Friday, December 30, 2005

Mrs_C quote of the decade:

Mrs_C said it a couple more times, slightly differently each time, but the core words are here:

"I thought you loved me so much you would never leave me, so I didn't ever consider what I might be doing to you with what I said and did."

did you miss that everyone?

let me repeat it in bold

"I thought you loved me so much you would never leave me, so I didn't ever consider what I might be doing to you with what I said and did."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Christmas Travel

We're going to visit my parents over Christmas.

I look forward to the travel. To going places with my children. I'm pretty knotted up inside about travelling with Mrs_C.

We have been civil but somewhat distant.

The trip is over some distance (air travel), and I am not sure how Mrs_C will make it through the "stress" of airports and plane switching and so forth.

I travel and have travelled, she hasn't done much of that.

Mrs_C gets stressed about anything out of routine. She gets stressed about special occassions. She gets stressed about any situation where someone might "judge her".

God knows how this will work out.

One of our really big fights this summer before we had the first "conversation" was her trying to tell me how to pack and travel.

I finally had to say: "You know, I've been around the world a few times without you telling me what to do, and I made it through all by myself. I think I'm competant enough to decide what to pack."

(yes, I really have been around [whole way] the world a few times)

My kids are pretty excited and Mrs_C and I have agreed to make the trip the best we can for them, and for my parents.

This trip is one of the elements that kept things from flying apart totally in our marriage. We didn't want to take it away from our children. I could have gone with them without Mrs_C, but it would have put quite a damper on things. At one point earlier this month she was saying she would stay behind and prepare the house for sale while I went with the kids (see post: Monday, November 28, 2005, So, I got played - again). Not ruining the trip and Christmas for the kids was what made me buckle then.

I'm about to puke my stomach is so knotted up. Not from the trip, but from whatever fucking bizarre off the wall shit Mrs_C will spew.

Or maybe she won't. Maybe she'll be contained and constrained in her reaction.

Either way, I'll be warm for a few weeks and that's a good thing.

I'll get to show off my newly more svelte self to my family.

I'll get to go on a plane trip with my kids.

They're excited and so am I.

Friday, December 09, 2005

OK, Cadbury, so what are you doing about it all?

Lara wrote (about me and her husband):

"The only person you can change is yourself."

"I can't force him to change, or to treat me like I think I deserve. But I can call him on his unfair comments. I can refuse to accept the undeserved slams. It is hard for me, as I tend to just take whatever he says & does... but I think the only way to fix things is to change myself to make the way he has treated me not work any more. For too long, he has gotten away with it."

One of my other friends said to me (when i decided to stay after the first go 'round):

"If she doesn't like who you are, maybe she'll like who you want to be."

As I whine on in this blog (yes, i know i shouldn't typify it as whining), I want to let you know about some of the things I have been doing. Since late September I have been:

1) losing weight - about 35 lbs so far
2) taken up daily exercise
3) undertaken a martial art

I am also:

1) going to a counsellor (being a guy who has always tried to deny emotion for logic, I think that some reflection of how I REALLY feel instead of how I SHOULD feel is in order)
2) writing down the things I think and feel (outside this blog)
3) making an EVEN STRONGER effort to do things with my kids (I have always been there for them, but I want to be there extra during this time)
4) i have begun learning piano (my kids are teaching me)
5) i have begun learning more than the pidgin french i currently speak (my kids are teaching me)
6) i have begun planning some of the travel i want to do and how to do it

I am focused and dedicated to becoming the person I want to be.

Not because it might attract Mrs_C - i'm pretty much done with that.

I want to live a life of exuberance, joy and travel, not a life of endless home renovations, chores, and hedge trimming (I like building things, just not endlessly, and to the exclusion of living life).

I want to greet each day with the freshness, enthusiasm, energy, and possibility of first light on a spring morning.

Oh, and one more thing, I'm going to be one of the muscular toned hard body guys the ladies at the VW CBB always pant over.

My daughter says she undertands it's not her fault

The other day my son [14] and daughter [10] and I were talking about things. In response to their questions, I had told them that it was still up in the air whether things would work out between their Mom and I.

My daughter said "Well, either way, I'm OK because I know that it's not my fault, and you guys need to just work out your own problems and make your own decision."

That is a siginificant change.

She used to believe she could impact our relationship and do something that would keep us together.

I was always worried she would feel guilty if we split - that she hadn't done something.

She's a real card-making, craft making, colour between the lines, teacher's dream child.

She has guilt issues and pleasing authority figures issues in my opinion...

She is my precious gem, but I can't relate to the please authority figures thing. Maybe scurry to please loved ones, I guess, but teachers? But she loves her teachers and her school and I'm pleased for her - she has had some just amazingly nice teachers (not my son, let me tell you. sorry if I'm dissing teachers buddha_girl - I suspect you would a teacher I would like. Did I mention I teach? [adult computer education])


she said she would be OK even if we did get a divorce, and that she knew it wouldn't be her fault or responsibility.

That's a big step, and a huge hurdle out of the way for me.

The impact on her was my largest anxiety subset.


We had another "conversation the other night.

It always seems that Mrs_C has to find her courage in a bottle.

When we were dating and first married she drank a lot, and would often rip into me, but that tapered off when we had kids.

It was weird how she would drink a bunch, chew my ass off and then want to have sex. When we first got married it was bit of a pattern - she used to complain that I didn't want to have sex with her. I tried to explain at the time that I didn't want to have drunken sex with her after she had ripped me a new asshole. Psuedo-submissive play sex is one thing (or possibility), but actually being a doormat doesn't turn me on

SO anyway, the other night (around 10 pm), she had a few drinks and decided to broach the subject of why I was mad at her and why I would be thinking of leaving her. She then cut me off every time I tried to say anything - that's a standard tactic of Mrs_C - don't let the other person actually say anything. Mrs_C also knows that once I get going, there is almost no possibility of derailing my logic (underlying assumptions, maybe, but not the logic).

