Saturday, August 05, 2006

Explanation

Alright, I will explain as best I can what has been going on lately. I am quite upset and my hands are shaking as I type. I will correct as many typos as I can.


I need to backtrack a bit. Stud and I met on the internet in 1988. I was attending the U of R (University of Regina) in Regina, Sask. Canada. He was attending Clemson in South Carolina. We started talking in August of 1988 (Eighteen years ago!?!? I feel SO OLD!!!) and he flew up in December of that year for us to meet in person. I flew down in April of 1989 for three weeks. He flew up again in July for about a week and then in December, when we were married in Saskatoon. Our relationship consisted of those visits, talking often on the phone and some letters. Not your typical courtship.


Stud had a very close friend all through high school. We shall call her "M". He raved about her all the time. He had pictures of her on his bulletin board and carried a photo of her in his wallet for many years. He may actually still have it in here, I am not sure. I met her a few times and I really liked her. We had a few laughs and I thought she was cool. I can't remember if we spent more time together after Stud and I were married and I moved down there, or during my three week trip in the Spring of 1989.

We moved up here in 1991. The plan had always been to settle in Canada. He had told me whether we ended up together or not, he wanted to live in Canada. Which I found odd since he never made much attempt at getting a job up there. Anyway, we settled here as a compromise. Not Canada, not South Carolina.

Brain was born in 1992 and Jock in 1995. In 1997, when Jock was almost two, we moved back to SC. Stud thought it best if our children grew up near family. Soon after we moved there, M called me (I think. Maybe Stud asked me to call her, not sure. I am certain she called me, though) and asked if Stud and I were going to their ten year High School Reunion. They actually graduated in '86, but were having the ten year in 1997. I talked to her a bit. She was married and due with her first child at this time. Stud and I ended up not going and I am not sure if she and her hubby went or not.

We lived there until 2000. I never heard from her again. I asked Stud a few times while we lived there if we were going to go visit her, meet her baby etc. He never seemed interested. Once we moved back here in 2000, I would ask sometimes when we went back down for visits. Are we going to try to see M??? He said there would be no time. I was kind of confused by it. I found it odd that if they were such good buddies, they would not make more of an effort to keep in touch. I knew I would, and just thought how men are different and I guess I won't press the issue. If he wants us to visit her, he will make it happen.


This past winter, he told me that he saw her on the classmates thingy that he looks at sometimes. He contacted her and they were e-mailing. He said he was worried, she had not mentioned her hubby. Soon, she told him that she and her hubby had recently divorced. Which was what Stud was suspecting and worried about. We thought how sad that was. I told him to tell her I was sorry and that I said hi and was thinking about her.

For about a month, he would come home and tell me briefly the latest from her. Soon, the updates stopped. I asked him when I thought of it (every month or three weeks, I suppose) how is M doing?? You have not mentioned her. He said he was busy at work and had been meaning to get in touch, but had not. He would soon and then update me when he did. This went on for about 4 or 5 months, still apparently no contact with her.

About a month before he and kids were leaving for SC, I thought "OH! Stud should visit with M when he is down there. He has not seen her in so long, that would be cool." Then I forgot about it. A few days later, I did ask him something along the lines of how is she and has he heard from her. He maintained he had been busy and had not heard anything in a long time.

He and the kids had been in SC about three days when I got an e-mail from him saying that he and M had met for lunch. I was glad for him and asked how she was, etc. He also said that he and his mother were taking our kids to the lakehouse that day (Friday, July 21st) and his sister could not come because she was due with her baby any day. The plan had never been for them to be there then. When he had talked about the lakehouse plans, he always maintained they were not going until Sunday afternoon. I remember he was annoyed, because I would suggest they go earlier, so the kids could have even more time there. He got very short with me when I suggested that.

That night I called him at the lake house and he acted odd immediately. I asked him what they were doing and who all ended up going. He said he and our kids, his mother and M and her kids. My immediate respsonse was "Why didn't I even think of that?? Now our kids will have some kids to play with, how fun!?!?"

