He Still Fucks Like a Champ: What to Remember When Overcoming the Threat of Divorce

Post divorce threat thinking works like this: Add one part compliment, to two parts humility, season with leftover anger, add a pinch of exhaustion, then let bake in a warm oven of forgiveness for an hour, or until you think his butt is cute again, whichever comes first. Then remove and let cool. Test doneness by stabbing repeatedly with a fork (metaphorically, though literally is quite tempting a thought as well), then, fuck all over that mother fucker.

What, you were expecting something else? What the hell attracted you people to your spouse in the first place, huh? It sure as fuck wasn’t the way he rhythmically snores in his sleep, that’s for damn sure.

When you have pushed your relationship to the utter limits and broken pretty much every damned dependable thing about it, you’re left sitting in the wreckage of your unfilled expectations. If you want to fix that marriage, you’re gonna have to sweep that wreckage out of the way and start over. Literally.

It’s all about falling in love all over again, which, whether the spiritual among us like it or not, involves mostly orgasms. Y’all attempting to repair what y’all done fucked up need to active some beast mode and go at it like he’s that kinda scary, dirty-in-a-good way dick with a man attached you sexualized the hell out of when you first met him.

Ladies, you have got to access that place where you just wanna chew on him. Once the smoke clears, you’re gonna open your eyes and see somebody who looks quite similar to the husband you thought you lost. And that’s a beautiful thing.

No amount of fuckin’ will ever fix anything, ever–except like your period for nine months or so– but it’s a start and that’s EXACTLY what you two need right now.

Go get busy.

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Nobody is yelling my name right now so I started thinking…

Thoughts. I haz them. Look:

  • When the baby sleeps in I don’t really understand what I’m supposed to do with my morning. I’m used to planning my activities with the weight of her on my hip in mind. This sleeping in crap has me sitting and waiting, wondering if I should go check her breathing. Again.
  • I made oatmeal for breakfast. Apparently on some subconscious level I wanted myself and the older two children getting in touch with the exact lengths of our colons today. Well, at least they’re both full after breakfast for once.
  • My kitten is attacking my TV. I document it on Instagram.
  • I should be doing things which are productive today, and I will, but I just remembered that the boba backpack isn’t in the house and I’m not going to be able to carry the baby with me while I work. Yay for my back, boo for my productivity.
  • The above doesn’t bother me too terrible much
  • Because I’m an honorable mention in the competition for World’s Okayest Mom
  • Speaking of Mom things, The Hubs and I finalized our peace treaty with some fuck-you-don’t-leave-me ass. I don’t really know how that segue is supposed to work. Consider the awkwardness you’re feeling a beautiful gift of my friendship. You are welcome.
  • And it was good ass, too. You’re extra welcome.
  • Being a parent for kids at these ages is a lot like living in a time warp. For example, today’s big tasks are to shampoo the carpets, mop the kitchen, and finish the laundry, Yesterday’s tasks were to shampoo the carpets, mop the kitchen, and finish the laundry. Tomorrow’s big tasks are to shampoo the carpets, mop the kitchen and finish the laundry.
  • It’s been this way every day that I can remember
  • Whenever my husband asks me what we have to get done today, I turn into Brain and say, “the same thing we do every day Pinky, try and take back our house”
  • It’s not worked so far.
  • I don’t think tomorrow is my day, either.
  • Have you ever picked your nose and apparently busted into a secret chamber of boogers that shouldn’t conceivably be there, like your sinuses are suddenly the TARDIS and you’re Harry Potter and your kids are thoroughly grossed out and confused in their sci-fi/fantasy references?
  • That happens to me at least once a day
  • My sister just had a nose job for a deviated septum, and that makes me question how related we are actually, since I could fit a fucking Buick up my nose.
  • And that was before I did all that Miami Snow in my 20s
  • Deviated septum. Pssh.
  • So my dog, the one who wouldn’t stop peeing my floor, had her anal glands expressed by the vet yesterday. The look of shock and betrayal on her face when it happened makes me wonder why PETA doesn’t protest vet’s offices for perpetuating a canine rape culture.
  • And don’t tell me that it’s a medical procedure for their own good that they couldn’t possibly understand. The same shit was said about involuntary electroshock therapy and lobotomies in the 20th century.
  • Bark means no!
  • Where’s the Tumblr SJW’s and why aren’t they already on this?
  • Damn, how is the baby still asleep?

