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Friday, January 18, 2013

Staying Together For The Kids

I married my husband in the summer of 2005.  I can admit now in the privacy of this blog that the week before we had a major melt down in our relationship and my gut told me it wasn't the right decision to get married to him.  But wedding preparations had already taken place, out of state guests had their plane tickets bought and so I just brushed it off as nothing is perfect, everyone fights from time to time, and we'd be fine. 

And some days, well at least once or twice a month I still feel like we weren't ready and maybe we aren't just meant to be as husband and wife.  Since we've been together we've endured 4 deployments, an ad on adult friend finder seeking a casual sexual relationship (was brushed off as  my husband's female coworker had an ad on the site and his buddies made him post one so they could see more of her profile, I know I was possibly stupid to buy that lie), DUI 5 months after we were married which costs us over $10,000, 4 years of layoffs 6 months each time, infertility, adoption and the stress that I wrote about often here, an unbearable mother in law, screaming matches and one that was so verbally abusive last May that I had to call my mom in tears asking her to come quickly and take my kids so they didn't have to witness it anymore as I'm bawling asking my husband to please just stop for 10 minutes so I can get the kids out of the house, and so on.  It seriously feels like a train wreck.  I don't know anyone else who's had a marriage like this who didn't get divorced so holding on and still trying to make it work is exhausting. 

So when is enough?  I think the movie Fireproof is awesome, I watched it again yesterday.  But how do you continue after the first couple months and not slip back into old habits.  We go out on dates at least twice a month (yes I plan them, he has no part it in and will not take initiative to do it), yes we hold hands, yes we say I love you, yes he buys me flowers out of the blue, yes I make his favorite dinner as a surprise and clean the house spotless so we can relax the rest of the weekend.  But none of it helps.

I don't even desire to go to marriage counseling because it was a train wreck.  I do think I need individual counseling though, I've never had that except one session with the marriage counselor where she wanted to know all my sexual and dating history which was humiliating to retell.  And I fear that by going to counseling that the counselor might tell me that I shouldn't be married and that maybe it's in my and my kids best interest to be divorced.

You know how hard it is to stick to a diet and exercise plan when you are constantly at battle with your husband??  I've done it for 18 days and it's one of the hardest things ever not to grab a treat to feel some kind of happiness or not workout because you are so pissed you can't see straight.  But the last thing I'll let him do is destroy me because I want to be the best mom and example I can be for  my kids.

Can I let you in on a secret?  The only reason I don't go file for divorce is the thought of him dating or marrying another woman and her playing mommy to my kids half of the time is the worst thought in the world.  It also means that I have no intentions of having another baby because it's not okay to bring a baby into this relationship which means my desire to have more children will likely not be fulfilled. 

I think long lasting marriages have bad times and sometimes even bad years, but how long do  you keep trying before you realize the relationship will never be what it needs to be for all of us to be happy?  I'm wondering if anyone out there has been through this and can give me advice or words of wisdom.


  1. Oh Brandi, I am so sorry about all this. I have read your entire blog and used to watch your vlogs and had no clue. I am glad you recognize that another baby is not a good idea at this time. I have no real advice except this: staying together for the kids is never a good thing. The kids know it and it can screw up their adult relationships. A few girls on a private board I am on are going through divorces and separations and the only thing most of them feel is relief. You are your boys' first love. Never forget it. A stepmommy isn't going to change that. I like my stepmom but she isn't my mom.

  2. I wish I had words to say. I am so sorry that you're going through this. Our marriage has been rocky lately but we are still having more good days than bad but before Christmas I was considering leaving with T for a month until we were able to figure some things out. Luckily things have greatly improved but I think if we got to the point where they aren't improving, is when I'd reevaluate. Another mommy blogger, http://babyblakely.blogspot.com/, just announced that she filed for divorce. She said being together was no longer what was best for her and her two young boys. I hope you two can connect!

