Monday, May 24, 2010

From the beginning, Part 2- Divorce sucks!

"I don't have any more 'try' left in me. I just don't love you anymore. I'm sorry. I think... I want a divorce."

It was July 13, 2007. I don't think I have ever felt so broken and desolate. They say you don't know what you've got until it's gone, and I never knew the truth of that statement until the day I found myself staring divorce right in the face. I was pitiful enough to actually get down on my knees and beg. I pleaded with him to give me another chance. "Just one more chance, I promise this time it will be different!" But he was broken down, too, and felt he had no more chances to give. How many times had I told him I would change? There were many, and I always did so well... for a while. I was so good to him, I treated him respectfully, but somehow I always managed to fall back into my old ways, and he just couldn't believe me anymore. He knew it wouldn't last.

So I packed a bag and went to my parents' house and told them I was going to be divorced at 22. In the shadow of their happy, stable, loving, 36.5 years of marriage, I felt like a complete and utter failure. Hadn't they taught me by their great example what a marriage should be? How to love and cherish? How to honor and respect? All I could think about was how embarrassed I would be when the word started to get out. I didn't want to face the smirks, the knowing glances, the "I told you so"s. Everybody said we were too young...

Where had we gone so very, very wrong? I didn't figure out the answer to this question right away. In fact, I don't think I really got it until a couple years later. There were a lot of different factors that led to our separation, a lot of stupid things done, and a lot of selfishness on both of our parts, but looking back, none of them were THE reason. They were all products of the reason, which, as discussed in Part 1, was the precedent we had set in our friendship and early dating relationship. He would do anything to get my attention, and I took full advantage of it. Age and immaturity also played a factor, I'm sure.

In the days following, I think I went through the entire grief cycle about 500 times, frequently getting stuck on denial, anger, and depression. Just when I thought I'd come to accept it, I'd cycle back around to bargaining and try to convince Colby that we could work it out. There had been, of course, the initial shock upon realizing that my husband was really leaving, but it was nothing in comparison to the shock I was about to experience.

On July 29, a little over 2 weeks after Colby and I separated, I was sitting at the river by myself, thinking, crying, praying to whatever or whoever was out there to listen. The very last thing I remember saying was, "Please, just send me an angel or something... someone to get me through this." I looked around, my eyes still blurry with tears, half expecting a handsome stranger to walk out of the trees behind me, when it suddenly occurred to me that I hadn't gotten my period. I'd been expecting it a couple days earlier, so I got in my car, headed to The Dollar Tree to pick up a couple of pregnancy tests, and headed home.

I was so dizzy with shock when I saw TWO pink lines in the result window that I literally almost fell over on my head. I called Colby to tell him. Neither of us were expecting it. I remember thinking, "This is the proof that we're not supposed to get divorced. This is the glue that will hold us together. We'll work this out." But Colby could hardly believe that I was really pregnant, and he definitely still didn't believe that there was any chance for us. He felt broken and beyond any hope of repair.

My journey to single motherhood had officially started. I'd been granted the angel I'd so desperately needed.

Next time in Part 3: Pregnant and single (apparently I'm too long-winded to have even thought I could combine that with the divorce part)!

Colby's perspective on our almost-divorce

I decided to have Colby write his perspective. I thought it might be interesting for people to hear it from both of us how and why we think things went sour. Who knows, maybe it'll help someone! So, in continuation from Part 1- Marriage is HARD!, here is Colby's side of the story.


I knew then that marriage wouldn't be easy, I never said it would be. I was just hoping that it would only be as hard as dating is. I mean, really it's the same concept. From the start things were rough. Being overworked and underpaid is hard enough without adding on top of that doing your portion of EVERYTHING.

I've never been a very neat person, a little mess never hurt anyone. I've also not ever been known for my motivation to prepare meals. I like cooking as much as the next guy, but having food brought to you is so much nicer. And that's what wives do, right? They bring the food to you in your lazy chair while you watch TV. I'm sure I would've fit in during the 1950's. Or maybe it would have been fine, if she wasn't already doing the same amount of work outside the house as me.

