I am living in my marital home with a man, with whom I am not in a marital relationship.
There, the one true thing I know about my new life.
Three days ago I thought I was living in a family, myself and my loving husband Attila. Attila lived up to his name, slaying our relationship with one sentence, “I should move out.” He didn’t though, this second utterance of December, of the same sentence, was followed by the suggestion that he stay in the home, provide me with the necessities of life, and carry out his life as a single person, with no intention of maintaining a marital relationship with me. Our family of two is no more.
My universe this morning, at 4:46 a.m., the very first day of 2018, is unrecognizable to me. The only thing I am sure of is the first statement above, and the blanket around my shoulders on this frigid and frosty morning.
After not having slept since last Friday night, last night, Sunday night, New Year’s Eve, my body finally collapsed into an exhausted slumber. Feeling physically ill, I lay down my head at 8:46 p.m. last night, and awoke this morning around 4:00 a.m. Lying awake the above statement formed in my head, it was the only thought that I could rely on, the only true thing I know about my life at the moment.
The blanket has become the one true thing in my physical world. It is the blanket I completed this fall, crocheted while safe in a world I thought I knew and understood. As Attila dismantled our life, the loss and shock chilled me to the bone, so I sought the blanket and huddled under it all of Saturday night, that long all-night conversation that altered the universe. I have had the blanket wrapped around me off and on ever since, slept under it last night, and am wearing it around my shoulders this morning. It is thick and warm and reminds me that I can create warm beautiful things, with my own hands. It reminds that one stitch at a time, warmth and shelter can be created, over time, stitch by stitch. I need to keep in touch with that knowledge now, more than ever before in my life. It reminds me of the title of this journal, Page By Page. So here I am, entering the New Year as a senior citizen, who faces creating a new life on a tiny government pension, stitch by stitch, and page by page. God help me.
So begins 2018. What this year will bring I do not know.
EXTREME COLD WARNING IN EFFECT
Date: 4:00 AM EST Monday 1 January 2018
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 103.1 kPa
Dew point: -32.6°C
Wind: WNW 6 km/h
Wind Chill: -36
“The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.”
484 BC – 406 BC
I’ve been also thinking of your blanket and the new significance of it. And have you begun your new blanket yet? Stitch by stitch, day by day, page by page, you will traverse this life challenge, Maggie, and come through the other end – if not happier, then stronger. It’s cliche maybe to say it, but our adversities make us stronger. A tree that never bends over in the wind, does not grow strong and can break. You are and will be strong. It’s just that this strength is not especially comforting while you are in the middle of this journey. I do remember my own journey of a marriage break-up and I cried for so many days that I could hardly see out of my eyes they were so swollen shut! Love…to…YOU.
Bex, I am working on the second blanket, such a comfort project! Sleep has helped with the pain, the crying just erupts suddenly every once and a while, then subsides. I’ve had a few short periods where the pain of loss susided for a few minutes, more today than yesteray.
Thanks for the love Bex, needing it right now, and feels so good to get it! ((Hugs))
There’s a line from your previous entry which has been gnawing at my brain since I read it. “He says he doesn’t want to be responsible for anyone else’s happiness, that is too much of a burden for him.”
Last time I checked (and I’ve been reading your posts for quite a number of years now), you understand full well that we are each responsible for our own happiness or lack thereof. Certainly the words and actions of others can contribute or detract from our experience, but nobody else is powerful enough to be responsible for it.
Having had a few years of the spousal crazy (both before and after I packed him off to residential treatment), I’ll share with you a few of my mantras.
“I am a sane person living in a crazy situation, but that does not make me crazy.”
“Just because he said it, that doesn’t make it so.”
“I am entitled to do whatever I need to do to protect myself.”
“That is just drama and noise and I have don’t have to waste my time or energy responding to it.”
“I have friends who care about me and think I’m a worthwhile person, and they can’t *all* be wrong.”
Wendy, that particular concept, “not responsible for anyone else’s happiness”, is close to the heart of the matter. Your observaton is correct, I do understand I am responsible for my own happiness, and the burden that he feels is one he generates himself… this is something he is attempting to address, awkwardly, painfully, at my expense mostly. It needs to be addressed, but this is really hard!
I love the mantras, will keep them close, such very good advice!
Maggie, wise words escape me. Your last two entries have been devastating, and only a small view, I know, of the pain that you are suffering. You are right to determine that you will do this ‘stitch by stitch’, one moment at a time. That is the only possible progression of your life right now. I suspect that Attila will be very, very sorry he is doing this (some day), but that doesn’t help you now. You need to be strong, and start thinking about only yourself, and your immediate survival. You are doing the right thing to keep this journal…many people are sharing this with you.
