Friday, February 24, 2012

Shared Child Care Responsibilities

You know, I've pretty much realized that FireMan is not going to take care of FireGirl on any sort of regular basis.

Oh, sure, maybe once a month he drops her off at preschool, and maybe once every couple of weeks he'll get her dressed in the morning, or the other rare gesture (all of which he apparently deserves extra recognition & gratitude for), but as for actually sharing the parental duties... nope.

I get it.

It's one of the reasons that, as much as I want another child, I question whether or not I want another child with him. I know he hates when I use this phrase, but more often than not, when it comes to parenting, I feel like a single mom.

Whatever, right? I can't change him, this is my life, I deal with it.

What I am not dealing well with right now, is his comments.

Like the other night, when FireGirl was having a hard time going to bed, and it took me an hour-and-a-half to get her down, and he says "I know, it's been really hard"

I mean, really dumbshit? Really?!? You have the nerve to say that to me? As you sit there, eating the ice cream I brought you from the kitchen, and play computer games for an hour-and-a-half while your wife repeatedly gets up & tends to your distraught child, you never once volunteered to get up, help, or so much as, oh, I don't know, God forbid tell me how good I'm doing, how great I am with her, offer any kind of encouraging word... you can't even do that teeny tiny bit to encourage me while I'm struggling with this, and you have the nerve to make comments as if it's our struggle?


And then tonight, you're at the firehouse, and I apologize to you for the multiple interruptions because FireGirl is again irritable and whiny, and I say that I'm frustrated because I can't get anything done, and you say "just part of having a kid".

Yea... for me! For you, what? Having to listen to me mention my struggle once in a while? Yeah... that must be tough, huh?

It's bad enough that I feel like I'm in this alone, but for you to make comments as if you're in it with me, when you're so clearly not?

Oh, grrrrrr!

You wanna talk like a dad, then act like one first. You wanna talk like you're co-parenting this child with me, then start parenting her first. Really doing it. Really sharing in the responsibility of raising a child, not just taking her on a fun daddy day once in a blue moon and calling it your share. No, really being there and taking on some of the regular responsibilities. Then... we'll talk.

Until then, just do what you do best: sit there surfing the net while keeping your damn mouth shut!

Friday, February 17, 2012


A few hours after my last post, I sent FireMan an email.

I just told him how much I missed him, how much I missed us, how I missed how we used to be, how I didn't know how we got to where we were now, but I so desperately wanted to get back to where we were.

I told him how even with everything that has gone on, I still choose him over everyone else, it's him I want to be with, talk to, share my life with.

Late that night, he called to tell me he got it. All he said was "I love you too", just like we always say it.

I know he's just not a very expressive person, and many men aren't, but... well, sometimes I don't know what he's thinking. Okay, most of the time.

I'm glad I wrote it. I'm glad I told him how I felt about him, about us.

But I'm not gonna lie, sometimes it's hard to put yourself out there time after time, pour your heart out over and over again, and get very little, if anything, in return.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Last night we went at it again.


Blah, blah, blah. He said the "wrong" thing, I responded the "wrong" way, he responded to me the "wrong"way, I countered the "wrong" way, rinse, repeat.

I put "wrong" in quotes because, well, at this point I can't even tell which one of us is actually wrong anymore or if we both are or if neither of us is.

I don't even know.

It's so ironic, in a horribly sad way.

I feel like I can't do anything right. I try to be a good wife, I really do. I try to do good things, to serve him well, to be kind to him, to do nice things for him, big & little - and it seems like they are either never enough, or they are just flat out wrong and instead of being something good it somehow ends up being bad. I don't even know how.

The irony of it? Sometimes I think he feels the same way. Like he tries, but I'm not happy either.

It's like we both just suck at this married thing.

I don't know. I just don't know what to do anymore. Everything just seems WRONG.

