I totally dropped this blog even though I had every intention of sharing here. This past spring/summer has been so emotionally draining that I had zero energy to invest in making things coherent. But I'd like to take a minute (or more) to summarize what's happened since ... say April? And to share where I see my life headed.
First things first, Sailorman and I are still together. If you read my regular blog you know that we had a camping trip together this August. But obviously it's been more complicated than just a trip.
In the middle of April the girl I dubbed "The Whore" (who I'm trying very hard to not call that), turned up pregnant. No one even mentioned that it might have been Sailorman's ... her boyfriend immediately took credit ... and I truly don't believe that it ever went that far with them. But because she got pregnant while deployed (a huge no-no), and because she definitely needed prenatal care, she was sent off the ship way early. A huge blessing for us. However, there were still aftereffects of her in our marriage, not to mention the other problems that were already there. It honestly didn't take long for Sailorman to start telling me once again that he loved me, but the blame of every problem in our marriage somehow lay with me in his head. He refused to acknowledge for a long time that he had played a part in where we stood as a couple. Eventually he began to see it as well, but we spent hours a day talking online and by the end we were always arguing because he was always having to explain to me why it really was my fault and I wasn't going to accept blame for every single problem. I was more than willing to admit that I played a role ... but it was an equal role in our current state until the other girl was brought into the picture. One day he finally recognized that he had done just as much as I had ... it was like it had suddenly dawned on him that hey, maybe he wasn't totally innocent. Whatever happened that day, he did apologize to me for several things he had done that had pushed me away.
There was still a ton of fighting. But in the end we both loved each other ... or at least still wanted to love each other. We worked hard to try to show each other exactly what we need. But when you have 9 years of experience that says that when you do x,y,z that your partner responds in a specific way, no matter what you're trying to tell yourself they're going to do, your automatic reflex is to expect your past experiences. The only way to learn that that's not true is to experience it anew. But that's not easy when you're on two separate sides of the world. I had hope, but I also was beginning to see the areas that had caused me to pull away from him emotionally much more clearly. I was starting to see why I had been hurting so badly. And it scared me to think that I would be a part of that my entire life. I was also beginning to realize exactly what it was that I needed, and not only was I worried that it would never happen but he was resentful that I was asking for those things to begin with. We obviously had a long long long way to go.
Eventually I decided to go and spend some times with both of our families. I felt like I had reached a breaking point where I HAD to get help caring for the kids, I HAD to have a small break of some sort, or else there would be nothing left of me to invest in my family and my marriage.
I traveled with The Girl, The Boy, and the dog that I may or may not have mentioned, across several states and first stayed a few days with Sailorman's parents. We spent a few days there and then drove another day to my family. I had two houses to chose between staying in each night. Both had pros and cons, so really it depended on my mood. I had a ton of help with the kids. They talked constantly about the great vacation they were having. And I kept trying to work on my marriage. But while I was there we had the worst weeks we'd had since he first told me he was in love with HER. It was terrible. And despite my promises to myself to wait to decide anything until October, I came very very close to submitting a resume to a local private school and just staying there. I don't think he knows exactly how close I was but I'm sure he must know that it crossed my mind. It was no longer about love at this point. I knew I still loved him. I was fairly certain he still loved me. Rather, it was about his attitude towards me, towards the kids, towards God, towards life in general. It was the way he talked to me. It was the inability to see any good any where. It was the lack of appreciation or concern for his family. It was the anger. It was his overwhelming need for me to take care of him and "keep him sane" when I knew that I was not called by God to play a savior role in his life. I kept praying that he'd realize that he was trying to pull me into a role that I had no business being in, one that if he allowed God back into that place that things would begin to heal, but instead he just grew more angry and more hostile. He swore he wasn't trying to push me away, but he was yelling at me on a regular basis for things I had no control over. I felt like our marriage was snowballing down the mountain and unless God put His hand on it and stopped it in its tracks, we were going to crash wide open on the rocks at the bottom.
Eventually it was time to come home as his ship would be coming home soon. I was scared, nervous, excited, hopeful, terrified.... Two days before my driving home we had a heart to heart that didn't relieve all those feelings, but it did help to ease them some. I cried. I think he cried. And I felt God's hand not stop the snowball, but at least start to slow it down. One more fight came ... over the planned vacation. We couldn't afford it. There was no way to do what we had planned out. Sailorman was furious. He was convinced that we didn't have the money because I hadn't cared enough about him to save the money. We couldn't go because I blew it on stupid things (like bills that needed to be paid). Or he would claim that I had purposefully planned for us to not be able to go to sabotage our only shot at making our marriage right again. I know that most of it was the depression talking, but I couldn't seem to find a way to convince him that even if we didn't get the trip we wanted, that we could still find a way to reconnect just the two of us -- even if it was just a few days at home without the kids. He wasn't buying it. At the last minute I reapplied for a loan that we had already been denied on ... we didn't get what we needed for the trip we wanted, but we did get approved for a portion of our application. We took that money (which we promptly paid off when his reenlistment check came in a few days after we got back), and decided to go camping, hiking, site-seeing, etc.
He came home. Homecoming was great. The kids were thrilled. His parents got to see him a day early and ride in on the ship with him. And I have never seen as big of a smile on his face other than our wedding day and the day The Girl was born as I did that morning. He was beaming as he hugged me and then the kids. He gave me flowers and told me he loved me.
Two days later the kids stayed with friends and we left for the mountains. While gone we also visited Cherokee, NC and Gatlinburg, TN. We spent 5 days in the mountains. Came home a day early to sleep in our own bed without the kids around. And in general we had fun. Only a couple of rough spots which we sorted out fairly quickly.
I'm still hurting. We still have a very long way to go. But we're both trying. We're working on being honest with each other. Telling each other exactly how we're feeling, and why. We're trying to stay connected throughout the day. It probably helps that he's really not been home long enough for the vacation feel of it to leave, but we should have that for a little while longer and I'm not anxious to give it up. As of today, no matter how badly I hurt, I'm no where close to wanting a divorce. I can't look at my kids and say that the pain I've been through wasn't worth finding a way to make my family work. Both kids adore him so completely that I can't imagine taking him out of their daily lives. And in the last few weeks he's getting to know them just as well. He's carving out time for them each day. He's playing with them and enjoying them much more. I wonder if he realized that one day he might not have the chance to play with them whenever he wants and if that's making a difference. Whatever caused the change, though, I like it and I know the kids love it.
We have agreed to see a counselor, although we don't agree one whether it should be a Christian counselor or not. But at least we've agreed to go to one. We're doing more together. We're committed to dating each other again. And I think we're headed in the right direction. There's still some snow left on that snowball that God slowed down and eventually stopped. The sun seems to be melting a lot of it away, but at the core there are still some big rocks that we're going to have to deal with or else we're going to be smashed along with them at the base of the mountain. But as we continue to work together, the issues are slowing shrinking. I pray that the goodness we're experiencing right now continues for a long while.