So there we were. Lazy and resentful. I'm sure I could've done a lot more to be a worthwhile husband, but I just didn't. It's not that I felt she didn't deserve it, I guess I felt I had reached a goal and didn't need to concern myself with the minor details I had before.

It wasn't even 6 months into the marriage before we started hitting rocks. Big rocks that can sink ships. Instead of fixing the ship or removing the rocks, we pushed on. The relationship should just take care of itself. Saying that we both made mistakes is kind of like saying that it tends to rain in the northwest.

I would never claim to be innocent in our transgressions, but that wasn't my reasoning for leaving. I didn't factor in what I had done as reasons to leave. Those were just the things that I had done that I had to deal with. We had been doing the same routine for at least a year. Identify the problem, fight about the problem, work to resolve the problem, be satisfied with the results then relapse 3 months later. I read something recently that really applied to how I felt and acted: "Women show a lack of love with a lack of respect. Men show a lack of respect with a lack of love."

By the time I had told her that I wasn't able to try anymore, I had been out of the relationship for months. Nothing mattered at all. I didn't care about the apartment I lived in, the car I drove, the things I had. I didn't care about my appearance and probably most importantly, my relationship. It wasn't a fight that drove us apart. No anger, no final straw. It was more like a weight that had been bearing down on the relationship for so long that it just was destroyed. It didn't even resemble a functional marriage. Looking back at it, I'm glad we almost got divorced, it was the only thing that could possibly reset our relationship.

Next time: Part 2- Divorce SUCKS!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A few updates

I had my 30 week appointment on Wednesday, and everything is going well. I have gained 10 lbs, my blood pressure is good (110/70), and I am measuring 27cm. This last one had me slightly concerned, since I measured the same at my last appointment (26 weeks) and it's supposed to grow coinciding closely with the number of weeks along in the pregnancy I am, but my midwife said that it was due to baby's position. He was lying slightly sideways/diagonal instead of being vertical, so that affects the shape of my uterus. Good news though is that he still has plenty of room to move around and time to flip into a head-first position for the birth, I just need to pay attention to MY positioning and be diligent about doing my exercises. She said that she can tell just by feel that he has grown a lot in the last four weeks and seems to be much bigger. I knew he had a growth spurt from all of the stretching I've been feeling in the last week.

Today Colby went to the doctor and got a referral for a sleep study. The doctor said he seems to have moderate to severe sleep apnea. We have suspected this because he stops breathing in his sleep, then starts gasping for air. He also snores a lot and it has been increasing in volume and frequency lately. He tends to fall asleep within a couple of minutes, and I take a lot longer, so this has made it pretty difficult for me to get to sleep. He also sometimes wakes Ryan up and that's not fun for any of us. We don't know when his sleep study will be yet, but hopefully pretty soon and he can get a CPAP or whatever it is he needs. We also are pretty sure that losing weight will help him a lot, so he's been working out and eating less. With his metabolism, it won't take long to see some results.

 This evening we went and picked up the newest addition to our family: a kitten! It's a male tabby the owner had named "Smokey." That won't be his permanent name, but we haven't picked one out yet. Suggestions are welcome! He is 7 weeks old and SO cute! Ryan loves him and he seems to like Ryan, too. Roamy isn't too thrilled but I think she'll be fine within a few days.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

From the beginning, Part 1- Marriage is HARD!

Preface: I guess I consider my adult life to have 3 distinct time periods. There are those of you who met me in high school and knew me when I was a newlywed. There are some of you who met me while I was a single mom going through a rough divorce. There are still quite a few more of you who have only met me in the last year and a half, after Colby and I got back together, and maybe had no idea that things weren't always as peaceful and loving as they are now.