As a result... I spent a good chunk of this morning crying out to God, okay, yelling at God, asking Him why He won't save our marriage, why He won't show us what to do, force us to do it, whatever. He's God. We've both come to Him, He can do it, why won't He fix it? Why?

I don't know.

I'm sad.

Monday, February 13, 2012


Yes, this deserves all caps.


Because this has never happened.

We went out to dinner, and as we were leaving he picked up FireGirl's coat, then picked up my coat, then held it out and put it on me. You know, like a gentleman.

FireMan has been trying. And I can tell.

And it is very sweet. And it makes me smile.

His tone of voice is different toward me. Softer.

He has complimented me.

He has cleaned up dog urine (we're still housebreaking Chief), instead of just telling me where the spot is.

He told me I could buy a new outfit for our Valentine's Dance even after we found out it was semi-casual and I probably have plenty of things to wear.
I didn't find anything that spoke to me, so no new outfit, but that's not the point.

And he helped me with my coat last night.

I'm a little scared that this is all temporary and will last just long enough to get me off of the let's-go-to-counseling kick, but... I'm hopeful.

And that is a big deal.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Maybe my account is just really low. Maybe ???

When FireMan and I were dating, we attended a small group for married couples in the church we then-attended. In that small group, we were introduced to the idea of the Love Bank.

Since then, I've read & heard about the concept in several other areas.

The basic premise is that when someone does something that leaves you feeling good, they deposit in your account. When they do something that leaves you feeling bad, they withdraw from your account.
This is true in all relationships, but speaking maritally, couples that are headed for divorce usually have one or both parties with a balance near zero (or already negative).

Because I feel like that's a really bad explanation, and because I think this is a really interesting concept that I can see working in relationships around me (not just my marriage), I think it's important to understand. So I've linked to some other articles & posts about the concept below:

On the Concept of a Love Bank Account

The Love Bank - Simple Concept to Improve Relationships

Withdrawels from the Love Bank

How's Your Balance in the Love Bank?

Anyway, I've been thinking about this a lot lately, in relationship to FireMan & I.

Because the truth is, compared to the problems from our past, the latest is nothing. I mean really, really small compared to what we've already been through.

But I am just devastated. Miserable. Lost. Hopeless. Wondering if our marriage will ever make it.

And part of me feels bad, because I think FireMan is genuinely confused as to why these seemingly small offenses (in his words "I haven't done anything different") have resulted with me at the end of my rope.

And the Love Bank concept came to mind the other day, and I wondered if that were it.

Maybe, these recent issues made very small withdrawels. But my account was already at a very low balance from the very large withdrawels made over the past couple of years. Withdrawels that were never matched with equal or greater deposits.

There were deposits, sure, it's not like he didn't do anything right. But nothing that equalled, or even added up to, the amount of the withdrawels made.

So my starting balance was very low.

Subtract a few small withdrawels here recently, and... bam! In the words of an earlier post, the very words I spoke to FireMan... "I have nothing left"

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Did I Ruin It ??

I told FireMan I thought we should go to counseling. Like, together.

I was so scared to bring it up, and now that I've done it, I'm terrified. Did I ruin it? Did I seal the coffin?

See, FireMan has expressed before that he is not a fan of marriage counseling. His reason? He doesn't know anyone who has gone thru counseling and didn't still get a divorce. He said it doesn't work, and is basically the beginning of the end.

Similar to how it didn't work for his first marriage.

I believe him. Except I do know one couple who has gone thru counseling and is still married (three years later) and who reports that the counseling really helped them with their problems.

And that I think most couples who go to counseling usually wait too late, until one or both of them has already checked out of the marriage, and nothing but God's intervention will save them anyway.

But I think if you go before you get to that point, before you get to the end, that it can be a useful tool to help you work through some of your issues.

At least that's what I'm hoping.

So, if I was so scared, why did I bring it up in the first place?

Because I don't know what else to do.

I'm miserable.

