Today I talked to my husband. Sounds weird. Obviously we have talked, briefly, over the last 6-7 weeks since we separated. Mainly it has been practical arrangements to do with the children. I didn't feel able, or willing, to talk to him. Any other discussion has been done by email, as you've seen if you've been reading the blog.
Our eldest daughter's birthday is coming up which has necessitated some discussion and arrangements. I also wanted to discuss with him how the kids are handling everything and whether we need to do anything else. Particularly, I feel they have no idea why we separated and may be worrying about that.
Anyway, during our phone call I said to him that it's a shame he couldn't just decide to stop being abusive rather than have to go through all this. Obviously I didn't expect a reply - it sounds like a flippant comment but it's something I've been thinking. If he really loved me he'd just stop it. Surely it wouldn't take months in an abuser's group to be able to do that? I know it's the core values that need to change, not just the behaviours so I know this is over-simplistic. But, hell, I'm in a place where I want to say what I think.
Anyway, of course he had no reply and the conversation moved on.
We discussed how difficult it is to communicate. I said that I feel slightly in a limbo. I don't know if we will or won't ever be together again. I don't know how his abuser programme will go, whether he will change or anything else right now. I don't hate him. We aren't definitely separating forever, or definitely getting back together. In this light, communication is a bit awkward with neither of us sure of the boundaries. That's something I need to think about, I guess, because he is taking the lead from me.
I enjoyed the sun today, we played tennis at the park (me and the kids), they played in the playground, we had lunch at a cafe and walked the dog. We went to the library, got books and a DVD and the kids watched the film while I read my new book with a coffee. It was a lovely day.
At the library I paid nearly £40 in backdated fines (mainly for kids DVDs I overlooked returning during the worse part of the separation). I paid over the money, paid for lunch, brought some groceries and came home.
I came to a few realisations this afternoon. Firstly, I'm an adult. I am spending my time how I want to without fear of disapproval. This feels good.
Secondly, I am comfortable and happy in my home. It feels like my home. I tidy up, cook, shop, pay bills etc on my own timetable. Nobody is looking over my shoulder, whether metaphorically or physically. I read for an hour today, I've been online chatting to friends and it's fine! It's just absolutely fine.
Thirdly, I am standing on my own two feet. With a lot of assistance from the state, I admit, I am paying for my house, my debts, my bills, for food, for fuel, for clothes, for days out. I have a plan to earn more money and am confident that I can do it myself. Nobody telling me I'll give up if I don't like it. Nobody to stop me giving up if I don't like it and doing something else instead!
All of this leads me to thinking that I no longer need my husband in any way. I am my own person and am living my own life, without him. And it's okay. So if I no longer need him, the only reason I will get back together with him is if I want to. And the only reason I will want to is because the relationship will be positive to me and my children.
I feel I have a bit empowered by thinking about all of this. It's crummy at the moment, I'm up and down missing him and wishing things were different. But I can and am handling it. I'm not making contact when I feel like this. I'm not allowing things to slip back. I'm acknowledging it's shitty and I wouldn't have chosen for 'us' to end up like this. But I'm also ramming it into my head that these feelings are temporary and that gradually I'm on an upward curve to feeling better.
In fact, it's astonishing how much has changed in such a short time. The highs and lows are not as extreme, but more than that. I can no longer imagine living how we used to live! I can't imagine ever being able to handle living slightly on edge, wondering whether I am doing the right thing, feeling constantly disapproved of or not quite good enough in any way. My god, I won't now choose that life. Not now that I know what it is. I choose a better life. Sure, it's sucky in some ways - I miss my husband, I still love him, I wanted my family to stay together, finances aren't brilliant - but the positive aspects far outweigh the negative.
And I'm thinking now. Why would I choose him, now that I know him? If I could instead choose a relationship with someone who thinks I'm great (most of the time), who trusts me, who believes me to be a good person, who loves me, who thinks I am equal... why would I choose my husband over this other person? My husband doesn't trust me, seems to think I'm inherently a lazy, selfish person, thinks I need to be told how to spend my time and live my life otherwise I would do nothing, is unhappy to see me happy.
So, I suppose this just means that my husband will have a very long way to go to convince me that it's worth the risk of getting into a relationship with him. Because the risk is great.
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