Saturday, December 11, 2010

Love should be enough.

{ This is a really... long... post... and I'm not even going to leave the comments open. Consider this forewarning and feel free to pass. }

On October 23rd, I had new tires put on my car. It was a goal. It had to be done. However, as much as I wanted to think otherwise, I couldn't do it alone. (I had tried just a couple days prior. The man behind the counter kept calling me "gorgeous" and I didn't have to be a complete sucker to know that he was trying to rob me.) I e-mailed The Husband. I was very direct and to-the-point. "I need tires. You're going with me." He agreed.

And that Saturday... that was one of the best days.

Have you ever had one of those days, the kind that starts off very nothing unusual... and somehow, somewhere along the way, it turns into something that you just know you'll remember for the rest of your life? I've had a few.

Once I dragged The Husband along with me to Long Beach because I wanted to tour the Queen Mary. Along the way, his allergies decided to throw a party in his nasal passages and, by the time we got there, he was miserable. I was disappointed. I suggested we have lunch at a local brewery. We did. We got out of the heat, had a couple of beers. His allergies finally calmed down and a couple of beers turned into margaritas at an old dive bar in Huntington Beach. Margaritas turned into us getting home very late. We had so much fun. Seriously one of the best days ever.

Another time, back in the day (I think it was a Saturday) when I was a supervisor, I was scheduled for work at ten o'clock. When I arrived, I was told that our swing shift supervisor had called in sick and they asked if I could leave and come back later that afternoon. At first, I was appalled. I did not want to spend my day driving back and forth to work. But I'm a trooper, so I agreed. I called The Husband, filled him in, asked if he wanted to catch a movie. We saw Madagascar and had lunch. After, we sat together on a bench, soaking up the sun and enjoying each others company. Then we had to part ways. We hugged and we kissed... lingered over it... and finally said goodbye. I went to work and still it was one of the best days ever.

One more. This one I've written about before, but I still think of it often. We rode our bikes to the beach one morning in August. It was something we did fairly often. On this particular day, we went for Starbucks and to check out a local candy store. We left early, got our coffee and, realizing we had time until the store opened, walked out onto the pier to watch the surfers. We stood there, mostly quietly, just watching and enjoying the perfect weather. I still remember the feel of the sun on the backs of my legs. Finally, we decided to get breakfast. We sat at a table on a patio of one of the many restaurants on Main Street. We talked and laughed and people watched. Then, having such a good time, we ordered mimosas. It was a relaxing, beautiful day at the beach. What was supposed to be a morning trip turned into something more. We didn't get home until evening. Again, one of the best days.

So, on Saturday morning, what started out as getting tires turned into something completely different. While we were waiting, we ran across the street to the K-mart. (K-mart is the least of my favorite stores, but it was the closest.) I needed wiper blades. Since we had time, we browsed. It was very similar to other shopping excursions... it included laughter, us making jokes and teasing each other, often tripping each other down the aisle like a couple of fools.

After we retrieved the car, I convinced him to go to breakfast with me. He wasn't hungry, but I was starving. I ordered something totally fattening. The Husband ordered a fruit plate... then promptly launched into a diatribe of why he hates melons, specifically cantaloupe and honeydew. The plate was full of both.

He was worried about the time. He had plans to take his mom car shopping. I told him to have her join us. She did. The three of us sat and talked and laughed. It was nearly noon by this point. We decided to make it a champagne brunch.

Then I joined them for car shopping. Quite frankly, I hate helping people shop for anything, but being around The Husband was fun and very carefree. Much like it had been in the past. Before all the drama.

I had to leave that afternoon for a friend's birthday party, but thought of him the entire time. We texted each other back and forth and I left early to go back to his place. I spent the night. We slept (SLEPT) next to each other and at one point during the night, I woke up, saw him sleeping there next to me, and all was right in the world.

The next morning, I had to leave early for work. I woke up at five-thirty, got ready, and before I left, did something that had been very natural for me during our marriage. I went into the bedroom to say goodbye. The Husband was half awake, watching the news. Without saying a word, I crawled into his arms and we snuggled (yes, I said snuggled) for a few minutes before I finally had to leave.

I went back again after work. We joined friends to watch the Vikings game. I spent the night again. On Monday, I had had enough. I was tired of fighting the desire to be with him. I told a friend that it felt as if I were trying to rip my own arms off. I loved him, I wanted to be with him. Enough was enough. Like my mom is so fond of saying, "It was time to shit or get off the pot."

On Tuesday, we talked. We felt the same way. I started to move my things in. Not everything, it was too soon for that, but some clothes and toiletries and other things I needed. We were going to take it slow, but we were ready.

I was not prepared, however, for the onslaught of anxiety that I woke up to the next morning. I can't explain this part very well. I don't know where it came from. Maybe it was just a case of too much, too soon... or maybe it was my body's way of saying, "wait, something's not right here." Or it could be that I was off my meds and in the midst of a bout of depression the likes of which I never knew existed.

Whatever the case, I ran. I went back to my mom's after explaining to The Husband my thoughts and feelings and fears. I said I needed time; I needed to visit the doctor, figure out what was going on. He understood.

