Monday, 21 March 2011

Family time

It's so difficult knowing whether it is good for the kids for us all to spend time together 'as a family'.  dh, me and the kids.  Or do they get the wrong idea, get confused, get their hopes up or what?

As with most other decisions now, I'm just having to go with my gut instinct and hope for the best.  So we all went and had a day at the park/forest on Saturday.  The kids played in the park, we had a picnic lunch, we walked in the woods afterwards and then we came home.  I came home, the kids and dh went to his place.  It was nice spending time together, but there were times when I just wanted to come home... just because I guess it was a constant low-level stress.  Stress of uncertainty and worry I suppose.

While the kids played in the park we sat on a bench with a coffee and talked.  As usual, something arose that we disagreed on.  Unusually, he said that he knew his viewpoint was wrong and abusive and he asked me some questions.

He seems to spend a lot of time thinking of hypothetical situations that he might find himself in with me (that have maybe happened before or have happened to other couples) and tries to figure out how he should respond in that situation.

e.g.  We discussed a friend of ours who is also in an emotionally abusive marriage.  She received an unsolicited drunken email out of the blue from a male acquaintance asking to 'meet up sometime'.  Her husband was secretly checking her emails and went crazy, accused her of all sorts of things, threw and broke the computer etc.  Dh said that he can't imagine that in the same situation he would act any differently.  He said that he'd wonder 'what has my wife done so that this man thinks it's ok to send this email'.  Now I said that anger should be directed at the man who sent the email, not the wife.


Sorry, mid-post I just remembered something that happened between us about 9 months- a year ago.  My dh got a test message from his best friend's wife asking if he wanted to have sex with a woman they both know.  I was really upset about this.  I was really upset with his best friend's wife for sending it, but also with my husband and I believe I said to him "what have you done so that X (best friend's wife) thinks it's OK to send this text?".

This sort of thing always happened.  He has an amazing capacity to store phrases or actions for a long time and then throw them back at me in this way.  I will have to email him about that.

Now I get to thinking... am I being hypocritical here?  Thinking my friend's husband was being unfair blaming his wife, when I kind of blamed my husband a bit?

I suppose the situation was different - my friend was emailed by an acquaintance she'd met once so I would assume that he doesn't particularly know her.  My friend's husband went crazy, yelling, vile accusations, intimidating her.

In our situation the person texting was someone who'd known my husband for a number of years.  I was just very hurt.  It turns out she'd apparently sent the text to dh accidentally (not sure if I believe that) and so the matter was dropped and I haven't really thought about it since.... Interesting.

Anyway, back to the 'family time'.  I suppose this sort of focus on abuse and getting over it, which is the focus of our relationship at the moment, is kind of draining.  And though I enjoy spending time together as a family, I worry about how the kids are perceiving it all.

So - will we do it again.  Yes, I think we probably will.  Bearing in mind that long term the plan is to resume our relationship if I am convinced he will no longer be abusive, then I believe it is right to maintain some sort of family time together.

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