I came across the Open Letter to Shitty Husbands today, and it wasn’t the volume about cheating that caught my attention. It was the volume about trust, and the little things:
It wasn’t the big things that brought her to that point. There often aren’t big things in marriage.
It was the little things. Often, it is the little things that scratch and claw and chip away at the integrity of a marriage until the union and its participants look nothing like they did when first formed.
There was a big thing in my marriage, but it wasn’t the only reason we’ve ended up where we are. A friend told me that once you’re not in love, you can see so clearly all the things you put up with for the sake of the relationship. She was right.
A person on Reddit said that women see leaving as the end of negotiations. Men see it as the beginning of negotiations. Maybe that’s why he wanted an update on our progress today. We don’t have any progress to report, because nothing has changed.
I, apparently, ended negotiations back when I told him to “be himself” – we were talking about talking. Not about life in general. You don’t get to check out and just exist and expect anything to change. I also had to reiterate that “this” wasn’t a “process,” it just IS. After he sat with this for awhile, he sounded bitter and spiteful. Now I’m trying valiantly to not cry for the second time today, and I can’t even blame hormones.
You’re not kids anymore. But you still act like one. When you playfully mock your friends or your wife. When you leave your pants out, or a dish in the sink, or forget to do that thing you promised on your way home.
And all these little things add up.
Why are you making such a big deal about this!?, you wonder.
And now she CAN’T be a kid anymore. She can’t play and laugh and live carefree anymore. Because you are. And if she does it too, nothing will ever get done.
The clothes will never get washed. Meals will never be made. The kids will never have what they need.
You refused to take the next step.
So she HAD to.
And now she’s angry, resentful, sad and afraid.
Because you’ve left all the adult work to her.
But, more importantly?
You left her with no choices. And now she doesn’t get to be who she used to be.
I miss who we used to be. I miss who I used to be. I miss home feeling like home.
I’ve always been the type to have ideas. Concepts. Dreams. But I also had plans to get there, to make that, to accomplish the goal. My downfall has been being inclusive with those plans, because this is a partnership, right? He’s a dreamer, also one with concepts and ideas, but that’s the end of it. My plans, large and small, for anything house-related, or finance-related for that matter, withered and died from lack of attention.
That’s why I’m going to do everything myself. As much as I can, anyway. That’s why he’s had little involvement with the farmhouse. That’s why I gave up on my plans to make our existing house even functional. That’s one of the things my friend said I’d see so clearly. And I do.
You take it for granted. You take her for granted.
Like your eyesight. Or functioning legs.
But they’re really important.
And you figure it out when they’re gone.
I failed – for the second time today – to not cry. And I leave for EMR class in 15 minutes. Fuck me.
I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I’m holding you in my heart and sending you strength and love!
I’m so glad you have C to lean on, and I’m so so glad you also have the farmhouse to call your own. Even though there’s a lot of tears and sadness, I’m really excited for the next chapter. So much potential! So many possibilities!
Thank you! ❤️
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