Forever?

”If love is easy, then you aren’t doing it right.” Truth.

Love isn’t easy, there is no right or wrong, there are no rules, and I’m not sure it lasts forever. I don’t believe in forever anymore. I don’t believe in marriage, and what it stands for…even though my parents’ marriage is still going strong. Nobody seems to take marriage seriously these days. It’s a “Let’s get married!!” on a whim, then figure out that it’s too hard to coincide with another person who is just as strong willed as you are, and then figure divorce is the only option. Just because you have a fairytale wedding it doesn’t mean that the fairy tale will last forever, that’s only the honeymoon phase. Once that phase is over, and you can take a stinky shit in front of your partner while they relax in the bath tub, getting on with the rest of your marriage is going to require work and commitment. I think this generation has just decided that if it’s broke and there is no warranty its not worth trying to fix. Not me, I google error messages, order the parts to make the fix, put new parts in and if it’s still not working, I hit up google again. It’s a vicious cycle.

I also didn’t believe that anxiety or depression was a real thing. “Seriously?? DUH…It’s absolutely controllable” insert *eye roll*…not! I believed that you could just set your mind to it and the anxiety would just go away. ”Get over your shit already!” kind of self-talk but…the tears kept falling, chest kept hurting, etc. It doesn’t work that way. When depression has its hold on you it doesn’t kindly just let go because you use your “mom voice” on it. I get angry with myself sometimes because I feel like I should be able to control these days when my brain is being a dick, trying to convince me that staying in bed is the best place for me to be, as it starts to replay the events from the last four years, then I hear a distant whisper ”Mom?” which pulls me out of the fog, I get up and start the day. If it wasn’t for that whisper though, I might stay right where my brain wants me to. Every day isn’t like this and I’m not sure why the anxiety elephant has been trying so hard to sit its ass down on my shoulders lately. Spring is on its way so I should be feeling happier, the weather is warming up, daylight hours extended, so why is my body betraying me? I wonder if I will ever be free of these feelings or if to be rid of them I need to be free of the situation that caused it in the first place. See??? My brain is totally in dick mode, bringing up the ”what ifs?” I don’t believe in forever so the anxiety can’t last for the rest of my life…Can it? I really want to believe that I have control over how everything will play out.

I read a book recently by Sophie Kinsella called Surprise Me. I wanted to find it funny  like I have all of her other books and distract my brain from dick mode, but it made me feel anxious and start to overthink about my marriage. It was about a couple who were happily moving along in their marriage when on their 10 year anniversary of being together it’s brought to their attention that they could live to be 100 and 102, which made them realize they had another 68 years of marriage to get through. So then they decide to come up with surprises for each other to try and keep the spark in their marriage alive, which ended in the surprises being catastrophic disasters. It made me think that my husband and I are approaching 20 years of marriage this year with quite possibly, easily, another 30 years together if not more. We are about 7-8 years away from being empty-nesters and then what?? Catastrophic surprises for the remaining 23 years? Ugh.

I feel like for a long time I was living in this alternate universe, where I believed that my marriage would withstand infidelity, that my kids would be spared heartache, that growing old with one person was how my life would turn out. I don’t believe it anymore. Life happens. There are so many things about living in that alternate universe I didn’t have to think about or want to think about because it was all going to end with happily ever after anyway. Now I think about places I want to travel, things I want to see or do and I don’t care if I do them on my own. Actually, I would like to do some of them on my own just to see what life on my own would be like. I want to feel strong/independent again like I used to, and travelling to Prague to go on a hiking/river cruise to Budapest might just do that for me. Maybe. Or I would just end up with really sore feet?

Our story used to end up with my husband and I being each other’s best friend till death do us part, with our kids and grandkids around us. That was all I needed or wanted. I still want that, but the need/want isn’t as great or as necessary as it used to be. There are just so many ways that a story could go, this is just my view and opinion. You get to write your own story it so make it a good one with a happy ending, just don’t plan on a fairy tale…

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Words are just Words

My daughter said to me “Mom, you never tell us that you love us.” Does she know every day my heart hurts because I love them so much? The constant worry that as young adults off on their own, and hoping they make good life choices, that’s love. I say to her that words don’t mean much to me, that they are just words. I tell her that I prefer to show her that I love her. I spend time in her bedroom cleaning it, putting fresh sheets on her bed, or flowers in her room when she comes home for a visit. I do her laundry while she is with us, and make a point of cooking her favourite things to eat. I tag her in funny memes to make her laugh on days when she might be missing home, to let her know I’m thinking of her and miss her too. I tell her that there are so many other ways that I tell her I love her.