Within a few seconds, something pricked somewhere in my mind. I was thinking..."wait a minute. Something seems a bit off. If they had not been in touch at all, this all seems a bit sudden here. Lunch and now this...weird..." So I asked him something along the lines of "Was this planned before you left home??" He confirmed, yes, it had been planned for some time. He was whispering to someone, they whispered back and then a door closed. Something just seemed weird and secretive.

I got off the phone and my friend D, who was here from Spokane, looked at my face and immediately knew something was wrong. I told her what the deal was and she admitted it seemed odd, but we were both sure there was some explanation.

Turns out they stayed Friday AND Saturday night because Stud's mother's car broke down when they were trying to leave Saturday afternoon. I am still confused as to why no one else could come and get them (their home is about 90 minutes away from the lake) and why they had to stay another night. But whatever.

So when I was talking to Stud about that problem on Saturday night, all of a sudden I heard a voice in my head say "Ask him where everyone is sleeping." I thought that was silly, and brushed it aside and talked about other things. But the idea of where they slept would not leave. I prepared myself for what he said. It still felt like a slap to the face, though.

He said that he and M slept in the guest room together, each in their own queen sized bed with their five year old daughters. Her nine year old son, Clown and Jock all slept out in the Living Room and his mother in a King sized bed in the Master Bedroom. I found that not only amazingly inappropriate, but was surprised by something. Stud avoids sleeping with our kids at all costs. If they ask to sleep with us, he gets mad and goes to a couch or makes them feel sad and they just go to their room and don't sleep with us. He HATES sleeping with our kids and doesn't hide that fact. So to hear that he volunteered (I later found out he is the one who suggested the sleeping arrangements) to sleep with Princess, was very bizarre.

He claims I over analyze things. To a degree he is right. I feel I have no choice, most of the time. Being married to a guy who does not speak to me really, I have to guess and press and ask question after question to get the most simple explanation of anything. He feels interrogated by this. I have begged him for years to just TALK TO ME and I won't feel the need to make assumptions, and second guess things all the time.

Anyway, once I found that out, I was pretty upset. Couldn't eat really. Wasn't sleeping because of the heat, but on Saturday night when I laid down to try and sleep, I kept thinking over and over in my mind, "Right at this moment, Stud is sleeping in the same room as another woman. Our children know this, I wonder how this will effect them and what they think of it. Here is yet ANOTHER example of how disrespectful he is to me."

Found out also that lunch, was not lunch out, but alone at her house. Her kids were nowhere (Stud says he doesn't even know where) and he did not even tell our kids where he was going or THAT he was going anywhere. They asked his mother a while after they noticed that he was gone. Jock tells me that one night before that (he can't remember if it was the night they got there (Tuesday) or Wednesday night, Stud also went to see M. He said he would be gone for half an hour and Jock fell asleep before he got back. In the morning, his mother said something to him along the lines of "You were gone a lot longer than half an hour last night." and Stud just shrugged and smiled.


Stud told me since that he only went for lunch, he went nowhere at night. However, he is not an honest person, so unfortunately, I will believe my children who were there and witnessed this, over someone who has often kept things from me and been dishonest. I still have NO IDEA why he has always felt the need to lie and keep information from me. It has always hurt me deeply and counselors have tried to get him to figure out why he does it. The worst part is that he is in denial about that. Had a gift of turning it around and making me question myself and doubt myself. As the years have gone by, I have become better and no longer doubt myself as much as I had been. I have not asked the children a lot of questions, I do not want to be that kind of person. Thankfully, I have not needed to. They have come to me with many concerns.

Jock called me very upset the night before they came home. He said his Dad was going places with M a lot and that he was VERY nice to her. I asked what he meant by very nice and he was trying not to cry. He said, "He just talks to her a lot nicer than he does you. He isn't mean to her AT ALL. And they sit together a lot and are always touching each other and just really friendly." Then he whispered "Mum...they slept in the SAME ROOM."

I told him I knew that and how did that make him feel. I could just see his precious face and his teeth gritted together when he spit out, "I DON'T LIKE IT." I told him could tell me anything that was bothering him when he got home and to not worry, Daddy and I would deal with it. Then he said, "I am seeing...other things." He wouldn't tell me what he meant and he had to go, lots of people were coming in and out of the room he was in. I tell you, I was LIVID that Stud put Jock through this. If he wants to act inappropriately, he does NOT need to involve our precious innocent children.

