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.


meg said...

I'm sorry that his parents are acting like children. Mean, bullying children.

I'm glad that things were mostly good and am hoping that there are more good days ahead for you. And less bad ones.

Lisse said...

For a split second there, I felt sorry for the co-worker so desperately trying to hold on to a man who was never hers in the first place. Too young to understand about moving on with dignity. I'm not buying for a minute that she sent it to the whole office.

Your husband walks a fine line here. A woman scorned is likely to file a lawsuit. He needs to keep it professional, but light. He needs to strike a balance between protecting his family (as he did with his mother's behavior) and keeping things civil at work.

I'd also say that he needs to find a new job. It's kind of sad that he's put his history with the company at risk by doing this.

And yet, a fresh start may be good for him. A new chance to feel like a grown-up by taking on something else.

May you have a happier New Year, one way or the other.