Power

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I ask B to share with me the emotions he has  felt on this “maybe” divorce journey as part of the 365 Days Little Buddha Challenge. My intention is just to listen in hopes of greater understanding and clarity.

He says that he feels under appreciated, under valued, and like he has been in a rowboat rowing all by himself.

I ask what would it take to make feel him feel that he was valued and appreciated.

“For you to focus on the family instead of yourself. I work and have taken on a lot in the last 5 years.”

What would that look like I ask?

“I don’t know.” It always comes down to I don’t know. Or I want to have the last word in our relationship. My word is the final word. And I know that at 56 I do not want to become a caricature of who I want to be and who I am.

And as I ponder his answers I realize that everything he has said I feel the same way about. Exactly. Undervalued. Unappreciated. Unloved. And when you have two people who are intrenched in those kinds of feelings it seems like there is no chance of moving on.

I wonder how exactly he feels I focus on myself. My writing? My genealogy work? He has work, the gym where he works out with Gwinnifer, Rotary, Boys Scouts, his various  industry organizations and playing the bagpipes.  Yet, he does focus on the things he likes to do with our family. Boy Scouts. While I focused on getting the kids to their therapist once a week for years, hippo therapy, diving lessons and meets. I write and research…that is all I do for myself except clean house at least two hours everyday, make dinner, lunches, do laundry, grocery shop, taxi the kids around, work in the garden, paint all the rooms in our house, etc.

I think having two children with special needs has impacted our relationship in ways that most families never experience and it has increased the stress in our relationship. In addition, it has made it difficult to socialize with others who do not understand how we must live. So we have isolated ourselves as a couple and I have isolated myself as a person.

And as he says these things resentment screeching out of his words like nine-inch nails on a blackboard; I realize once again there is no way to get over this. Even if I bowed down and “obeyed” like he says he wants in a woman, it would never be enough because he will never see anything but what he wants to see/ how he wants to feel…resentment (which he denies), cheated, and all the un-everythings so that he can justify his feelings about wanting a new life, a new wife, and find a way to feel comfortable in his mid-life crisis which actually started 7 years ago when he bought a two-seater Mercedes convertible for a family of six.

And so I inch that much closer to the demise of a relationship in which one person never expressed his needs or told the truth and one who expressed all of it. Constantly. Who asked the deep questions that B couldn’t answer in an attempt to learn about his wants but never could because the information was top-secret and I never had that kind of clearance.

It is time to make the kinds of chances that break hearts. It is time to make the kinds of changes in which it feels that you have been eviscerated and your guts are hanging outside of your body for the world to see. It is time to let go and get on with life unhindered by 30-year-old anger and disappointment. For every time I talk with you I feel horrible about myself afterwards. I’m selfish. Not appreciative enough, skinny enough, loving enough, a good enough mother, a good enough wife, a good enough partner, a good enough person. Like I am nor will I ever be enough. For anybody and certainly for you.

“You took my power,” he says.

“If you really felt that to be true it was your responsibility to get it back, instead of blaming me for not having the guts to do what you should have done.”

So here it is. The power that you accuse me of stealing.The power that you’ve always had and were afraid to control.  It’s all yours and it always has been. Let’s see what you do with it.

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19 thoughts on “Power

      • You’re amazing. Im still…. Whatever I am. In limbo. Im so sad. I never feel happy. I think about how alone I am. How my husband promises now is different but we are apart so how would I know. Even if it is…what does that mean? Oh gee, you only used hookers for 10 years of lure 14 together and now on it will be fine? How is that something I can be over? Oh its incredibly giving that you gave up all the hookers for me. Im so lost and I take so much strength from you. Even though our worlds and stories are very different… I learn from you. If you are strong enough to decide. I can decide too. Thank you.

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      • You have to decide for yourself as we both know. I so understand feeling “oh its incredibly giving that you give up all the hookers for me.” You are not lost you are just finding your way which takes time and lots of hurt I believe. I feel sad too but limbo is the worst. THE WORST. I think it is like when you do the limbo but instead of passing under the pole there is a sharp point and when you pass under it rips your heart to shreds. I am sorry. Listen to Chel Hamilton’s podcasts. Thinking of you

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  1. My father used to say things like ‘Your mother cut off my balls.’
    Maybe she did.
    But you know, my father had every single opportunity to be stronger, step up to the game, not allow his balls to be cut off, take control.
    So yeah. Sorry. But it always takes two to tango.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That is exactly what I think too. He didn’t step up to the plate and got angry 30 years later because I did from the beginning. You don’t lose your power you give it away because you are afraid of confrontation.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Forgive me for asking this but is it possible your husband might be getting his words from someone else? Like Gwinnifer? From what you’ve written about the things he’s said to you it seems to be following that script…the pulling away when someone outside the marriage starts sowing seeds of dissension. I hate that. I hate that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I also feel like… You have to flip this on him a bit. If you are going to be docile and conceding to his ownership or power he also has to have shown or proved there’s legitimate reasons or value in doing so- he has to provide evidence that he honors that responsibility. A man who just gets to come home undo his top buttons and laze while his wife continues to slave… Isn’t worthy of that command. The captain who works harder than everyone else is absolutely merited in asking his crew to work harder. He feels undervalued … Have you taken stock of what he does for you and yours? How have you praised and celebrated that. And conversely. … Has he done the same for you? I feel like he doesn’t honor you. He doesn’t seem to value you. I think hes in for a rude awakening if you split and he realizes clean house doesn’t grow from the floor up, children eat everything and groceries dont magically appear in the cupboard and god hates divorce but he loves those who love his children and will stand for those who are wronged and husband better be pretty ducking clear what hes walking away from. You seem mighty. And loving. And lovable. And if he doesn’t see that and only sees what he is missing …. Then he deserves to be miserable and he will find shame later when he realizes he threw away things more precious than rubies

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  4. He is sooooo cheating on you and totally made up his mind to leave. I know what it looks like and sounds like. Talking to him at this point will be nothing more than beating a dead horse, because his bags are packed. You’ve been through the same trauma with your children, but you aren’t exercising with someone else……. How do your adult children read the situation? Peace your way.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I too have my own theory about what is up, and he’s a coward for not owning up and blaming you. Same old story.

    With that said, a year ago, H told me one problem he had with me was that I was “militant” about house cleaning, and claimed I had declined invitations to do fun things because I wanted to clean instead. I can’t think of a single instance where that claim was true, but it doesn’t matter, because it’s what H perceived to be true.

    Meanwhile, MY perception was being a good wife meant to keep a clean house he could be proud of. It sucks that I worked so hard for 25 years to keep things clean and he viewed my actions as being obsessive rather than loving. He placed no value in what I was doing (for him).

    My point is the things you listed are the same that I would have, often with “because somebody has to” or “no one else will” behind it. How can he say you should focus more on “the family”?!? What else could you have done differently? He has no answer, of course. He should be honest and just say you should have focused more on him. And he believes that whoever he has his eye on will do just that.

    I’m sorry you’re going through this.

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  6. What baffles me about so much of this is how he could ever think you would be the type of wife who just follows her husband’s commands. What a weird expectation. That’s certainly never been the way I’ve known you to be. I love you for speaking your mind AND for being willing to listen when other people do the same.

    I’m sorry for all the pain you’re going through and proud/impressed by how you’re using it as an opportunity for self-improvement.

    😘

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