Colby's commentary has been added in italics and parenthesis below. :-)

Colby and I met in high school. He was a freshman and I was a sophomore, and we were both in band. I played the trumpet, and he sat directly behind me in the percussion section. We didn't really know each other for the first year we were in school together, but sometime at the beginning of his sophomore year, we started talking and spending time together. I'm fairly sure he was into me immediately, but his feelings were not reciprocated. So, for the next two years, he spent a good portion of his time trying to impress me. We spent many waking hours together and we were the VERY BEST of friends. Anyone who didn't know better was sure we were actually dating. I can't even tell you how many times I told him, "I love you as a friend, but that's all. You need to get over me, move on, it's never going to happen for us." I think he tried really hard to get over me, too, but he just never managed to (the thing is, she really liked me and she just didn’t want to admit it for some reason. It was probably my old haircut. She “fixed” it a few times).

I still remember so clearly the day I started to feel like maybe there was more between us than just a friendship. I had graduated, and he was in his senior year. I had broken up with my boyfriend a couple of months prior, and he was single and still pining after me. There was nothing different about the day itself (except that I got some pro advice to act like I didn’t like her all day. It worked crazy good!). We were just hanging out like always, but for some reason, I couldn't stop thinking about how much I wanted to kiss him. He knew it was coming because I'd been eluding to it all evening, but he was too chicken to make the first move in case he was wrong, and I'd been worried that it would somehow mess up the friendship we had. Finally he said, "I think you want to kiss me," and so I did. There really aren't any words to accurately describe how that moment felt, so I won't even try. Needless to say, it was a turning point. Just over 6 months later, he proposed to me at his senior prom, and 4 months after that, we got married. 

Everyone told us marriage was hard, and we always said, "We know!" But the truth is, you don't really know until you're experiencing it. And when you're 18 and 19 years old, the "hard stuff" can get overwhelming pretty quickly. We hadn't even been married 6 months when second thoughts started making their way into our relationship, but we kept at it. We did the best we could, but it's hard when you're both still trying to figure out who you are. There are a lot of variables and selfish, immature actions on both parts that led to our separation, but I think the key factor was probably something that my dad said to Colby when he asked for my hand in marriage. "If you want to marry her, you need to realize that she is an in-charge person, and there is going to come a day when you want to be the man of the house, and she might not take too well to that." (He also told me later that women go into marriage hoping that their man will change, men go in hoping their woman won’t…. powerful stuff). Basically, I didn't have enough respect for him to actually let him wear the pants in the relationship, and while he'd been content to let me run things up to that point, eventually it was going to get old.

And it did.

Unfortunately, I was too stubborn and set in my ways to change. I tried. I really did! But by the time Colby had had enough of me, we had been following the same pattern for almost 6 years. It's pretty hard to change the dynamic of a relationship with ruts as deep as ours had become. 

Next time in part 2: divorce!

Friday, May 7, 2010

From the middle....

I feel a little funny about starting a blog. It's something that I've always wanted to do, but it just doesn't feel quite right to me to start right now. I feel like so much of my life has already happened, and so many of the things that have happened have made me who I am today. I don't feel like it's proper to start in the middle if you're telling a story. But that's what I'm doing. I guess to make up for it, sometimes I might go back and tell a story from the past so it's easier to understand where I'm coming from.

The title of my blog says it all. It was actually Colby's idea.... as a mom to a toddler, I am always using my love to make Ryan's owies go away by "kissing them better." But let's apply it to all of life. You put love into things to make them better. You give love to your marriage, your kids, your relationships, your house, and you make them better than they were before. Colby and I have had to do a lot of "kissing it better" to get to where we are. We have reached this point in our lives through what Colby calls "quite a streak of trial and error." Things haven't always been great, and for a time were at what I think we both would consider rock bottom, but with love as our foundation, we've managed to build a life together that I am so happy to be living.

Maybe in my next post I'll delve into the history of "us." Then I could start from the beginning. :-)