Being vulnerable seems to be the new emotional cure all and I am laying everything on the line in hopes of getting my own personalized vaccination. Frankly, I’m afraid. I’m very, very afraid.
2013 started with Husband #2 packing up his personal belongings and moving out. Over the past year, I’ve struggled with finding a new job, holding the finances together (including a new tuition payment compliments of Son #1), and fixing up a house with the goal of getting it ready for sale if things come to that level. Throw in mowing an acre and a half lawn every week along with weeding flowerbeds, keeping up with a new fitness regimen to keep my Breakup Diet going strong, and my life has been pretty jam packed with activity.
But late at night, when my insomnia kicks in, the scary thoughts start up.
What if our relationship stays like this forever???
I’ll admit, things are vastly better between Husband #2 and I now that a year has passed. We have a weekly phone call on Sunday nights, we plan to get together every 2-3 months or so for a romantic weekend in a neutral city, we say “I love you”, and divorce is off the table for now.
But what if this is all there is???
Husband #2 has made no secret of his desire to remain living where he is now. He’s brought up several times that his goal is to have me move to his new location, even though it is not in my best interest personally or professionally. And if I do make the move, he’s also quite content to keep us in separate abodes, like a your house/my house kind of deal and mentioned that I should Google the term “living apart together” as if it’s the most normal thing going. I guess we would visit each other if we wanted to hook up or have dinner together.
Would that make me a marriage prostitute and my home a house of ill-repute???
I’ve always wanted to live in a cooler climate with mild summers and snowy winters. I’m not a hot weather person and visibly wilt in high humidity and temperatures above 80 degrees. I also want to restore a little farm house and live in the country. Husband #2 has stated openly that any renovations will be done without his participation. And his current climate was in the high 80s and 90s for most of last summer.
What happened to supporting me in my hopes and dreams for the future???
And he’s continuing to fear me, which means conflict avoidance and repressed emotions. Those were the behaviors that helped to get us where we are today – separated, mistrustful, and leery.
What if he never changes???
My #1 complaint about our relationship is that I felt as if I wasn’t a priority to Husband #2. Work, clients, his needs all came before me. I would voice my concerns privately and in therapy. “I’m feeling invisible. This is what I need from you. It will be a little thing but it will help me to diminish my shame. In turn, you will benefit as well. I will not push or criticize you.”
What if he never treats me as a priority???
Even now, we meet at his convenience. He declines my invitations to meet up at my convenience even when I offer to pay for his flight. I’ve mentioned that I feel like something he’s put in a jar and takes down from the shelf when he feels like it. I’m a toy that he plays with when he feels like it.
What if I remain in the jar forever???
I’ve been through the emotional ringer with the separation, the uncertainty, the personal therapy, and the self-growth exercises. I’ve battled demons and changed and grown and struggled and evolved.
What if I leave him behind???
For the time being I’ll swat at these fears with my imaginary broom and shoo them back under the bed. But I know they are still there…waiting.