leave the house in the morning mad. Kiss our daughter, say bye cat, bye dog, bye husband and walk out.

I spent a lot of time thinking on the plane and during the day. I need to remember that this isn't an automatic he's happy to be with me. He's still thinking it all through. Maybe my expectations are too high. I need to stand on my own, and not expect anything from him. When I do expect something, I'm always disappointed. Maybe if I expect nothing I'll be pleasantly surprised. Better to reframe and not be disappointed?

I called at dinner time, as we usually do when either of us is traveling. I thought a lot about just asking to talk to our daughter and not even spending any time talking with him, but I can't do it. We're talking, tentatively, about my plans and the trip and he says, so your plane got in early?

I say yeah, actually, it did. Um, how did you know?

Him: I checked online and saw it was early.

Me: oh. OK.

H: I hate the way we left things. I hate that you left mad. I'm really sorry.

M: No, I need to lower my expectations. I need to not expect things from you when you can't give them.

H: No! I need to try harder. I need to give you what you need. I need to think of you.

So. Wow. a little breakthrough. He says the house feels empty without me there. That he and daughter are having a good time, but that he misses me.

So that was Tuesday. This is already long, and I'm late for a meeting, so I'll do part II - where it all crashes down - later. Stay tuned.

Monday, December 10, 2007

meme - Blogher Me and Mine

Thanks to Meg for tagging me with this meme. I'm a meme virgin, so I hope this works right.

1. My blog is WhichBox. My about me page is here. I thought this was going to be a blog about me, my daughter, my life, my work, and my "issues" - pregnancy loss and infertility. It's about all those things, but mostly about my marriage imploding, and maybe, maybe, about how you put a marriage back together. Or not. It might possibly be about how you get a divorce after trying to put a marriage back together.

2. I think I'd like to be profiled on Blogher as a family blogger. The link back is here.

3. I've been blogging since the last week of October, so, hmm, 7 weeks. Wow. 7 weeks. I AM a newbie.

4. So who to tag? I would like to tag Am I Doing OK?, Tash at Awful But Functioning, and Louise at JeezLouise. Though Louise is not a parent, I do not believe.

OK, now how the frick do I do this next part of including the instructions. Sigh.

BlogHer Me and Mine Meme 100 directions:

1.) State the name of your blog, your real name or your online name, and link to your "about me" page.
2.) Say you want to be profiled on BlogHer as a family blogger and link back to this Me and Mine 100 original post,
3.) Tell how long you've been blogging.
4.) Pass this meme on to three other bloggers that you think should be profiled/interviewed, and ask them to do the meme. (Kindly link to the bloggers you select.)

counseled out

Monday afternoon, and I am worn out after back to back counseling sessions. First me alone, then couples.

We didn't really have any breakthrough in the couples session, nor in my session. In some ways just touching base.

We went to a Christmas play last night, with our daughter, and it wasn't great. My husband did not enjoy himself. I thought it was because he was tired, and our daughter was really acting up (so much so we had to leave early). He said today the play was all about holiday spirit, and he just didn't feel it.

I also learned he's still pretty much in the feeling nothing for me stage. I was talking about how I had learned Saturday night that it wasn't me, he was so upset with himself, and that was the source of much of his unhappiness. At one point he clarified - he wasn't unhappy with me, but he wasn't happy with me either. I wish there was a way to get through this stage more quickly.

We ran out of time in the session, but I think he was going to being up his New Year's plans. Time was very short, and I just did not want to get into it, and we didn't. He'll have his own session this week, and we'll have a joint session next week, and see where we are then.

Niobe has once again left a very perceptive comment on my last post. Argh, cannot figure out how to link to comments (anyone? I am slowly learning html/blogger, and one of these days I'm going to ask readers to help me figure out a few things that bug me, like how you link to comments!).

Anyway, we talked briefly about his job, and how he is probably going to have to leave. I said in the session this woman is going to have to grow up and suck it up. I'm not sure why I'm not completely and quickly agreeing he needs to leave his job. I do not think she would sue - I asked him Saturday night what could be her motivation for keeping the affair quiet and he replied, "humiliation." And I can definitely see that. But still, I am surprised I don't want him out of there ASAP. Partially I know how important this job is to him, and how much he enjoys it. We also live in a city, and the commute is not bad, we have ownership stake in the company - a whole hosts of reasons, some good some of the oh well variety. And hell, let me admit it, part of me wants to meet this woman. Part of me wants to be the "winner" and attend the holiday party (ugh, though not this year, not unless and until he's really happy being with me). And part of me doesn't want him to assume all the responsibility.

But, given how tenuous our marriage is right now, I should be pushing him out the door. Fresh start, new people, stable environment. Away from his best friend at the company, who I know is a cheater, though his infidelities take the form of random one night stands on travel. (oh, yeah, and this is the guy he's going away for New Year's with. Great.)

