Wednesday, March 21, 2012
This is an incredibly difficult post for me to write and but I feel like it's important because if just one person can benefit from what I struggle with, it will be worth it. I'm a child of divorce. So what, right? There might be more kids of divorce than there are kids from a happy, healthy, long lasting marriage. The reason for that divorce was infidelity. Again, another less than rousing surprise. To dissect it even further, weight was brought up as a reason for the divorce. Ah HA...said the chubby girl who grew into a super morbidly obese adult clawing her way back to "normalcy!" I was a young girl when this happened, 4th grade. I was never really a daddy's girl but when it was clear my family was breaking up, it was still upsetting even if I didn't have a close relationship with him.
My mom did her best to shield me from most of it but I am my mother's daughter and like to talk out my feelings so we did discuss it a lot. I went through counseling when my grades dropped, had crying fits in the middle of class and would have what I would now classify as kiddie panic attacks at school, petrified my mom was going to leave me too. Sometimes she could calm me down over the phone, sometimes she had to come get me from school or at least visit to show "see, I'm still here." I was a skilled eavesdropper especially when asked to leave the room. I overheard my mom talking on the phone to my aunt about weight being an issue and that he didn't really even talk to her about it. By the time I was 11, I realized that 3 pivotal men in my life that I loved and respected had all cheated and two of the three had heavier wives. This obviously stuck in my head.Poor Mr barely stood a chance. When I met him, we were both in the middle of diets and when we found someone who loved the other without having to be at "goal weight" the diets were done. Of course you all know how that turned out...eventual out of control weight gain. I was about 100 lbs heavier the day we married (4 years after we met) but he was about the same. We gained it together. I'll say that first year of marriage was a hard one. My demons reared their ugly heads and almost cost me my marriage. When he started a new job just after our honeymoon, I grilled him about the women at work. How many were there? Were they pretty? If a woman's name came up in conversation, my ears perked up. "Where does she work? Does she sit close to you?" He would have to nicely reassure me that women in his line of work weren't known for being the beauty queen type and I had nothing to worry about. He switched jobs quite a bit the first half of our marriage and you can imagine this became habit. The weird thing? I didn't even get WHY I was asking him those things. It never occurred to me that my first stepmother was a woman my father met at work. I thought it was just something women asked their husbands especially when they no longer worked together. (We worked several jobs together and another job his building was in the building behind mine and we carpooled) It never dawned on me that the sins of the father were being projected onto my husband with no basis for doing so. He was very aware of how much I despised men who cheated especially without ever letting their wives in on knowing how unhappy they were. How can you fix something when you don't even know something was so broken in the other persons eyes that they were thinking of leaving? Doesn't the love you once shared (the love one thinks still exists) and the mutual respect you once had count toward having a hard conversation or two or ten before throwing in the towel or turning to someone else?
One day I put two and two together after he told me he couldn't live that way anymore. It wasn't just the women at work thing, I was just downright mean because in my experience with people in my family on either side and even boys/men I loved before I met the Mr...men leave. In my head I apparently thought "push him away before he leaves you and then you can say "SEE! I told you so!"" Yeah, THAT makes sense. But often times it's not until later in life that those things from our childhood pop up and you can finally see them for what they are. Things you didn't even realize affected your relationships, how you function in them and how they affect your own self worth. For those most part I have dealt with those demons but there is one particular thing that likes to whisper in my ear...something that terrifies me but I know is in my head.
Come back tomorrow to see what is is...
Do you have something from your childhood that affected how you relate to your significant other? How did you deal with it?
Like this post? Don't miss another one...subscribe via email or RSS feed. (Because you're cool like that!)
Labels: Deep Thoughts