Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Dementors

The dementors are everywhere it seems. Everyone I know, in the blogosphere, in my real life, among friends and yes, in my house, has had every ounce of joy sucked right out of them. Logically I know it's because of winter blahs and the extreme lack of sunlight in Canada right now, but honestly, I kind of wonder if we aren't just sick of our respective stupid governments, our economies, our jobs?

My kids are sad and cranky, and Kaz and I cannot get up in the morning to save our lives. We both have insomnia, and have never been and never will be, morning people. Mornings are shit, and talking to me before 10 a.m. is never pleasant on the best of days. Kaz's insomnia is one thing, he just has a teenage biological clock that will change as he grows older; my insomnia is different because I'm afraid to go to sleep. Every night for most of my life, I have woken up screaming with nightmares. I don't even remember the content, but every night, they come. So really, would you want to go to bed? Most sleeping pills either drug me too much for too long, or they give me more nightmares, so I don't bother.

The difference with the black mood this time is that other people around us are usually happy---not anymore. My husband is incredibly unhappy. He blames a myriad of issues, like work stuff, and the stress of the baby, dealing with kids, and wondering what to do with the house reno we have been putting off/planning forever and a day. I think all those are just minor issues and really he feels crappy overall right now, but who knows?

I feel funny even talking about this, because I'm in a pretty lonely position in the blogosphere. You all seem to either be in the honeymoon phase of your relationships where your spouse is your best friend and has only tiny fixable flaws, or your husband reads your blog and so you don't dare talk about the fights you really have, or you have finally gone all the way to divorce/separation talk, like Thrice, or Jennifer, or Val.

What about the people who are struggling after 10-12 years together? Who won't give up on their marriage and want it to work out, but know with absolute certainty that there are no hearts and flower fairytales in the end? When Kaz started school everyone in his daycare, and everyone in his elementary school class were living in two parent seemingly happy homes. And by the time he starts middle school, our family structure will be the minority. We already are, but truthfully, it's accelerating all the time.

So I know that it's ridiculous of my fellow bloggers to assume that they will be the exception and their marriages will all be the fairytales. It won't happen. Odds are, most of us will divorce and maybe remarry. And hopefully we will have kids to raise, cause frankly, giving up our last chance at having kids for the sake of a man who will most like dump you for some second younger model has always seemed a like a poor compromise to me. (And yes, I'm excepting women who want to give up trying because they don't want to try anymore, I just know too many women who do it mostly for their husband at the time then regret it deeply later. Funny how in 39 years, I've never met a woman who regretted having her kids, but I've met dozens who regretted a marriage. )

So why do I feel so lonely? Because few admit to an unperfect marriage, except me. It's like being infertile and surrounded by fertile myrtles who keep showing off their pregnant tummies and 25 babies to me, except instead they keep showing off their perfect fucking marriages. Slightly embittered, yeah. I admit it.

I'm still struggling. I love him, but I don't know if I can live with his bullshit. And maybe, he can't live with mine. Most of the time, when the Dementors aren't overshadowing the place, we are okay, we cope, we live with the rollercoaster, we have good days and bad and bicker a little but not a lot. But days like the past week....gahhhhhhh....I don't know how we're ever going to stay together even until this baby is born. I want to be with him, I just want him to change into a completely different person. I know he wants me to be another person too, but until this baby is born, I feel frozen, and I can't take my meds everyday, and even if I did, I will never ever be Suzy fucking Homemaker. I'd happily hire her if I could find her, and we could afford her, but really it ain't going to happen.

And he will never be Prince Charming, ever. He tries, in his own guy way. But he won't be the stereotype. The first year we were together, he made a mighty effort. And for a long time, until I started struggling with PPD after Kaz was born I made a mighty effort to be Suzy Homemaker.