So, now for the short part. I have been unhappy in our relationship for years. From day one, Stud has been incredibly self absorbed. Thankfully, he never hesitates to admit that fact. During the years before children, I worked at least two jobs at a time. He was always out with friends, going to bars late and wanting me to come with him, even though that is not my scene at all. He would spend the night at people's houses, not call to let me know what was happening, etc. I did not have my driver's license until Brain was a baby, so I relied totally on Stud, or walking, bus or biking, to get myself places. So many times, Stud would "Forget" to pick me up from one of my jobs and I would arrive home drenched from walking in the rain to find him playing video games with his buddies.

When the children came along, he says he felt ignored. I laugh thinking back at it now. We always planned on having kids, but I had Brain when I did, BECAUSE I wanted some attention, someone to take care of and something to do other than work back breaking jobs all the time. I didn't realise at the time that was my reasoning, but looking back I see it now. I was incredibly lonely. I had left my country and family, only to be ignored and I felt, used. I had hot meals ready, kept the place clean and was good for sex. So I was confused later, when I devoted myself to the people who paid me attention, needed me, and LOVED me, that he felt ignored?? He had me before and never gave me the time of day. Why was he suddenly jealous of some small innocent people???

Stud has some valid points. I am not as physically affectionate with him as he needs. He says that nothing he does is ever good enough. I can understand him feeling this way. The thing is, I have BEGGED him for years to tell me how he feels, tell me what I am doing wrong or what he needs from me, and he has acted totally caught off guard and said things are awesome, nothing at all is wrong. I have told him it is wrong for me, this is how I feel...yadda yadda. For a few days it seems he tries to be nicer but it never lasts long at all.

He says I judge him and M does not. She just listens. Well, if dude WOULD TALK TO ME, I would listen also. One of my main frustrations has been that he refuses to talk or open up, tell me about ANYTHING. When he does talk to me, it is to talk down to me. He is AMAZINGLY condescending and demeaning. Many people have pointed it out over the years and we have actually lost friends because they are so uncomfortable seeing how he talks to me. Obviously, I am guilty too. It is not just him. I am convinced that it is a defense mechanism that I developed to deal with the painful things he has said and done. Doesn't make it right and I am not excusing myself. Just stating a fact. M listens because she doesn't have SIXTEEN years of pain and frustration built up. Of course she will listen?!?


Anyway, finally in our counseling on Friday he admitted that he may not want to stay married. I have often fantasized over the years about what it would be like to be "free" and not live with the constant walking on egg shells. So I admit to being quite excited and relieved at the idea. Jock has asked me off and on for the past three or four years to divorce his Dad. He adores him, but Stud is really in his own little world much of the time. When he comes out of it he is also quite controlling and just honestly out for himself. I could give countless examples, but I won't. At least not right now.

He says he wants to be a bachelor again. He doesn't want to fight over the kids, which is great. He is just now getting in touch with how he feels about things and needs time to get used to these feelings. Turns out he calls M from the office and his cell phone fairly regularly. He won't tell me how often. He deleted all the e-mails between them and then had me waste about 20 minutes the other night looking for them. Then went through a big production about him searching and then finally admitted, "OH, I guess I did delete them after all." Just another example of the mind games and control he enjoys. He reads my e-mail. Read through everything I said to anyone about any of it. I have always told him exactly how I feel and do not hide things from him. That is all I have ever wanted from him, but he is incapable of it for some reason. I am sure nothing physical is even going on with he and M, they are just there for each other emotionally (which of course for me, a woman, is just as bad. Especially when I have BEGGED for years and tried to be there for him and he refused) but he loves to just play games with me and make me wonder. Very cruel.

