November 23, 2001

Another Entry

Last entry I mentioned that after two months, the reality of our separation was just beginning to sink in to my husband's consciousness.
(Of course it doesn't help that I'm always in his face, except at bedtime...)

A few days ago, he finally told his brother about it. This was the first person he mentioned it to.

He (Hubby) has friends but they're golfing friends or bowling friends or charity work friends; not talking-about-life friends.
He hates talking about life, anyway.
He told his brother because he realized that I had told several people and he didn't want his brother finding out through other sources.

This brother and I have always gotten along; he's much more easygoing (and much less anal) than my husband. Even though he's eight years older, he's more adaptable and willing to try new things, even the dreaded internet, to which he's almost as addicted as I am.
He has been married over forty years (to the same woman) and has three adult, married daughters.

So Brother In Law (BIL) called me up to say he was shocked, and that he wanted to come and "talk" to us. That talk happened this morning.

Or rather, BIL and I talked; my husband mostly sat there and listened.

In BIL's household, he is the one who tries to communicate and make things better; he may have held the assumption that I was more like his wife but he didn't hold onto that for long.

BIL: Talk.
Me: I tried.
BIL: Try again.
Me: I did try again.
BIL: Try one more time.
Me: You can't get blood out of a stone.

There were things I said about how I felt that obviously hit a nerve for BIL, particularly the part about feeling inadequate and that the marital problems were due to my shortcomings.
He said that nobody should be made to feel like that.

His bottom line was to encourage us to communicate; something that I gave up on long ago.

After he left, my husband decided to try to communicate.

He said that the way we were living "isn't a life".
(I think it's the best compromise for the moment.)
He said it isn't good for him, for me, and for the kids.
(It may not be good for him but it IS good for me, and the kids hardly know the difference. Furthermore, I resent having kid-guilt used as a lever in such a discussion, when it was his attitude towards them that caused many of the more recent problems in the first place!)

He kept saying he wants to "work something out"; I kept asking him what that meant.
He said it meant, work towards getting back together.
I asked him why.
The best he could manage to say is that he still "cares about" me.

He asked me what I wanted.
I thought about what I wanted from him, and came up with absolutely nothing.
So I said that I wanted the freedom to be me and develop the way I want, according to my own rules.
He asked if I couldn't do that with him; I said no, I couldn't.

He reminded me of a time almost thirty years ago when I asked him to get back together after a break-up; he said he wants the same from me now.
I said I've given him that chance many times.
He said he wants it again; he said he wants me to do what he didn't do for me all along.
I told him the best I can offer at the moment is to agree to talk more.

I'm not too concerned about that commitment; the thing my husband hates to do the most in the world is to talk about relationships.

But I was left with a very disturbing feeling about this conversation, and it wasn't hard to figure out why.

By denying him compassion and another chance, and by denying the consideration for the kids that he asked for, I became the bad guy.

In my own estimation.

Which is the only one that matters to me and he is perfectly aware of that.

Damn, he's good at mind games. Now if he could just channel that creativity into some useful endeavour...

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