And then I failed. And he gave up. And Matthew died, and our money troubles ramped up, and Mac's pregnancy was hell, and we struggled even more with money after he was born. For years we held on by the skin of our teeth....through POF, and mood swings, and my ADD, and depression, and miscarriages, and late losses, and his parents passed away, and his family fought with each other, and I stop talking the last remnants of my family and that became a bone of contention and he started a new business, and every traumatic thing you could ever imagine happened.

And now we're on the verge of success. We have no more money troubles. We might just get a live baby. DHEA with HRT and Adderrall might just keep me sane instead of crazy. We can afford to renovate and repair our house. We can afford tuition so that I can go back to work. We might even hire a Suzy Homemaker and stop freaking about whether the kids schedule is up to date on the damn kitchen calender. But I wonder? Is it too late?

After all these years, and all this hell, I don't know. I just need to hold on a little longer.

I also need chocolate. TWELVE POUNDS of it.

28 comments:

  1. I don't write about the fights or the darkness, because he reads my blog and so does my mother, and his family.

    But it's there. We had a knock down drag out just the other day.

    But I think you see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hang on and eat chocolate.

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  2. Uh... I'm sorry you are having a bad time, but, really, I don't know anyone with a perfect marriage. I kvetch about my DH's stuff constantly and he reads my private blog (not on my public, I just make fun of him there from time to time.)

    I think the problem is that the media sets us up to think it is all romance. I am incredibly lucky that my parents, grandparents, and most of my aunts and uncles all have intact current marriages - many for 40 and 50 years. Were there times when they came close to divorce? YES. Marriage is HARD. I don't understand why anyone thinks it isn't.

    I know there are days that every person I know wants to never see or speak with their spouse again. And, for some of them, it ends there. Others make the effort - but it takes both people.

    I dunno, but I think you might have been watching too many movies and too much tv. Almost all of it is unrealistic dreck.

    I hope you feel better.

    Pax,

    MLO

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  3. Oh, I forgot! DH sent me a study that found that middle age is the unhappiest part of everyone's life. They surveyed people all aorund the world and it was consistent that the ages between 40 and 50 were the most depressing!

    Pax,

    MLO

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  4. Why are you always in my head? I was thinking the other day how things are good right now, but I'm not counting on it lasting. Marriage is hard work and babymaking just throws a grenade in it all.
    Being pregnant and shouldering all that you do it creates such an imbalance in the couple.
    Norm was doing deals on the phone at the midwive's office during my last crazy pregnancy. You my dear are shouldering so much more than I was.
    Hugs are all I can offer.

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  5. Err, um, thanks for the shout out. I think? ;-)

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  6. Ah, you are so not alone. Thing is marriage is not easy. Most of the time, you except his faults and he yours. But comments are made and feelings are hurt - etc.

    I don't talk much about my annoynces regarding my husband with anyone except for a few that know him well enought that he isn't really that bad. But that I needed to vent. Because afterall he isn't perfect and neither am I.

    My point is that you aren't alone. Hoping that you both make it thru this tough time, because as you said - there are other factors (weather, stress, etc.) that are contributing and making it worse. The dementors. Well put.

    Wishing those dementors away for you.

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  7. Ah, you are so not alone. Thing is marriage is not easy. Most of the time, you except his faults and he yours. But comments are made and feelings are hurt - etc.

    I don't talk much about my annoynces regarding my husband with anyone except for a few that know him well enought that he isn't really that bad. But that I needed to vent. Because afterall he isn't perfect and neither am I.

    My point is that you aren't alone. Hoping that you both make it thru this tough time, because as you said - there are other factors (weather, stress, etc.) that are contributing and making it worse. The dementors. Well put.

    Wishing those dementors away for you.

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  8. I think that anyone who says their marriage is perfect and a Disney fairytale is full of shit. They are just trying to keep up with the "Jones" so no one knows what is going on for real. Anyone who has claims they found Prince Charming is either on crack or has delusions.