What a mess.

We did talk about holiday plans briefly. Mostly about my husband facing my family, and which activities we wanted to do. Nothing really resolved. It's all going to be tough. And we didn't talk at all about how much time we might spend with his family.

I leave tomorrow for my trip, and I am so glad to be getting out of town. I need a break. We all need a break.

(ps. But at least we got SLEEP! Yes!! Daughter slept until 7:15 this morning. Praise and glory hallelujah. I could not face another pre-6am wake up call).

Sunday, December 9, 2007

still here

Still here in this crappy inbetween place. Still here posting, despite a lag (of a day! the horror! That daily posting thing in November really set me up).

So, as usual, a lot to type. I'm exhausted, so hopefully I can sum it up fairly succinctly.

First, I'm exhausted because all hell has broken loose with my two year old. I've mentioned in passing that there's a cold going around my house, I think. She's got a terrible, gut-wracking cough. And, back molars coming in. Somehow, that's translating into little sleep for her - or husband or me. Typically, she sleeps from around 8 pm til 7:30, maybe even 8 in the morning. I know, we are incredibly lucky. Now imagine your wake up call comes at 5:45 am. For the past 5 days in a row. Oh, and there's another wakeup in the middle of the night, too, and that usually lasts at least 30 minutes, if not an hour. My husband and I are walking zombies from that, then add in the not sleeping because of our own emotional issues, and the emotion-laden talking, and just the gut wrench that is our life right now, and boy. I'm amazed I can still type. It's 10 pm and I need to get to bed. Please someone, please please tell me she's going to go back to sleeping. Please.

I remember she had a cold in early October - before life implosion (well, before I was aware of life implosion, though it had already happened) - and I remember turning to my husband and say, ok, well, that's it, she's going to have a runny nose til April now, isn't she? Little germ bombs. If someone had told me the worst part of having kids was the fact that your normal one cold in the winter, one more randomly during the year thing was going to turn into more snot than you ever could have imagined, I wouldn't have believed them. But it is true. And it sucks.

So, the big other thing. What's the latest in the marriage war? Well, Friday was tough. Thursday night, husband went out with friends to watch football. He went right from work to out, and didn't get home til after midnight. Then, Friday night was my night to go out on my monthly night out with friends. So who makes it home to let the nanny go? And who cooks dinner? And who gives our daughter dinner? That would be me. Husband works late, gets home late, and sends me off late. Nice. While waiting for him to get home, I just thought, this is pointless. Is this whole working things out really just a front, so that he doesn't have to spend Christmas Eve alone in some new apartment? Is anything going to change? Cause while I need to change, and we need to change, HE really needs to change too.

Then, Saturday morning he was in a funk. And pretty much all day in a funk. We went to a brunch party a friend of his throws every month, and I get to hear him talking about how he's going to go with his buddy to his college football team's bowl game. Over New Years. He had told me about those plans, but I've not been thinking about them. Selfish bastard. Off to the sun for New Year's Eve. Pretty much robbing me of any possibilities to do anything. Garr. We haven't talked about it at all, but yeah, pissed about that.

Anyway, Sat night we had our nanny babysit and we went off, on our counselor's recommendation, to see Tyler Perry's movie Why Did I get married? It's lingering in a few theaters - when we got there we were the only people in the theater, though eventually 4 others showed up. I think the movie might even be out on DVD. It's the story of 4 couples who get together every year. One is a psychologist, and so their annual vacation is also a couple's retreat. Well, one couple had a child die (check, though ours was pregnancy loss, not child), another couple has a controlling wife (check, according to him), the third is dealing with one spouse wanting another child while the other is too busy with work (check) and the fourth has a cheating husband and long suffering wife (check!). We covered every problem in the movie! Wohoo, us!

Jill Scott plays the wronged wife. She's about 100 pounds overweight and her jerk husband reminds her of this at every opportunity, belittling her. He even convinces her to bring a friend (his mistress) along on their retreat. It comes out he's sleeping with the friend, and after a big blow up at the retreat, they get a divorce. She meets, right away, a decent, hot man, the county sheriff, who helps her get back on her feet, works out with her, and by the end of the movie (supposedly 8 months later) she's lost, oh, I don't know, over 50 pounds, has married the sheriff, and is happily over jerk husband. Jerk husband has married the mistress, and upon seeing ex wife, is filled with remorse and regret. One of the other men, early on, invokes the 80/20 rule. He says you only ever get 80% of what you want in your marriage. But you meet someone who offers the 20% you're missing. And if you go for it, you get that 20%, but you lose out on 80%.

