Monday, October 26, 2009

The Ongoing Trial

Trialling living together:

I am in two minds at the moment as to which is worse: the financial struggle, lack of support and time for yourself by doing it on your own as a solo-mother - or having a husband that loses his temper/yells at you every day. Things being good between us does not last - it's like he can't sustain it and has to have a go at me after taking offense at some small thing I have done. After having to tackle almost all the housework on my own now because he gets in such a mood if I ask him to help, I wonder if I was better off when I was on my own!? The only things I don't do (because I can't with being 38wks pregnant and very swollen feet etc), get left for days, sometimes weeks on end. Dishes can sit on the bench for 4 days. The lawns are constantly overgrown. Things that needed doing before the baby was born that he has been saying for months that he would do - I finally just did myself yesterday. He seemed to help me more when he was not living here.

I also worry about bringing up a baby amongst this kind of conflict - I know the effect it had on me when I was growing up living in an environment like that. His counselling and our marriage counselling do not seem to help him to take responsibility for his temper - instead he blames me for it. I have spoken with an Anger Management programme and they say that all the men that come into their programme start of like that: blaming their partners/wives for the reason they lose their temper and taking no responsibility. So I guess that is exactly where he is at. Often by the end of the course a good chunk of the men have learnt to take responsibility for their temper. Because I'm so close to baby's due date, I figure he may as well stay now at least until baby's first few weeks of life - give things a chance to improve as well (but I don't hold much hope for that because apart from the baby's arrival, nothing internal would have changed much in my husband). If they don't improve, I"m going to ask him to attend that 5mth Anger Management programme - last time I brought it up he got angry and refused to go. But if he refuses, I might just call it quits. It was, after all, one of the conditions I made about him continuing to live here right from the start. It was one of my boundaries, and I need to stick to it because of the effect it has on me and the effect it will have on our baby. Already I am starting to blame myself for his temper, and I am not to blame. I might make mistakes or do things wrong, but I am not responsible for the way he reacts. I have to keep reminding myself of that and not let him mess with my mind like he used to.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Just over three weeks to go till baby's due date! It feels like forever!! I am getting impatient, sick of being at home but too big and uncomfortable to get out and about too much. Eagerly awaiting our little boy's arrival.

My husband moved in two weeks ago. The first 7-10 days were rocky. Arguments/conflict every day, to the point where we'd almost both given up on our marriage and were about to call it quits. I felt so exhausted from the conflict and didn't feel I had enough energy to keep working on it. But lately, things have settled into a kind of rhythm. Perhaps it was just adjusting to living with one another again or perhaps we are just going through a kind of reprieve. Or perhaps we are just more aware of one another's needs. We are both attending individual counselling, and we have started marriage counselling, which has been helpful already after just one session.

I am beginning to feel more hopeful, beginning to feel like we are starting to work again as a married couple - as a team - beginning to enjoy him and love him again. My footing doesn't feel secure, because I know that things could turn sour again, and that is difficult. But I don't live my life in anxiety with the "what if's".

In the meantime, I continue with my support groups, Al-anon and regularly connect with my friends. I feel more supported and less lonely, and more prepared for this baby's arrival. Al-Anon brings me a tremendous amount of peace, a reminder of what I need to work on, and genuinely caring people who have become a wonderful support to me despite my highs and lows.