Friday, February 29, 2008

holding off

I've been delaying posting for the past few days. It's fun to do memes and feel like a part of the blogosphere and have illicit thoughts about people I've never met. And in clicking around, checking out other people's meme posts, laughing at funny stories, I've felt like the mood is lighter, somehow, in my little corner of the world.

I had dinner with a group of close friends last week and ended up pouring out a lot of what's been going on. They knew about my marriage and the loss, they had hints of the current infertility struggles. They heard more. They knew I had changed jobs, and heard how every day I learn more about how hard this job is going to be, and how I'm having trouble with two staff who came along with the position. They knew I wasn't sure what to do about preschool for my 2 year old, and heard about our touring schools, impossible waiting lists, and current troubles with our nanny that might force us to make difficult decisions.

(I can't blog about our nanny - she's amazingly wonderful, our daughter loves her dearly, she's entrusted with the most precious thing in my life - and due to circumstances beyond her or our control including world and US political climates, we might have some tough choices, and that's all I am willing to type because it's a discussion I'm unwilling to have with the blogosphere. Not to be too mysterious or anything. But thank god I have no worries, not a whit of a worry, that my daughter's care is not good.)

Way back - way, way back - I posted that I had recently made a list of things going well and things that were crappy. The crap outnumbered the good 19-4. And that was before discovering my husband's infidelity and my dad's need for triple bypass.

It's too much. It's all too much. I was at my counselor yesterday and she summed it up, as had my friends - with everything that had happened, I'm still standing. And even taking on new challenges. And finding some time for myself, and spending time with friends. But it's too much. It's why I'm not blogging about my weight - I'm stuck, not losing, luckily not gaining, just stuck. And I've not got a spare brain cell to spare to focus on losing weight right now. I just don't.

Throughout the fall, the place where I just gave up was my job. I took FLMA for my counseling appointments, and when I was in the office I spent a lot of time blogging, or reading blogs, or crying, or just surfing the net. Not much time getting actual work done. But, as my new job ramps up, I'm losing that time. Working from home is great, and I still have downtime during the day, but every day I get closer to realizing how all encompassing this job could - and maybe should - be, and I feel the stress.

I have held off making the consult appointment with the RE. I think in some ways I don't want to know. Knowing means actions typically follow. I think my readers have been incredibly generous in not pointing out the obvious that having a child would throw huge grenade in the middle of this marriage. I hope you know I get that. Very much so. I also think most of my readers also quite personally get the time waits for no man dilemma I face. At 39, I don't have the luxury of time.

I just called and made the appointment. Of course the doctor is incredibly booked and then going away for a week. Appointment on the 17th, which would be about day 3 of the next cycle. Today is day 15, and we faithfully hit the targets of day 13 and 14. Who knows, maybe I can cancel the 17th, maybe this month naturally worked.

Ha. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha........................

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"the" list

CLC tagged me with this meme, which I've always loved. Remember this Friends episode? The celebrities, if you were in a committed relationship, that if you bumped into them and they were interested, you were allowed to sleep with, without repercussions? And Ross went a little too far and laminated his list, and bumped into Isabella Rosselini, but he had decided to take her of his list? Good stuff.

At the time, it was a hot topic at happy hours. We talked about it endlessly at work, and we noticed that guys would immediately rattle off like 20 names without thinking. But women would hem and haw and caveat. Ralph Fiennes, but only in The English Patient, not his other ferret faced roles (late 90s, remember. I can't imagine anyone would list him now). Or Matthew McConaughey, but only if he showered (hmm, and this one still rings true 10 years later).

Actually, when I was going through some boxes last year, I found the list of all my coworker's lists. But who the heck knows which of the boxes it might be in. So here goes, off the top of my head -

1. Clooney. Is he the quintessential charming movie star or what? Cary Grant for our generation. Though, I do wish he'd stop with the plastic surgery. I think he's starting to look a little stretched out (so that's my caveat, Clooney about 5-8 years ago). A while back he was on the cover of Esquire or GQ - I tried to Google but couldn't find it. The picture was of a crowd of men wearing suits all facing away, and Clooney facing foward, reaching through the crowd. Yummy. God, I love that picture. I should have bought and framed that cover.

2. When I was a teenager, I never really had crushes on stars, I thought it was stupid. I sort of pretended to like Shaun Cassidy, but really, I thought Tiger Beat was lame and a waste of brain power. There were stars I liked, but never really a crush. Imagine my surprise when I developed, in my late 20s, my first real crush. On Ben Affleck. God help me. He just seems real, he has a sense of humor, he's a big lug, but smart, interested in politics. The JLo thing almost did it in. But this is good stuff. Did I mention he had a sense of humor?