It was a good movie, and good for us to see. It was a bit heavy handed and preachy, though from my perspective that was a good thing. Interestingly, the only other movie we've seen since our daughter has been born is Chris Rock's I think I love My Wife, another movie about infidelity, though while he is tempted, Chris Rock doesn't actually go through with it.

I can't stop my eyes from leaking tears as we leave the movie, though I tried to disguise it. On the way home, my husband says he could see himself in many of the 4 guys, though not enough of the one true, supportive husband.

When we got home at first he said he was going to bed, and was too exhausted to talk. As we were both prepping for bed, he came in my room to say goodnight, and we ended up talking.

I'd been feeling like crap all weekend, thinking again this was all just a ploy to keep him home til after the holidays. Turns out, according to him, he is just so filled with self loathing right now he can barely function. He felt the entire movie was just directed at the mistakes he has made, and in many ways it just made him feel worse about himself. He says he feels so unworthy right now.

On the one hand, well, dammit, good. He should feel like shit. On the other hand, I explained to him I took his silences for regret that he was spending any time with me. He assured me that wasn't the case. While he felt "he didn't deserve this" instead of the previous he deserved better mind space he was in, now it was he didn't deserve another chance with me. He had screwed up so badly, was it possible to recover? I'm too tired to explain this coherently.

He has a lot of work to do to get right with himself and what led him to make horribly destructive choices. He feels like he's let so many people down - me, our daughter, his family, my family, friends....the list is long. And includes his co-workers. He said things were not going well at work. "they weren't able to function as a team." He wouldn't elaborate, nor did I want him to, but it seems his "girlfriend" - his 25 year old direct report - isn't reacting well to all this. (gee, ya think?!) He feels he's going to have to leave his job. He has other options, so this is not a disaster. But his company is a small start up of friends. He's one of the top people. He says no one knows at work, but I have to believe that's not going to last long. If this woman is not reacting well to him, it's going to trickle out. Early on I gave him a really hard time about how he was screwing up his work - how he was setting his company up for a bad fall. How he was totally in the wrong, and how this woman could sue. If the board of his company found out what he was doing, how they would fire him because of the liability he was causing.

I don't know what's going to happen. I do know he's taking too much of the blame - she's not blameless. I'm sure he feels he led her on, and he did. How could we ever go to company parties, or any type of work function again? He screwed up, in a major, major way, and leaving is going to be very hard on him. Ya wanna play, ya gotta pay, as my dad says.

OK, I've rambled too long, and rather disjointedly. I can't keep my eyes open any longer.

We're off to counseling again tomorrow - me with mine first, then ours together. Doubling up for me because of my trip. Stay tuned.

Friday, December 7, 2007


OK, so for whatever reason, I tend to have little flurries of anxiety in the afternoon, generally around 4 pm. I've been fighting off anxiety all afternoon today.

I mean seriously, am I just being a fool? Am I kidding myself? Is this change of heart, to try to work things out, just a ploy to stay in the house through Christmas, and then once the holidays are over, and the dark days of January start, it's right back to separation and divorce?

I don't know. You don't know either. No one knows. I don't think he knows.

OK, breathing.

I hate January and February. HATE. No diagnosed seasonal affective disorder, and I doubt I have anything diagnosable, but I am miserable in the cold and dark. I live much better in the sunshine.

This would be much easier if it was the Hollywood ending, the soft fade into a sunset. And I know it's not that. I mean, hell, is staying with someone who twice cheated any type of happy Hollywood ending? My real Hollywood ending would be discovering the strength I possess within myself, then stumbling upon a new "perfect" love.

We talked this afternoon and set up our weekend plans. Movies on Saturday night, a Christmas play on Sunday afternoon. Picking up the Christmas tree on Saturday morning. I have plans tonight. We're also going to do some work in the house, and he said yesterday he thought we should use some money his parents gave him for the project (oh, and believe me that money was not on the table before now).

Next week, Tuesday-Friday, I'm away on a business trip. I think getting out of the house will be a good thing, and since I'm a short-timer, the trip really is a boondoggle. I have friends in the area, so I'll be able to spend time having fun, and the work part of the trip is not strenuous at all (I've been on trips where you never set foot outside the meeting room, and this isn't that, thank goodness!).

I just can't shake this feeling I'm on a roller coaster. You know how there are big drops and loops in the beginning, and then again at the end? But the middle part is fairly tame, a few small hills and twists and turns.

other stuff

173.5. The freaking same as last week. I tell you, the thing for me about losing weight is that i don't get the connection between what I do and what the scale says. I did 100 freaking situps last night,, 20 squats, and 40 lunges, and I have exactly the same number on the scale? (I'm not all that delusional, I had done the same 2 other nights this week, plus arm exercises and ate reasonably).