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People who say they’ve never thought divorce was the only option are fucking liars.

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Modern marriage is easy to end. Modern marriage is expected to fail. The dissolution of the modern marriage is a socially acceptable reality that people have become so accustomed to that there is now an expectation afloat in the collective subconscious that every wedding is a divorce waiting to happen. Not getting divorced is now as weird and seemingly dysfunctional in the modern mind as getting divorced was back in the 1960’s.

In light of this new reality, I hold the firm opinion that anyone under the age of seventy who says they’ve never thought divorce was the only possible solution to their marital troubles, ever, is a fucking liar, and a raging asshole who probably eats kittens and spits on old ladies.

There. I said it.

You know you all were thinking it. And I fucking said it.

Divorce is the new marriage, man. We get together, we rub uglies until we make some people, and then we do the normal well-adjusted thing and break up to raise them. That’s how it’s done in America now.

Fighting to stay together when you’re 1000% done, is often treated like a kind of mental illness that can only be corrected with an inpatient visit and some Thorazine.

And this is wrong.

Anyone who has built something will tell you that lumber is useless if you never cut the logs. Lumps of iron don’t hold boards fast. Creation of the most positive variety still involves some level destruction.

In a marriage, the thing getting broken to bits is your individuality. You stop being a person and become a couple. You figure out how to function as if the thoughts and experiences of the person to which you are wed are just like your own. Quid pro quo thinking has no place here. There is no division of labor, or money, or effort. You two, working together, make it all possible.

The level of intimacy that marriage involves defies verbal explanation. Attempting to do so anyway will make one sound like a babbling mental patient. What is required is so specific to the couple in question that even well-informed advice from a wise trusted source will be utterly wrong more than it will be right.

Marriage is an exclusive union between two people. It is not a social event.

Whoever says otherwise is trying to sell you something.

My hubs and I have fought with each other like two wolverines stuck in an icebox for the past two weeks. We have both contemplated throwing in the towel, for our own sake, for each other, for the children. We have terrorized each other, scarred our children, scandalized our neighbors, and irrevocably altered the opinions held of us by some mutual acquaintances. Wherever the books and counselors have said not to go, we have not only gone, but have camped out for a few days.

He’s gotten in my face and put his hands on me.

I’ve gotten in his face and put my hands on him.

We’ve gone toe to toe in a battle of wills that has escalated to proportions so vast as to begrudgingly inspire awe in onlookers.

Because we are still here. Together.

I don’t know what tomorrow holds. I don’t. I know that my pride is a weapon of deadly accuracy or cruel blunted force depending on my whims. I know that for every injury he’s given me, I have made him pay for it in pounds of flesh. I know that when someone should have been the mature responsible adult and backed off, I have screamed, “one, two, three, not it!” before kicking him in the balls. I know that it’s not just him who has the problem, it’s also me who has the problem.

When the dust settles, something amazing will be standing where all this destruction has occurred. This is the way of all things.

Marriage is like playing chicken with you and him against the expectations of the entire world. Even if you don’t flinch, you’re gonna fuckin’ think about it.

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Dinner tonight: I Give Up Casserole. Make it yourself by following these easy steps.

