Category: Life

To Be (Married) Or Not to Be

To Be (Married) Or Not to Be

Well, it is go time motherfuckers! Shit or get off the pot so to speak. Friday we have our first discernment counseling or therapy session. Never heard of it? Well, neither had I until I had gotten a little information from a therapist on TikTok. Then I did some more research on it and thought, “YAS! This is what we need!”

What is it? It’s a specific type of counseling that helps you to decide one of three paths for your marriage/relationship: 1) continuing as is, 2) separation or divorce and 3) intense couples counseling for 6 months with divorce off the table during that 6 month period. It is time boxed, between 1 and 5 sessions, so it doesn’t drag on interminably. You don’t really use discernment therapy to hash out your relationship or marital issues…it is more or less you, your partner, and a therapist deciding, “Should we stay or should we go?”

I just let out a huge exhale as I typed this, because even though I initiated the appointment I’m still wracked with anxiety about the potential outcome. I know, I know, if we do get divorced, I will not be the first person to ever experience this. Nor will I be the last. But not a single person goes into their marriage thinking they are going to possibly end up divorced somewhere up ahead in the future.

The hubs and I have not been doing well, pandemic aside for awhile now. But the pandemic certainly did nothing to help us out. We even have been in traditional couples therapy for the past year…and it’s not helping. And I am at the point where I am so tired of living in this limbo. I want a decision, whatever that is, and a path forward. I don’t know that I’d call it forcing my husband’s hand, but in a way, yeah, I guess it is. And I will be OK whatever happens. There is something deep down inside telling me this and it’s been rooting me, despite my occasional bouts of anxiety. I have been through so much in my life…what is one more thing for me to overcome? Stay tuned everyone…Friday is the first appointment. This picture spoke to me…and I’ll be repeating it to myself all week long.

Photo by Tonik on Unsplash

Adulting: No User Manual Available

Adulting: No User Manual Available

I remember as a child longing so much to be an ADULT, because fuck this shit of parents’ rule…I want to eat Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups whenever I want. Don’t tell me what to do, you’re not the boss of me! I mean, c’mon, what kid hasn’t said that at some point during their childhood?!? Being an adult seemed so magical, fun, and exciting! No one to make you eat your vegetables or make you go to bed at a certain time or tell you what to do. Ah, the nostalgia of it all. It sounded SO good when I was a kid.

Sitting on the other side of that childhood wishing as a middle-aged adult who is also a parent, I so desperately want to give back my adulting card. Like where do I get a refund people?!? Can I be a Karen and ask, “May I speak to the manager of life, please?” Because this shit is not magical, fun and exciting. Most days, if I’m truly honest, as an adult and a parent, I’m winging it. I’m making shit up as I go along and praying to the gods, nature, divine (basically anyone out there who may listen to my fervent praying) that I don’t fuck things up too badly with my decision making. The pandemic has not made this decision making any easier. At least in the beginning stages of this, it seemed like we could all die if I made the wrong decision for myself or my family. I’m only being a smidge dramatic, but the burden seemed real to me.

There’s SO much decision fatigue as an adult. From your job, to friends, to all the household and parenting responsibilities, we’re making decisions. All. Damn. Day. Some are easy…like I’m too exhausted to cook so pizza tonight for dinner it is! Some aren’t that easy…will moving to a new job alleviate some of my work-related stress or just shift it around? Is a new job going to make things better, worse, or samesies?

And then you get into the major dilemmas of life, beyond career. Currently, my husband and I are going through marital issues and the myriad of questions and potential decisions overwhelms me like an avalanche. Will counseling help? Can we really afford it (we can’t)? What if we get divorced? How will that affect our daughter? Am I making the right decision? Am I going to permanently fuck up my daughter or look back and think if I take step A, I made a horrible mistake?!? Queue the avalanche of feelings. Worry. Helplessness. Anger. Sadness. Uncertainty.

I’m longing for that parental oversight of someone who will tell me what to do. In an individual counseling session for myself, I even talked to my therapist and said, “So, can you provide me a bulleted list of what needs to be done?” She laughed, but I was one million percent serious. Can someone just tell me what I need to do here?!? What is the next right step for me? Does someone have a secret adulting manual they can share with me that has the Cliff Notes and all the answers?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? No? Well, damn it, I’m at least going to go back to eating my Reese’s Peanut Butter cups while I fret over this adulting bullshit. And it IS complete and utter bullshit.

An Emotional Week

This week has been emotional for me.  It’s been tough and I’ve been struggling with how to be a friend while trying to make sure I protect myself at the same time.

First of all, my girlfriend whose husband got laid off last month, lost her own job this week.  Long story short, she made a not-so-smart move, but had a boss that was looking for any reason to fire her.  They have two young children and have zero income now.  And since her and I have talked so much about finances, I know they are basically a paycheck-to-paycheck family.  When she called to tell me what happened, I felt sick to my stomach, because I immediately began to spin, thinking how they are going to pay for their mortgage, bills, food?  What happens when they don’t have insurance and one of them gets sick?

