As some of my more astute readers probably figured out from the last two poems I posted, I’ve had a bit a marriage trouble recently. It started in August. My wife and I had both been unhappy for quite some time and instead of doing things to rectify it, I just kind of ignored the problems. My wife brought them up a few times, but I (for some reason) didn’t take her or our problems seriously.
We ended up having a huge three-day fight that ended with her telling me she no longer wanted to be married to me. Instead of trying to change her mind, I angrily kicked her out of the house. I was hurt and angry and not thinking clearly. Given a chance to do it all over again I would definitely do almost everything differently. BUT, in the midst of all of the hurt and pain I discovered why my wife was unhappy and what I was doing to contribute to that. She was trying to tell me things I should have been listening to, but I instead found out the hard way.
The first thing, and biggest thing, was my irritability. I was extremely short with her and my children. All the time. I didn’t realize it until reading through our IM history on Facebook (we communicate via Facebook while we’re both at work because I have no cell phone signal at work). When reading through all the nastiness I spat at her I was amazed she didn’t leave me sooner. I surely didn’t realize I was treating her that way and I have no idea why I did it or why I didn’t realize I was doing it. I did, however, find out from a counselor I went to see and my primary care doctor that irritability is a symptom of depression. I’m now on antidepressants and so far I’m a pretty different person. I’ve noticed a difference and so have those that know me. It’s a change for the better and I’m glad to have gotten this identified and corrected. I don’t mind being an asshole when I need to be, but to be doing it unwittingly and to those I love is NOT who I want to be.
The second thing I was doing was not making time for us. Time for us is scarce with three children, the youngest of which is a year and a half. When we did have moments we could spend together I chose not to, instead doing things like blogging, playing video games, or just surfing the internet. For some reason I don’t understand, doing those things were more important to me at the time than spending time with my wife. I really have no explanation for it and don’t understand why I made the choices I made. Often times my wife would ask me to go to bed with her and I would tell her I’d be up in a minute only to sit at the computer for another couple of hours before going upstairs.
My third failure was not being romantic. At all. I have never been much of a romantic in terms of flowers, cards, or poems and my wife knew that when she married me. But somewhere along the line she decided she wanted those things. She mentioned it once, but I brushed her off. I’ve since realized that in the big scheme of things that going out of my way every once in a while to do something that shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that my heart belongs to her and no one else is really no big deal. I can do flowers. I can buy a card. I can surprise her with a date every now and then. Or even something else. But for some reason I didn’t want to be bothered with it before. I have no explanation. Again.
When my wife first told me she didn’t want to be married to me any more I decided, in my anger, that I was done with everything. If that’s how she felt then I didn’t want her around. Any and all interactions with her were filled with venom and scorn. I treated her with disrespect. Then things changed. The longer she was gone the more I realized that I missed her. Then that I needed her. That despite what I’d convince myself, I love her.
I saw clearly what I had done to make her feel the way she did. I vowed to change and to fix things and to be the man she fell in love with again, but she wasn’t biting. And I don’t blame her. She ended up leaving. And suddenly I was single again. I was a part-time parent for yet another child.
During our separation we both did things we regret, but she realized that she still loved me and that I had indeed changed. She eventually decided to find it in her heart to give our marriage another shot. I thank her for that and I intend to prove to her that I can be the man she fell in love with and I want to keep on proving that to her until death do us part.
I love my wife dearly, and am just thankful that even though I fucked up I have another chance to show her how much I love her and how much I care for her. She is my best friend and I’m still upset with myself that it took all this drama for me to realize it. But I believe that we’ll make it through this and ultimately be a better couple for it.