Man, I had guys all over me all the time 35 pounds ago. I was constantly being flirted with and asked to go out, even though it was no secret I was married. They didn't care. And they were relentless, they DID NOT GIVE UP. At least guys I worked with. Other guys who I didn't know, like just guys in the street or whatever, even when I was with my little kids, would come talk to me and ask me stuff and whistle and come right out and say how great they thought I looked. I just never even considered it. I knew, especially as emotionally neglected as I was, if I went anywhere with any of my guy co-workers, I may cave in and do something bad and wrong. It is like the dude in the bible who was being tempted by that woman to sleep with him. He ran! That is what I did. You run from temptation, you don't purposely put yourself IN IT.


Even now, still. Guys look at me sometimes. Jock notices it more than me. He used to ask why that man was looking at me and smiling. I told him I wasn't sure. Now he just grins and says, "Another guy was checking you out, Mum. See that guy, he keeps smiling at you and nodding his head. I think he wants you to notice him or something." He thinks it is hilarious and really seems to get a kick out of it. I always think it must be because I have a booger hanging out of my nose or something. I never have had self confidence. It always annoyed Stud, too. Jock gets annoyed at me too and tells me I am pretty and that is why the guys look and smile. I guess there must be some truth to that. So that is great, whatever. When I was young and had them all over me, I didn't do anything. Stud is almost 40, you would think he would know better than to put himself in situations like he does. This is not the only incident. I had to call our Pastor a few years ago and ask him to talk to Stud because of inappropriate behaviour with another woman AT OUR HOUSE during weekly bible studies!?!?! *sigh*

So, we are not sure what we are going to do. At first, when Stud came back and was honestly telling me how he felt about M, I felt so relieved and happy. I was glad he was being honest. It was hard to hear, but I always just wanted honesty. He told me he has been talking to his Mom, sister, even his ex-fiance for crying out loud! But not me. The ONE PERSON who can do anything to fix it. That is hurtful and VERY frustrating since I KNEW he was feeling that way. You just don't treat people the way he treats me, if you loved and care about them. So I am confused about some things, but I was just glad he was being honest. I told him, now I feel connected. I always just wanted a connection. I felt SO good about him and was just really hopeful about things and felt more devoted and wanted to be a good wife and dote on him again like I used to etc.

Then, more lies again. The weird game about the e-mail. Just still being secretive. I refuse to live that way. So we will see where this goes. I DO NOT want my kids to be a product of divorce. I think that is SO SAD. Yet, I don't deserve to go through life always wondering what is going on, what is he doing, is he lying to me again about some silly little thing?? The thing that upsets me the most, is that he involved our kids in behaving the way he did when he was there. What a horrible thing to do. Jock is SO HURT and upset seeing his mother disrespected even more. *sigh*

So there you are. Stud is now back from riding on his motorcycle and we are off to shop for some things at Target. He told me it was fine for me to write how I feel on my blog. I wasn't sure if I was going to or not, but this is pretty huge and life altering.

Of course I will update you all. Thanks for listening and caring:)

Watch for some photos from their trip to SC shortly!

14 comments:

clairesgarden said...

oh Lowa I am so sorry
well, that sounds totally stressful, you should not have to spend your life 'walking on eggshells' and crap as it can seem it can be better for kids to have one happy parent than two who are not getting on. it would be good though if you can both work things out but it seems like you have tried that.

Lowa said...

Claire- Thanks for your words of encouragement. Yes, I have been trying for years. Beating my head against a wall is how it has felt for the most part. The more I think about the whole thing, the more weepy and upset I get. I just can't fathom why I deserve to be treated this way. Can't figure out what I ever did to him. I am not perfect and can be a pain to live with, of that I am certain and willing to admit. But I would never treat him this way, you know?? I have stayed here for years, trying to work it out for the kids' sake. BEGGING him to talk to me and include me in his world, treat me nicely, please not laugh at and belittle me, escpecially in front of the children. But it continued and now suddenly, he is the one who wants out?? *sigh* It really sucks to right now.

I need to catch up on your blog, I am behind on commenting and enjoying it!

sydwynd said...

Boy, that's a lot of stuff! Two things really stuck out for me. The first is when you said he was being disrepectful to you. That says it all and then some. My wife and I have been through a lot of crap over the years, and have dealt with many of the issues you mentioned. But I would NEVER sleep in a room with another woman under any circumstance. Out of respect for my wife.

