It’s true! I DON’T! Not now, not ever, but it has been a discussion.
That’s a thing. Well, let me rephrase that. It’s not a “thing” in the sense that it’s gonna happen ( I don’t think), but it’s something that in the past year, in all of its craziness and joy and happiness and flow, has been something that has been thrown into our arguments now and again. About 6 months ago, it became a real discussion, and so, we began to go to couples therapy.
Has it worked? Welllllllllllllllllllll ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, that’s subjective. I would say for me it has. Callie would say, probably not, but I keep going and I keep showing up, and I keep practicing what we are told to do. Whether or not it’s been reciprocated seems pretty subjective as well. So, we’re here, another week of arguing and another week of trying to figure out where we go from here.
The thing is, it has nothing to do with love, and I think we both know that. It has everything to do with communication and listening. See, most of you know, I did quite a bit of intensive therapy for the better part of 2 years. I spent 2+ months inpatient, then did 3 weeks in a partial program, then did 90 days in a substance abuse program, and then did 20 months in an outpatient, M-F 8-3pm DBT program, where I really worked on the things that had been plaguing me my whole life and I became very aware and in tune, and was taught and learned how to be an effective communicator and active listener. Callie struggles
like hell a little with the “active” part, and is so quick and chomping at the bit to get her point across that she totally misses what I’m saying, and sooooo, arguments start because I refuse to listen since I wasn’t listened to, and boom! Disaster, and then divorce comes up.
I get it! 5 kids in about 3 years is no joke! It’s just been transition into transition into adjustment and then adjusting to THAT adjustment. These 3 years have been beautiful but also bananas! So I get it, especially when you have a person like Callie who generally speaking, doesn’t do well with change , who needs a lot of sleep to function (so you can imagine that with 4 under 3 currently, is quite impossible), and who needs things planned out pretty strategically in order to make it all work. I, on the other hand am pretty much the complete opposite. I LOVE change and embrace it (I move the furniture in the rooms in my home 2-3 x’s a year because I get bored looking at it the same way), I can survive on about 3 hours a sleep a night (so long as I get a day a month to just crash and vegetate!) and spontaneous plans always seem to be the best to me.
I’ll be honest though. This is sort of the abridged version of what has been going on in our relationship the better part of the past year. There’s the hoarding issue for me and the cleaning issue for her. There’s the “you don’t help enough” issue for me, and the “you want to do too much” issue for her. There’s the “can we go out and stop being antisocial because I need people in my life?” issue, and the “don’t we have enough people to entertain today?” issue for her. I mean, it’s lots of stuff, and it seems to not be getting sorted out quickly enough, which could potentially cause more damage since we both seem to just want this sorted out but can’t seem to figure out how to get there!
We are creeping up on 7 years together in 2 weeks, and I’m wondering if that “Seven year” nonsense could potentially be a real thing. With some of our close friends divorcing after 7 years together, we wonder if that’s where our lives our heading. Can we just not agree on anything? Can we just continue to not be intimate after months! Is it really all about winning and losing, or who is right and who is wrong? When will all of this anger, resentment, anxiety, and helplessness subside?
As much as I love my wife is the same amount as I have been struggling, particularly these past 3 months, to stay. To try and understand some of her needs that just seem really crazy and illogical to me. I’m trying! I’m really trying, because I love my kids, and I love this family, and I love the time that we share together, and I fucking love my wife, but admittedly, I don’t love to feel ignored, or to be treated like I don’t count, or to be so angry and sad all the time. We have amazing, beautiful moments nearly every day, but the arguments are so ferocious and so angry and so loaded with venom that it’s difficult to see past it sometimes.
I’ll keep trying and I’ll keep fighting because I don’t want to be away from my family or my wife, but for my own sanity, I don’t know how much longer I can take the arguing and the need for her to be right all the time. It’s really hard, friends. Really fucking hard. Hopefully, this is fleeting. Hopefully, this is just a “thing” kind of like conversations about separation and divorce are at the moment. Hopefully, we can muster up the courage to just say “Yes dear” for a little bit for the sake of peace and sorting things out. Who knows how this will all work out! Worst case scenario, we have a mother/daughter set up in the house, and the basement is currently rented. It could suddenly be unrented with 60 days notice according to their lease. Hopefully, THAT won’t also become a thing.
