I Didn't Have To But I felt I should
I ended our Dd arrangement today. As I walked down the street in the pouring rain, it was the only thing that made sense to me. With every footstep I took, I heard the same words over and over again in my head. How could I ask my husband to change into someone he is not? How could I be so incredibly selfish? Yes we drifted apart, to room mates, but the emotional issues are mine. It is not his fault I'm locked up tighter than a drum. Well maybe together we got to this point, but the fact still remains, to be an HOH would require him to be someone he is not. The words I kept hearing- " This guy, is not the guy you married".
Perhaps I should back this up to the beginning. Last night I wrote Barney a letter, (yes Wilma and her letters). I tried oh so hard to be respectful. I tried to use " I " statements not "you" statements like we were taught in our marriage prep. course almost 2 decades ago. I knew the letter was not going to go over well. I tried to explain how I have been feeling this past week. I failed. Why?-because I didn't exactly know how I felt this week. Something was definitely off. This really wasn't about maintanance. Although I suppose it got me thinking, I'm learning this is not always a good thing.
Barney read his letter after a long night at work, also so incredibly selfish of me not to wait until the morning. When he came to bed he stayed on his side for a good long while. Eventually he moved next to me, but only briefly. Then the Great Divide was definitely back.
This morning he wanted to talk to me, not specifically about the letter's contents, but it was clear he was upset. He was almost angry. He'll later tell me he was frustrated and angry with himself, but at the time I'm not so sure. Lots of things were said, mostly about himself, nothing really about me. Just how he wanted to give me what I needed. He wasn't sure how to change, because, " This guy you seem to need is not the guy you married". He told me he wants to change- for me, for us, because that is what I need.
After he was done, I left to go upstairs. I honestly did not have ONE single thought in my head. I was crying, and yet I didn't know the reason.
" Don't you have anything to say?"
W- " No I honestly don't. Not right now"
B- " Okay, I can understand that"
I went into our bedroom, and closed the door, mostly from the dog, I told myself. I lay on our bed and sobbed.. Literally sobbed, and sobbed. I shook-sounds came out of me. Normally when that happens, I create a backdraft, and I imediately stop crying, today I didn't. Nor did I want to. Eventually Barney came in. I didn't turn to him, I tried to create my backdraft. To say I was semi-successful would be a great exaggeration. He rubbed my back and lay his hand on me. Today his hand felt like it weighed 100 lb. He handed me Kleenex. When my the fluids, that were seemingly leaking from every part of my face were threatening to drown me, I got up and went into the bathroom. I made sure to lock the door.
Things didn't get much better from there. I mean how could they? I was alone in my bathroom, sobbing uncontrollably feeling extremely guilty for so many reasons, but the over riding guilt feeling was that I couldn't let my husband console me. I went over to the toilet and began dry heaving...Of course, I then decided that the toilet should be cleaned, and Wall Building Wilma returned full force. I cleaned the walls-wiped down everything insight. The cleaner the bathroom became, the more my emotions were shoved down.
I soon left for my walk. I didn't plan on the walk. I just HAD to get out. Go. Run, ( emotionally, this girl does NOT run). By this point Barney had already phoned to say he wasn't coming to work today. This should have been the time I stayed. Even when we had 3 boys under the age of 5 and I had a migraine, Barney still wouldn't call into work to say he wasn't coming. He is on salary, but he doesn't like to leave anyone short.
It was during my crying walk-a-thon that I decided I couldn't ask him to do this anymore. To change. To be someone he is not. I knew I would have to decide this because he said he'd do anything for me. I could do this for him. I could try to be the happy wife on the inside that the world sees on the outside. Or maybe we could talk about how long we could pretend.- Initially, he said a few weeks ago that he didn't know we had a problem, maybe he'll forget- ( I know it was a stupid line of thinking).
After almost two hours, I returned home, drenched. I had brought an umbrella, but it did little good. When I walked through the door, I was met with a very concerned Barney.
" Why didn't you tell me you were going out? I was worried"
" I didn't plan on it. You didn't need to worry. I wasn't going to run away"( I know, not nice again)
I filled the tub and lay under the water. I stayed until the water became cold. Building and building my walls. Crying. Hoping the water would seep into my body because surely to God I was going to dehydrate from all this leaking from my eyes.
Wilma went back into putter mode. I took my food journal/log and placed it on the recycling pile. Barney picked it out.
" Why are you getting rid of this ?"
W- " Because I don't need it anymore. I can't ask you to do this. I can't ask you to change into someone else. I won't have you resent me for asking you to do this. We can go back to being blissfully indifferent."
As the afternoon went on I can't remember what was said verbatim, as I was so exhausted. The following conversation did take place but there was a
Barney; " I love you. You know that ? You are the most important thing in my life. I will do anything to make you happy. If that means changing I will"
W- " Well that's just stupid- CHANGING?" ( don't beat me up for that, you can't do a better job then I have already done) " A person who loves somebody should ASK them to change for them"
B " I want to have some of these changes in me. You were right a few weeks ago. I have ignored YOU. I didn't see all that you do for us. For me. I just did my own thing. We did live parallel lives. I don't want that anymore. I want to change. I meant what I said in your birthday card. A few weeks ago, I wouldn't have even given it much thought.
I don't want you to always have to be strong. I don't want to go back. I have loved these past few weeks. I love how we are BOTH changing.
You know when we first got married, your mom told me, ' You know it is not 50 %/ 50%. It is 100% and 100 %.' "
(Okay don't get made at me now, or further, but I burst out laughing at this)
--" Well my mother's version of 100% is not human"
B: ( chuckling) " No it is certainly not. But seriously, I haven't been giving my 100% for many years. THIS has made me realize that. I am going to do my best to do that from now on. It is not going to be easy, but I am going to try".
W: " So where to we go from here? I mean what can we do ? I think I need this to grow, and this makes you uncomfortable. So how do we change?"
B: " I am not sure I am ever going to be comfortable with this, but it is the best tool we have found so far. I want to try. You know, last night, most of the night I had different thoughts on how today was going to play out. One thought, that kept coming back was that I was going to take your hand, bring you upstairs and give you EXACTLY what you so obviously need- and I was going to do it MY way. You were going to have no say over what I used, or how I did it. "
Another round of laughter by both of us.
W" Oh yeah?"
B: " Yeah, but I'm not quite there yet."
W: (Sigh of relief)
W: " Alone. Lonely!"<- Believe it or not I was actually saying that with a happy tone in my voice. An AH HA moment if you will.
B:" What? "
W: " This is how I felt this week. I couldn't pinpoint that feeling until now. I felt so alone and so very, very lonely"
B: " Well I don't want you to ever feel that again"
W: " I don't feel it now. And I didn't KNOW that I felt it then. I just felt something. It was stifling me"
Then for the first time since our discussion in the morning, I felt relief. It might of had something to do with the Gravol ( Dramamine, whatever anyone else uses for upset stomachs that also causes drowsiness). We hugged and I almost fell asleep in his arms in the kitchen. I excused myself for a nap- which lasted over 2 hours.
When I woke up, I was feeling very...SUBMISSIVE. Piece of cake this Dd thing is.
( Why air out my dirty laundry in public? Because Newbies, this is NOT for the faint of heart, this Dd thing.)