I need to keep official track, that's the key. A food log, an exercise diary. A bite by bite, arm lift by situp by mile walked log of everything, and then it'll come off. Ugh, man, I hate the discipline that requires. HATE it. But, that's what it's going to take. Or have the tenuous peace implode and that'll be good for another 5 pounds. Maybe I cried off 10 pounds?

So, also no job update in a while - I've finally gotten an offer letter. I think the lawyer working on this is squeezing it all in and so this wasn't a priority. I'll start the 7th of January. I'm having a lawyer review it for me as there are some anomalies. They want to pay me as a consultant for a few months, for legit complicated reasons. And I'm not thrilled about it - taxes, benefits, etc - but in the long run I have to believe it's worth a short term sacrifice. I need a change. I've not had the offer letter and have spent the past few weeks here already feeling like a short-timer. I just cannot muster any enthusiasm for anything in my current job. It will be a delight to resign. Now my worry is when to resign. The holidays make it tough - I should probably just resign and not work at all over the holidays, but if I work in January at least part of my January health insurance will be covered, right, so that might make sense (not to mention 3 paid holidays, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Day). Sadly, my recent absences mean I do not have enough vacation time to patch together any leave.

Nothing new at home. A pleasant enough husband this morning, though he admitted he drank too much last night out watching football. And a kiss goodbye this morning. I'm out tonight, but we have complicated plans for the weekend (complicated as a whole lotta family time, which now I wonder might be too much?).

I feel really boring when my life isn't hurtling over a cliff (even though there are plenty of cliff ledges within mere inches and a chance to veer off at any second).

Thursday, December 6, 2007

the day after

OK, so what happens the day after you have quite possibly experienced a miracle? Or a sign from God? Or a sign from a dead relative? Or a bizarre string of coincidences so unpredictable that somehow meld into what could possibly be a life-altering moment?

I wanted to type more yesterday, but it was already so long, and it seemed like such a perfect place to end. I wanted to say I'm semi-religious, but not really religious. I wanted to say while I'm Catholic, I'm old school, socially liberal, 70's just post Vatican II repressed Catholic and Catholics aren't all into miracles and stuff. Um, but duh, isn't Our Lady of Lourdes all about a miracle apparition? Catholics do sort of have the market cornered on miracles, don't we? We kind of invented it, along with the praying to people other than God thing, right (doesn't that make Protestants upset? That Catholics pray for interventions from beings other than God directly? Did I learn that in religion class in college, or am I making that up?)?

In some ways this is part of my which box persona.

You know:
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

I'm religious, but very skeptically. I'm trained as a scientist (to the master's level, not PhD), but think there's more to the meaning of life than photons and electrons moving according to immutable laws of the universe. I go to Church (sometimes regularly, sometimes not), and consider myself to be Catholic, while hating nearly everything the modern Catholic Church stands for right now. (remember when it used to be all about protesting human rights violations, and South American dictators, and Solidarity, and being a Democrat, and all those things other than the singular (to me) focus on Conservatism and abortion)

So what the hell was yesterday? I don't know. And I guess it's ok that I don't know.

If this was Hollywood, or chick lit, there's be only a few minutes or a few pages left. Yesterday would be the climax. Oh, I know, of course - there'd be an epilogue, "9 months later," of he and I in church, holding our newborn infant son (to balance our daughter, natch) in his long white christening dress while all friends and family looked on. And held hands and sang, um, You'll Never Walk Alone? Kumbaya? On Eagle's Wings?

But, not Hollywood. Not Chick lit. Real life. Honest, I swear, real life. I wish I was that good of a storyteller. I've fudged some things in the past two months, lied by omission, hedged some details that might potentially been identifying. Not blogged about some things, maybe never will blog about some deep, dark secrets of the soul. But everything about the past two months with my husband has been real. Well, there was another time we had sex and I was too embarrassed to blog about it because, come on, I really should have known better. Other than that, it's the raw unadulterated (ugh, please) story of my marriage in crisis.

So, in real life, what happens after that is.....not much of anything at all. I went to work, he went to work, we talked one time during the day perfunctorily (our daily who was going to be home to relieve the nanny). He made it home in time for dinner, we had a pleasant dinner with our daughter, we played with her after dinner, we put her to bed, and I went to my room and he stayed downstairs to watch TV. I fell asleep, he went to his bed around 11:30, and that was it. I had a passing thought maybe he would come into my (our) bed, but no. (it was in the 20s last night - if nothing else the warmth of another human could have been the driving force.)

We got our daughter up. We got ready for work, he said I looked nice today (wearing an outfit I would not have fit into a month ago). He's going out tonight, as previously planned, to watch football with friends. I'm going out tomorrow for my monthly night out with my friends. He kissed me goodbye this morning for the first time in weeks.

