Searching for Butterflies

<clears throat, approaches microphone>

<tap tap tap>

Is this thing still on?

<jumps back as ear-splitting SCREEEEEEEEEEEEE builds to a rapid crescendo>

<hurriedly unplugs mic>

<turns speaker ten degrees to the right, reconnects wires>

Hello?  Test test test.

OK.  We’re back. 

Hi, this is Kate.  Remember me?

I’d throw up the usual, tired excuses about why I haven’t had time to write lately, but frankly, those are sounding pretty lame.  Maybe I should make up something fantastical, like “the dog ate my laptop.” Not that I HAVE a dog, mind you, but all of my neighbors do, so that could totally happen.  They’re humongous beasts that could easily take down a moose and run away with the carcass in their mouths, dragging the antlers on the ground.  A laptop would be about as significant a meal as a Communion wafer.

Communion Wafer.  Sacramental bread - Wikipedia:

Anyone else have fond memories of how well these stuck to the roof of your mouth? (Source:  Wikipedia)

Or maybe something about aliens?  THAT would be super cool.  Once they landed, I’d totally take them over to the Mall of America and either we’d shop ’til we dropped, or they’d be so confused by the juxtaposition of an amusement park, several chapels, Hooters, Kate Spade, and giant Lego characters all under one roof that they’d immediately pull up their space wheels and make a beeline for the Galaxy Beyond.  (And if MOA doesn’t chase ’em off, TV will.  Just put on truTV or The Learning Channel for a day and they’ll declare our species hopeless and seek intelligent life elsewhere.  And full disclosure here – I big-puffy-glitter-heart BOTH of these channels, so I suppose I’m part of the problem  But where else can you sit in bed all day eating cheese popcorn and peanut butter cups in your pajamas and feel BETTER about your life choices?  It’s a service to society, I tells ya, and I’m a better person for it.  Or, at least, not THAT bad <gesturing towards reality trainwreck on Love at First Kiss>  a person.  Whatevs.  When is that pizza getting here?)

OK.  The truth is, I haven’t been writing, because by writing, I give my feelings words.  And when I do that – once I’ve identified them with phylum, class, and species –  I have to 1) acknowledge what I’m feeling and 2) attempt to deal with it.

And I don’t wanna deal with any of the feelings right now.

<stamps feet and waves fists>

I just don’t have the energy, ya know?  Even though I know that I’ll feel better once I air out the mental bedsheets a bit, I’m resisting.  I’d rather just pull a quilt over the whole mess and hope no one notices how badly it’s rumpled underneath.

I could blame some of this on my dad’s recent passing, but – again, being fully honest here – that was just a distraction from the shiz I REALLY need to handle.  It’s not unlike a lit candle  with a crack in the glass.  As the candle burns, the voice in your head is nagging you:

“You know…you probably need to do something about that before it slowly drips wax all over the carpet, right?    Right?!”

OK.  <sigh>  I’ll get to it.

“Um…Kate?  Still dripping here.”

OKAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYY.   FINE!!!!  

Resolutely, you grab some kerosene and a match and proceed to light the entire wall on fire.  Because now, a little wax doesn’t quite matter so much, DOES IT??!

WAX THIS, MOFO.

Hey.  Don’t be giving me the side-eye here.  I KNOW you do this too.  Think about it.  $5 says you’ve got scorched curtains somewhere in that glass house of yours.

What I’ve been avoiding is a final verdict on my marriage.  Specifically, the answer to “now what?”

I’ve been treading water in this relationship for a while now, kneading my arms back and forth in a sea of inertia.  Generally, I can float here for days at a time:  He’s kind.  He takes out the trash and feeds the cats.  He gives lots of hugs.  He asks about my day.  And he tells me all the time that he loves me and that he’ll never leave me.

So I start to relax.  My head’s above water and my arms feel like they could do this all day.  I can chill a bit.  I take a deep breath.  And then another.  But then a sudden, angry wave slaps me in the face, robbing me of air.  It might be a political news article.  Or perhaps a TV character mentions prayer, or God, or faith…and he responds.  Negatively.  Cracks, criticisms, and cynical comments rush in, the roar making my ears uncomfortably full.  And I sputter, gasping, as my arms cramp and my legs kick and my brain races, thinking, “dude, this is never gonna work” while I desperately look for a fallen tree or discarded, broken styrofoam cooler to cling to so I can get my bearings and find a shore to head toward.