  3. i wish i had some grand advice, but i don't. i'm thinking of you and you should know that you are worth so much more than constant pain. <3


  4. Michelle, I've thought a lot about your last sentence in your comment and I really hope if we get to that point that the same will be true for me.

    Samantha, thanks so much for directing me to that blog, I completely understand what she was saying and I read her infertility journey and ours was very much the same!

    Thanks Jaime, that means a lot to me:)

  5. I'm not married, I'm engaged, but not married - so I can't give you informed advice on that end. But my parents did get divorced when I was about 5, and it was the best thing for them, and it didn't screw me up. If you decide this marriage isn't right for you (which it sounds like you have), then your kids will thank you one day, for letting them have happy parents - together or apart, you're the biggest part of their life, and you need to be happy. I know I thanked my parents. It was hard not seeing my dad every day, but it was better than being in a house with two parents who argued and growing up with the wrong idea of what love should be.

  6. Brandi—I am sorry I am just now posting, I was on my cell at the time you wrote this, but couldn’t comment. To answer your last question about happiness: I believe happiness comes from yourself. You are in control and have to claim that. (Speaking from experience) I could only fix (or try to fix) my unhappiness in my marriage by fixing my unhappiness with myself. After years of therapy for me, we also tried couples therapy and we realized it wasn’t for us. What we did also realize was that it was important for our marriage, if we individually worked on our problems alone in therapy. By strengthening yourself, you will strengthen your marriage. I think there is something about affairs, infertility, job loss, housing market crashes, adoptions, pain, emptiness that rids us of our happiness. But I can say this… after going through most of those above-- we are only, ONLY together by God’s grace. It baffles those people around me that I forgave my husband for his wrong doings before my marriage, and he forgave me 3 years ago for mine. “How could I?” They would say. I lost friends through those choices of holding strong to my marriage after the crazy times and what I realized was that because God has ALWAYS been our foundation in marriage, the answer is up to HIM.

    I was called to be a wife and mother and I know that. I was called to stay with my husband as he is called to stay with me. Now the last 6 months have been very rough but we are working on it. Loving your husband is not a feeling, but a choice. Some of my friends didn’t get that and they have left my life for that argument. Some of my friends do, and they hopped on the rollercoaster of love and are riding on the car next to us! We are all in valleys sometimes—valleys turn into peaks, by choice.

    Tell your husband: I choose you. Just like you chose me in my imperfections, just like you chose me when I couldn’t get pregnant—I choose you for the times you have failed. I still love you, but I have fallen out of love with you—let’s work on that. And going back up to my first statement, a lot of times, that means working on YOU alone, so much so that he wants to work on him! I am sorry you are going through this time. I will pray for you to find strength and peace it this valley. I love your love dare idea because it shows you are CHOOSING. One of the things my husband and I do is the great date experience—don’t peek too much, because the dates are to be printed and you and your spouse are to go through the steps together. Basically you are eating and talking and doing things to reconnect your relationships! How many times do we go out to dinner and play on our cells or have to corral kids! It is a great tool for recharging marriage so I hope you check it out! Best of luck to you and yours—I really hope you start to rebuild for your sake and your children’s’ sake! You are an inspiration to many! Don’t give up! Here is that site I referenced: http://marriedlifeonline.com/greatdate/

  7. This is a very late post, but in case you read this I wanted to share a book by a therapist that might be helpful to read. It's called "His needs, Her needs" by Willard F. Harley. I actually think it is a great way to view any relationship. There is a website (Marriage builders) that the author has so you can take a look at that before deciding to buy the book. Some of his book is a bit dated and conservative (e.g. only heterosexual relationships are mentioned). But the overall message is so insightful into what makes relationships work. This book is geared towards people who do want to save their marriages. So it talks about the steps needed to do that. But it might also be helpful to just read anyway. I really am sorry to hear about your marital troubles and hope that you may find this book supportive and validating.