When we choose a spouse, what do we look for? I think it’s important to note the differences between "traits to look for in someone we date" versus "traits to look for in someone we marry". I imagine most people question things like: do we have similar/compatible values? Do we both want the same things out of life (big picture)? Is this person responsible and trustworthy? Do we both agree on children & how to raise them?
When I said, "I do" with the City Boy I was confident that I was making the right decision. He fit much of the criteria for the "who should I date" questions, and he appeared to be exactly what I needed in a spouse. Our courtship and engagement had (for the most part) been a very smooth and easy one. I really thought I had made a wise decision. Although as it turns out, I am nothing but a fool when it comes to love.
After two years (and one and a half children — baby #2 is cooking as I type this) it appears the dream is over. And, I suppose I’m writing this because we all have pre-conceived notions about how people arrive at this place. Of course, everyone’s’ relationships are different, just as there aren’t two personalities in the world that are exact matches. If I were watching my situation from the outside, I know (as human nature dictates) I would have judgment about it. I would judge the City Boy for seemingly throwing away his family to pursue his own selfish wants, and I would judge the person who plays Me for allowing this still growing family to fall apart — because after all, "Won’t someone THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!?"
This conclusion wasn’t schemed up after a bad weekend of arguing or bickering. It’s been a slow, frustrating, painful descent for more than two years. I certainly would never choose to end a relationship while 4 months pregnant. Who would?!? Turns out, City Boy and I aren’t so compatible after all. And I’m going to be honest about it … I’m just tired of the drama. He will be upset to read this on the internet, but he is a drama queen like no woman I’ve ever met … and after a full year of marital therapy, and the trauma and heart ache that comes with a relationship that just won’t move in the direction you want it to, I am out of patience. I am out of "taking the high road". I am out of "giving a shit". I am finished being the ‘scape goat for his issues.
After two years of putting myself out there, and staying optimistic and hopeful regarding our future and suddenly realizing that I am always the solo voice of reassurance, I asked the obvious question that any Bone Head would have pondered from the outset … What is it exactly that He wants?! I mean, for someone to whine and complain for two solid years about not feeling the way he wants to, maybe the obvious solution is that he made a mistake in marrying me. Maybe I’m not who he thought I was? Maybe he pictured a life where I would instantly soothe and heal his long-suffered wounds from childhood – and when he realized that I am not his Band-Aid he realized that this isn’t at all what he pictured. Maybe "the family unit" just isn’t a priority for him?
And, that’s the conclusion I’m staring at now … it’s a vibrating wall of stark pain and sadness, knowing that my children will not know their parents when they were happy together. Hell, Baby #2 will NEVER even know her parents when they lived together. Their childhoods will be constant relocation between Mama and Dada’s houses. Yesterday was a difficult day as the reality of our situation sunk in, and I finally took off the Pollyanna-tinted glasses to see that every other weekend, I will be stripped of my daughter’s demands for more Barney, more coloring, more bubble-blowing activities. And I just want to scream, "THIS IS NOT WHAT I WANT!!!"
What I want is the life that I was promised when we got married. I want to spend the weekends doing laundry, working around the house, attending recitals and soccer games WITH MY HUSBAND, AS A FAMILY! I want to have family dinners on Wednesday nights and end the evening with some help while I gave the girls a bath, and he runs the dishwasher. I want to end a busy day of working, playing & feeding kids with a collapse on the couch with my husband who laughs and tells me a story about something funny that happened while I was busy scrubbing grass stains out of a pair of shorts.
I don’t demand a lot. I just want to have a spouse who understands that I can’t fix his insecurities – his paranoia’s – his anxiety, and that doesn’t mean I don’t care, or don’t love him. It just means that I am human. I want him to realize that our partnership only works when we’re honest with each other and OURSELVES about who we are and what we are capable of. And there’s nothing wrong with disagreeing sometimes. I just want some calm & acceptance in my home. I don’t want my husband to run off for two hours just to pick up a bottle of wine from the corner liquor store, and then act like it’s totally normal for a 3 mile round trip to take that long.
Bottom line: I want my husband to be a man, know who he is and accept things as they are. I don’t want to be responsible for his feelings. I want some room to feel content with our lifestyle — and I haven’t had it since the day we got married.
Maybe I need to try harder; maybe I need to put myself out there just a little bit more? But I am not going to try harder. I’m not going to sacrifice any more pieces of myself. I’ve been clear as I can possibly be on what it will take to make this family a success; I’ve risen to the occasion. I’ve been a good wife. I’m just waiting for him to show up, but his time and my patience are quickly running out.