Adult life is hard. You grow up, get married, get shitty with each other, and contemplate divorce. If you’re lucky, you just contemplate. Or Unlucky. I guess it’s a matter of perspective. Anyway. Life may be hard, but with just the tiniest bit of quiet desperation, some ingeniuty, and that sinking feeling of hopelessness you’ve got dragging you down into a seething pit of despair, you too can throw some magical together in the kitchen. igiveup

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the random shit I just threw together. I call it I Give Up Casserole, and with any luck, it will be edible:

  1. Peel and dice a bunch of potatoes. Crying optional. There are knives involved and all.
  2. Throw some oil in a pan, add frozen chicken. Question life choices.
  3. Season with salt, pepper, rosemary, and all the excuses you’ve heard today.
  4. Decide to cook in one pan only after the fact, since he never replaced all the baking and casserole dishes he’s just thrown the fuck out over the years and you’ve really got no choice anyway.
  5. Remove half cooked chicken, put diced potatoes in pan, place chicken on top of potatoes.
  6. Add a can of Rotel because there’s only one left in the cabinet and you might as well use it here.
  7. Top with two cans condensed cream of mushroom soup.
  8. Feel bad about canned soup. Alleviate guilt by t’rowing some frozen northwest veggies on top of that shit. Think longingly about the West Coast.
  9. Splash on some milk because calcium.
  10. Top with the reminder of cheese in entire fridge which at this point is like, a half a cup, maybe.

Place lid on pan/pot/whatever and bake for I dunno, an hour, at like, 350°F, or at whatever time and temp you are reasonably sure won’t lead to giving everyone who eats it salmonella. Unless that’s what you want to do.

I’m going to follow this up with a warm bath where I’ll want desperately to cry but will be too numb to do so, punctuated with the interruptions of my children when they barge in to tell me they are simultaneously starving and will not eat anything I’m cooking.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

I’m afraid that the only way I’m going to get any consistency out of him is by acting like I’m ready to pack a bag and leave at any time. When I show affection, or support, or act like I don’t hate him (because I don’t) he’s unraveled inside 24 hours.

It’s fucking pathetic and I’m disgusted.

If I am not prepared to spend every moment around him being enraged, he goes right back to eating his own vomit.

Yesterday we came home from the park with me feeling hopeful, like this might actually work out.

He was gone at work for five hours and came home obviously struggling. Like he was about to start bawling at any moment.

And he continued running me over when I talked, cutting me off to correct me, arguing with me about what needs to get done, and why, and when.

He managed to stop being a roadblock long enough to let me wash the children by myself, and it was the first bath I have ever given the children alone since any of them have been alive. Normally he’s always there, repeatedly offering to help until I say I could do with his help, then resenting me for “needing his help”, or he’s just assuming it’s his job, blustering through it at high-speed and anger while I try to poke my head in.

A normal day is him controlling, arguing, snapping, bitching, resenting, and thinking the worst of everyone around him. That’s normal.

He breaks from normal and life is beautiful flowers and golden fucking sunrises.

It’s not normal that this is normal.

This morning the dog pissed and shit in my children’s’ room. Again. She somehow made it through three (THREE) locked baby gates when she heard his first alarm go off to come upstairs and do it.

Since every co-sleeping night-nursing breastfeeding mother is the lightest sleeper in the world, I was awake the second his first alarm went off along with the baby, so wanted boobs to go back to sleep. I said good morning to him, gently, and watched as he hit snooze.

Then the dog was suddenly and magically in our bed. She didn’t make a sound. I don’t know how she did it. There was no thumping, no clanging, no scrabbling noises. Nothing. Apparently she took a second while levitating up the stairwell to shit in my house.

I tried to talk to him about this. After he was up and out of the bedroom, I went downstairs and I fucking tried.

I shared my feelings

I talked about my frustration.

I said I needed him to be more engaged with the dog, more attentive, so we can provide what she needs successfully. I specifically pointed out what I thought would have helped: getting up with his first alarm immediately so she didn’t have a chance to pull her Houdini bullshit to crap on my floor.

That’s when he threw out the red herring.

“I closed all three gates behind me last night when I came to bed, I don’t know how she did that”

And my stupid fucking ass…. I fucking took the bait.

“Chevy, baby, I was walking around behind you closing the gates you weren’t noticing you left open all day yesterday.”