3. Lord this one is embarrassing. After years of no real celebrity crushes, but reeling from the "Bennifer" debacle, American Idol did me in.

The smoldering eyes. The peering from his lanky hair. That thing he used to do with the "call me" when Ryan would give his number. I was on a business trip in Europe when he was kicked off, and was so upset I couldn't bear to watch the episode (tivo). I was pregnant at the time, so I'm blaming it on hormones except I saw another clip recently of him singing Hallelujah and I still think he is yummy. Great song.

4. Johnny Depp. I always say there are two Johnny Depps - good Johnny and bad. I like the clean cut look with just a little scruffiness. And Johnny Depp can really pull out the weird. But when he looks good, he really looks good. I LOVED him in Sweeney Todd. LOVED. Am pissed they canceled the Golden Globes and so he didn't get to give an acceptance speech for his win. Though usually award show Johnny is bad Johnny.

5. This one is a catch all in some ways. I love old movies, and I love Cary Grant, and I should put him on my list. But, he's almost too suave and debonair for a country girl like me. So, despite what we now know about him, love Rock Hudson. Love this movie (Come September). It's on fairly often - set your Tivo and enjoy.

I seriously geek over this meme so much, I am tagging everyone reading. Let me know if you do.

poked and prodded

Whew. Finally finished with a grueling week of the poking and prodding. Yesterday was the HSG. I think my nervous anticipation was worse than the actual experience. Especially when the tech said, ok, if it reaches a point where you can't handle it, just tell us and we'll slow down.
Wha? Can't handle??

So at one point I said, huh, ok, starting to feel something now and they laughed and said we're almost done.

Results - normal.

I need to schedule an appointment with the RE and go over everything. I know the HSG showed a perfectly fine uterus and fine fallopian tubes. I know the sonogram showed smallish (what the doctor called aging) ovaries. And that's all I know right now.

Maybe Friday, maybe Monday for the appointment to review everything. I stupidly save the blood work (beyond the Day 3 hormones) for today, so that's going to take a few days to come in.

We talked yesterday briefly about what we'd want to do. Ahead of hearing options, did we have ideas about how far we'd be willing to take this. Donor eggs or sperm are out. IVF might be out. IUI seems ok, clomid is a maybe. But that's as far as we got.

Secondary infertility is tough. Yes, I have a child. I've experienced it. But my child so clearly is fascinated by babies. She'd be such a great older sister. And selfishly, just like so many, I never thought it would be hard for me. I spent time, and spend time, with my daughter trying to treasure the moment. But I didn't do it thinking it wouldn't happen again. I saved every last piece of baby gear planning for a second time. I will feel cheated if I don't get it.

I have to say though, there's a huge part of me that feels like this is it. I don't know, of course, but yet I feel it. I hope I'm wrong.

And, now I've been memed! By two - the "list" and the 6 things. Suddenly feeling popular, which makes me pleased. I'm a sucker. But now I have my posts for tomorrow and Thursday lined up. Which keeps me from blogging about how ridiculous things got last week in my job. Garr.

Friday, February 22, 2008

2 months later

Today's the 22nd, which means it's two months since we stopped talking to my husband's parents. For pretty good reasons.

My husband hasn't spoken to his parents in 2 months.

We're both the oldest child in our respective families, and we're both fairly independent. I might go a couple of weeks without calling my family, and he has too, but I think this is record for him, too.

So since that time we've had Christmas pass with no acknowledgment. My mother in law turned 63 with no acknowledgment. Our daughter received a Valentine's Day card from her grandparents, simply signed love Grandma and Grandpa. We did not acknowledge it.

My MIL's typical MO when she pulls her little snits is to freeze out the offenders (in this case, us) while raging to everyone else in the family. At a certain unknowable point, she makes a small gesture and everything is swept under the rug and forgiven, never spoken of again.

So, the Valentine's Day card was probably the gesture.

We had been planning to go away next weekend with my husband's brother and family, a simple winter get away. My husband called his brother a couple of days ago and hasn't gotten a return call. It's entirely possible that the brother, who is a bit of a hotheaded idiot himself, is pissed that we didn't have the courtesy to respond to MIL's card and we're now the bad people for prolonging this. It's also possible he's just busy, but this family never lacks for drama, so I'm guessing it's the former.

It's possible to sit and endlessly speculate about the motivations and next steps of this group of crazy people. It's also pointless to do so, since by definition they're crazy and unpredictable.

