“If I only had a heart. I’d be tender — I’d be gentle…” ~ The Tin Man, Wizard of Oz
It’s funny how sometimes men can be so damn clueless about things. My husband actually managed to put the final nail in the coffin of our marriage and helped me to stop feeling such crushing guilt, and yet he has returned to the Land of Denial without any idea of what he has done.
I thought we were in the Land of Acceptance last week. Then he began to creep back into the Land of Denial by talking constantly and calling me Honey and being pouty when I said or did something, or didn’t say or do something, and generally not noticing that I seemed to be sinking quickly into a miserable, depressed state. I haven’t been eating or sleeping much, and I certainly don’t talk like I used to. And he assumes it’s because of my deadlines at work, and then tells me how very busy he is too! Thanks for noticing and making it all about you!
I stressed myself out all weekend hoping that he wouldn’t get me anything for Valentine’s Day. I knew I wouldn’t have to get him anything, and I didn’t plan to, for Valentine’s Day is a “woman’s holiday” and he never wants to be fussed over. But in my mind we are not a couple anymore, why would I give him false hopes that we are by getting him anything?
So he was away Sunday morning at a tournament with our daughter. When he got home and she ran off to her room he informed me that he got me a card and he didn’t want me to get “worked up by it.” I said, “Oh. Well I didn’t expect that.” He very rudely said, “I got you a card Flutter45!” and mumbled something that sounded like “to look good for the kids.” As if they care if he got me a card or not!!!! Oh I forgot they have no idea that we are not the loving, affectionate parents we have (not) always been, that they can’t tell something is majorly wrong with us. Turns out he decided to put the card on my pillow, so I am not sure what the point was of reminding me that we are putting on a happy, loving face for our children when we aren’t.
Monday he emailed me at work and asked if I liked the presents the kids got me. I said yes, thank you for helping them. He replied, “Well he has a heart.” I replied, “Oh, thanks for implying I don’t.” He has never said anything further about it….and that’s how he is, everything just flows off his back and he gets over it. But that hurt me. And then it angered me because I have asked him several times to not email me at work to have these kinds of discussions and he continues to, and because he thinks it’s ok to say stuff like that to me…when that is the main reason why I don’t want to stay with him, because he doesn’t listen or care! What a perfect example of how little he considers my feelings or listens to me.
This whole unraveling of our marriage has been on his terms, and yet I had guilt because I was so silly to think I was trying to be tender and gentle with his heart even though my own was breaking too. December 23 he decides to ask me if I am getting too friendly with someone on Facebook and I thought that we should wait to really discuss until after the holidays so the kids wouldn’t be upset. He moped around and the holidays sucked yet I pretended all was well. January 1 I spent the night alone to think and cry and breathe and the minute I am back in the house on the 2nd, he demands to know what I decided about us. Even though I said I didn’t want to talk because we had to go to a game for our son and didn’t want to make it awkward, he made me tell him what I decided. I thought I was being kind by putting off the conversations until after whatever the kids were doing, or until his deadlines were over, or until whatever was best for him. I thought I was being kind by going to therapy, and agreeing to stay with him until he felt he could “let me move on.”
Even years ago I thought I had a heart when I had been home alone with a sick baby for several days and he ran off to a basketball game and I just complained in my journal since he had been busy at work, I felt bad being angry at him. Or when I wanted to spend “quality time” with him and he told me he was watching something just then, I thought I was being kind when I said oh, ok another time then and went back upstairs and quietly cried myself to sleep. I thought I was being kind when I tried to show him I loved him and ignored it when he said hurtful things about the “little knickknacks” or complained about how wrong for him the gifts were.
So just like that, I realized that if he doesn’t think I have a heart, why do I need to keep caring how he feels about what I say and do, and why do I need to feel guilty about wanting to leave? I realized I don’t need to anymore. And if that makes me heartless, oh well.