Now it’s not about helping with the dog, now it’s about me “watching” him. It’s about me “not trusting” him, it’t about how I think he’s a liar and an idiot who can’t do anything.

He left. The fucking. Building.

I saw it. His eyes glasses over and his posture became more like an animal. When he’s afraid his entire face changes and he literally stops looking like himself. Suddenly his chin is weak, his cheeks are fat, his eyes are swollen and sunken underneath a lumpy disfigured brow. His voice raises pitch. His body language becomes furtive. I swear to god, the man even gets fatter.

And I shouldn’t have taken the bait. I saw it. I saw it the second my mouth opened. I identified the spikes piercing my foot the second I stepped on it.

I even tried to redirect.

No go.

Now I’m fighting a backwards battle where I’m trying to tactically retreat back to the point as he keeps harping over and over about how it’s not his fault, blah blah blah, blah blah, blah blah blah. Insert all the reasons cum excuses you can think of here. I’m still trying to be reasonable. I’m admitting I’m angry, I’m not calling him names, I’m not being sarcastic. I just. Want him. To calm. The fuck. Down.

Then, my son waltzes down the stairs and into my kitchen making a big-ass production of yawning and being awake.

Ever see those cat videos where two cats are watching birds out a window together and something distracts or startles one of the cats and it turns and kicks the shit out of a third totally unrelated cat for no reason, just because it was already so emotionally frustrated?

I did that to my kid. I did that.

Out of nowhere I am raging at him to get upstairs, screaming, bellowing. He bursts into tears and cowers instead of fleeing and I just kept yelling at him. Then he bolts like he was shot from a bow up the stairs and out of sight.

Then my husband starts screaming at me, and I’m screaming at him.

And he’s five minutes late for work already.

By the end of it, he is literally shoving his nose into my face screaming at the top of his lungs some bullshit I never said, did, wanted, asked for, or demanded that he swears is true, and I’m right there screaming into his stupid fucking face that I’ve never did anything of the sort.

Slam! He’s out the door, rushing off to work.

And me? I get to sob for ten seconds before I have to pull myself together and apologize to my kids. I’ve gotten bizarrely good at cleaning up emotional wreckage. Either that, or they’re so scarred by it that it doesn’t phase them anymore. They have grown tolerant of what I find so intolerable.

I am so numb to myself that I am growing incrementally numb to everyone else around me.

Then he texts. It’s an apology. I was right all along, he says. I guess that means I won.

Yay.

Stone Harvest

Ironhonkey has turned the most difficult corner and has accepted that he’s got a problem. Since seeing it, he hasn’t turned back. I’ve watched him struggle with himself, and sometimes the weakness gets in a good shot or two, but he doesn’t fall down and lay down.

The details are unimportant. What matters is he’s owning himself. There’s no metaphorical “struggle”, no “fight with demons”, no “bad habits”; he is paying attention to his actions, his thoughts, his words.

Owning it.

Sure, he’s slipped up. Everyone slips up. Slipping up is the epitome of the human condition. But, finally, and without fanfare, there are no excuses.

Keep on, Baby.

Periods and Semi-colons

reconciliationWhen a relationship gets stuck in a rut looking at the problems from a new and different perspective is a must. There isn’t a shrink or counselor who would say otherwise. When I put divorce on the table as a serious course of action and began planning for it, I unwittingly changed my entire perspective on my marriage. I saw the both of us in new light. Planning out how to best leave my husband and take care of my children showed me strengths I had forgotten I had. Options I had overlooked. Skills I had underutilized. From there, it was a short step to viewing him differently. When I did, it was like a camera snapping into focus.

We broke through the old ways. There is no going back.

We are not done until we are dead.

The words from here on out are not mine to speak. The great revelations going forward are not mine to have. I will do my best to encourage him to write; to speak about the darkness and the light. I will fight for him, with him, against his demons. So long as he fights against his worst impulses, I will fight alongside him.

The difference between a divorce and a reconciliation is the difference between a period and a semi-colon; I am overly fond of semi-colons.

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