And yet I fret and worry and speculate and wonder. Our counselors both have advised that no contact, while an extreme reaction they rarely advocate, is probably the best course for right now. But is my husband really ok, as he says he is, with no contact? Does he worry or speculate (he says he doesn't)? What happens if his father or another family member has a health issue?

When things aren't great between us (on a relative scale - obviously they're not great on a macro scale right now, but there are good days and bad days), I think, ok, not only do I have him and his ability to hurt me and his unfaithfulness to deal with the rest of my life, I also have HER, and his entire family and their meanness and hurtfulness. None of it is really really terrible. I mean so what she wore a white dress to our wedding 8 years ago. I am over it, I really am (it's jut such a perfect example, encapsulating the me me me). Only one time during the wedding planning (which led to 4 months of silence) has she yelled at me.

She once left a message on brother in law's answering machine calling his wife a bitch. Oh, right, when I was writing about her I couldn't remember what it was that set her off - her 29 year old daughter, who lives at home, had her tonsils out. And my brother in law and sister in law both work demanding jobs and commute long distances, and they didn't call the day of the surgery to ask how the sister was doing, though they'd planned to come over the next day (a Saturday) to see her. No phone call that exact day led to 3 months of silence, including not coming to their baby shower.

Seriously, I bet that our failure to acknowledge her drugstore card has got her raging in a fit about how terrible WE are. Never mind how badly she behaved 2 months ago. Never mind the things she said about my family coming for Christmas (how selfish of them! to come be with their hurting daughter! after my father had heart surgery!). Garr!!!!!

I really do not know how this will resolve. I know there's a certain amount of sucking up I'll have to do for my daughter and husband's sake. How much, though? How much is reasonable to put up with? I already never talked to them directly (if they called on the phone). It was already our normal practice to have my husband deal with them without me.

Easter's right around the corner. We typically go there for Easter, though last year my family was here so we did not. (how dare we!) I'm guessing that will be a key test of what's going to happen next in this twisted relationship with them. My husband says there's no picking things back up without an apology and acknowledgment of bad behavior and a pledge to not happen again.

I'm anxious about it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

10 things I don't get

So this meme has been floating around a while. Clever Niobe, Meg, and Tash have all done it. I was going to be all fancy and have pictures and youtube and whatnot, but then decided I just needed to post it, for gosh sake, since I wrote this weeks ago.

I have another meme I have got to do - as soon as I think of a cool-ish thing I could give away. But since I am in possession of original Niobe photos, the guilt I haven't done my part is growing.

Anyway, here are 10 things I don't get. In no particular order.

1. People who insist on driving in the left lane. All. The. Time. MOVE! OVER!

2. Frying potatoes is a high form of gastronomic art, where it be frites or hashbrowns slung at the local diner. Tatertots? Not so much.

3. Coffee

4. Electricity – I don’t get energy making at all. Stored energy, potential energy, the whole thing. Come the apocalypse, should I survive, I’d have nothing to offer in rebuilding society.

5. Waxing – we’re concerned about pedophilia in this country, and we wax off any hair the makes us look like adults, not pre-pubescents? And now men are waxing? Are you kidding me? (full disclosure – I like smooth legs a lot. Leg shaving is a must. Call me a hypocrite. And I trim, don’t get me wrong. And tidying up the legs, ok. It’s the bare/landing strip look I don’t get.)

6. People who don’t believe in evolution. Look, I don’t get electricity, but clearly it works. Same thing. And Sherri Sheppard? Don’t get me started. Yes, I know she clarified the next day, but she’s still an idiot.

7. People who mix up it’s and its. I’m sorry if I offend, but it’s not hard. If in doubt, simply read the sentence replacing it’s with it is. If ‘it is’ makes sense, it’s it’s. If ‘it is’ does not make sense, it’s its (this is far simpler than it appears in type). The same applies to your and you’re. There are many confusing rules in English grammar. This is not one of them.

8. Why The Amazing Race always wins the Emmy for best reality show, over say, Project Runway. Admittedly, I’ve never watched The Amazing Race, but Project Runway! The drama! The pressure! The tears! Tim Gunn! Heidi! Auf Wiedersehen! Genius.

9. The evolutionary benefits of teething. Why does it take two years? And cause such misery and exhaustion?

10. Chardonnay

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

project infertility

OK, well, generally when my husband and I put our minds to something, we get it done. He made an appointment to "make his deposit" last Friday. The last time he went through this, he had very funny stories of the facility - the doctor gave him a cup, and sent him out to the bathroom in the hall, where he was supposed to, um, perform in a toilet stall. On one of his visits someone else came into the bathroom right at a critical time, disrupting the entire process. With this doctor, there's a big recliner (where you first put down a plastic sheet), videos, magazines - in sum, a different type experience.