The second thing was that he said it was ok to talk about your feelings on your blog. Why do you need his permission? My wife understands my blog is my place to say what I like. Again, out of respect for her there are some things I would never put there.

I feel for you. You deserver to be treated better than you are.

Lowa said...

Thanks, Vince. That is the thing, he acts like sleeping in the same room was no big deal at all. I am not impressed with her allowing it either. There was no need for that at all, not to mention children being around and it hurting their feelings.

As far as writing in my blog, I would likely do it regardless of what he said. I just wanted to let him know, since he reads it. I don't keep things from him, and wanted him to know he may read about it one day soon when he was checking my blog. Didn't mean to imply I wanted his permission. Although, admittedly, if he had asked me not to, I would have considered not doing it. Out of respect for him, ya know. But I figured, he made the choices he had made, I didn't do anything. Ya know??

We have some tapes from our church that I am trying to get him to listen to. But he is resisting it big time. Satan has a strong hold on him. Even after all the things he has said and done over the years, I still never expected behaviour like this. I am still in shock that he would do this to me and his precious innocent children.

Jude said...

The sleeping arrangements were downright disrespectful and cruel. To you AND the kids. I truly hope that no matter where it goes from here, you will find peace and inner happiness hon. God bless you.

Lowa said...

Jude- You are so sweet:) I know I will find peace, it is my kids I am most worried about. As I said, the idea of being free is very enticing. However, when we took those vows, I thought it meant something. He is now wanting to be single again. Then why did he get married in the first place??

Aren't you glad you live in the 10th happiest country on the planet?? Lord, I would give almost anything to be up there again...:(

l said...

I'm stunned that a parent could be so selfish as to behave so inappropriately in front of his children. The banner he waves that reads "but we didn't sleep in the same bed"? That doesn't mean crap. That's the liar's last line of defense - the technicality. Being upfront and honest isn't about technicalities.

What was hardest to read, though, is that he's so disrespectful to you that even your 11 year old child can see and articulate how poorly his father treats him. And that he can notice the difference in the way he treated M and realize that wasn't right and be upset about it.

I have a lot more to say on this, Lowa, but everyone's situation is different and I'm really not a model for marriage. But I can honestly say I've had the same views before I was ever married. If you want to know how I feel about this post, I'll tell you.

You deserve a lot better treatment than this. And not because you're a good mother or devoted wife or great friend to have. You deserve it because that's the minimum expectation that should be met in a good marriage.

Lowa said...

L- I am telling you, he is the model of selfishness. He will admit it. I am sure as he reads this later, he won't even be upset. He knows it is all fact.

In February, he left Clown and Princess with friends in Spokane during Jock's hockey tournament. He stayed at a hotel,instead of the friends' house like we had all done the year before. I had suggested that so that Jock could be with his friends and not miss out on the pillow fights and pizza parties. I was home here with Brain, who had just had surgery. He left Clown hardly breathing at the friends' without his asthma meds. He was aware that Clown was stuggling, the friends were concerned. He shut his cell phone off and went drinking in the hotel. Left Jock to run loose in the hotel, very scared. The friends called me panicking and ended up taking Clown to the ER. I had called Stud a few hours earlier and asked him to go to their house and help with his son. He yelled at me and was very annoyed that I had interrupted his steak dinner at a restaurant. I begged and pleaded, please leave the dinner and go to help your son. He refused and I hung up on him. He still, to this day, does not understand why I was upset. He has bought vehicles without telling me, refused to buy the boys' asthma meds (they all three have asthma) one time because something for his motorcycle was more important to him, so that was where the money went.

I know, it is so sad that the kids see this. Brain started counseling a year ago. I thought he was having panic attacks. Turns out part of it was stress from the lack of relationship he has with his father.

"You deserve it because that's the minimum expectation that should be met in a good marriage." This says it all in a nutshell. I could not agree more. I have NO CLUE why he can justify how he treats us. Thanks for listening, and say anything you want to say on the topic! I am not going to hold back and guard my tongue anymore like I have been.

l said...