I got to listen to roughly three hours of lecturing about how I'm a lazy shitbag, and have been through most of our marriage. I had it explained to me that I have done only three nice things for her since we met, and that she has spent our whole marriage doing nice things for me, and I should be grateful - but instead of being grateful I'm just angry - and isn't that just a fine how-do-you-do... She also reminded me that I was unemployed and living a somewhat marginal existence when we met (no job yet after university - high unemployment in the area I lived in at the time) - her words were "Think about where you were when I found you...".

After I was actually allowed to speak - after she made several trips to the wine bottle and a couple of smoke breaks outside with appropriate slamming of doors (waking up my son [14]) - I explained that if I had been unable to do anything right in the last 17 years, maybe it was futile and I had better just be good about cutting her losses by getting out of her life as anything other than co-parent.

I proceeded to list all (well... lots) of the things that I have done to be apologetic for - and invited her to add any that i missed. I apologised yet again for my transgressions. I then asked her the same question I asked previously and cited when we had our first conversation:

Link to previous post: Wednesday, August 24, 2005: So, Mrs_C and I had "the conversation"

I once asked Mrs_C to name one thing she believed she had done wrong during our marriage, or one problem that was her fault or that she was responsible for.

once again the answer was the same:

She was unable to name a single one. I guess she's perfect.

I said that it was impossible that I had only done 3 nice things for her in our whole relationship. I then went on to cite a couple of dozen examples of me doing something nice (this barb/attack of me "never having done anything nice" has been thrown at me before, so i actually have a list that i have compiled and memorized for this situation)

I then asked her if she found it a reasonable proposition that any married person would have made no mistakes in 17 years in

their relationship. I asked her to just look inside herslef. She didn't have to name one, she just had to be honest with herself.

She couldn't rebut.

I described how I cared for her but felt an absence of passion. Physical desire, yes, attraction yes - but passion for the marriage or relationship - no.

She told me that I was the love of her life and that she would never love someone as much as me. She again said that if she

had known that what she was doing would drive me away, she would have never done it. Other special excerpts:

- "i thought you loved me so much that you would never leave, no matter what i said"
- "I don't want to grow old alone"
- "that's real nice of you, i'm a 46 year old woman, my youth is gone, and you're going to leave me now after 17 years, after you've spent me"

Things went in circles for awhile and I went to bed at around 3am because I had to work the next day. Mrs_C called in sick.

When I got home she told me that she had been thinking all day and that I had done plenty of nice things for her - she cited a bunch of additional ones I hadn't even thought of.

She said that she would wait for me to either find passion in our marriage or make my decision.

And there it sits this week.

Less hostility, more amiability.


"WHY does she maneuver you to say you'll stay??"

Lara asked:

"I just don't get it. WHY does she maneuver you to say you'll stay?? Why does she want you there? She certainly doesn't TREAT you like she wants you there, so why not just let you move on? Does she just get off on being manipulative?"

I want to make sure that you are all aware of the following basic premises and starting conditions to my relationship with Mrs_C:

1) I dated a LOT. I was fully sexually active during my dating years.
2) I had no intention of marrying anyone when we met.
3) I had no real desire to have children (they are now the light of my existence).
4) On our second date I was sitting across from her sipping some wine and suddenly the thought raced across my brain "This is the mother of my children"
5) As I sat there pondering the improbability of the thought I had just had, this overwhelming yawning chasm of anguish at having to spend even a moment apart from this woman hit me. I waited over two years of dating to see if the feeling would go away - it didn't until just before Christmas 2004. It just vanished. I woke up one morning, and for the first time in some 17 years, the first thought on my mind wasn't wanting to make love to and hold Mrs_C.

Here's where I get really brutally honest:

I am not sure Mrs_C really loved me from the start. I have never been sure why she said she married me in the first place.

On good days I like to think she loved me.

On bad days I like to think that I am a pretty darn reasonable (more than reasonable) person and generally likeable guy, and that no-one else would put up with her shit, so I seemed a good choice...

I know that she cares for me - but is it really love in the passionate crying out sense? I don't think so.

I have had the following suspicions since we got married:

1) I was the only guy she had ever dated that would put up with her shit
2) I was so completely pleasant, benign, courteous, and friendly that she couldn't assign me to the same shithole all other men belong to (in her mind)...
3) She convinced herself that she loved me because I didn't frighten or upset her that way that all other men (except her father), frighten and piss her off.
4) Mrs_C was just looking for an appropriate party to have children with.

The above may sound weird, so it requires some other background:

- Mrs_C suffered abuse as a child
- She is attracted to men, but has a permanent hostility and distrust for men in general (with good reason, I have to add - she's been treated pretty shitty by a lot of men - not just in relationships, but professionally as well).

More as I think about the answer to Lara's questions.

Republished note to Briar Rose

This is part of an email sent to my friend Briar Rose. I think it is relevant to this discussion.


i apologise for involving you, even at this distance, in my pain

but it is what is happening

the thoughts and feelings of my friends let me know that i'm not alone

when it is over it will not be so bad

being stuck in the interim is the worst part - no moving ahead, the past withered

the thing that provides me with the most fortitude is this:

i say that i would die for my children. will i live for them as well?

they understand - they can see - that there is an undercurrent, but they are shielded from most of it. i can live through this time and see to it that their birthdays (clustered around these three months) and their christmas [we are all going on a trip togther] are not a time they remember with pain - i don't need them thinking of a break-up every year on their birthday. i don't even need mrs_c thinking about it every year on her birthday (same 3 month period) - that would be unkind.


again, i am sorry to expose you to my pain