I feel like I’m peeling back layers. Trying to understand what lies at the core.
There was – still is – the uneven division of labor around the house. He is doing more, but still far less than 50%, so we are both frustrated. It seems sort of ironic.
I had, naively, assumed that he’d either step up to the challenge and really start doing a lot more (at least for a while, sudden dramatic changes are probably prone to lapsing), or state flat-out that this wasn’t gonna happen. And that either way there would be a straightforward way to move on. Obviously that’s not the case.
There is the layer of my feelings. They have clearly suffered, over years of feeling ignored and (for lack of a better term) exploited. But he also is a nice guy that I still like. He can make me laugh, which is worth a lot. We have our differences on parenting, sure, but I’m generally happy to co-parent with him. But the lack of respect for my priorities, my time (JF had an excellent post on this recently), make it really hard to be in a relationship with him. Recent example: He had an important deadline at work, so I had to skip my yoga class to pick up SB. I have an important deadline a few days later – “well, you could just skip your language class!”.
Then today he brought up again how he would like me to work on bringing our embryos here (why me? he’s so busy). I tried to explain that, before I’d be willing to try for another, we’d need a more positive outlook on our relationship, and that he would need to be ready to pick up a lot more slack in childcare – especially given my history, it is entirely possible that I would not be able to drop off and pick up SB for several months during pregnancy, nor do substantial grocery shopping or cooking. Experiences from friends (oh the many friends currently expecting their seconds; I’m happy for them but it also breaks my heart a little) have quite consistently shown that pregnancy+toddler is considerably more taxing than ‘just pregnancy’. His response? “Well that surely wouldn’t be the case for the whole pregnancy”. Dude. If you want to convince me that you’d be a supportive partner, almost any other statement would have been better.
I’ve been doing a lot of meditation. Well, your definition of ‘a lot’ may be different, but in any case considerably more than before. Kindness comes up a lot, and I am searching my soul, my feelings, how ‘kindness’ and ‘divorce’ can be compatible. And again, you might disagree, but I do think it can be seen as kindness to myself, leaving a situation that does not work anymore, after having tried and failed to remedy it. Kindness towards our daughter, who is currently living with a weird tension between her parents. Possibly even kindness towards my husband, who of course has his own dreams for life – perhaps it is better to go separate ways so that he can find his happiness, and I can try to find my own. (Despite all this, it is far from easy. But if you’re thinking along these lines, also read re-imagined’s latest and very honest and insightful post.)
Lastly, on a somewhat different topic, it seems Other Guy might have a girlfriend. I don’t know for sure, and it would be a long-distance thing, but looking back this might have been going on for a while, and I just didn’t notice, or did not want to notice. The realization hurt, perhaps most because I had allowed myself to be so hopeful, although there never was anything between us beyond casual flirting. So that adds its own layer of complicated feelings. But in a way, I think, it is good – I think I had allowed myself to escape into this fantasy, and avoided working on the actual problems in my marriage. Denial of sorts. So this turn of events has forced me to focus on the situation I’m in, rather than the one I wish I were in.