Now, here's where I need to explain something, but I'm going to be very vague about it. (You're welcome.) Throughout our marriage The Husband and I have really only had one problem. I'm not going to tell you what it was, but feel free to speculate. This problem was the root of all our evils. And, even though I knew it was a problem, I don't think I ever took it seriously enough. It seemed like such an easy thing to fix. And, sure, we'd try for a while... just to eventually fall back into the same ole bad habits.

(You know, sometimes it feels like I'm regurgitating the same posts over and over and over again.)

(No wonder heads are constantly exploding around here.)

It wasn't until I saw The Husband again, just a few days after moving in and back out again, that I began to fixate on this problem of ours. It suddenly felt as if it was insurmountable. There was absolutely no way around it. Nothing we could do to fix it. Might as well give up now!

During the weeks that followed, I became obsessed. I loved spending time with him, but I could not stop from constantly thinking about this one thing that I was sure was going to keep us apart. I kept thinking, I'm never going to change. I'm never going to be what he wants. I'm never going to be able to make this work.

Quite a depressing train of thought.

And here's where we get to the heart of my current problem. After six weeks, I finally told The Husband. I said something along the lines of: "This is who I am and it's not what you want and there's nothing I can do and us getting back together, knowing that we have this problem, seems like a huge mistake, like we're just asking for the same damn problems to arise which will inevitably lead us right back to where we are now."

And we stood there across from each other, both of us quiet. I tried to control my emotions, but I can't help that everything I feel comes out my eyes. I felt the corners of my mouth twitch, a telltale sign that I'm losing the battle to not cry. I clenched my teeth and took deep breaths. Don't lose it, I told myself. Nothing worked. The tears leaked out anyway. The Husband asked, "Why are you crying?" Stupid question. I looked at him and said, "I just wish I didn't love you so much." Because love should be enough.

It's been days since I drove away from him. And one question haunts me. Did I convince myself of something that wasn't true?

About two years ago, just before I was diagnosed with PMDD, I was in the midst of what was, at the time, the worst case of depression I'd ever experienced. I lost interest in everything and was horribly irritable. I had no energy, no patience.

One afternoon during, The Husband had met up with friend just a few blocks away from our apartment. He sent me a text message and asked me to come meet them. I had just gotten home from work and was beyond grateful to come home to an empty apartment. I didn't have to deal with anything or talk to anyone. I could just watch TV, which is all I wanted to do at the time anyway. When the text came through, I balked. I didn't want to go, but it was important to him. He kept pressing and I eventually caved in. I cried as I got ready to leave. I found it physically painful to go through the motions.

I thought this behavior isn't normal, but I didn't know the cause. It wasn't intentional, but I blamed my unhappiness on The Husband. For two weeks, I found fault with him over every little thing possible. I was convinced I wanted out, he couldn't make me happy, our marriage was over.

One evening I even sat down with him, said we needed to talk, and told him how I felt. I sobbed while telling him I was afraid that we were just too incompatible. In the same breath, I told him I didn't know why I felt this way or what was wrong with me. He said, in his calm way, "we'll figure it out."

I saw several doctors after that. The diagnosis was easy, a relief, and I soon felt "normal" again. It saddened me to look back on that conversation with The Husband. I hated that I was afflicted with something that could make me feel that way, and feel it so strongly, that I could come so close to making a horrible life-altering decision based off those feelings.

Now, present day, I can't help by wonder, is that what I've done now? Six weeks ago, I was depressed, thinking the worst. I started hyper-focusing on that one problem. Can't change it, don't want to, not interested. It was never gonna work. But I gave myself time. Time for my hormones to balance out, time to think, time to see how I was really feeling.

I'm afraid that I convinced myself of something that wasn't entirely true. Sure, our problem was just that. A problem. It was a major difference between us. But could we have fixed it? Could we have each compromised  to find a happy medium? Did I talk myself out of my marriage? I mean, what happened between wanting, more than anything, to be with him... and then suddenly not?

The Husband and I have dealt with our fair share of drama since I started this blog and I have written my fair share of "did I do the right thing?" posts in that time. I can't help but continue to wonder. Maybe it's because we've dragged this on for so long (did you know we've been separated for the better part of a year already?), but I still love him and my heart still aches. I still think of him whenever I go somewhere, buy something, make plans. I still want him to be a part of my life.

When I got home the other night from what may very well have been our final goodbye, I was filled with regret and sadness. What's totally unfair is that all I could suddenly think about were all the things I love about him. Forgotten were all the arguments, the problems, the pet peeves, the mistrust. All I could focus on was all that I loved about him and all that I'd be missing out on if we got divorced.

I kept thinking, this isn't right. I sat down and opened my laptop. Suddenly I had this radical idea that we should just go for it and give our marriage another shot (number 235). I started an e-mail that basically said let's move back in. Before I hit send, I stopped myself. Despite what you might think, I'm not trying to drag this on and on. I don't want to make mistakes. And I certainly don't want to cause either of us any additional heartache. I didn't send the e-mail because I couldn't stand the thought of moving back out, of leaving and saying goodbye all over again, if it turned out it really wasn't going to work.

So, maybe time will tell. Maybe things will get better and I'll realize this really was the best thing. Maybe I'll take my mom's advice and seek counseling for myself. Maybe this isn't the end. Who knows. The only thing I'm certain of at this point is that this post needs to end. (Like, 2,000 words ago.)

(If you made it to the end, you deserve a prize.)

(I"m sorry I don't have any prizes.)

(Goodbye forever.)

No comments:

Post a Comment