Meanwhile, he’s chillaxin’ on a floating raft, ice-cold beer in hand, thinking everything is just dandy.

He tells me that he’s not worried about us. Sure, it’d do us some good to reconnect a bit, but he’s been down for a few weeks with the flu and bronchitis, and that hit right after my dad died, and the kids have JUST now gotten back to school and started a million activities ALL at different times and it’s my busy season at my job and his contract work’s just picked up but don’t worry, we’re fine, hon.  Just give it time; we’ll get there.

But…

I don’t know if…

Wait.

What?

I don’t know…

 

…if I love you anymore.

 

 

This.

This is terrifying.

But…it’s honest.

When I started this post, I was thinking that Today was The Day that I was going to park my butt in my desk chair long enough to get SOMETHING baking in the now-cold blog oven.  Today, finally, I’d get back to writing and quit finding other stuff to do instead.  Like…cleaning out my basement.  Yeah, I even did that, and yes, there was more freaking cardboard down there:

cardboard

Piles and piles. <sobs quietly>

Seriously, people, I JUST DID THIS LAST DECEMBER.  Curse you, Amazon, and your two-day quasi-instant gratification.  And eBay?  You can shove your “Buy it Now” button deep into the darkness of your “Everything Else” category.

When I sat down (after paying some bills, cleaning the litter box, backing up my iPhone, and downloading all my pictures from 2010 to present so I could free up enough storage for the new iOS upgrade, which, by the way, allows HANDWRITTEN TEXTS, meaning that my already frequently-undecipherable messages will be taken to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL, YO)

<cough>

(Let’s try this again.) 

When I sat down today to write, I was cooking up a completely different post.  But when I started beating the eggs and sifting the flour, I somehow ended up making peach cobbler instead of pie crust.  (Neither of which actually have eggs in them.  That might be part of the problem here.  Maybe I was craving something more like custard.)

Anyway.  I knew that I needed to get myself to making a decision on this whole mess, because having a massive life-direction sandbag of limbo swinging precariously over your head, waiting for you to decide whether (or when) to cut the rope, is no way to live.

So what did I decide to do?

Nothing.

For now, at least.

See, here’s the thing.  I know we’ve had some serious challenges this year, what with his spiritual Shock and Awe campaign.   Oh, and let’s not forget the Other Big Deal – it’s not like THAT goes away quietly just because you throw other problems into the mix.

But despite all that…he truly makes my life easier.  He can lift heavy things, open stuck pickle jars, and change filter blades (or whatever the thing is you do on your car periodically.  Tire ratchets?  <rolls eyes and throws down Girl Card>)  And he’s one of those rare males who doesn’t have to be ASKED to put the laundry away or empty the dishwasher – he does those things simply because he’s a grownup and recognizes that they need to be done.

In many ways, he’s simply a good man.  And I genuinely like the guy.  I really do.  He’s super-smart, and witty, and can keep up with my butterfly-with-hiccups trains of thought without me needing to stop and explain, for example, why I start talking about black holes in the same sentence where I’ve outlined why most breakfast cereals are not, in fact, good for you.

He…gets me.  Most of the time, anyway.

And that, along with nine years of marriage, is worth something.

Besides…I’ve been divorced.  It’s exhausting.  It’s like starting a bike ride at the bottom of the mountain; it’s tiring just leaving the bike in the house and staring up at the mound in front of you.  Divorce is like trying to unbake a cake, meticulously and microscopically separating the batter of “ours” into the individual elements of “mine” and “yours.”

So I’m going to give this situation a valuable commodity:  time.  Two years, to be precise.  My younger child has two years of high school left; when he graduates, I’ll have more resources – emotional energy, some financial flexibility, and some more vacation time.  I won’t be tied to THIS job and THIS location.  I’ll be free to stay, if I want…or free to wander and find my next adventure.

Free to choose what’s best for me.

For the first time in my life.

I’ll be free.

Just knowing that I’ll HAVE options makes things a little easier to bear.

power

Artist:  Painted Stuf.  I got this at our State Fair.  Sent my sister one, too, so we both can remind each other what it says now and then.

In the meantime, I’ll do my best to work on the relationship, and we’ll see where that leads us.

For an initial effort, the hubs and I recently went on a date.  Our last outing was underwhelming, but in the spirit of “trying again,” we visited the local conservatory where we got married.

