Once upon a time…

We met unexpectedly in a crowded, noisy nightclub. He intervened when I was being annoyed by a drunken fool. He had the darkest hair and brownest eyes. We dated for a while and we became a couple, I considered him my best friend, my side kick. He moved in with me and year later we bought a house, we were together for nearly 6 years, I was crazy about him. As time passed our direction changed.  Our expectations for the future in terms of family, marriage etc. His world at the time was work and money. Obviously I admired his work ethic but he seemed to believe that they were of paramount priority and all financials had to be accounted for and spend split, the pressure of this and the sense of its relevance over and above our relationship changed things.

Emotions, vulnerability, closeness of family wasn’t important to him. But it was a huge part of who I was. So the intricate differences seemed to start emerging. I recall one New Year’s Eve I was feeling very upset and he was in a way uncomfortable with my emotions and proceeded to get the hair dryer to dry my tears. Our arguments seemed to become deeper but I still loved him.

At time progressed I felt that we were on different paths, there were many reasons, I sought advice from friends and family. One February evening I got home from work and we sat down and I said it is not working.  I sat on the couch all that night and cried, he got up and went to work. I was devastated and moved out. Gosh it was a remarkably challenging time, I cried constantly. I recall sitting in a restaurant with my mum and unable to eat just crying, and all I wanted was to be with him.  I grieved as if he had passed away, and even though I ended it I felt like the loss was insurmountable. It was hard to let go.

Three years after breaking up we entered the legal system to hand control over to a Judge to make a ruling on the home we had bought, decorated and furnished together. I had to sit in the stand and bear my soul to a Judge, legal teams and in the presence of his Dad and my Sister, it was the most upsetting, indescribably raw moment of my life. I had loved him and here he was before the court saying that our relationship was an investment.

So now all these years later I discovered through social media and by total coincidence that he is in a new relationship and is a Dad to the most beautiful baby boy. Even writing this I feel like I am doing myself a dishonor. I am just so shocked by my reaction to this it is hard to put into words. It is like my past has infiltrated my current mind and drawn me back in time. Each day I play the role of someone always in control but this has now stirred a lot of emotion in me.

I suppose in all honesty If I was reading this about someone else, I would be saying ‘get over yourself, the relationship ended and you moved on, it was a different time in your lives, age brings maturity, you broke up for a lot of reasons this is crazy, everyone moves on, he has met someone who he wants all those things with’ and that is true he has.

Frankly I feel that the discovery of him now as a Dad I could never have imagined because I suppose you feel like it was only you who knew that person and you forget that their live moves on and their path changes. They form new relationships; they are not the same person that you once knew. At the time what I wanted with him he didn’t and time has now passed and he has discovered all of that with someone else and that is it! The circle of life!

C’est la vie!

Marriage for me

I read somewhere online that we live in a society that is convinced that once you are married, there is nothing you need to learn about marriage and nothing you need to practice. All you need is love. I don’t believe that to be true.

My partner and I met 10 years ago it was passionate, exciting, fun and we were very happy. I knew at the time I had met someone special. He was calm, patient, funny always able to solve any concerns I had, a great provider, communicator and someone very kind. We travelled a lot, moved in together, and bought a house. We were engaged after 4 years, married the next and very blessed to become new parents. I felt very proud to be a first time Mum. My husband protected both him and I and took such good care of us. He was so proud to be his Dad and treated me with such care and showed great pride and love that I was his Mum.
When I look back it wasn’t an easy time and the pregnancy, birth, hospital visits etc. were all thrown at us overwhelmingly and as new parents it was a huge learning curve. My husband was back to work 3 days after he was born. I was back to work after 6 months. It was all go for the first two years at least but we got into a system and it definitely was tough.  Our Son was born prematurely, we spent a lot of time over the first 1.5 to two years in and out of the children’s hospital, visiting doctors, calls from the crèche that he was sick, time off work caring for him.

We worked together and our objective was always the same at that time, we wanted him to be well and to care for him. Three years on he is a trooper, I have now emerged from that fast paced, constant worry and unpredictability to discover that the relationship with my partner is not as it once was.  Little moments of irritability and annoyance with each other have over the past two years slowly joined up or fused together and now all these issues have become something big and invasive.
The moments of us happy together like pre-baby have become less and less. It is difficult sometimes to remember what we were like. I wish I could pinpoint what has changed.   Over the last three years our social life and time together took a back step but I never felt that I was missing any of that. I knew that my most important job was to be xxx’s Mum and that when we took the decision to become parents I knew that our life would change.  We have been blessed with the most wonderful Son, an angel from Heaven. I firmly believe that people are connected or meet for a reason and in doing so we created a very special boy whom we both cherish.

The reality is that two persons who meet, commit to marriage and as in our case are fortunate to become parents are entering into a vocation. For me personally, love is not enough to retain the bond of wedlock. If other changes occur and emotions are frayed, then it is difficult to retain the placing of where you once were as a couple. The commitment of marriage and the changes that a child or children brings are underestimated. Your time, thoughts, emotions are spun 360 degrees like the inside of a washing machine.