With anniversary looming, and seven years on the line, I’m committed to trying my best to make US our best and have THE BEST life possible…especially because our kids are so damn awesome and I’d hate to fuck them up with a possible divorce. That would be the worst thing I could have imagine for not only my life but their also. And I wanted to say in advance, thanks for reading this and letting me vent because I have 2 people that I have been able to talk to this about for the sake of not getting too many opinions and not talking to our friends who are invested in our lives and marriage the way we are in theirs. One is my bestie blogger friend, and the other is my mother, both who understand how difficult this is, but also encourage me to both follow my heart but also to keep fighting. My heart and the fight are one in the same. So, I’ll lace up these boots, fill my Camelbak (With Chardonnay!), and get to trekking on this journey of recovering what we lost somewhere between bliss and 5 kids.
To lighten up this post a little….TADA! The kids!
Oooof. Hang in there friend. I’ll tell you, one of the things that I believe is a HUGE deterrent to divorce is imagining Christmas morning. In most divorces, parents end up alternating custody on the holidays. So, for HALF of your kids’ precious Christmas mornings, one parent will wake up alone and miss the magic, glee, and smiles. That means so much to me, so I would do almost anything to work through relationship challenges and be there for every magical holiday with my kid(s). No relationship is without its struggles – it sounds like you two are doing HARD WORK, and that is awesome. See this through, and the blissful, lazy afternoons spent side by side on your front porch in your rocking chairs 30 years down the road will be so, so worth it!
Oh, we are absolutely doing all of the work because that is FOR SURE the biggest deterrent, no question! We think about the holidays which also includes 6/7 people in our family having December & January birthdays (12/17, 12/26, 1/11 times two, 1/30 & 1/31) and then we think about the logistics of 5 kids, and schools, and 2 homes, and vacations, and everything, and DAMN what a shit show! So we try hard, and every day we are reinvigorated and quitting at the same time, but we’re working. DOing our best!
A year-ish ago, we were right there with you and C–throwing around the D word and fighting left and right. I was miserable. She was miserable. We disagreed on everything. Neither of us had any patience for each other. We had this beautiful little girl, but nothing was working the way it was supposed to. I wish I could tell you exactly what changed things for us. It happened kind of suddenly. Things just sort of calmed down. They weren’t perfect, but they weren’t nearly as volatile anymore. Then another switch flipped when I got help for my anxiety. And let me tell you… zoloft has changed my life these past few months. I feel like a different person, and Catch feels like she has her wife back. Things I was SO uptight about and unrelenting in my refusal to compromise suddenly feel so much less significant. I am more flexible. More relaxed. Calmer. When Catch and Charlotte spent the weekend with my in-laws last weekend, I had this moment one night where I really just missed my wife and felt that spark for the first time in a while. I’m sorry–I know this is getting long–I just want to say that marriage is hard. Parenting is hard. Juggling careers and bills and family is hard. There will be highs and there will be lows. Until Charlotte was born, I had no idea how low my marriage could go, but now I know… and I know it can recover. Slowly. With effort. Rebuilding intimacy is slow. And I don’t mean just sex–I mean connection. Keep putting in the work and you guys can get there. Thinking of you and sending love and solidarity. You know where to find me if you ever need to let of steam.
Thanks Molly. Its like, I totally know that we aren’t the only one where this thing sorta ebbs and flows. ANd it does all seem so volatile. You know, I think Callie does have some underlying anxiety (the hoarding) and depression (the inability to find joy in pretty much anything!) but she wont hear it from me, so trying to get her to acknowledge things has been difficult. I’m no professional and far from it, but I’ve been en enough therapy and treatment to know what depression looks like. To know what anxiety looks like, and things wont really change until one of us (cough Callie cough) sort of acknowledges that this is a bigger issue than not agreeing. Granted, this is also totally one sided and im CERTAIN she would tell it totally different, but from where I’m sitting, shit is fucked up and it’s gonna take hard work, and I’m im board! Pretty much always will be (with few exceptions).
Sending some love and light your way! I hope you find your way together. ❤
Thank you…all the love is needed. 🤗
Big hugs! This sounds incredibly difficult. Day to day stress and fighting would be the deal breaker for me. It sounds like you all need a mediator not a therapist. C and I went to couples communication therapy for six months because I feared our style was about to change with other big changes in our life we had a good experience in learning to listen and look at each other. It’s hard if you’re a “listen to me first person” which describes me half the time. Callie might be struggling with calming herself down when her emotions are high. I do hope you both keep going at it 100% until you have a breakthrough, whatever that may look like. Divorce is definitely hard on all aspects of your life and the kids and I hope you don’t experience that!