(Side note:  Pretty much all my kids remember about our wedding is this statue.  Guess why.)

nekkidlady

Statue’s got a crack in it….

The date started out a little rough when he went to spit out his gum, and….

gumtree

Whoops.

Yes, he did dispose of it properly.  Because he’s that kind of guy.

From there, though, it was a really, really nice day.

This one had a little surprise on its back:

frogflower

ZOMG TINY FROGGIE

flower1

flower3

flower4

bigface1

This is one of the coolest things ever.

bigface2

Seriously, look at that FACE!

flowera

This one had a guest….

And speaking of guests…we spent some time in the butterfly tent.

eyeballfly

Yeah, technically, it’s a moth.  Whatever. Still awesome.

eyeballfly2

How many can you find on this tree?

butterfly

Stunning.

butterflylove

(insert butterfly porn music) Bow chica wow wow!

There is no better validation that someone is watching over you than to have a butterfly rest on you for awhile…and we both got a visit:

flyonme

The hubs got one first…

flyonme2

…then this dude landed on my skirt.  Front and center.  We affectionately named him “Taco.”  Then he tried to crawl up my shirt.  Perv.

If we can have more days like this, we’ll be OK.  What relationship couldn’t benefit from a booster shot of butterflies?

I know I won’t always be so fortunate as to have an entire tent of them nearby.  Normally, it takes some effort to find them.  Perhaps the hubs can spend the next two years bringing them to me.

I also know that I need to work on me.  I need to be open to accepting whatever life grants me as the “new normal.”  Whether it’s butterflies, flowers, or thunderstorms.

It may not be what I thought I wanted, and it’s certainly not unfolding the way I planned, but it still has the potential to be something beautiful.

I just have to keep looking for it.

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58 thoughts on “Searching for Butterflies

  1. I hate that you’re even having to consider the “I don’t love you anymore” feelings. Through all of our toils and troubles, we’ve never even had that thought cross either of our minds. It’s gotta be tough. I’m sorry. 😕

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yikes. Why do you suppose you don’t love him anymore? Are your conflicting religious beliefs the only thing that makes you feel annoyed/offended? Are there other things? My ex and I have very different views on religion. He’s a biologist and an atheist. I believe in God and am spiritual. We just simply don’t discuss religion. Period. Maybe he needs to respect that. If he knows his beliefs are hard to swallow for you, why does he shove them down your throat?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I suppose I need to find out. What keeps playing in my mind is that I would never have married a guy with those shirts and that attitude. But here I am 10 years later, with Fate ONCE AGAIN mocking my use of the word “never.”

      Part of it is likely the lack of respect – or rather, his need to be vocal about his stance at the expense of mine.

      I suppose therapy would help me hammer it out. But I’m broken enough as a person without trying to fix how I fit with someone else, yanno?

      ugh

      Liked by 1 person

  3. When I went through my divorce (after my XH had an affair), I definitely was all outta love for him. It had been brewing for a while, but that was the final stop on the love train. I also no longer LIKED him after that though. A friend going through a divorce read a book that said that once you feel contempt for your spouse, it is almost impossible to get back to a good place. Contempt was the exact word for what I was feeling, and I am definitely better off now. But the journey is different for everyone, and the best part is that if you feel like you are heading somewhere that is not quite right, you can back up and try again. Black and white thinkers like us tend to forget that, but life is not a series of last chances…at least according to my therapist.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for that. Most of the time, I just feel sad and empty. I don’t really hate him. I’m not often really angry (although we all get THERE sometimes…)

      In my prior marriage, though….I totally remember when the switch flipped and I no longer liked him – at ALL. I’m not there in this one. That makes it less clear, but this isn’t the sort of thing one rushes.

      Thanks so much for writing. ❤

      Like

  4. I always enjoy reading your posts – they manage to make me laugh and then they get all serious before becoming light again.

    In all seriousness, I am so sorry to hear about those troubles you are having. I understand a little bit though; it took me months to finally write about my first love and I parting ways, and that was just in my personal journal. I wish I could give you some deep marital advice full of wisdom, but I don’t think I would even know where to begin considering my itsy bit of any type of romantic experience.