My cycle started on Friday (29 days, thus throwing off my oh no! my cycle is decreasing by a day a month! 2-month trend), so on Sunday, day 3, I went in for day 3 hormone blood draw. I have crap veins - just absolutely terrible. Every time I get blood drawn it turns into a discussion of how bad my veins are and various theories of why that is and various attempts to locate a vein that might even work. Usually a competent, experienced nurse can get a vein on the first stab, but there have been times I've been stabbed more than three times just for a simple vial (no more practicing on me for the trainer nurses, nope). Theory this time - I have thick skin and deep veins that move around a lot.

I wanted to say no, actually I have very thin skin and what's there has been flayed quite a bit this last year, but I decided that wasn't appropriate at 8 am on a Sunday morning.

Tomorrow is the sonogram/examination, and Monday is the HSG. So tell me, you who have been through this before, how bad is the HSG? I'm really dreading it. My cervix does not like to be opened. Not one bit.

On the one hand, I'm glad to be getting some answers. And then on the other hand, there's this whole past year+ of grief, pain, and tragedy. Like many of you have written, I'm waiting for more. I'm the dog that's been kicked too many times, cringing at the slightest thing. When does it get really bad again? What happens next in the never ending spiral of doom?

On the plus side, today I had lunch with a former co-worker. Let's see, I left about 6 weeks ago. Three weeks ago, they found out that the largest project had most of its funding pulled. People are depressed and scared for their jobs. I asked my friend if people were saying boy, that Which Box really left us in a bad place, she should have wrapped up this, and that, and generally everything is bad because she was such a loser, thank god she's gone. And my friend said no. Turns out I left at just the perfect time - just before the crash. I get to be part of the good old days - the one who looks like a genius for jumping ship before it all went bad.

At least in one area I had a little foresight and did the smart thing. I don't know what it is today - just can't shake this what's waiting for me around the corner feeling.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

he brought it up

Last night we finally talked. Yesterday morning he had said he slept poorly the night before, mind racing with too many things. Work things, looking for new job things, knowing we needed to talk things.

After dinner we were sitting on the couch while our daughter played and he sighed deeply. I asked what was wrong and he said he just knew we needed to talk, that he was scared to hear how much I hated him, how I no longer wanted to be married to him, how badly he had messed up.

In a lot of ways it's the same conversation over and over. I don't know how to move forward. I'm still stuck in grief. And why grief? Why not rage, or disappointment, or anger? I don't even know what the grief is about. Betrayal? Abandonment? The loss of what I thought I had? Grief over his ability to hurt me so deeply? Is it sadness and shock over the hurtful things he said? Grief that I married and had a child with someone who could act so dishonorably? Grief over a past that appears to be false, a present that hurts, and a future that seems to hold no promise?

We talked about various things that were said. I guess the thing is, they rang true to me, even at the time when I was denying them. It sounded true when he said at every point in our relationship, he deep down thought he could do better. That sounds truthful. Mean, and hateful, but truthful. Nights that he went out on dates and told me he was out with a friend because he had worked hard and "deserved" a break. Given his actions, him saying now that it didn't feel right at the time doesn't ring true. Because if it didn't feel right at the time, why didn't he stop it?

But there's no undoing it. What's done is done. It's what you do with it now that matters. I just regret so much that he came back begrudgingly, and then when he was happy to be back, couldn't tell me. He just pushed it all past the point where it would be easier to accept. After Thanksgiving, I really started to think, ok, this is it. It's really over, and here's how I can make this work. And he said after Thanksgiving, he started to think what the hell was he doing and how could he get his marriage back on track. And it was "only" a week and half after Thanksgiving that we had our breakthrough and he decided he needed to stay and work on things. A week and half is a long time. A few years from now, it'll be a blip, but right now it's still a long 10 days when I started to decide it was time for me to move on, too.

I told him I thought he possibly wasn't capable of meeting my emotional needs. He said he had trouble expressing himself, but that he was there emotionally. I just don't know if that's really true.

So mid way through he says, he needs to stop being so afraid. Afraid of what, I ask. He says he knows how important it is to me to have a second child and he'll do whatever it takes. He says he thinks the problem isn't with me, it's with him, and he saw a test in the drugstore to test sperm, but it was $100. I say, tentatively, that our insurance would be $10 for a more accurate test. He says ok, that's a no brainer, he'll call his doctor - the one who did his varicoceles.