I've always tried to be a good girlfriend and then wife to FireMan, I really have. I thought I was a good wife. But it was two years ago that it became known how terribly unhappy and unsatisfied he was in our marriage. And for the past two years I have busted my butt to save our marriage. I have worked to improve myself, to be a better person, but most importantly a better wife.

I have listened to what he said he needed & wanted in a spouse, and met those needs wherever I could.
If I were lacking in an area, I asked for help.

I have gone to counseling by myself. I have done self-help exercises. I have done homework. I have read numerous books. I have dove into the Scriptures. I have tried to engage him in discussions. I have booked us on vacations together. I have found babysitters so we could have date nights. More than anything else, I have prayed.

And now, two years later, nothing seems to have worked.

Are things better than they were before? Yes.

Are either of us happy (in our marriage)? No.

And I don't know why.

After our anniversary trip, things seemed so great for a little while. But I guess it was all a phase. Or a facade. Or whatever.

Because we're right back where we always were.

He just seems so terribly unhappy with me.

And the harder I try to be a good wife, the less it seems to matter.

He doesn't even seem to notice.

I have done things for him that have earned me comments of "Best Wife Ever" from the guys I work with when they found out. "Wish my wife would do something like that" My wife would never do that for me".

But my husband? Doesn't seem to notice, much less care.

Lately I feel more like a roommate than a wife. We split the bills, we attend family functions together. That's it.

Except when I had roommates we split the chores more evenly    :P    But that's a whole 'nother post, isn't it?

And now, two years later, almost to the day, I am out of ideas. I'm tapped out. I have nothing left.

The only idea I have, which we have not yet tried, is to go to counseling.

And so I asked him. A few days ago. He hasn't given me an answer yet.

I told him I am open to any other ideas he might have, but that I am out of ideas. I've done everything I know to do, this is it, this is my last idea. So it's up to him.

When I said it was up to him, he made a noise that I translated as "great, put all the pressure on me, and you're not gonna do anything"

So I told him to please, please don't take it like I'm giving up, and please don't take it like I'm expecting him to do all the work, it's just that over the past two years I've already done everything I know how, and it hasn't worked. I have nothing left. I'm not giving up, I'm not trying to put it all on him, it's just that this is the only idea I have left, and it won't work unless he goes to, so I have to ask him.

So now, as scared as I was to ask him, now I'm even more scared that he's gonna think about it and decide that me asking to go to counseling is the same as me giving up, and he's gonna just give up on me us in response.

So now I'm terrified. Scared that just by asking, I really ruined it all.

Why can't I fix this? Why am I failing as a wife? I don't understand...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dear Husband:

I need to know that you care as much about this marriage as I do.

I need to know that you are willing to fight as hard for this marriage as I have for the past two years.

We have our problems: yours, mine, and ours.

The blame for our situation, I am confident, does not lie with either one of us individually, but with both of us together.

And while for a brief moment I thought things were better, it's become apparent that that is simply not the case.

Maybe we just speak different languages. Maybe we just need an interpreter.

I need to see you fight for us, fight for our marriage, fight for our family, fight for me.

I don't mean for this to sound like I'm expecting you to do all the work, but the truth is that I've already done everything I know how to do. I've read the Bible, I've prayed, I've asked you what you needed from me, I've told you what I need from you, I've read multiple books about relationships & marriage, I've done what I knew how to do to be the best wife I know how, I've sought advice from trusted friends, I've seen a therapist, I've done "homework", I've flat out lied on the floor and sobbed to God to just please help us, and I booked us on our marriage weekend.

While each of those may have yielded minimal results, nothing has fixed the problem.

And now I'm out of ideas.

So I'm coming to you, my husband, and asking you for help in saving our marriage. What are your ideas? What can you do? What can we do?

I need you to want this as badly as I do. I need you to show me that you care about our marriage, about us, as much as I do. I need to see you doing the work, and I need to see you fighting for us.

Because I don't know how much fight I have left.

Love you, Always,
    Your Wife