Had lunch with another girlfriend this week and she’s staying at her mom’s this weekend with her two children, in an attempt to give her husband a wake up call.  They recently had their 5 year anniversary and he didn’t even get her a card.  And in the past month, he got drunk and told her “he needed a break” and has stopped wearing his wedding ring.  She fought back tears telling me what was going on and I really felt for her, as she kept saying, “I just want someone to tell me what to do.”  Add to that, her mom thinks she somehow contributed to their marriage problems since she lived with them for awhile.  In the midst of dealing with her own emotions, she feels obligated to soothe and reassure her mother.  Then she has another friend telling her to be careful what you wish for, because she might find something worse out there than what she already has.  Not exactly encouraging words for someone who really needs them.

Then on Friday, I checked in on a colleague, whose aunt was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer.  The initial diagnosis came two months ago, and she was hospitalized this week with breathing problems.  The cancer has been pretty aggressive, and her lungs are now filled with tumors, in addition to her spine, other organs, etc.  They put her on hospice.  My heart was breaking as my colleague told me how her aunt was heavily medicated, but when she would wake up, would yell “Help me!” to those in her room.  Even now, typing these words out, my heart feels so heavy for their family.  It’s both a blessing and a curse to be there as someone is dying.  I know as I watched my dad die from cancer.  On one hand, you are thankful for the time and opportunity to say goodbye.  On the other, every time you leave, the worry is that it’ll be the last time you see them.  Same thing with going to bed that night, even if you’re there.  You wonder, “Is this the last goodbye?  Will they be here when I wake up?”  Then there’s the dread waking up the next morning, as you wait to discover if they are still of this earth or not.

I’ve tried to offer as much support to my girlfriends as I can, and I worry for each of them because I love them so much.  The hard part about this though is the feeling of helplessness.  I can’t get jobs for my one girlfriend, or help financially support them in any meaningful way.  I can’t repair my other girlfriend’s marriage to prevent a divorce.  And as much as I’d love to, I can’t wave a magic wand to make my colleague’s aunt’s cancer go away.  It’s hard to watch your friends going through difficult times.

But I’ve also been thinking to myself, “Is this what our future holds?  Are we prepared if one (or both) of us loses a job?  Are we going to end up as a divorced statistic sometime in the future?  Are we doing all we can to stay healthy?”  We had a job layoff in 2016 (me!) and managed that one OK.  But the divorce and cancer parts?  I can’t say we are immune to either situation.  We’ve had our fair share of problems ourselves and I have a history of cancer in my family.

If I can name one positive, this week has been a reminder to me to be grateful. Thankful for what we have, and that at the moment, we aren’t going through a crises of our own.  Life is hard, and the moments without struggle are fleeting.

 

Running Away…for Girls Night Out

I’m running away tonight.  At least that’s how I feel right now.  I can’t get out of the house fast enough.  I’m meeting a friend/former colleague for dinner tonight and am so geeked to finally catch up with her!  We have a lot in common and have similar life situations, and find ourselves chatting up every topic under the sun.

I feel furiously angry at the moment, and I’m sitting alone in our bedroom while husband has the kiddo at the playground, trying to process my fucking rage.  He was on a business trip this past week.  Left last Sunday, and he got home Friday night around 6PM…just in time for him to change into the costume I laid out for him for a friend’s birthday / Halloween party.  I’ve managed the household by myself this entire week, which included 2 days of offsite workshops for MY job, which resulted in 3 hour round trip commutes those 2 days (the norm is less than an hour).

He’s been gone all week, barely got home in time for us to head out the door and go somewhere else.  He’s had to do none of the work related to our family.  No uninterrupted sleep because the kiddo woke up crying or the dog decided to make you his pillow at 3AM.  No litany of chores to do before even walking out the door to go to work.  Then heading into a job that is so ambiguously vague and with a boss who doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing, just to up the anxiety and frustration levels I was already feeling at home.  I sobbed Tuesday morning before work, because I was tired and felt like I was running on fumes, and was trying to figure out how mentally I was going to make it through another shitty day.

We had a great time last night, but I feel like it all dissolved this morning.  Our child woke up at 5:30AM.  When I saw the monitor, she already had her bedroom light on and had toys out and was playing.  No going back to sleep for mom.  My hubby ended up sleeping until almost 9AM.  This afternoon he left 20 minutes before she woke up from her nap (both her and I were asleep), and was gone almost 2 hours running errands all by himself.

He couldn’t figure out why I didn’t want to take our kid and the dog for a walk by myself, without him.  I suggested a family walk and he agreed, but then said he had to poop.  I sighed in frustration, because the family walk would have to wait until his leisurely shit was done.  He jumped down my throat about how he can’t even take a poop without me getting pissed.

It’s not that.  It’s not the poop itself, it’s the cumulative pile of shit.  It’s the build up of frustration of me having no one to tap out to all week, and then continuing more of the same over the weekend.  When I thought it’d be my turn to get a break.  When I thought him coming home would bring some kind of relief.

What I really wanted was for him to say, “Let me get up with her since you’ve been holding down the fort all week.”  All I heard was his snoring beside me as I got out of bed.  All I wanted was for him to ask, “How can I help you unwind after this week?”  All I wanted for him was to think of me and how he could help relieve some of my frustration or irritation.  What I wanted is a little bit of the reprieve he had this week, being on his own.  I wanted a little bit of equality.

So yes, I’m totally fucking running away tonight.  Even got my running shoes on.