Don't be grateful that he admits that he's selfish. Being able to admit one's own selfishness is not in any way redemptive. Only if he takes action to change this about himself is admitting it worth anything.

Lowa said...

Very good point. The selfishness has always hurt, for sure. The thing that gets me the most is the lying. Why does he feel the need?? To be all sneaky and deceptive?? I would be a nervous wreck trying to keep up with all the lies, if I were him.

When he was at that tournament in Spokane?? He called at one point to let me know all about a game they had just played. I wanted to hear of course. After five minutes of telling me, he stopped talking. I was happy to hear him as excited as he was and glad that he was talking to me, I always enjoy that when it happens. I waited for him to ask how Brain was. It never happened. Finally I asked, "Do you want to know how your son is?? You remember, the one who just got out of the hospital yesterday??" He did not even bring the kids to see their brother in the hospital the day of his surgery. The kids and Brain were so sad and upset. It was more important for him to take Jock to one of his hockey practises and leave the other kids with friends, than skip ONE practise and come and see Brain.

One more example of his priorities. This is what the kids and I have been dealing with for years, but somehow, in his mind *I* am the one in the wrong. The one neglecting HIM. I don't get it!

l said...

His son was struggling with his asthma and eating a steak dinner was more important to him? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? This goes beyond selfishness and far beyond irresponsibility. It's wreckless and with someone else's life. If child protective services had been called, he probably would have lost custody of the children, at least for a period of time.

Lowa, I hope you're hanging on to those feelings of relief you described initially feeling. Your initial gut reaction is the right one 90% of the time. Your eldest son is in counseling as a result of his father's behavior. Your other son called you, crying, over his father's inappropriate behavior THAT HE WITNESSED. I'm sure Princess is smart enough to pick up on the way Not-Such-A-Stud treats you and will model her future relationships on this. How can staying with this man be good for them?

What you describe doesn't sound to me like it has much value for you and the kids. Didn't he already say he wouldn't fight you for the kids? What does that say to you? "He wants to be a bachelor"? Fine. Let him have it and then when he's lonely and doesn't have a regular sex partner and no one to make hot meals for him, wash and fold his laundry, then what? He might move to SC to be with M, but she'll soon tire of this, too.

In the end, this is a highly personal choice that no one has a right to pass judgement on you for whatever path you choose. Everyone's situation is different and only the people in the relationship really know what's going on. But that's the thing: you have a CHOICE. You don't have to continue to succumb to this.

And I have to ammend my earlier statement: that's the minimum that should be met in ANY marriage, not just a good one.

I don't want to brow beat you over this. Know that this is my position, with what limited information I know about your situation. And that I will support whichever path you choose, because it's your will to make that choice. Only you know what's best for you and your kids. (Clearly NSD doesn't since he thinks eating a steak is more important than attending his asthma stricken child.) Sorry - I couldn't help it, this just infuriates me.

l said...

It sounds to me he regards the children as accessories rather than charges that he's jointly responsible for caring for. I know someone else like this and it makes me sick to see her sons clamoring for just a morsel of her attention.

Library Mama said...

Oh, Lowa, I'm home from Saskatoon, and I'm so sorry to read all of this. I feel like I should have been here for you. That's almost a little silly, really, as we don't even really know each other, but it's what I felt as I read this, all the same.

I wish I had words of wisdom for you but I don't. I'm pleased that your family has a counsellor you can trust, and I hope all of you are using that resource to its best advantage.

I will be praying for you and your family.

By the way, I don't think I ran into Princess and Brain at the Fringe Festival. I was watching! :-)

Oh - and yes, we've done Shakespeare on the Sask lots. In fact, the best man at our wedding had to miss our reception because he was acting in Shakespeare on the Sask!

Do take care. I'm thinking of you lots.

Lowa said...

Hi LM,

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. We have been talking and will hopefully sort everything out. He is very confused (and now his actions etc cause me to be incredibly confused) and I am wondering if it is in part, some manner of early mid-life crisis.

Glad you had a good time in good ole' S'toon! I have never done Shakespeare on the Sask, sadly. I sure do love to walk along that river though...ah...maybe I should have gone home?? LOL I think I will go up in the fall for a few days!