Maggie, I missed your last post and just read this one. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. But I must admit I have a burning anger building toward Attila. He’s playing with your emotions and creating an up and down roller coaster of emotions. He also seems to think he’s in total control of the situation, his life, and your life. Frankly, he’s being cruel.
I would strongly strongly encourage you to see a lawyer and find out what your legal rights are. You get a pension and Attila still works. So financially he’s in a better position. Don’t tell him you’re going to a lawyer, just please do it. I can’t imagine that you wouldn’t be eligible for ongoing spousal support. Attila may think he’s being “kind” by offering to pay for the necessities of life. But a court judgement would require him to do so by decree and forbid him from backing out. He seems driven by whim. He’s textbook mid-life crisis.
Also, if you can stand it, let him stay there and pay the expenses while you consult a lawyer and consider your options. At the same time, think about your Plan B, whatever it is. Consult with your Mom and your children. Do you have the option of living with them, if necessary, at least short-term? I would not trust his statements about voluntary support because he could easily change his mind.
Please don’t give in to the urge to agree to any of his future proposals in order to end it quickly. You have power in this, although it may not seem like it, You just need to understand your legal rights as his spouse.
I’m sorry for this lengthy post. I’m just livid at Attila and how he’s playing with you like a cat plays with a mouse. If I were there, I think I would smack him and give him a piece of my mind!
I’m glad you have the lovely blanket that you made with your own hands and that it gives you warmth. I hope you can also feel the warmth and support of your friends who love you.
Diane, I am suffering, with short spaces of relief today, which I did not enjoy yesterday, so another day down, another accomplishment. I believe Attila will be very sorry for this decision he has made, in the meantime he is spending as much time as I ask talking about what is going on, answering questions, and generally trying to be as decent as possible through this, he is witnessing my pain, not avoiding it, which makes this transition phase easier for me.
The comments on this journal are so very important for me, connecting me with the forces of kindness and sanity. Thank you!
What everyone else said! So much love to you! May you know you’re loved and may your creativity be a comfort to you!
Sandy, that is Attila’s plan, to remain living here, amicably as friends, supporting me. It could work. It might not work. I do have a plan b, and c, and d. I have looked into spousal support and legal separation, and am ready to proceed with those kinds of things if the need arises. Attila has always honoured his financial agreements with the women in his life, but I am aware that there is a first time for everything.
As for the roller coaster, he is on it himself, and as his now psuedo-spouse I am along for the ride. He is more floundering than playing with my emotions, he is feeling his way through his own emotions, making mistakes, trying to correct them; I suffer as a result. I must note here that he is making himself available to talk with me whenever I want to, night or day, and is being domestically very considerate.
As for ending it quickly, I am in for the long game with this. Slow and steady and well prepared when possible, weighing all the options at each juncture, watching for discrepancies, maintaining as much kindness and goodwill in our interactions as is humanly possible.
I appreciate all of your comments. Anger towards Attila is justified, and he knows it. I am not letting my anger anywhere near the situation, too volatile; I use my anger to fuel background research on my options, and legal realities.
I do feel your warmth and support Sandy, it is wonderful to know I have a context, people, outside of these four walls!
Joan, thank you so much for your support and encouragement, sending love south!
If I knew just what to say
I could talk all night and day
But I can’t seem to get the words arranged…
Big squeeze and kisses,
Steve Paul, thank you so much for that one!!!! I am crying reading it, can’t help it. It is so exactly appropriate right now. Hugs and kisses to you, dear friend!
Maggie, hugs and love. <3
I’m glad you got some sleep. Taking in information and weighing life require a sharp mind, and while Attila may be open to staying with you while he has trouble finding a place in the dead of winter I’m not so sure he’ll continue to feel that way when the world starts moving again in the spring.
For now, things will move slowly while frozen in winter’s grip, but as the world warms I think changes will be afoot. Trust in nothing but yourself, friends and family, and keep well-informed as to your situation.
We’re here for you. You’re not alone.
Teri, indeed the spring may see changes, who knows what kind, best be prepared.
“Trust in nothing but yourself, friends and family, and keep well-informed as to your situation.” Oh so true!
Thank you Teri, for being there.
I can’t add anything that hasn’t already been said. So instead, a little song.
If I had words to make a day for you,
I’d sing you a morning golden and true.
I would make this day last for all time,
And fill your nights deep in moonshine.
Birdie! That is lovely! I can come back and read this every time I need warmth.