    I love, respect and admire my husband... He has taught me so much...and has seen me through so much, especially the fog I lived in for a while after my last miscarriage. However, there are days that I am NOT his biggest fan and would love to knock him upside the head. And, I don't mean over him leaving his dirty socks on the floor...but over him spending too much on things he doesn't need, on him not calling when he is going to be very late from work, on him not looking for the new job he needs to get before June, etc.

    But, tables turned, I am sure he is not thrilled with me tuckering out at 9:30 every night and not being able to stay awake long enough to have an adult conversation right now.

    Marriage is an art form. You have to know when to pick your fights, when to make things an issue (if they need to be an issue), and when to back off. It has its ups and downs, like the ebb and flow of the tides. No marriage is perfect...what makes a marriage work is mutual respect and the desire to see your issues through to the next year.

    I think you and your DH will be one of the ones who does make it - you are honest with how you feel, you know what your (and his) limitations are. You are seeing things for the way they are. Honesty goes a long, long way. And, at the end of the day, your children will be more the wiser for it...not just because you are still married, but because you are showing them the reality of a true relationship.

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  9. I am not a fortune teller, so I can't say what the future holds for you and your husband. But you aren't either, so quit worrying about what the statistics say. Pregnancy sucks. The hormones make you more irritible to everything and those stupid nesting instincts we all have make you question everything in the present situation.

    (just the opinon of one idiot, disregaurd if need be)

    YOu love him, he loves you. You have both survived so much together. This too will pass, I promise.

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  10. You know, I always told people (& myself) that I can live childfree because of my strong relationship with my dh. And then we go through times when I feel like I have to totally eat my words, & wonder "what now??" In some ways, I feel like everything we have been through has brought us closer together, but I can also see the toll it has taken on us. Part of it is all the usual midlife stuff, on both our parts, but his in particular. He hasn't gone for the second trophy wife or Porsche (yet??) but is definitely going through a phase where he hates his job & wonders "is that all there is?" And his bad moods drive me up the wall at times. We've been to a counsellor a few times. I sometimes feel like he goes along with it just to humour me. But sometimes it feels good to vent to a neutral third party, and I find myself being able to say things about him to her (in front of him) that I can't bring myself to say to him in private.

    Hang in there. I'll pass you over some chocolate!

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  11. Marriage is hard. I hope the next few days are easier than the last few.

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  12. we just bought a chocolate fountain -- i love costco! -- today. i think the next time i feel at the end of my rope i'm going to fire it up.

    last week i was ready to pack it all in and move out, but then i remembered that my husband is so incredibly patient and accepting of all of my ranting and raving. i've been in two horrible long-term relationships and i know i have a good thing.

    i just need to remember that when i feel like jumping out the window.

    and yes, chocolate always helps.

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  13. Came here through Lisa B, you are most definetly not alone. I've only been married for almost 4 years and already feel like throwing in the towel but am trying somehow to make it work.
    Hang in there...

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  14. you know I'm not walking through paradise, never was, never will. Right now I'm "settling " for what I've got and loving my family. I hope it improves but I know you're not going to relax for a long time, 131 days or so......

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  15. I’m in the same boat too. 10 years married. 18 years together. I can’t count all the ups and downs anymore. We’re just holding on trying to survive. I used to be absolutely positive that in the end we will make it, and still do on the good days… but I am beginning to wonder on the bad days now. How long does roller coaster need to go? When does it even out? I wish I knew.

    I do blog about it sometimes, but then I go back and edit it. Big chicken I am.

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  16. I've never pretended that after all these years and all the heartache things we're still honeymooning. Far from it, even now. So I get where your coming from and I do think its part of the parcel of marriage to go through times like these.

    I guess its what you make of it that matters in the long run and I'm sure you'll find the strength to get through it. You seem smart like that :)

    XXX

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  17. You've been through so many different kinds of stresses and tragedies and difficulties that it would be impossible not to have these dark times. But I honestly think that you're absolutely right -- if you just hold on a little longer things are going to be much, much better.