So this is how it goes right now. Baby steps. With big unknown question marks looming. Yesterday was intense, and neither he nor I like big emotional intense experiences. Backing off is the best thing for right now, for him, and for me, too.

Ah, I was going to post another Margaret Atwood poem today. Maybe later. A snippet from Walt Whitman will have to do for now.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


This is going to be a long post, because it's important to get this right. Hang in there.

Of course last night I could not let it go. I asked him, ok, so can you give me a preview of tomorrow. He says, well, our counselor agrees with me that what this relationship needs is some space.

What. The. Hell.

This leads into a long discussion - I'm just so sick of him hiding behind excuses. Our counselor thinks we need space? Or HE thinks HE needs space? Because I do not need space. I need him. Our daughter needs him. He says it's going to be hard, because my parents are planning to visit for Christmas, to be supportive of me, and they stay here, and "for everyone" he should move out - to a hotel - while they are here. My brother lives in this area, but my parents prefer to stay here as we have a spare room - a spare room he is staying in now. Again, I call him on what HE wants, versus hiding behind another excuse. Does he want to be here for Christmas for him, for our daughter, or does HE want to move out? We talk about counseling. The counselor had strongly suggested we go see the Tyler Perry movie about relationships this weekend - and he said he would go see it by himself.

I finally say, that's it, I'm not going to counseling. What am I getting out of joint counseling, except steamrolled by him (and our counselor, too)? When do I get to say what I want, and when does that matter? I want a grown up husband, who accepts responsibility and steps up to life as a fully realized adult.

Our daughter starts coughing. And I say I would DIE for her, if I had to, and I guess the bottom line is you're saying you won't. Because life here is crushing you, and you deserve better, you can do better, and so you won't put her needs above your own.

I am frustrated. I say for her, I am taking all this. If not for her, this would be over. But for her, I am just taking every crappy thing he dishes out. Letting him have his space. Letting him do what he wants, when he wants. I am starting to think, I say, that maybe it is better for her to have a mother who shows self-respect than to have two parents who love each other and work it out.

I say that last night he had said, the thing is I really want to talk friend M about all this - and at his pause, I had honestly thought he was going to say he wanted to talk to me. Because I wanted to talk this through with him. He was my best friend, and I desperately missed my best friend.

We talk again about this relationships are work thing. He says it just shouldn't be that way. I say you'll never know, if you walk away, what could have happened. You walk away, it's done. You stay and "work" and who knows. But if you walk, you'll never know, you're guaranteeing a specific outcome.

He says please go to counseling. I finally say I will if he agrees to go to the movie with me. He agrees.

I go to bed angry. I wake up angry. I don't want to go to counseling. I resolve to go, and not cry, to disassociate. What is the point of participating, after all? What ever happens there? (To be fair, movement has been made. At our first session he was ready to move 20 miles away. A session later he was thinking 6. Now he's been looking within a mile or so. But still, it's all about him.)

He and I drive separately, and I leave the house first. In our urban area, there are plenty of options for how to get there. It's snowing, and I choose a route that's slow. I'm still angry, and I think, as I often do, of his grandparents. His grandfather passed a year ago, his grandmother just this past August. They were married 62 years, and his grandmother passed just weeks before what would have been their 63rd anniversary. The refrain at the funeral was that they had spent those 62 years together, and now would spend the 63rd together, as well.

I loved them very much, from the first time I met them. I've never really gotten his parents - they are foreign beasts to me. But I got his grandparents, and they got me. His grandparents could have been either set of my grandparents, similar backgrounds, and sensibilities, and values. His grandfather was a classic curmudgeon, the patriarch, ruling over his family with his judgments and pronouncements and strong sense of right and wrong, and no fear of saying anything. I loved him. One time, he leaned over and said to me, I've never been with another woman other than her. I've never wanted to, she's everything to me. The rest of the family was horrified he said this to me (and I'll admit it was a little, um, kooky), but it was him. Speaking his mind.

So I pull up to the left hand turn light - the one I'll have to sit three cycles through (city living at its finest), and a car pulls in front of me. I sit there, thinking about his grandparents, and how I wish his grandfather was alive to knock some sense into my husband. And I slowly focus on a sticker on this car in front of me. OLOL. My skin starts tingling, and I look closer - under OLOL is "Our Lady of Lourdes." Their church. The church my husband's father and uncle went to Catholic school. The church they attended their whole lives, that was a center of their life. Where I cried through both their funeral masses.

I start to cry. I've been praying for a sign, for any sign. For help. For grace. For strength. And now his grandfather has sent me a sign. I look at this sticker for 5 minutes, through 3 cycles of the light, and know I have to go to counseling, and I have to keep doing whatever I can do. And that his grandparents are still there for me.

(I live in the Mid-Atlantic. My husband's grandparent's church is in upper NJ. And this car in front of me has ALASKA plates. I ponder for a second what message the Alaska plates might be, and decide to just accept the sign I was given).