I say you know I saw a fertility doctor in January. He says no, you had a check up, and I say no. He says ok, he'll go. He'll go this week, maybe he could get in by Friday, there's no need to check me as it's probably all him.

I hand him the card. I say do you really think our fragile relationship can survive a baby? He says he's in this forever, and nothing will ever change that.

I don't know.

There's no resolution to our talk. He answered a lot of my questions about his affair, and it helped to know to scope and extent. I am fairly certain he's being truthful, as he has done reading and knows being truthful is the most important way to build trust. He's actively pursuing, and is excited by, new job opportunities.

He says he went through a time of thinking I wouldn't change, and I stuck with him, and now I'm thinking he won't change and he's staying put.

I guess this is what it's all about. Day by day, one foot in front of the other, step by step.

Tonight we'll go to Whole Foods for our annual get yummy food night. We skip the restaurant scene on Valentine's Day. I need to get him a card, I guess, something semi-neutral but positive.

Amalah shared her happy news today is a really touching way.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I've been thinking a lot lately about purpose and drive versus drifting through life.

I think I drift.

That's weird thing to say, since to an outsider my life probably looks very purposeful. I'm moderately professionally successful, I've had interesting and intriguing jobs that have offered many intangible benefits (not a drone in a huge corporation working at a desk every day), I'm married to what appears to be a nice guy (to the vast majority of people who don't know our real story), I have a beautiful daughter (that took quite a lot to happen), we live in a historic house we're constantly renovating (which leads to many hilarious stories of home renovation), I have a long and varied list of friends, most of whom are far more interesting and successful than I am.

I suppose you could say my social mask is firmly in place, for the most part. I've always been able to be vulnerable, to admit in talking with friends and colleagues that maybe there's more? Or should be more?

I think what I lack is contentment. I've not fully found my place in life. And, frankly, some shitty things have happened in my life in the past few years. I had a hard time at a job I loved, and left for a job I hated and lost a few years toiling in a crappy job, my confidence shot. Reproduction has turned out to not be easy for me - an amazingly perfect daughter, plus a miscarriage, plus a traumatic pregnancy loss. And a husband that can't, or won't, be an equal, supportive partner emotionally, and who instead has an affair.

I posted a comment on Tash's blog yesterday about before and after. Before it all comes crashing down, and then life after. I remember so clearly going to the "routine" nuchal translucency test in January of last year. We brought our 15 month old daughter, for god's sake. I remember lying on the sonogram table, absurdly happy at all being there together, with a slight whiff of irritation that my daughter was in the midst of a mommy phase and struggling to get to me from my husband's arms. I thought, in those moments, that I had it all. While having our daughter had taken longer than I had wanted, it had all worked out. And now we were going to have a second, perfectly timed, exactly what I had always wanted. And I remember the technician going silent, and the doctor being called in, and her common-sense, slightly brusque manner as she pointed out what might indicate problems, though it was just barely outside the norm, just a hint of trouble, a shadow.

They suggested I go to the bathroom to clean off the gel, and sent my husband went to the genetic counselor's office as I numbly got off the table, whispering to myself it's probably nothing it's probably nothing. But once the bathroom door closed behind me, I burst into frantic tears before scrubbing my face and pasting on a smile for the genetic counselor who was too young, and too untouched by tragedy, so she could assure us, it's probably nothing.

So that's my before. And after? Loss of the much wanted baby - a boy, of course, I haven't typed that before, but of course it was a boy, a boy who would have perfectly filled out our family. Then struggles in our relationship, but counseling, and slow recovery. And then bam, my husband in love with his junior staffer, moving out, moving on with his life that he deserved, making him happy.

His affair sort of started (as far as I can tell) around the due date. I've been wondering, had it worked out, what might have happened. Would the pressures of a second child, the burden and the responsibility, have still led him in that direction? Or no? It's unanswerable, I think.

This wasn't supposed to be how this post went. Funny how you sort of outline a post in your head and then start typing and your fingers turn in a different direction. It was supposed to be how the next thing has always just seemed to come. About how I don't feel like I've chosen my life. About my questioning that - how do you choose a life? If you wake up and say, this isn't what I planned, can you consciously plan something else? But what if you don't know what that something else should be? How do you figure that out?