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  18. Hi Aurelia. I'm sorry things are so rough at the moment. I don't want to bring any of my own negativity to the situation, but the longer I go trying to find a right relationship, the less I feel like it's possible, and the less I want to try and the less effort I feel like I have to give. It just seems too hard. I can't even imagine what it has been like for you to go through everything you have gone through. Even when things are fine and rosy and wonderful, marriages and relationships are difficult - even in the best of times it seems. I think you should just give yourself a break, you know? I second what Niobe said - I think a little time will make it better.

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  19. Jenny F. ScientistJanuary 31, 2008 11:12 am

    I'm sorry that your spouse is driving you batty. Really, nobody's marriage is perfect from the inside. I've noticed sometimes that the people who make the most noise about being happy have the worst problems and are just trying to hide it- whether they're unfulfilled in their Suzy Homemaker role, or hate the place they live, or whatever.

    Sending chocolatey thoughts your way! Pounds upon pounds of chocolate!

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  20. Sometimes I worry that I've "settled" b/c many days I want to smack Mr. DD upside the head. He's maddening! Right now even more so.

    I don't have any advice or words of wisdom to impart, but just wanted you to know that you are far from alone in the blogging arena for finding themselves no longer in love. It's just rare for many to speak of it.

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  21. Hi,

    This is my first time visiting but I'll pass you some chocolate. I'm sorry you are having such a rough time right now. My dh and I went through a real struggle around the 5 year mark (we're now about 12 years in) and needed some counselling, which did help. I'm not sure if that is an option for you.

    Another thing that could maybe help would be if you can take little dates, adventures, or even a weekend away together. Something you wouldn't normally do, get away from the usual drill. If he likes hockey, for example, maybe you can get a pair of hockey tickets and take him out on a date. it may be the last thing in the world you feel like doing, but it could be a step that he'd appreciate. Or if there's a kind of spa where you could each get massages and then go out for a meal or something? Of course all that involves getting babysitting - I don't know if that's an option for you.

    I realize these are just small suggestions but sometimes even little things can help us get through.

    Sending chocolate and good thoughts your way.

    Andie

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  22. I don't think there is an optimal time in which one can objectively sit back and critique a marriage. However, I think now -- in the midst of a stressful pregnancy following tragic losses, in the middle of winter -- is perhaps not the best time to make the make-or-break decisions. 'Twere me, I'd try and sigh and coexist with the now, knowing full well that not only do better days lie ahead for analyzing these things, but better days lie ahead in general. Chocolate would definitely help you bide your time until then.

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  23. You are not alone in your unperfect marriage. I have been married for 19 years and my husband and I have so little in common, it's sad. I think we did a reasonably good job being a mum and dad but as partners we leave a lot to be desired.

    I struggle with this on a daily basis. When my last baby was born, almost sixteen years ago, I promised myself that when she was twelve I would leave, but she ended up severely handicapped and here I still sit. My youngest just moved out, into a group home and now I have to make the decision, do I stay or do I go?

    Even with the freedom I now have, it's a tough decision. I don't dislike my husband, he's a good man, I just don't think he's good for me. And I really don't want to hurt him. But I don't want to stay either.

    I don't write about any of this on my blog because he reads my blog. Twice last year we came to the point where we decided to split up and then things blew over.

    You two have been through the wars. Wait for now and see what it's like when life has settled down a little.

    Who am I to give advice?

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  24. Aurelia,
    Hop over to my blog for some cameraderie. I just wrote a bunch of shit down about what an ass my husband is. My husband knows I have a blog, but he doesn't know where it is, what it's called, or anything else. He probably wouldn't even be interested enough to check it out even if he did. I feel your pain.

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  25. I think that people who are dealing with infertility are scared to admit the problems they have with their spouse because they figure that if they are going to put in this much time / effort / money to get pregnant - they had better be REALLY in love with their spouse and things REALLY better be perfect between them. Even if their not - and let's be honest, they're never perfect. So you tell others and you tell yourself that things are all roses.