I'm late to the session. 5 minutes. My husband's car was in parking garage, so he had taken another way and beat me. I get to the waiting room and it is empty. I sit down, and my cell rings, the counselor, asking if I was coming. I say I'm in the waiting room, I'm here, and she buzzes me back.

I walk in and sit down, and don't look at my husband. The counselor says he's told her about our conversation last night, and she wants me to know she can't make this work. I say I know. She says she's not conspiring with him against me and what I want. I say I know. She says what do I need, and I shake my head. It's all just too hurtful.

I say the thing is, there's ambivalence here, and uncertainty. And why can't we explore that, instead of talking about moving out? If there's ambivalence and uncertainty, why can't we do the RIGHT thing, and not the wrong thing?

My husband responds, but what's right and what's wrong?

I say I've been thinking a lot about his grandparents. And their 62 years together, and his grandfather's constancy. As a young GI in WWII, away from his wife for years, a good looking American, when he probably had ample opportunity to sample all that Europe had to offer, he stayed constant and true. That's the right thing. And I say the only thing my husband shares with his grandfather is his last name. He has none of the core values, the moral integrity, the center that his grandfather had. And then I tell the story of the sticker. I'm close to sobbing as I say OLOL, Our Lady of Lourdes.

The counselor says that's very powerful. And asks my husband to react. He says he's been thinking a lot about his grandparents too. I finally look at him and realize he's crying. He says on the drive there, he was thinking of exactly the same story - his grandfather telling me he had only ever been with his wife. He says he's been thinking for so long how he needs to cry, to get out what's inside of him, and for the first time, on the drive to the counselors, at the light where you sit through three cycles to turn left, he felt his grandfather's presence so strongly, he just broke down.

The counselor asks what his grandfather would say if he was here, and my husband says how often his parents would talk divorce in front of him and his brother and sister, and how his grandfather would counsel them to stay together, to make it work. He says how his parents are not helpful, how they think he's on this path to divorce and they're just not saying anything. And how his grandfather would have much to say.

They go back and forth on this a bit.

My husband is crying hard. And he says, I know what I need to do. I need to stay and try to work this out.

I look up to heaven and say a small prayer, thank you grandpa.

The counselor catches my eye - my husband is crying, she wants me to reach out to him. I know this is hard on him, and he doesn't want me to. I touch his leg and he pulls away.

He says there are no guarantees, it still might not work out, but he knows we need to give it a shot. The counselor asks if there is anything I could do for him to make this less painful. He says, he can't ask for anything from me right now. Eventually he can, and will, but right now it's him - he has to try to make this work. I say I don't want this to be too much for him. He says, no, he knows what he has to do.

The counselor says it's remarkable we're on the same wavelength. That he had told her yesterday that I was his best friend. That there were times he thought he could kill me, but overall there was no one who understood him as I did.

The counselor says she feels like she's just witnesses something very powerful. He agrees, as do I. It's time to wrap things up. She asks for parting thoughts. I don't know what to say. He's still crying. I say, I feel very blessed his grandfather sent me a sign today. He agrees, as does she. We agree to a next session on Monday.

We walk out silently. We ride the elevator silently. We walk out into the snow. He says now that he's started, he can't stop crying. We walk to our cars. He's still crying. I try to hug him, to comfort him, and he says no. He says he feels like he's just experienced a miracle, and he doesn't deserve it. He says when he got there - knowing I had left before him - and I wasn't there, he thought I might not come and that is really was over, and he didn't want that. But he knew I would come. He says when I start in on the story of what I had experienced on the drive, he knows what he needs to do, and when I relayed the OLOL sticker, it became so clear to him. I say part of me feels like his grandfather should have visited him, but that I needed that sign. He said he didn't need the sign, I did. He cries more and says he's finally gotten the clarity he's needed.

I say it hurts me to see him so hurt - that I don't want him to hurt, that I want to help him. He says I can't, and that he needs to continue to see our counselor himself. He says he knows I think we should now do something together, go to lunch, talk, something, but that he needs some time alone. I say I know. He says he's going to need time alone. I say I know.

We get in our cars and drive away.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

getting what you deserve

I've been thinking a lot about Niobe's comments to yesterday's post. I actually agree with her. What does that mean, getting what you deserve? Often, that phrase is used for someone who has done something bad, as a wish that they'd suffer because of something they've done.

I do think you get what you get, and it's up to you to decide what to do with that. I could say I deserve to be sitting at home with a 4 month old right now, planning to go back to work (or not). I can say I deserve better than a cheating husband.