Monday, February 11, 2008

back from the woods

Back from our weekend away in the country. I've written before that I'm from a small town. A teeny, tiny classic small town America. And now I live in the big city. Urbanite? Small town girl? Which box am I? I'm at home in both. Probably more urbanite than small town these days, but the lure of the country is strong.

Driving out, exiting city traffic, feeling time slow down, watching countryside roll by - it just felt good. Like a weight lifting, or taking a deep breath of fresh air.

The park where we stayed was really isolated. We rented a "modern cabin" that had a kitchen including microwave, oil heat, a bathroom with shower (and great water pressure!), a huge fireplace......just a perfect snug little place to be. Stupidly, we hadn't looked at a map before we left, just followed the directions, but luckily we decided we didn't want to go out to eat, we wanted to cook in all our meals and so we brought all we needed. Which was a good thing as there was NOTHING around. No popping to Starbucks for an afternoon coffee, much less a mini market for an essential - at least not without at least a ten mile drive.

Friday night, after our daughter went to bed, we stepped outside. And the stars shone brightly just for us. I wish it was possible to take a picture, but no picture can capture a starry night in the country. My husband said he'd never seen stars like that. I have, and I miss being able to see them like that.

Saturday morning my daughter and I were up early and I had opened the back door to the storm door so she could look out. And suddenly she was squealing, look Mommy, look, REINDEER! And there were three deer not 6 feet from our back door. I think looking for a handout, as we even stepped outside and they didn't move away. My little city girl - her experience with deer is from Christmas books of Santa and his reindeer.

I love living in the city, I really do. I like the convenience, and the energy, and the opportunity. And then there's the country. How to have both? Not by moving from the city to the suburbs. That's losing the city without gaining the country.

I still have family in my small town, we go there once a year or so. I think my soul needs more. Much more. Not full time, not yet. But something to think about, and hold onto, and work opportunities into my life.

And so, in these two days of peace and quiet and nature and refreshening, anything new in my relationship? No, of course not. Saturday night I said we have to talk at some point, and he said yes, but not then.

Today he sent me an e-mail of the ten things he loved about me. It was sweet. He is trying.

Friday, February 8, 2008

catching up

It's been too long, and while I don't have time right now, I have to catch this up. I've found over the past few weeks that having this record- this journal - has helped me go back and process some of the things that have happened. So I don't want to lose that...

So, a brief (as brief as I can!) update. Two weeks ago, I was on travel, and got back on a Wednesday night. This was just after the weekend when I said to my husband that I needed to HEAR how he felt about me. It was nice to come home, and we had sex that night. Pretty good sex, and what felt like a strong emotional connection. All I wanted was for him to SAY how he was feeling, and he wouldn't.

The next day, I was short with him, and by the time we were home from work and our daughter had gone to bed, he asked what was going on. And I just let lose - how badly I needed more from him, how the last things he had said about his feelings or me had been in December, when he was saying he the right thing to do was stay with me, but he still wasn't happy being here. How he had worked SO hard to destroy our relationship, and he had to work 1 million times harder to SAVE this relationship. I just felt like I had reached my limit. Why did I have to BEG him to give me any small morsel of comfort? The talk turned into his sobbing, and me just feeling so cold hearted. It really is possible to be pushed to such a point that you just don't feel anything any more, and I had been pushed that far. He asked me if anything had been good over the past weeks and I said no. Even if it had been a good experience, it was all tinged with me needing so desperately to be assured by him that it was all ok. He said he had told his counselor that ever night when we go to bed he says a prayer of thanksgiving that he got another day, that he was petrified every single day I would tell him to leave, and I would be perfectly justified doing so. He can tell her these things, but can't tell me.

No resolution to the discussion - I was too mad and fed up. Friday night (still two weeks ago!), we talked more. At one point he said that he didn't know what had happened, he had really lost his sex drive over the summer. And I just exploded at that, too. If he lost his sex drive, what's he doing sleeping with another person? He swears it was just once, and then he actually said he had to turn her down "so many times." What the hell? He said what he regretted was that he allowed himself to be drawn into an emotional relationship. Remember that, as that's the point at which I'm stuck now. I've got to the sex post at some point, it's too complicated to get into, but let's just say sex has been a big issue for us and dominates his life. The extremely short version is that he is a pr3.matur3 3jac.ula.tor (man I do not want this blog to be hit by people searching for that term), and it badly affects his self esteem and is certainly not helped by his uber focus and obsession.

Anyway, the resolution of that discussion was him saying he'd do better. We had an ok weekend, and he was better verbally at assuring me of his love and how much he appreciated me.