Thank you friend. I’ll definitely say that we are both doing the work, but there seems to be a hit of a disconnect for Callie. Either way, I’m sure with all the love that we have for each other, we can sort t all out. Also, a shit ton of babies in 2 years!!!
Fuuuuuck. Yeah. So, the seven year thing was TOTALLY a thing, in my experience even without kids. Everything is so much harder with kids. When you live with someone who has such drastically different living condition needs it becomes a hot mess wicked fast. I like to have a clean house (notice I’m not saying I want there to be pristine surfaces, but all the stuff and dirt and *cat vomit* and, and, and, totally send me into panic attack mode). Leah just doesn’t notice stuff until it’s *really bad*. Over the years I’ve been able to let go a little bit, and Leah has stepped up a little bit. It’s still hard sometimes.
It’s never possible to really understand what someone else’s relationship is like, but I feel a lot of what you have written pretty deeply, and I just wanted you to know that you’re not alone in struggling to make things work. And that it can get better from some of the worst places.
You know, my parents had a bit of “thing” when I was about 13, and my siblings were 12, 10, 9, 7 . My parents split up for 2 years. They needed a break, because basically my mom was Callie (minus the hoarding) and my dad was me. It was hella hard, but they worked on it, and just celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary. So, I know hard work and honesty and trust and all that relationship jargon is real and that if you try your best, you MAY just make it work. I’m SURE you get it! I’m pretty certain most of us reading this do, because 1) were human and being annoyed is SUPER REAL 2) kids can really magnify the intensity of something (throw in a ton of kids and the ratio of “how mad this is” to “how amazing this is” changes significantly. I know it’s likely a rough patch like more couples, but it feels so huge with all these little bodies! My faith is strong in us, in our family, in my God, that we’ll get through this. Thanks friend…your words mean a lot
Have you read The Seven Principals of a Happy Marriage? Lots of good info in there. Also, I heard a great quote recently, ‘Are you listening or waiting to walk?’ I think Callie might benefit from hearing it. It’s tough. And lack of sleep makes it really tough.
I haven’t heard of it, but looks like I’ll be heading to the library later today!
This….so much THIS! I read this just shaking my head and relating. We too started couples counseling about 8 months ago because we were in a TERRIBLE spot. Like I didn’t know if I was even going to be welcome home one night after a huge argument. We finally said we have to figure this out or get out. It has taken 8 months of couples counseling, my own individual counseling and me acknowledging my anxiety/depression issues and taking care of them for us to start to feel like we are moving in the right direction. Now I look at where we were and where we are and realize how it could have been addressed so much easier so much sooner and I am sad. However I am thankful that I have a spouse who was willing to stick with me and figure it out. I will send good thoughts, love and hugs to you, Callie and the kids. You will do what is best for everyone I have no doubt!
I’m gonna borrow some of your courage and your strength, friend…this marriage shit is no joke!
Borrow any you need! Here for support
You are all adorable. This arguing thing, it’s intense and exhausting. I’m sorry you all can’t quite shake it. You will though, you will.
Exhausting is RIGHT! Good grief! I’ve actually said, “ya know, I’m going for a run because your getting on my last fucking nerve!” because physical exhaustion still isn’t as terrible as emotional/mental exhaustion! Ugh…adulting, right?!
I hope that you guys are able to ride it out and get to a better place where you can each feel heard. It’s a lot to juggle with kids, work, relationship, and self. Wishing you luck and strength on this journey as you both figure things out.
Thanks! I appreciate that. It’s not easy, but we’ve got time…I hope…
Here’s the thing – this shit is so damn hard!!! I do think parents should wait probably a full year after adding a kid to make any kind of permanent decisions – but what the hell do I know?! Really no advice just love and the reminder that you are not alone! It’s wonderful to do the work but remember to take care of yourself as well. This life is so short – we all deserve our best chance! Sending love and light!
I couldn’t agree with you more! That’s my motto, “everyone deserves THEIR best chance!”
I hope you stay strong and wait for love to win, like always! Just don’t forget how much you two love each other and what a beautiful family you have created. Love will always bring you back and help you both deal with this struggle. Sending lots of love ❤️
Thanks Ale…that’s what helps to put things into perspective. If we didn’t love each other as much as we do, then this life would not exist, so we KNOW it’s worth working towards…
Sorry, friend. You are speaking to a lot of couples here. I’ve made a pact to myself to never use the D word in our arguments. I think that people (both people) need to accept/get over the other’s quirks/idiosyncrasies/annoying behaviors. I could list 20 things my spouse does that makes me friggin nuts, all which are, in the big picture, NOT a big deal. I cannot change him. I can only change how I react (don’t react?). But the base of us, the love, the trust, the reasons we first fell in love? Those are present, are strong, and are what I choose to focus on. I can’t change my spouse. Sorry for the long post. Marriage is hard.