Or maybe I don't. From a karma perspective, maybe this life is exactly what I deserve. While in general I like to think of myself as a decent, moral person, I'm no saint. I've hurt people, I've made bad decisions. I've mostly come out on top in life. Maybe it's my time to have some things not work out the way I'd hoped.

When I was in college, my group of friends used to say I lived a "rose colored life." Things always worked out for me. Often they called me lucky, which actually kind of pissed me off. I worked hard for things I achieved. I "made my own luck" in lots of ways. I have always been a good student in the sense of learning coming easily to me. So I did study, but not as much as others - enough for me to get a decent grade. But I had no romantic life, and wasn't really attractive. But I had - have - a natural resilience that always let me bounce back, see the positive, believe that things happened for a reason and things always, always worked out.

In contrast, my husband's friends in college called him the "king of pain." If there was a way for something not to work out for him, it happened. He also was a dateless dork, a late bloomer, and he suffered through that. Always assumed the worst, and expected the worst.

I thought we made a good pair - the rose-colored life marrying the king of pain.

This year has tested my rose-colored life. The baby. The marriage. The (current) job. My dad. But at the same time, I've been offered an awesome job. My daughter grows more amazing and fun by the day. My dad came through triple by pass. My friends have rallied around me to help during this marriage crisis.

Life could be worse, though it sure as hell could be better.

Last night we had a long talk. Well, he talked, and I mostly listened. He said many things. He's found places to live, he's had leases in hand, and been unable to sign them. He doesn't want to leave our daughter. Thanksgiving was the loneliest week of his life. He said maybe he could wait to move out until after the holiday.

I said he needed to decide. I was close to saying he had to move out now. He couldn't just dangle moving out over my head. And if/when he moved out, he wasn't moving back in. He needed to decide what kind of person he was, one who left or one who stayed, and he needed to own that decision.

I thought a couple of times he came close to saying he wanted to stay. And a few times I thought, oh, this is it, he's going to leave.

Then he said, well, that was everything, he had said it all. I said, no, not all. I still didn't understand - given all that was pulling him to stay, what was preventing him? He said, essentially, he just felt nothing for me. Nothing at all. I said well, you'll never feel anything if you don't try - if you walk away. But maybe, if we spend time together, if we do things, if we try, you might find there are still feelings there. I said marriage is WORK. And that's what he rejected. He just doesn't believe a relationship should involve work. It should be easier, and more natural. I said it's not all rainbows and unicorns and wine and roses. He said that wasn't what he meant, or what he needed. He needed to want to be in the relationship, and he just doesn't.

We left it at that. We're both coming down with colds, we're both overtired, he had more work to do.

This morning he had a counseling session. Tomorrow we have a joint session. I just don't know what to expect tomorrow. He came home with another book by Kushner - When All you've Ever Wanted Isn't Enough, given to him by our counselor.

Did his session today firm his resolve to leave? Open up the possibility of staying? I just don't know. He's gone out to pick up take out. Do we talk tonight? Do I ask? Or do I wait? Our session is 12.5 hours away.

Monday, December 3, 2007

I know

I know. I know this is about him, and not really about me. I know I am blaming myself, when I should be blaming him.

My therapist today said she was worried I was taking too much blame on myself. And I am, I know that I am. It's something I do, and it's easier to punish myself than anyone else. Who else can I punish, after all? It's not like there's anything I can do to punish him.

I have fantasies of sending all his friends an e-mail saying "I guess you've heard he's left me and our daughter because he can do better, and apparently is with a 25 year old." And then detailing his sexual inadequacies (...frankly, I can do better too...). I have fantasies of hurting him in some way (financially, physically, emotionally), but none are realistic and I'm smart and practical enough to know they'd only hurt me (and our daughter) in the long run.

I think I'm also preparing myself. In between the tears, I'm preparing myself for his moving out. Preparing myself to call the mediators, to start telling friends, to get this process going. And that makes me sad.

The other thing my therapist is talking to me about is how I deserve better. And I do. For the sake of our daughter, and the ease of my life, I'd like it is better was with him. But it's apparent that's not the case.

Over the weekend I was at the library and picked up a book called Overcoming Life's Disappointments. I left it on the hallway table and this morning I asked my husband why he had stayed up so late last night (as usual, his heavy tread on the stairs woke me at 3 am). He said he had picked it up to read, and that is was good. Gave him a lot to think about. I said, why would you read it? Dealing with the disappointment of being married to me?

He said no, dealing with the disappointment that was him. I asked what do you mean? And he just said it gave him a lot to think about. I asked what? And he snapped, jeez, what do you want from me? I whispered you know what I want, and walked out to take my shower. (I picked the book up for me, not him, so I was genuinely puzzled by his reading it).