    I hope that everything gets better for you. It sounds like a really tough situation, but I think you are going about it the smart way. Above all, it’s just good to know that you are thinking of your needs and what you want. I am sure that with whatever you decide, it will be what is best for the both of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ugh, the D-word. Seriously lame Katie. Not that I want to be disrespectful as you know I care about you, but ugh…

    When I went through a divorce I spent a lot of time reading, thinking, understanding. I had to figure it all out and ended up reading a lot of books, but the one that changed my thinking towards relationships is His Needs, Her Needs, by Willard Harley. I highly recommend it.

    The idea is that everybody has emotional needs, and a love bank. When people met our needs they get points in our love bank, and when they are disrespectful or hurtful they debit our love bank.

    I would encourage you and hubby to read it. If he knew that his comments were hurtful and withdrew from your love bank, and that meeting your need for affection and conversation deposited in your love bank then you wouldn’t feel so neutral, and you would be in love with each other despite your differences.

    I think the material could help you understand how to get back to the place when you were in love with each other, and it will make all of the difference.

    I know I’m playing arm-chair quarterback in regards to your relationship, but I want you both happy, and I think that a few changes illustrated can give that to you.

    Know that I’m praying for you both, and hope the best for both of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is an excellent suggestion, and I really do appreciate it. I really WANT this to work, but it’ll take both of us – and I can’t force this at the expense of…me.

      But I’m not pulling the plug yet – I want to give this the time it deserves.

      I feel like he HAS to know what I find hurtful – because I’ve TOLD him. I think. Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough? Or need to remind him?

      Today is a new day to try again. 🙂 Thank you!

      Like

      • I’m reading the other comments and I really have to disagree. People saying once you are upset enough the marriage can’t be recovered simply don’t know how. I’ve seen people passionately hate each other and then fall in love all over again once they knew what to do.

        Seriously, go read that book, and make him read it. It describes the real problem and solution in relationships:

        Everybody is in a relationship to get their needs met. Need for affection, companionship, sex, conversation, financial support, domestic support, etc…. If we weren’t all looking for those things then nobody would bother with a relationship.

        The problem is that relationships usually come with bad stuff too…. Disrespect, annoying habits, judgements, independent behavior that affects you negatively, etc.

        When dating people focus on getting their needs met, and meeting needs, while at the same time avoiding the bad stuff. After they marry they start back up on the bad stuff, and stop meeting needs.

        Harley describes it as points in a love bank. When your spouse meets your needs, they get points, when they do the bad stuff they withdrawal them. When their balance in your love bank is high, you are in love.

        So the issue with your relationship is really simple. He isn’t doing the things that you need as much, and he is making massive love bank withdrawals because of annoying habits, disrespectful judgements, and independent behavior.

        There is no room in marriage for independent behavior. Everything you do affects your spouse to some degree, so act accordingly. Wearing t-shirts that are offensive to people is independent behavior and an annoying habit. If he is doing this, then I know he is doing it in other areas too.

        So the solution is very simple, go back to how you treated each other while dating. Meet each other’s needs, and avoid anything that is hurtful to the other. Even if he has made mistakes in the past, even if you feel cold towards him, if you gave him a chance and he started meeting your needs and making lots of deposits while avoiding withdrawals you would find yourself back in love with him.

        One couple I know started HATING each other after his affair, but they had kids and wanted to make it work, so they got the information they needed, and he became considerate, caring, transparent, and made sure that his wife’s experience with him was amazing. It didn’t come overnight, and she had to fake it for a while, but they are more in love today after the affair than when they were married.

        Don’t listen to nonsense that says your marriage can’t work, and don’t ponder all of your other options, you know how that pans out, do you want that?

        Go to marriagebuilders.com right now and start reading. Get the book and start going through it. If he can see that he needs to avoid anything that hurts you, and start working hard at things that make you feel loved, it will change.

        One last thing….. and not to sound preachy, but I’ve found the information presented to be so accurate and correct that I think it’s impossible to have a totally in love marriage relationship without it. I think that every marriage will fall apart without your needs being met and your spouse avoiding what hurt.

        If I’m right, then divorce doesn’t fix anything, because if you remarry you will just need to start over with someone else, and eventually you will find yourself in the same place again, needing the same changes.

        Sorry for such a long response Katie, it’s because I care. I’m praying for you.

        Before I go a quick update on me: I’m divorced and didn’t know to implement the above until after the divorce was final, but even in my dating relationships it makes a huge difference. I can identify what the woman needs, and start meeting them well, while deciding if she does a good job meeting mine. When I find the one, I’ll never stop meeting her needs, and I’ll always avoid anything that upsets her. It won’t be perfect, but we will be in love.

