A sense of relief

As you probably know, we don’t usually post at the weekends, but we’ve had a special request from someone who wishes to write anonymously, but wants to link up to The Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO.

Things with my kids – challenges I mean, go up and down. But for the most part, they’ve been OK recently.
Things with my husband, well, now that’s a different story.

We’ve been happily married for a number of years, and we rarely argue, but that means that 100_2010when we do, it’s quite explosive because it’s the result of pent up feelings and emotions. All those little niggles get stored up, neatly deposited in a special box, waiting for the right moment to grow and change into ugly, spiteful, wretched negatives, ready to spew forth with vitriol.

That happened recently. And in front of our children I’m ashamed to say. Over something minor, but it turned into a huge horrid display, hours passing by with me and the children wondering if he was going to leave – which is what he’d promised.

No amount of pitiful begging from the children could make him agree to stay.
No amount of pitiful begging from me could make him agree to stay.
Almost a whole day was spent with us wondering (and not in a therapeutic Dan Hughes kinda way) whilst he made up his mind.

He stayed in the end. I’m not really sure why. I tried to talk to him, but he’s very much a closed book is my husband. He is difficult to read, even by me. He has difficulty verbalising his feelings – in fact, he’d say he doesn’t have any strong feelings about anything. That’s hard for me to live with, and hard for me to say, because now I’ve acknowledged it haven’t I?

Whenever we do argue, it always begins over one of the children, or our parenting, or his parenting, or how his work affects the children…always connected to the children. He says he’s a crap dad, that he can never parent them properly. He thinks he’s incapable of being therapeutic, and yes, I can see it’s hard for him because he lacks empathy. But, however he parents, the children love him and so do I. (And whether he says or shows it, I do know that he loves us all too).

When he said he was staying, it should have felt like a sense of relief.
He said he was staying, but it felt like there should have been a little bit more to the sentence. “This time” – that’s what’s missing, and that’s what has played on my mind ever since. What about “next time”?.

4 thoughts on “A sense of relief

  1. Jaine

    You could have been talking about my husband. We’ve had a very similar thing happen this week too. We hardly ever argue and for a few weeks it’s been brewing, I could feel it. Then… bang! A massive explosion of emotions, buckets full of tears from me and my husband storming out of the house and driving off, leaving myself and our 2 boys wondering. He came back half an hour later a bit calmer and ignored me for 24 hours…..then 48 later everything is ‘back to normal ‘……but it’s left me wondering and worrying.

  2. Sally

    I want to send you a massive hug. Parenting in the way we do puts an enormous strain on relationships perhaps because it pokes at the most hidden and vulnerable parts of ourselves and our relationships, the parts we would otherwise be able to smooth over and ignore.
    Me and my husband got over a very difficult time by playing to our strengths and dividing up the parenting role. In our relationship I am more the therapeutic parent who is around most of the time and my husband is more the dependable, unfussy, no nonsense parent. He is able to step in when I’m sinking and he’s very good at plain old, going out and having some fun. Our children do fine with both kinds of parent I think. And we need to constantly take care of each other and value each others strengths.
    It’s miserable living with these bottled up frustrations and feelings. Is there any professional support on offer to help you both sort through things. If not, are you able to spend time out without the children? We struggle with evenings so we sometimes take a day off during the week or meet for lunch and it’s helped a lot.
    In our case, the children saw us sort things out and return to strength and it’s been a valuable lesson to them about working for repair.
    I hope you’re ok and that things improve. And I hope your husband can see that he isn’t a bad parent and is needed and valued.
    With lots of love xx

  3. Julie Rainer

    Poor you. I know what that feels like. You are trying to parent your children & now it is like you have to ‘parent’ him. My husband & I don’t argue, but once, a few years go, our boy was going through a horrendous stage (he is adopted & we have many horrible ‘blips’ but this was a mega blip). Anyway, I was told by him that I had to choose between him & our boy as he couldn’t go on like this. I spent a sleepless nigh of worrying & trying to think about my choice (no choice really though). I kept all my thoughts & worries to myself & carried on the next day as though nothing had happened. I let him get on with his day. By the time he came home, he was in a better place & we have carried on through the years. He is the type of man who doesn’t say much, but if he doesn’t want to do anything, then he won’t & he doesn’t worry what people think. It took me sometime to recover from being in that position, but I did & I am stronger now. My son was about 8 then & he is now 11. Things still go pear-shaped with our son quite often but he has come a long way. He now understands that his ‘head’ says to do things that he shouldn’t, but we haven’t yet mastered a way to prevent these ‘blips’ but we will, one day xx

  4. Mama Bear

    Wow, that takes me back to around this time last year. Hubby and I had a lot of little fights and one really big blow-up. They were all over the same things yours are. We have settled into a routine very similar to what Sally talked about above, and things are much better for us now. But it was truly terrible for all of us. Counseling for the two of us was a huge help to allow us to accept and embrace each other’s different parenting strengths and weakness. I wish the best for all of you and your family.


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