We broke up because of bread. That’s what he’ll say. Stupid, seedy, sandwich bread. He went to the store, at 9:15 at night no less, to get some grocery items for me and he got the wrong bread and now we’re getting divorced. Sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it? Well, it’s the truth, and at the same time it’s nowhere near the whole truth. So what’s the rest of the story?
To oversimplify, he doesn’t pay attention – to me, to the things I like, to what I eat, to whether I’m happy or sad or indifferent. He doesn’t know me. He doesn’t notice. Part of that lazy unknowing is bringing home the wrong bread and then, in the morning when I’m hungry and emotional and just want a piece of toast but I can’t have it because it’s not the right thing, he says helpful things like, “Oh, so I’m the asshole now? I got your bread.”
Of course, this story is biased towards my feelings, since I’m the author. Is it reasonable to get so upset over being “forced” to eat the “wrong” bread? Probably not. Honestly, though, my hurt goes deeper than the fact that 9 times out of ten he brings the wrong grocery items home.
The bread fiasco is just one in a string of unfortunate events, each of them hurtful to me. Each time it happens, instead of apologizing or trying to understand what is upsetting to me, he defends himself and points out my flaws. It’s not exactly a recipe for productive conversation or progress.
Am I saying I’m blameless and my husband never gets hurt? Not at all. However I don’t believe he gets hurt very often, which is perhaps a benefit of being so faintly invested. From my perspective, he has it easy. He works all day. He doesn’t contribute to the household in any way aside from that. I cook the meals, clean, pay the bills, take care of school things and appointments, do all the laundry and homework, plan all the vacations and pack us for them, and so on.
I’m not a quitter. I am, however, beginning to wonder at what point do I cut my losses? At what point am I allowed (by society, by my parents, by my own conscience) to move towards my own healing and happiness?
We don’t have the same goals (or if we do, he doesn’t vocalize them). I have been working on my own for a year to clean up our credit. The most I can get out of him is a “that’s great babe” when I talk to him about it, but forget about active participation. I’ve been hoping to purchase a home and I have spoken with mortgage lenders and realtors and he doesn’t get involved in it or even ask questions. I plan an annual Disney trip and this year I’ve asked for help from a friend because it’s too stressful and involved for me to do on my own. And I know that when the time comes, he will go and enjoy the fruits of my labor, and never say thank you, and never have helped with the decision making, and just thinking about this makes me cry. I’m crying.
I want a life partner. Someone who has dreams, someone who has a plan, someone who cherishes me. What I don’t want is to have to drag someone along. Every day that goes by I worry I am wasting time with someone who thinks that just working is enough. Who thinks that he shouldn’t have to hug me or buy flowers or plan date nights because he works and because I’m living off his money. (I’ll admit that part is terrifying. How will I live? My job pays peanuts.) By the same token, I’m very careful with the money and budget because I respect all that he does to earn it. I don’t take that responsibility lightly. A few days ago I asked if he might help me with it, at least be involved in it, and his response was that if I keep complaining about it he’ll just do it. He’ll take over. I don’t want him to control it, number one because he’s not great with saving and number two because I like doing it. I honestly do. I just need help. I need a husband.
He is a kind person. He’s a nice dad. I don’t know if I’d say he’s a good dad, because he doesn’t really do things with the kids unless I make him. Our son deserves to go fishing and hiking and to learn about being a guy, and there are things that as much as it chafes me, I cannot teach him. But my husband isn’t teaching him either. Again, I cry, but this time it’s hot angry tears. My sons both deserve effort.
Maybe he’s depressed. He has mentioned it a few times, and I’ve encouraged him to get counseling and even try medication if that’s what he thinks will help. Has he taken any steps in that direction? No.
We’ve both made mistakes. I planned a hypothetical lunch about 8 years ago with a guy who is a friend from high school but he saw it as me being shady. Last Spring I found nudes on his phone of girls (plural) who aren’t me and spent a few days swallowing pieces of my heart and trying to figure out if anything I thought was real had ever truly existed. He had an explanation. It was plausible. After about 2 days of me moping he began acting annoyed that I wouldn’t “let it go”. I still haven’t let it go completely, though I don’t bring it up to him. It’s here inside me, though.
Do I worry he might read this? Not for a moment. Despite sharing links with him from time to time I’m reasonably sure he’s never read my blog. I wrote a book, published it on Amazon, and shared it with him after years of being too scared to let him see any of it, and he never even looked at it. Didn’t read one word of it.
He’s going to go the rest of his life thinking he married a crazy person who divorced him over bread. It’s heart-breaking and frustrating.
So that’s where I am today. Right now I’m making list a la Ross Gellar: Reasons to stay vs. Reasons to go. What’s better for me? For the kids? For us both? Apologies for oversharing with my handful of readers, but this blog is a journal for me and it’s important when you feel something to speak it, and that’s what I’m doing.