Yo, relationships are hard and marriage? Brutal! I’m a notorious commitment-phobe; marriage would mean I legally have to think before breaking up. You guys have a beautiful family and you keep a positive attitude. Hang in there, fight for it. Sending you love and positive energy!
Thanks ABM. It’s not easy, but every day I try! I try so damn hard…hopefully, it’ll be worth something. Even better, EVERYTHING!
I’m sorry you’re struggling w this. Unfortunately I can relate as we are going through a divorce now. Kudos for staying, complying w therapy, and trying. Because Lord knows that’s not easy. It’s hard when you are aware of your issues and hold yourself accountable for them and the other person well…. doesn’t. The back and forth arguing, feeling alone, lack of attention… it creeps up on you. I really hope it’s just a rough patch for you girls. 😔💔
Oh no, friend…i hate hearing that. We should chat…email me…and i really hope things sort themselves out, and that in this process you find each other again (or not, if you don’t want to!), but definitely if you do…thinking of you friend, and sending all the love!
I read this and thought, Jesus, how can this woman be married to my lady? Seriously, am right there with you. “The inability to find joy” comment you made hit home. Hard. Daily I wonder if I can spend my life with that energy. Rooting for you guys to work but also supportive and understanding if you need to break away. And, not for nothing, but I have never heard an adult say “I am so glad my parents stayed together for me” if the cost was a generalized, underlying tension and unhappiness. You’ll make the right call, lady.
That’s the hardest part, and it’s so discouraging becuase no matter how hard it try, the “happiness” is so fleeting, that I think I try and get it all in before it subsides. It’s hard to explain, but Im sure you and others get it. We’re working on it, and that’s all we can do right now. Is just keep trying…until we can’t, or until it changes.
Hey there…so sorry to hear this – I actually would love to talk to you about this if you’re open to sharing (going through something similar and would really appreciate your perspective) – If you’re open to it, let me know and you can reach me at Brizann@yahoo.com…hang in there and thinking of you and your family!
Email sent, my friend…let’s chat…
Sending support. Odd and deluded though this may sound, I’m in a similar situation at work. and my coworkers who are in it with me keep reminding each other “we wouldn’t be fighting for this if we didn’t care about it.” It’s hard work bringing your best self to everything you do every second of the day. This is strong, brave work you’re doing. Thanks for trusting us with this update.
Sending you lots of love. After over 10 years together (over 9 married), and a year of therapy and genuinely trying to make things better I decided that what we were doing wasn’t helping anyone. I finally pulled the plug just after Christmas and I moved out a month later. I’ve been trying to find the words to write about it. Maybe nows the time.
I think your commitment to working through things is really important and I think it’s really hard to make decisions when the kids are so young and really alter your ability to function the way you want and process.
The fact that you are so transparent about your feelings and your thoughts is really amazing.
Friend, I’m sorry to hear this news. But also, glad that you guys worked on it diligently, and tried your best. Really, isn’t that all we can do?! Thinking of you friend….thanks for this candid response….
It is. For me, it was a matter of trying my best until I felt like it wasn’t worth what I was putting in anymore. I never expected it to end and especially not this way but I think we will all be okay. ❤
we celebrated our 7th year in august and the ‘itch” is real. we had a BIG talk a couple of week before our anniversary and the “s” word came up (separation). totally not even a thing yet but if we don’t maintain our relationship and check ourselves on the regular i can see how it can easily become a thing before you even know it. we have one child. i don’t even know how you two are doing it!? but you are doing it and i’m super proud of you for working through all these things. even if it feels like you’re walking through mud right now, you’re still trying to walk and that is what really matters!
Hey lady! I’m so sorry to hear things are tough. It’s definitely a struggle, especially when you bring kids into the mix. Man, I was working out a strategy with my therapist to leave my wife the day before we got married. It was that serious for me, then it became legal in our state and I didn’t have the heart to tell her “No, after 12 years, we aren’t getting married right now.” And here we are almost 3 years later and it’s the best its ever been. I’m not saying it will work itself out, it may not, but I have all the hope and love for you that it will! Sending you lots and lots of love and light!