And the Award goes to…

Me for being asshole of the month!

Sometimes I just can’t help it.  It happens so naturally.  The problem is when I’m an ass to my boys.  I get them every other week, which, when you break it down, 6 months out of the year.  That sucks.  So when I lose my shit on them, especially for a stupid reason, I regret it and continue to beat myself up for it for at least a day or two.  Hence this post.

So, my first nomination came when I went to pick up the boys for my week… I was excited to see them but was not happy that the MIL was dropping them off… so instead of giving my boys a big hug as they were walking up to me, I told them to go get their bags from her car.  “X” – Strike one

The second nomination came on the last night of their visit with me 2 wks ago… We had been staying up late watching movies or playing games all week… and the little one had really been acting up… so I told both of them that we would be going to bed on time that night… Holy crap!!  You would have thought I had cut off an arm or something the way they complained and whined.  And they wouldn’t stop!  I let them do this for about 5 mins and then I had enough!  I blew up on them.  I felt taken for granted, felt unappreciated… I felt like most single parents feel.  The problem was I blew up on them, and they didn’t deserve that.  “X” – Strike two

The clincher happened yesterday…  We had gone to a friends cabin for the weekend near Yosemite National Park… It was a total disconnect weekend.  No phones, no iPads, no TV/Movies or Video games.  Just board games, card games and books.  They complained a little at first, but not too bad.  The weekend went great!  Then it was time to clean up… that’s when it happened.  Whining about everything.  It was non-stop.  I was already a little stressed because I wanted to make sure I left my friends cabin in better shape than we found it…  and the final straw came when I asked for help to do one last walk through and they complained about that!  I went off the handle!  And not just a little.  I was in prime form.  I was still pissed when we got in the car and started the drive home.  After about 20 mins I had to pull over and apologize.

I think of the story with the father having the son hammer nails in a board, then pull out the nails and do it again and again.  The father explains to his son that every time he is angry, it’s like he’s hammering a nail in the board, and every time he apologizes it like pulling the nail out of the board.  The problem is that even though he apologized, there is damage done that can’t be undone, just like the nail hole.

So, with the damage I did this month, I am the UNDISPUTED winner…  Luckily my boys are loving and forgiving, and I hope that in the end I do more good than bad in being their dad.  Only time will tell.  I never asked to be a single dad… never thought I would be in this position… And I am doing the best I know how.  I am working with my counselor to be less reactive to prevent things like this from occurring again.

Good People do Bad Things

So lately I’ve been listening to Marriage Helper Radio and Dr. Joe Beam.  I REALLY wish I had found this resource sooner… oh well.  Anyway, there are a ton of articles and podcasts for people like me who wish to save their marriage and who are victims of infidelity.

Why do I bring this up?  Because I recently listened to a podcast of his title “Why should I stay married after my spouse’s affair”… and it hit home.  My wife is a good person who is doing the most horrible thing she could do.  But I still believe she is a good person deep down… I believe she will come to regret what she’s done to me and the boys… and I hope she will have the courage to ask for forgiveness and the strength to work through this mess so we can have the marriage we were always supposed to have and restore our family.

I saw her yesterday when I picked up the boys… she looked so beautiful.  She really hasn’t changed (in my eyes) from the girl I fell in love with 17 yrs ago.  We talked a little, but nothing serious.  Not the best interaction, but definitely not the worst we’ve had either.  She is starting to be a little more honest with me, which she hasn’t done since this all started last year April.  She volunteered info on her traveling so we could make better arrangements for the boys to go to her next week.  Normally she wouldn’t say anything or have her mom pick up the boys… so I see that as a positive.

I think the affair fog / limerent halo effect is starting to wear off… which is why she’s been more open to talking with me.  In the heat of all of this, all coms were through her mom or text… she wouldn’t even pick up the phone to discuss our kids.  It was a crazy time… glad that at least that part is over.

