Monday, December 31, 2012

I'm A Bitch...

...I'm a lover, I'm a child, I'm a mother, I'm a sinner, I'm a saint, and I don't know any other words to this song.

Anyway, all of those apply. I've always been a sweet people-pleaser, but this month, I quit.

I quit answering the phone when my MIL calls.

I've quit taking crap from my husband.

I've quit being a peace-maker.

I've quit letting the risk of ticking off someone else keep me from doing what I want.

Last November, I told my husband I was done letting him blame me for everything that was wrong, and I've called him on it every time he did it. But this month, I've called him out on all his other crap.

Now he's miserable, too, and he's insisting something has to be done to fix it. He doesn't want to be a failure and have everyone know he couldn't keep his marriage together.

So, when he tells the kids it's rude to yell at other people from another room instead of going to them, then he yells at me from another room, our hollow walls magically transform into being super-insulated and I simply can't hear him.

When he tells me to go do something instead of asking politely, or when I'm working and he's sitting on his tookas but he wants me to go do something else too, I've said, "I'm in the middle of something, you can handle that."

When he said I shouldn't have a cup of coffee at 7pm so that I can go to bed with him, I said, "I might have to punch you in the face if you try and regulate my coffee intake." He stumbled backward and replied, "Wow! Talk about me over-reacting!" I  smiled and said, "It's been a crappy day. I haven't had any caffeine. I don't like you telling me what to do. And I was joking -  I won't punch you. But I needed to make all those points in a way that you got your attention."  He muttered, "Oh," and left the room.

When he asks why I'm not sharing my opinion about something he thinks should be done, I say, "Because you won't like my thoughts, and I'd rather not get yelled at for having different thoughts than you."
Which of course sets him in a tail-spin death spiral of "I'M NOT GOING TO YELL! WHY WOULD YOU EVEN SAY THAT?"
And I went, "Uh huh. You're kinda failing at the not yelling thing. But if you want to hear my thoughts without having a tantrum, I'll be glad to share."
So then he had to cool off and listen in order to prove that he was right and I was wrong and he could listen without yelling at me. So he actually heard me and conceded that I had some valid points. Bazinga.

And when he got pissed when he found out that I opened a bank account without him on it, I told him the truth. I initially looked into opening it for our scout troop, then ended up merging with another troop without depositing any money. So I left it open in case I sold any art so that I could buy art supplies without going into our family budget. So far, it's still unfunded because all the art I sold has been cash sales. And every dollar is in my purse. But I have an account that he can't get to, and he won't make me close it since he doesn't want to waste money on my "stupid" hobbies when I should be cleaning.

When he finally noticed that the house has been clean for days on end, I said, "Yep, it's amazing what a little help can do." Meaning, of course, the iRobot Roomba that my mom gave me for Christmas. I'm in love with that thing. But I was still too tired for sex... to solve that problem, I would need a lot more help. So he loaded the dishwasher today. Bazinga again.

When my MIL was bitchy at the family Christmas get-together, I went outside and sat by myself in the freezing cold. My brother-in-law came out a few minutes later for the same reason, and asked why I wasn't in there faking it like usual. I said I was tired from staying up painting all these commissioned works, and I was to the point I either had to walk out or kick her in her false teeth. He laughed and said, "I'd pay to see that!"  I asked if he'd be taking pickures, and he went, "Oh, no. I don't want there to be any evidence to find." Nice.

When my other brother-in-law with repulsive manners and an entitlement complex was eating at the table with my kids, I walked up next to him and said, "Okay, children, remember!  Keep your elbows off the table, do NOT stuff too much in your mouth at one time, and absolutely do NOT pick up your meat and bite it off. Use your knife and cut into small pieces. Breaking those rulse is really gross and really rude, and NOBODY wants to see that." The children, by the way, were not breaking the rules to start with... that was how the 55 year old was eating. They laughed, because they saw him straighten up so I wouldn't fuss at him directly.

So this whole 'speaking my mind' thing seems to be working for me. Here's to a new year & hopefully a better one!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I don't know how to do this.

This isn't a funny post; I've just got to get it out.

There's this couple that I know who wanted to get married while still teenagers. She had just graduated from high school, and he just finished his junior year. She had a full scholarship, and he was a lock for one. Everyone told them they were crazy. So they picked baby names, got pregnant, and got married. He got his GED & went to work. She tried to go to college, but that didn't work with a newborn, so she quit school. Then they got pregnant again, when the first was only a few months old. So 18 year old dad joined the reserves. And in basic, he started messing around with porn.

Now, a year later, with a 2 year old & and an almost 1 year old, he's not working, smoking weed, and looking at porn, and his poor sweet wife is ready to give up. My husband's been trying to talk sense into this young man and told the wife she should talk to me, since I had to get through him having a porn addiction when we first got married. She of course doesn't want to talk about it, but she knows she needs to talk it through with someone.

I'm more than willing to counsel her through it. Except I've got a problem. Even though it's been years since my husband looked at porn, he still does plenty of other douchbaggy things. I'm constantly thinking that we'd be better off without him, and am constantly struggling with the desire to just pack up the kids and leave. But then I'd be the one responsible for making the kids have a dad just every other weekend. And I don't want that on me.

They love their dad, even though they don't really like him a lot of the time, either. He's slowly improving, slowly growing, slowly becoming a better man. But it feels like it's too little, too late. I used to be a doormat people-pleaser, but being married to him made me have to learn to stand up for myself and do what I know is best even though it defied him. I'm stronger for it. I'm a better person and better mom for it... because he's a giant dick, and I can work around him.

But that's not what marriage is supposed to be. I worry that we're being a bad example for the kids. I let the kids talk about how they feel when dad loses his shit, how they don't like being yelled at or criticized all the time, and tell them to remember that feeling so they don't do the same to others.

When he was looking at porn, I was in an accountability group with three other women my age also struggling with their marriages, and one who had been married for like 40 years. The mentor said that if wives got their way, no man would ever reach their second anniversary because they'd all die in car crashes at some point in the first two years. They're all idiots who do something incredibly stupid in the first two years. But then they grow up and learn to be a real man. We all nodded, because we'd all prayed for that car crash. Yeah, yeah, I know, that's not very Christian. I think God understands, though. Of the four young wives in that group, I am the only one still married. I want to ask the others if they're happier, but I am afraid of their answers.

So now I've got this beautiful 20 year old mom of two with a husband who claims he's quit looking at porn & quit getting high, but he also doesn't think he's really done anything wrong. He won't apologize. He won't try and understand why she feels like she's been almost-cheated on. And all I can think of to say to her is that she's right to feel hurt, and that she's got to suck it up. They had kids together on purpose. They ditched their scholarships on purpose. They got married on purpose. And sometimes it sucks the big one. It's harder than they could ever have imagined, and then one day, things will be a little easier. But the kids need their dad, and she's got to give them time to heal. Men are idiots, and some take longer to grow up than others do. She needs to give him time to figure this out.

Scripture says "All things work toward good for those who love the Lord," and that seems like such a BS platitude most of the time. I don't see any good in the pain that my husband has put me through or the pain hers is putting her through. But I'm willing to give the time to see what God's going to do. I can see the turtle's pace of growth in my husband. I hope it speeds up. I hope my young friend can give the time, too. Her husband seems like a good guy, and with time he could be a great man.

Counseling her is bringing up a lot of my old pain that I'd buried deep, so I'm kind of struggling right now. I'd appreciate some prayers.