She doesn’t understand how hurt by her dad I have been and although he says he loves me, I don’t feel it, they are just words he says because he doesn’t know how to show me all the time. I don’t feel it because he had two other relationships with other women one that was just sex and the other I know he loved. He didn’t show me, love. He told me lies and continued to live his life without any regard for our marriage, me or our family. That is not loving. He tries a little harder to make me feel his love. He senses the anxiety days, even though I try to not let them show. He holds me tighter at night because he knows it helps to shut my brain down and stop the overthinking it tends to do in the quiet hours. He has tried harder in the last year because he knows I was slipping away from him and I wasn’t going to be there, or love him any longer. He feels my love, he wasn’t completely sure he wanted it to be something he had to live without so he’s decided to make changes in his life.

I love my kids with my whole being and have made them the centre of my life. I miss them when they are not with me, and feel happy when all of them are home. I ask my daughter ”Do you love your brothers?” She rolls her eyes and with that, I know the answer, that yes she does. I ask her ”Do you tell them? Do you say to them that you love them? Do they tell you that they love you?” She’s waiting for me to make my point. I tell her that without realizing it, the time they spend together when they are all home shows their affection for each other, it shows in the Facetime calls they make time for in their busy lives when they are apart, and the group texts between them. My heart swells, and tears cloud my vision because I did my job, I raised them to be caring people and that even long after I’m gone that they will still find time for each other.

At the airport, as she leaves me to go back to school, I hug her long and tight, I try to hide my tears because I’m going to miss her but she catches them, raises her finger to my cheek, brushes a tear away and says ”I love you, too”

Going Back

I think of all the what ifs that I’ve had in my life. What if I had of gone home with the guy from the bar one night when I was still a teenager? What if I had of let him take me to his place and spend the night doing lord knows what to me? My life would be very different today, I think. I’m starting to feel like I should have done more before I settled down in a relationship with my husband. I want things that I didn’t want before. Sometimes I think I want freedom and then others I can’t bear to imagine my life without him. I’ve loved him for so long that I don’t know how to say goodbye and walk away from that part of my life. What if I did walk away? I’m afraid he’ll forget that he’s a father and he’ll lose his kids. They love him I know, but they know what I’ve done for him and our family and they are appalled at the way he’s treated me. I believe I was a good wife and mother. I did everything I could to keep us together. My love was not enough. I feel like I failed, and I hate failing. I know I can’t look back on our life or go back to before I knew about his affairs. Sometimes I wish I had of ignored his phone the night it lit up late at night. That turns into a whole string of what ifs. My head is constantly reeling even two years later. I don’t understand, can’t comprehend and there are no answers that I can find to help me. Do we spend time apart and see if that’s what works for us? I don’t know. He’s left me with all the hard questions to answer. The kids look to me for guidance and I’m not sure I’m the best person to help them. I have been very careful with my words and showing my feelings around my kids but my heart aches for them. He’s screwing it up and blaming his stupid mistakes on me. That they must be reacting to him the way that they are because of something I have said or done. I told him he needed to talk to them before he moved out, and tell them his plans but he didn’t, he just left. Packed his stuff and left. Then he expected that they would contact him, and is upset that they don’t. They feel he moved out without telling them so it’s all on him if he wants a relationship with them. I think I led them down the path towards forgiveness when I stayed with him and he’s fucking it up when he pulls stupid shit like moving out without a conversation with them. They don’t think he respects them or their feelings. They love me, I feel their love. My pain is their pain, and I know it shouldn’t be but their whole lives I’ve been their whole world. He worked and worked, missing out on so much of our lives to make more money. I don’t know why he figured making more money would make him happier. He was always chasing a bigger yearly income. He often asked me what did I gross last year, and honestly I had no idea. He was happy when we were first together, he enjoyed his job and the people he worked with. Most of them are still friends today. I wonder how he’s going to feel when he has to tell them we aren’t together anymore. We’ve been so good at faking it for the last two years our friends and family will scratch their heads. Many of them will cut him from their lives, because him hurting me will hurt them deeply. They welcomed him 25 years ago into their lives and now he’s left.