        Speaking of dating, I met someone new. She is ultra smart, witty, fun, sexy, I like her a lot. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I do know that if she is the one, I’ll stop at nothing to make sure I’m contributing to her happiness and never taking from it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The hubs did actually agree to read a book with me. So that’s a start, and leaves me optimistic. I do know I won’t get him to even look any any site that even HINTS at God being there. I’ve heard good things about marriagebuilders but if I recall it’s a Christian site so I may have to do that reading alone.

        I haven’t jumped out of the plane yet. We’re still trying.

        Thanks. 🙂

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      • The book is rooted in psychology not scripture, and while the Harley’s are believers, they left that out of the book.

        At the end of the day I’ve read probably 10 marriage books, and this is the only one that dealt with making people see the process of falling in love and not simply trying harder or communicating better, or being nicer.

        He needs to understand that independent behavior attacks your love bank and is making you fall out of love with him. He he doesn’t get that, then it won’t work. You need to be in love with each other, not simply working hard not to kill each other.

        He he doesn’t want to believe in God that’s fine, but if he hates God, then there is something else going on.

        Does he read these notes? If so, dude, you need to suck it up and read the information you need, and change if you want to stay married. It’s crazy that you would hate a God you don’t believe in enough to destroy your marriage.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think he will read the book with me. I just think sometimes he truly doesn’t understand WHY certain things hurt me – and that’s difficult to articulate at times. But it doesn’t matter WHY it’s hurtful, just that it IS.

        The good news is that he does want this to work, and will try pretty much whatever I suggest – as long as it has nothing to do with religion. (Honestly, if I said “come to church with me or I go”, I do think he’d go…but I don’t think it bodes well for the relationship to force that particular issue. If we can disagree respectfully, I think we’ll have come a long way.)

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  6. Oi… I’ve never been in your situation, so I don’t know how it feels – but my heart hurts for you. I’m stressed out just thinking of the stress you are in. IT’S STRESSFUL. I hope things become become better than you.

    PS- I laughed out loud when you wrote that you named the butterfly Taco because he landed on the front of your skirt. Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hello Kate,

    I enjoy your writing so much (this is Donkey from Matt’s blog, I found you over there).

    Just…learning and growing in my own life, and reading over at Matt’s blog has helped me somewhat understand that even if you tell someone something over and over and over (and I’m thinking about how you’ve told your hubby how the way he voices his opinions about religion, his t-shirts etc are offensive to you) they still don’t get it.

    I know I have done something similar in my own life, though to be honest, it’s hard for me to feel like what I did was as obvious as the dishes thing with Matt and his ex, or in your case, the offensive t-shirts and the offensive statements etc from your husband. But it’s certainly possible that that’s just an empathy fail/understanding/integrity fail on my part though.

    But yeah, I’m still sruggling to wrap my mind around it. Your husband really seems to love you very much. He threw away his t-shirts after you explained to him that it was hurtful, but then they came back. Wtf?

    I’m trying to think of possible practical solutions. Your husband seems quite receptive to working on your relationship. Can you agree on a safe word or something? So that everytime he has an offensive tshirt, states his opinion in a disrespectful way etc, you can say the safeword and so he’ll know that he’s crossed a line? Can you agree on something to follow that up with (talk about it that same day, or once a week)? Maybe some kind of consequence for him, if you have to use the safeword more than once a month, he’ll have to take over some of your chores, or you can choose one of his most priced “I hate religion”-book to get rid of or something?

    Can you imploy some kind of boundary, an action you can take in response to his offensive statements? Often it’s so hard for some people to be influenced by people’s words, but if there’s an action that effects them, that’s a different matter (I hate that part about humans). Everytime he says something/wears something offensive, you can let him know that that just happens and then sleep in another room as a way of protecting yourself? I’m not real good at thinking of practical boundaries to employ, but I’m sure someone else can help you with that. It’s not just that they’re hard to enforce (and especially without making a big deal of doing it), it can be hard to think of something appropriate too. :S

    Liked by 1 person

      • I actually go by both – no worries! Heck, I work in HR, I get called MUCH worse. Yesterday I was Satan’s sister because we are moving a holiday (still getting a paid day off, mind you, just a different one for a weekend holiday.) Can I get worker’s comp for eyeroll strain?