That takes us to the counseling session I wrote about last week, where we discussed trust. I made the point that more than anything, I needed constant verbal reassurances from him. Wow, that makes me sound really needy when typed out, doesn't it? But if someone has spent months telling you horrible things about how they feel about you, everything you're done wrong to drive them away, how they don't care anything for you anymore, believe me, you need at least an equal amount of time debunking that. And I wasn't getting any. My counselor told him in very plain language that the top emotion I expressed when with her was grief - grief over all that happened. And as most of us know, you can't rush grief, can't wrap it up in a bow and put it on the shelf and be done with it. I said it just felt like he wanted to pretend the fall never happened. He admitted he wanted to stop talking about the fall and his affair, though knew I needed to talk about it.

We had an ok week, for the most part. Last Saturday, I ran some errands while he stayed home with our daughter. Something happens to me when I spend a lot of time by myself, doing mindless things like driving. It's just too much thinking time, and I just relive everything, probing through it in my mind, rehashing conversations, remembering details, having new thoughts occur to me. Which leads to tears and sadness and the crushing grief. It's the waves I've talked about before, and why I posted that poem. I'll be fine, and then out of nowhere the blackness comes, and I can't stop it. I'll be singing along to the radio and them Bam! it hits, and I'm sucked into the vortex of grief. I wish I could explain better how it really comes ou of nowhere and punches me in the stomach. I can't put words to it.

Friday night had been my monthly night out with my mom's group. They are the ones I turned to when the shit hit the fan, and they know all the details. In general, a lot of people had no idea he and I were splitting up - we never made it to the telling people stage. But I needed help and support from somewhere and this group gave it to me. It's a big group, 15 women, and naturally I'm closer with some than others. At one point someone with whom I'm more distant was saying something about her husband and I started to pipe up, oh mine does that too, when I realized she didn't want to hear it. My friend did not want to hear any sort of comparison between my husband and hers. I was sitting next to a closer friend and we talked about it a little bit, but it made me sad to know that my main outlet, this group of women, was not a place where I could go back to normal life. It was a lifeline for crisis, and would continue to be a support for me. But with other friends who didn't know, it was easier to slip into normalcy. How's your husband with friends who didn't know was a discussion of his job and what was new. With this crowd, it was different. How's my husband was an invitation to talk about how I was, how was counseling, how things were going. Not your plain, basic, how are you, fine type conversation. And sometimes you want normalcy, you know? I think that kicked off some of the sadness.

Saturday night we went to a party, and I was still sad. I saw some old friends, and there were some interesting connections to my new job, so I spent a fair amount of time in intense discussions with others, feeling slightly irritated at my husband hovering close by. It was a Mardi Gras party, an annual event. I used to live in a group house in the mid 90s, before my marriage, and we inherited this party from a friend. Our house hosted it for three years, and, well, it was something. Hundreds of people, a band, many many kegs - it was a crazy, knock down, drag out, full on crazy party. After I got married, the house broke up, and we moved the party to a bar, and the craziness continued. I was partyer in my younger days, but by this point I was merely a "legacy host." I'd go to the party, but I haven't been a wild and crazy partyer for over a decade. My husband, though, still revels in it. And it's been an issue the past few years with this annual party. In 2005, I was pregnant but too early to tell anyone, so he insisted I go and I spent a miserable hour or so huddled in the corner feeling like I was going to throw up at any second, pretending I wasn't drinking because I had bronchitis and was on antibiotics, which was actually true, before I escaped and went home and he stayed out. In 2006, with an infant at home, we got a babysitter and I went for a few hours while he stayed out and partied. In 2007, I had just lost the baby and had immediately gotten terribly sick with a horrendous cold and stayed home, and yep, he was out, partying. So this party has some history for me - some good memories from the old days, mostly bad ones from the let's try to hold onto the old days feeling of my husband.

This year's party was tame and much more mature. Out at a bar, but a nice one, not frat central as in the earlier years, and it was organized for a charity, and we raised a lot of money, nearly $3000. I had a good time networking and reconnecting with some people, but again tinged with some sadness at the past. My husband didn't invite his partying friends, as he has in the past, and stayed close by, and didn't drink much, and acted, in general, like a 37 year old husband and father should act. But I still have so many regrets, and wonder if he's really happy changing that much.