I know  that none of this means she’s coming home… but as the hopeless romantic that I have always been, it does give me hope.  I will always have that hope.  My friends and my counselor all think I’m crazy… I’m sure some of you do as well… But that’s why this is called Standing Man… I’m trying to stand for my marriage… how long I will continue to get up after getting knocked down is a mystery to me.  All I know is right now, I continue to stand back up.

Please continue to hope for my wife to wake up and be willing to come home.  Continue to hope for me to have the strength to continue to stand back up, and, if/when the opportunity comes, to have the strength to walk with her while we reconcile our marriage and family.

Changing focus

As far as weeks go, this last one may have been one of the best I’ve had with my boys since my wife left.  It started off with a road trip that should have taken 4 hrs, but turned into 6.  Now, I love to drive but I hate traffic… it stresses me out and I am probably one of the worst role-models for my kids in that state… I am one of those A-holes that swerves in and out trying to get one car ahead and then curses out the next guy that does it to me.

For some reason tho, that didn’t happen.  I just sat there comfortably and either listened to the radio singing the songs that played if it was one we especially liked or just sat quietly and accepted that no matter what I did, I could do nothing to change the situation.  Much like I recently did with my wife and marriage.

Did I hope for the traffic to open up?  Of course I did.  Was I putting life on hold and freaking out about it… no.  Funny how little life lessons can be turned into big life lessons without even realizing it.

Do I still want my wife back and restore my marriage and family?  Of course I do.  Do I have any control over her actions?  Of course I don’t.  Can I convince her to come back?  No.  Would I if I could… I don’t think so… Not anymore.  I’m not playing that game.  I’m open for her to come back.  I still love her just as much as the day we got married… even tho she has hurt me deeply.  But that doesn’t mean I will dance for her.   Those days are over.  Looking back over the last 16 months at what I’ve done for me and how I’ve changed… I bring a lot more to the table now than I did then.  I’ve put (for lack of a better word) systems in place that allow me to maintain the positive changes I’ve made not only with myself, but in my relationship and actions with my boys.  We are much more active now than we were before, and we seem to be enjoying each-others company more.

And the best part is that these “systems” could include my wife if she chooses to come home or be adaptable to whomever chooses to be in my life.  Or not.  They are only dependent on me.  Everyday I am getting more comfortable with me.  I still have a long way to go, but when I look back, I am pretty impressed with how far I’ve come.

 

 

Acceptance is Peaceful

Sorry for the silence.  This has been a rough couple of weeks.  From learning that she’s definitely moving out of state to be with him, to switching the visitation to every two weeks, to being all but written off by my in-laws…

I swear you would think I was the one that left her for someone else!

A friend showed me a FB post she had written, saying how hard yet fulfilling her life has been since she made the decision to leave and how, as fate would have it, brought this POS into her life and they are so in love and how she’s been able to reconnect with old frinds, yada yada…

The problem is that it is a her cover story.  She’s working so hard to convince everyone that she’s still telling the same lies she told me a year ago.  That really isn’t my point.

What is my point?   I have accepted where she is.  She is building this new relationship on lies and has convinced herself come hell or high-water that this is the right move.  That her relationship with our boys is better and healthier now than when we were a complete unit.  (Funny side note… the last 2 weeks she’s had with the boys have been stressful and full of back talk yet publicly she’ll say its better)

What does acceptance mean?  It means I know she’s not ready to come back.  I feel like I am no longer a co-dependent to her and her actions.  She’s a good person doing a really shitty thing to me and my boys, but that’s on her.  I am at peace responding to her divorce petition, though it is not what I want.  I will do what I have to do to make sure it is equitable, but I am no longer scared of it.  I am at peace with her lies… and even understand why she’s doing it (sort of), and I am at peace knowing I can’t protect her from the consequences of her decisions.  As much as I love her, I can’t stop this fall from happening.

So… does that mean I am no longer standing?  I don’t feel I’ve quit, but I don’t know if I’m still standing.  There is a part of me that still hopes for her to wake up.  There is still a part of me that loves her and want’s to protect her.  Honestly… that will probably always be there.

Maybe I should rename this blog to Kneeling Man