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    • ZOMG DONKEY IS HERE! 🙂 That is so cool of you to stop by. And thanks so much for all of that – these are awesome suggestions that have me thinking.

      I don’t really want to “punish” him – we’re equals; we have 4 kids between us…I think that isn’t maybe a healthy dynamic for us. Plus, one thing he and I have in common is we’re not terribly receptive to being told what we “have” to do. (Well matched, like matches and kerosene? haha)

      I DO, however, need to be clearer about when I’m hurt – and why, if I can explain it – I tend to avoid having “that discussion” as often as I can. Which chucks me straight back into my food issues – that’s not the healthiest coping mechanism.

      And in the past, I’ve had conversations with him where I’ve told him up front that I’d let him know when I was “done” and had to stop – and I did – but then he kept flinging bonus points at me, long past when I was out of energy to deal with it. Kind of makes me less motivated to try again. He apologized after, but it seems like he can’t see ME when HE has a need.

      which is the bulk of the problem. My needs are VERY important to him – if they don’t block any of his.

      Hmm.

      We may be on to something here.

      And I do need to just speak up more, and often, and stand up for what I need – since no one else truly will.

      Le sigh.

      I am so glad you popped over, though! You have a lot of wisdom to share. Thank you.

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      • Aww, thank you so much for the warm welcome! 😀

        Yeah, I think the punishment thing can only work if he agrees he’ doing something wrong, but has trouble recognizing it/stopping himself. I think, in that case.

        You said: “And in the past, I’ve had conversations with him where I’ve told him up front that I’d let him know when I was “done” and had to stop – and I did – but then he kept flinging bonus points at me, long past when I was out of energy to deal with it.”

        Ok, so this was kind of like the safe word thing I suggested, combined with the boundary that you stopped the conversation when he was saying things that hurt you? That sounds like a pretty healthy response. But I totally get that sometimes we don’t have the energy to fight, ugh.

        Boundaries is something I struggle with too in general. I must get it into my head that it’s about how *I* choose to react to someone elses behaviour. Sure, I can have a preference for which way they end up going, but ultimately I must find a way to be ok with whatever the result. I definitely believe that healing emotionally in general makes it a lot easier to practice healthy boundaries. But then again, good boundaries makes you more healthy too. I’m not a parent, but I read someone advicing that if your kid doesn’t help clean up their room, part of their allowance will have to help cover the cost of having a housekeeper do that job (if age appropriate). if I were a parent in that situation, I’d definitely prefer if the kid then chose to clean up, but if not, at least I’d have taught them about consequences, and I would have protected myself from overfunctioning.

        For what it’s worth, I do think that “I don’t love you”-feelings are often a defense mechanism! And even if they’re not, I think there are good chances of them coming back, with changes in the dynamic, inner work etc.

        I’ve mentioned it on Matt’s blog a few times, I think more people could consider living apart (even when married) and still being together. Maybe in two years, when your daughter is done with school? You could have a no offensive t-shirts/statements polici at your house, or he has to leave and go back to his place. If he’s wearing -tshirts or saying things you find offensive when you’re at his house or out together, you could just leave and go back to your place. You could that way keep many of the good parts of the relationship, while being more protected from some of the bad?

        Thanks for letting me air my thoughts. It’s so much easier to “solve” other people’s problems, isn’t it. 8)

        Liked by 1 person

      • “I do think that “I don’t love you”-feelings are often a defense mechanism! ” – NAILED IT. You can’t hurt me if I don’t let you in. (nails windows shut)

        I’ve actually considered carving out my own space, but that feels a lot more final than I’m ready for. I agree it doesn’t HAVE to be, but I think he’d see it that way.

        I need to be more forceful when my boundaries are overstepped, vs. just crumbling up in a ball. I’m a strong woman, dammit, but when it comes to my needs, I crumble faster than a granola bar in a backpack….

        And I do think he doesn’t mean to hurt. He just can’t see past his laser-focus sometimes. (I’d label it an Aspergers thing if I were qualified to do so….)

        Please stop over and comment any time. Very glad to see you! (It’s always helpful to have 3rd-party perspective….)

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  8. I’m divorced twice and now my first husband is living in my house. Convenience. Take out the trash. Mow the grass. Dump the cat litter. Wash the dishes. He will do other things if I ask him to. And he pays me rent. A year ago I wouldn’t have seen this coming. What have I learned in my years? Nothing. Seriously, though. Do I want to marry again to anyone? Hell no. Can I make it on my own? Hell yes. I’m done with the hormones and desire to mate. That stuff got in the way of my understanding what is really important. Me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • After my first marriage ended,I remember how empowering it was to install my garage door opener. I strutted around like She-Ra – “I can do ANYTHING! I need NO ONE!”