We are told by many of the pressures children will bring to a marriage, the lack of sleep, the long hours, the negotiation and logistics of work, home, keeping up with the day to day tasks. We have witnessed it with our own eyes, we all have siblings, friends, colleagues who have taken these new steps in their lives. For me the transformation in my life of becoming a Mum was never a negative experience, I wasn’t naive to any of it. I embraced it and it was tough but it is my biggest achievement.

What seems to have evolved is that we are totally different people now who don’t connect anymore. The strains and stresses of the last three years have separated us, not made us stronger. All the niggley little expressions or words have all joined up and the gap has widen in terms of how we get along. We seem to have emerged from this as great parents but not so good as a couple.

What I find fascinating is that the preconceived ideas of marriage are the happy couple that “for better or worse” rise through the difficulty and strains and their love and commitment to each other keeps them together. This applies to many I have no doubt, but for us it is not that way.

There is no point saying otherwise but when you become a parent the demands placed on you are great, and I accept that. To be a united couple you need to work on the relationship. Currently our relationship has a lot of tension. We are no longer a team, it is like we are moving in different directions and not working together on day to day stuff. We haven’t seemed to be able to negotiate through these and have an understanding of the other person.

The biggest failing of my marriage I feel is that there is a lack of contentment. There has to be negotiation, communication and without doubt contentment from both sides.  If you research a definition of ‘Contentment’ it states: Contentment “a mental or emotional state of satisfaction maybe drawn from being at ease in one’s situation, body and mind” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contentment).
This I feel is fundamental to a successful marriage, without it the everyday mundane ‘normal’ tasks are battled against and the wife becomes the nagging facilitator. One partner repels the idea of everyday domestic chores whilst giving all their love, hugs and embraces to the child who they adore and perhaps the mundaneness of everyday life is stark.

Where am I now? I am here battling my way through a marriage that consists of arguments, tension, disagreements and is without romance, affection, togetherness and love. A son who will soon reach a milestone age next year of 4, and the uncertainty of where we are going as a couple. I feel that I irritate the crap out of him and that I spend my days in a negative cloud. What makes us happy now I feel is different to what that was in the past.

C x

Progression

The weeks have passed and we had a three week break from counseling, we are back this week.  Where have we moved on from I am not really sure. We live day by day with no plans for the future,the onus is on each individual to try and keep the peace. It is haunting to think that we have come along in our lives and come to this point where we are not connected emotionally as much anymore. It is like when you have an argument with someone at the time it is heated, stressful, tense, once the issue is resolved and friendship resumes you tend to find it hard to remember what the argument was about in the first place.

My path in life so far has been pretty ‘normal’. For me I have met, married and became a Parent, the difference I think with us compared to many couples is that the disintegration of this ‘marriage’ or ‘unity’ has occurred at a rapid pace. I was driving to work this morning and a Journalist was being interviewed and she explained that she is ‘the most annoying positive person you will ever meet’, as ‘we only get one shot at life’. That resonated with me as I find myself scrambling to keep up with time and it flashes past. I sometimes consider my position in the world and am I living my full potential?

The silliness really is that we are two persons who are together but not really. The vital element here is our Son, whose emotional and mental well being is my main consideration and concern. I do not want to be selfish and jeopardize any of that, he is only 3 and his world consists of Mummy, Daddy and everyone together. My own childhood was fraught with upset, anxiety and sometimes fear. However I don’t recall any of this until I was about 6 or 7. The difficulty is to ensure that the household is a place of calmness and innocence. Everyone’s story is mapped out what direction it goes is down to each individual. We have ownership of the compass.

Cx

Marriage Counselling…. what it is really like..

I have attended counseling twice now, so I am definitely a novice. My third visit is approaching this week. I suppose when communication is difficult and the saying ‘ we are going round in circles’ comes to light, counseling is the next and probably the only step.

We both decided we needed to do something to try and place some order or logistics on the situation. Our times of communication together at home were not having the desired affect. What this means I suppose is we sit and talk, discussing ‘politely’ what is going on in our lives. The majority of the time it is relaxed, mature and calm.

We attend the sessions during the day mainly at lunchtimes. After school or weekends would be difficult getting a childminder in. We sit in a room upstairs in a old Georgian building. The counselor advises us that all information shared remains confidential. He reiterates what was discussed the previous week and asks that we take it in turns to discuss certain topics. I find it easy to talk as nothing I am saying hasn’t been said before. I am just saying it to a professional now. When I sit there in the hard office chair I have thought to myself; how has this happened? I cannot believe the changes in our relationship since I became a Mum, and to be honest I feel let down.

The difficulty with these sessions are that the likelihood of hearing things that you don’t want to hear is inevitable, there is no hiding under the table. What remains certain like death and taxes, is that each of us cannot change the other. That is a fact but we can negotiate and build an understanding of each other.  We leave each session and go back to work, this is tough as it is hard to switch over to work mode. I suppose I consider what was discussed when I go home that evening. As our weekly sessions approach we tend to continue with work and life until the next appointment.

The ‘funniest’ aspect of counseling for me is the feeling that the person I married I don’t really know and I am discovering facts now that never surfaced. When you first meet someone your feeling is that you know everything about them, now its like being in a room with a stranger and saying ‘you have never said that to me until now’.

Gosh maybe counseling should be mandatory before a ring goes on the finger!

I will keep you posted.

Cx