    It's a coping mechanism. Because there's only so much pain and grief that one can take so you don't acknowledge the other things that are not so good.

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  26. Another awkward, toe-dragging, uh, thanks!?!
    But I'm really not as brave as you've portrayed me -- I've made many threats but never uttered the "D" word... Guess I like my farm too much ;-)!
    & it's certainly true that absence makes the heart grow fonder, or at least we fight less when he's mostly out of town... Sad but true!
    Hang in there babe.

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  27. I had a really bad first marriage - 13 incredibly long and terrible years... I believe that if both sides want it to work, then with the help of a good therapist it can. My ex was not interested - he wanted to stay married, but without having to do anything at all beyond bringing home a salary (and, of course, being abusive toward us all). So, I've done the bad marriage thing and I hope you & your husband can work things out so that things will be better than ever before. I've seen it work :-)

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  28. Hi Aurelia! Kind of new to your blog, and not infertile, but I'm always up for bitching about marriage! I've been married for nearly eight years to my husband, who is both the love of my life and the bane of my existence. The first six years were HORRIBLE. We married after a whirlwind six-week courtship; I was twenty-one, he was thirty, newly divorced, bitter, and not sure whether or not he wanted kids. Three months into our marriage I conceived our oldest, while on the pill (please! don't throw anything!) and we refought Roe V. Wade. Then I got put on bedrest for the last twenty weeks of the pregnancy and still delivered early. We fought over EVERYTHING. Then we got our act together, and fell back in love, and deliberately had Number Two when Number One was three, but another high-risk pregnancy had us at each other's throats, because I wanted one more and he most certainly did not. After he (and my OBGYN) prevailed, he got snipped. Three months later I got pregnant again (HIS, of course, although he didn't believe it until he went in for the labs he'd skipped and found that he still had a few swimmers in there after all). Roe v. Wade again. Especially since Number Two was only five months old when we found out--oy. And then Number Three came out very sick, and has significant special needs, and THAT's not at all stressful, noooooo; I shut him out completely and threw everything I had into keeping my baby alive. So he had an affair and we got separated. Then my health went to shit in a dozen different ways culminating in MRSA septicemia after an intrauterine ablation to stop my uncontrollable periods and correct my severe anemia, yadda yadda yadda in the house that Jack Built. The moment we all left he realized he'd made a really big mistake (I had been willing to forgive the affair and try counseling or whatever it took to save our family) and started trying to win me back, and when I saw that he still wanted me even though I am now essentially a complete invalid and he works two jobs to cover medical expenses AND helps out a LOT with childcare...well, that convinced me to give him another shot. It reminds me a little, tiny bit of you and Mr. Cotta--you two haven't been bickering in a vacuum, you've had lots of "stuff" going on, too, and sometimes it's just a matter of the dust settling. Or else someone almost dropping dead. I dunno. We still backslide once in a while, but the good far outweighs the bad, especially when I see how tender he is with our children, particularly the two little ones (now three and two--yes, Number Three has hung in there and is turning into a royal pain in the arse, as any two-and-a-half-year-old ought to be). Or, um, when we're in bed, LOL! I know couples who have never shouted or called names, who are so tender to each other that it makes me tear up with wretched, evil envy, but you know what? For various reasons of my own background I'd probably kill a more peaceful and chivalrous man in a matter of mere weeks! Our marriage counselor said to us once that everyone ranks somewhere on a maturity scale from 1-100, and that you start life at the number your family of origin is at, then maybe rise or fall by about ten points, but that you ALWAYS marry someone with the exact same score, with very few exceptions. Unfortunately for most of us, I think she was right. Right now we're trying to collectively raise our score for the sake of the children, although we both screw up plenty. Just as long as none of them turn out Republicans I think it'll be okay.

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