We walked part of the way home, and I said, so that night in November you said you went out with friends - you didn't really go out with friends, did you? He sighed, and said do we have to talk about this, and after my look said, no, he had been out with her. I said I thought he still didn't understand the cost it had been to me. That night, I had been so anxious I had to call a friend to come sit with me for several hours, because I couldn't be in the house by myself, my anxieties were too high. I hadn't blogged about it, but it had been a bad night. He said even that night he knew it was over with her, it hadn't felt right. But, I said, that night was right before Thanksgiving, when you said you couldn't help me go see my family because you didn't want to spend that much time with me. I said you loved her, didn't you? you told her you loved her? And she loved you? And he sighed again. Asked how was he supposed to answer that. I said I needed to process this. That it didn't make sense to me. His revisionist history didn't allow me to get what had been happening. After I had discovered the affair, and had called her, things between us had gotten worse. And he just said yes. He told me back in November the relationship had become professional, but that wasn't true. I think what happened was my call to her pulled them closer together, actually, emotionally. I think maybe they did stop sleeping together, but in that desperate I want you so much I love you so much phase of a relationship. And it only lasted a month - the month of November - but that's a long month and a lot of hurt.

And so, without any pre-thought, and not even realizing what I was about to say, I said, I don't want to be married to you anymore. But I don't know how to do that and make a good life for our daughter.

We walked along very quietly for the rest of the trip. As we got closer to the house, he put his arm on my back, and I said I just can't take this pain anymore.

And now it's Friday, and have we talked about it at all? Nope, not one word.

I had this huge project at work Tuesday and Wednesday. And my daughter got sick Monday night. He was up with her, he took her to the doctor Tuesday, he stayed home from work, he did it all, and my project went well. And if he wasn't here, I don't know how I could have done it. I got sick Wednesday night, and was totally out of it Wednesday and Thursday, so he cared for us both. It is easier being married than not being married.

I don't know how I'm supposed to get past this, especially when he won't talk about it.

I had my counseling appointment yesterday, and dragged myself there. My counselor listened to me and finally said, I guess the question is, is he capable of being emotionally there for you? Can you all have an emotional connection that satisfies your needs?

Because I can't. I can't take all this crap, tie it up with a bow, and put it on a shelf. He can forge a deep emotional connection with some 25 year old girl, and his wife of 8 years, the mother of his child, the woman who went through a devastating loss exactly a year ago - he can't make an emotional connection with me?

Now I know the connection he thought was was making with this girl wasn't really one. It was a false escape from real life. There is no comparing a months long fling with a years long relationship. I am torturing myself making that comparison. I know that intellectually. And yet it's there. It hurts.

Last week, before it got bad, we decided to go away this weekend. We're driving a few hours outside of the city and renting a cabin in the woods for the weekend, with our daughter. Some hiking, outdoors time, at the time we planned it I was so looking forward to it. Now she's in the last stages of her cold, the runny cruddy nose stage. I think I'm recovered. He might be coming down with something. We haven't talked except superficially since Saturday night.

Ugh, sorry this is such a long post. I have needed to get it all out. I hope we'll have some time to talk this weekend, and I hope he's willing and able to talk. I think a lot about that stupid Ladi3s Hom3 Journal feature, can this marriage be saved? I honestly do not know. Could I get past the affair? yes, probably, with enough time, sure, I think so. But I can't be satisfied with a relatinoship that doesn't meet my emotional needs.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


I'm having a hard time in my relationship these days. I just really really don't know what I want to happen. I remember how awful it was when he was leaving, and I don't want to be there again. On the other hand, I can't take this anymore.

We had a joint session last week. The theme, I guess, ended up being trust. The best way to put it is that I think I would be an idiot to 100% fully trust him ever again. I have to remember what he's capable of and be careful not to rely on him too much. And that's not entirely conducive to a fully functioning marriage, now is it?

And he says he wants, more than anything, to have a happy healthy marriage with me. How is that ever going to be possible? What do I have to do to make that a possibility? What does he have to do? Living with this pain, these mental pictures in my mind, the speculation I still have over what really happened....that's too much. And if that's too much, how can I do more?

I have no answers right now. I do have a huge work project next week, so maybe staying focused on that will help. I just don't know.

Friday, February 1, 2008

gray and rainy


The black marble mantelpiece
reflects a green lamp and a white.
Above it, two red candles
and a dish of fruit, painted on velvet.
What bush is that, beside the door
that faces east, that will not loose its leaves?
Snowberry, I guess. And what kind of maple
fights the evening wind to keep some of its leaves?
A few fly by. An electric heater
hums and drowns out the evening wind.
Red filaments. The sullen day
wears off in a dull blue-gray
it almost hurts to see: so like
a mood that comes upon you
unawares, uninvited, unwanted,
like missing someone, and a long goodbye.

- James Schuyler, Collected Poems