It’s been one week since we had to put down our oldest dog. She was my husband’s dog. His first baby. She had many health problems. She had a strong heart though and it was all that was keeping her alive. It pained us all to make her go but it was time. I let my husband deal with this how ever he saw fit. I never once interfered with his decisions on what to do with her and when. He’s Mr. Tough Guy, you know? Real men don’t cry. It’s just a dog and she’s old…. But he hurt on the inside. I knew it. He didn’t have to say it. He was devastated that she would be no longer here with us.
It’s “lunch with a loved one” at my daughter’s school. She gets to pick anyone she wants to come have lunch with her on Valentine’s Day. She choose her Daddy. She was over the moon with excitement when she learned he was available. So was his. He was excited to be chosen by his daughter.
It’s Saturday. I have nothing planned for our family time. I have nothing planned for dinner. The house is an absolute wreak. Nothing was done all week. Nothing. I have a funeral to attend. I’m sad for the family. Young girls left without their father. The big, strong, dependable support system that they grew up with lost his battle with cancer. Stupid, no good, rotten cancer won again. He was a great man. Who will walk them down the aisle? That’s your Daddy’s job…. right?
It’s still Saturday. Funeral was over. Sadness lifted. Everything was still a disaster. I’m emotionally drained. I had a very busy week. I can no longer tolerate the kids whining. I can no longer tolerate the kids leaving a damn trail every where they go. I can no longer look at my husband and tell him I’m happy. I can no longer think that I am enough for him. Stuck. Stuck in the damn mud.
He sees my depression. He asks about it. My response is nothing more than I have a lot going on in my head. Entirely 100% true. I can’t decide if I’m still upset with him for placing me behind his work wife. I can’t decide how I can tell him I need a break. I need a break from my house, my kids, my husband. Everything. I want to be alone.
A few hours later I find myself shopping. Alone. It’s blissful. I call a friend who happens to be available for dinner and we hit up a new Mexican place. I think about drowning myself in a giant margarita.
The conversation immediately turns to my relationship, which she knows is on the rocks. I realize I’ve painted a picture of a monster when I would talk about him. A very scary monster. One who only cares about himself and not others. I now have a cheering section for getting a divorce. This is not what I want. I realize just about everyone who I talk to about this thinks he’s this awful creature that cares nothing for me and his family. He is a self centered career man who sees money as power. I realize none of these people are thinking objectively about this and only see me hurting and want to help. They see me struggling and instantly think that all to blame is him.
I let my friend say her piece because she is a good friend and is only trying to help me. After she’s done I let her in on my world of why I do what I do. It’s a complicated world to those who don’t know how to see things from a different angle. She gets it. She started seeing things from a slightly different angle. I’m not sure she agreed with what she saw but it started opening a door that wasn’t available to be opened before.
I think we all have the same struggles in our relationships. We all argue about the same stuff. It’s who we are and how we process those arguments that makes it different. She, too, said her and her husband have the same challenges. The majority of it starts with the kids. Their own relationship is next. They have their own way of getting through it. She thinks her husband doesn’t do enough with the kids and house work and asks him every night to do it. I think the same thing however I can’t bring myself to ask him every night to be a dad and a husband. I, personally, think he needs to do this on his own. I’ve made it known what my expectations are, but at 38 years of age, I think he can make his own decisions on what he thinks he needs to do.
That said, I fear my friends now hate my husband. I don’t want them to. I want them to see us as a normal couple that struggles through communication and finding the balance of work/family/love. I want to be able to do things with them and our kids without them feeling like they can’t stand him.
The next few weeks will be spent telling them what he is doing right. And thankfully it won’t be a lie just to keep the peace. He really is trying to fit in with us. He just doesn’t always know how.