      Then later I couldn’t open a freaking jar of salsa and it made me cry.

      When I was younger, I used to think I’d always be married- because I didn’t like being alone. Now? If I end up single, the thought of breaking in another relationship sounds exhausting! (I have several friends who say the same…)

      I’ve learned to never say never, because God gets a kick out of designing those particular plot twists…but at this moment that’s how I’m inclined to think. 🙂

      Like

    • Hello,

      I’m just a curious reader, feel free to ignore me.

      I find what you said so interesting!
      “What have I learned in my years? Nothing. Seriously, though.”
      What do you mean? Are you talking about romance/marriage? Something else? In any case, surely this can’t be true?! :p

      “now my first husband is living in my house. Convenience. Take out the trash. Mow the grass. Dump the cat litter. Wash the dishes. He will do other things if I ask him to. And he pays me rent”

      How fascinating! I’m glad he’s a good tenant. But is it not…weird? No romantic/physical temptation? Or just weird because of history?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Weird for sure! We were always better friends and companions than romantic partners. And a little less than a year ago, we were both in a situation where his moving in with me would help us both. It can be a pain. I learned after my second divorce that I like living alone, and by “alone” I mean with no significant other.

        Like

      • Thank you for getting back to me Elizabeth. 🙂 It must be very liberating to have little interest in romance/marriage.

        Like

  9. Nobody ever told me that there would be days like these, strange days indeed.

    You teach lessons for me to learn from. Persistent toxic bantering v warm support for the one I love the most.

    I have taken up meditating this year. The Insight Timer app offers a path into the practice v guided meditations. This past week would have toxic for me, if I had not centered myself daily. I may or may not discuss either situation on either blog, the situations, while similar are professional and personal. Before meditation, these situations would have been dealt with v toxic irrational rants and raves. But not this time. And that almost made them fun.

    But this is about you. Consider developing a meditation practice.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Kate,
    I love your honesty as well as your ability to laugh at yourself. I am behind posting on all of my blogs, and the only excuse I have is “life”. I have come to terms with the fact that, until I have finished raising my children…if that, if fact ever truly ends, I will not have time to do certain things for myself. And that’s okay…most of the time.
    I’m glad you and your husband went on the date. My husband and I know that anytime we are arguing too much or just not connecting, we need to find some time to be alone together. Preferably we like to get away for a few days, but that doesn’t happen too often lately. What I have learned after 24 years of marriage (wow!) is that the love part of marriage is more work than I thought it would be. I won’t go into all of that because, honestly, I am still trying to figure it all out. One thing that helps more than anything else is finding something nice to do for my husband as often as possible. Even compliment or word of appreciation means so much to him.
    As another woman in her 40’s, I also know that there is something about this time of my life that keeps me searching…keeps my mind just a little restless. This can sometimes cause me to withdraw from those around me. I often wish I could make them understand that it isn’t them. I just need time to think and reflect on things. Does that make sense?
    I wish you well as you continue to work things out.
    Sherri

    Liked by 1 person

    • This makes a LOT of sense, and I’m glad you stopped by!

      Things have been good since I posted this. I’m not ready to exhale yet…but I’ll take all the good days I can get. And I’d love to get away more, but it’s just not going to happen while my kids are in school. But one day…maybe.

      Like

      • I’m glad things have been better for a spell. I know it’s hard to get away when the kids are in school. One thing that has helped us is the fact that we are a homeschooling family. This, along with the fact that we live next door to my husband’s parents who were always willing to help out for a few days. afforded us the flexibility we needed to be able slip away from time to time. When the kids got into the upper grades, it became much harder to get away since we couldn’t catch up on school work as easily as we had when they were younger. Now, we have two in college and only one left at home. Life has changed so much for us in the past few years, and our relationship as husband and wife changed along with it…for the better. Still, it isn’t always easy. That’s just the honest truth.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Interesting. Moving closer to my ex’s parents magnified all of our issues and made them WORSE! lol (Obviously it depends on the particular spouse and his/her inlaws….)

        Like

  11. Pingback: Creature of the Fright | Carrots in My Carryon

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