Later in the morning, he said, I guess I just want you to know how much I appreciate the research you do, the thought you put into things, the way you present me with things to read. I was silent, then filled with anger. What the hell did that mean? So I asked him. Along with saying, I guess that means you'll miss your secretary? He said no, he didn't think of me as his secretary. I pressed further - what the hell? You're leaving - divorcing - me, you're having your second affair, you're breaking my heart, and you want to THANK ME for being a good researcher?!

He said, no, that's not what he meant, he wasn't thanking me, he was...and he stopped. I don't know what the hell he meant. I don't even know why I'm typing this out. It was

Last week I had sent him some links from Penelope Trunk's Brazen Careerist blog. One of my friends suggested her, for professional reasons, and while I don't always agree, I certainly admire what she's built, and find her provocative and thought provoking. She's having her own marriage troubles, too, and writes very honestly about her first day of marriage counseling and keeping marriages together - the two links I sent him. I went to the movies with friends on Friday night (yay me and trying for independence) and he told me Saturday morning that he had stayed up late Friday night reading her blog and other links. He did not say anything about what he read, or what he thought, and I didn't ask.

You know why I'm typing all this out? Of course you know. Because these two things give me yet another kernel of fucking hope. He's ambivalent and feeling guilty. And I need to remind myself that's not enough, and I deserve better.

I deserve better.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


I had been feeling stronger at the end of last week. Not sure why, just I guess that life comes in waves, with troughs and crests.

I'm badly in a trough right now.

It's just hit me - life with me is so bad, he is willing to be a part-time father to our daughter. To miss special moments and day-to-day life. To destroy her sense of trust and security in the world that comes from being raised in a two-parent household. To increase her risk of getting divorced herself.

That's how bad life is with me.

Friday, November 30, 2007

the weight

OK, here's my long planned weight e-mail.

Bottom line, I've been borderline heavy my entire life. Never obese, but just the classic bookworm hopeless at gym too much babyfat kid, who never learned how to slim down as a teenager, and who even now just doesn't get the connection between what I eat/how much I move and what I weigh and how I look and how fit I am. I don't like to sweat, but I do like it when I am stronger or more fit.

I was pretty much a size 11/13 my teenage years.

I'm 5'4".

Today, I weigh 173.5

In early 2003, I hit my then highest weight of 175, and I went off to weight watchers. And lost 25 pounds, hovering around 150 +/- 4 pounds. I looked and felt great. Wore size 8, some 6. And was happy - no need to be a skinny 4 or 6 sized girl. I worked out with weights, walked a lot, and did yoga, and tried to eat healthfully.

In 2004, I started a new job, and couldn't walk to work anymore. And they had SOOO much junk food here. I settled in at 160 or so. But was reasonably ok with that.

And then I got pregnant, and weighed in at 165 or so. I gained a normal amount of weight, but started to hit 190 near the end (when i finally refused to look at the scale anymore).

I remember coming home from the hospital and standing on the scale (bloated from the c-section) and weighing 188! After having an 8 pound baby! The water came off though, and at my 6 week check up I weighed 167. And I started losing, and walking, but with nursing didn't watch my food or try to lose more. And at 4 months went back to work. Well, there was no time for exercise, and remember the junk food. My weight crept up. In November 2006, when I was newly pregnant again, it hit 178. I was up to about 184 when the pregnancy finally ended.

Suddenly I wasn't nursing anymore, I had just lost this baby, I was stressed and depressed, and the weight just crept up. A pound a month, no matter what I tried to do. I was at 188 in August, and felt terrible about myself.

Again, I have such a hard time seeing the connection between eating/exercising and what the scale says. It's such a long term process, not immediate feedback.

In August I decide to stop weighing myself every day and just try to level off. In September I weighed 185. In mid October I went to the Chinese medicine guy, who suggested my diet was too carb heavy (yes), and suggested a three week veggies/fruit supplement thing. I bought the supplements - to the tune of $160.

At the end of October the shit hit the fan, and I dropped in one week to 180. In early November it was 178 - right where I was a year ago when pregnant.

So now I'm eating better (healthfully) and trying to work off anxiety by exercising. Aerobic exercise is hard - I'm walking when I can, but need something else. I am considering a treadmill - the problem is how to walk when as soon as I get home from work there's a little one to deal with? And I can't leave the house when she's in bed to jog around the block! And with my husband so sporadic, and about to leave, there's no long term solution there. I'm scouring websites to find a used treadmill (before the rush in January!).

173.5. I am considering reading all the supplement stuff and starting that process this weekend. I'm fairly confident it's healthy stuff (I'm not a fad dieter). It might be the kickstart I need. I would love to be 165 in the next 4 weeks. There, it's out there. That's my goal - lose an ambitious amount over the holiday season. Normally I'd think not doable, but lucky for me, for once I'm not stress eating.

I'll keep posting on this - I hope it keeps me honest, and seeing progress.