Thursday, July 12, 2007

Dealbreakers...

I've been thinking a lot lately on relationships. I've also been reading a lot of blogs and there are some great ones... and some of the topics wound around in my head and got me thinking even more.

On marriage, what would be a "dealbreaker" for you? I entered into marriage (eleventy billion-no really, 11) years ago promising myself that, if I ever got really angry, I would always remember how I felt about him on our wedding day, and try to work just about anything out...

...and then I got pregnant. (Short story interruption for a "let's get to know me"...I've known my husband since we were 12, we dated at 19, broke up, and then "ran into" each other again at 22. I had a daughter. He fell in love with her...and I like to think, me and we married after 4 years of dating. Two years later, before our son was born, he adopted her. There, that should do it.)

We didn't plan on having children right away. One, we already had one. Two, we were strapped for cash. Three, we already had one. Oh, did I say that already??? But, as that second line darkened up, I was already imagining baby faces, and toes, and names, and graduation parties... All of the things that I consider to be a normal reaction. Then I fretted about telling my husband. I mean, we had talked about this. I was on the pill (and no, I never skipped a day...I even took them at the exact same time every day...go figure). My husband, while not supremely delighted, was pretty good natured about it... Into pregnancy we plunged, sort of. He was working. I was buying all of the "What to expect when you are expecting", "The Nursing Mother", "The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy" (<<<I love the Girlfriend books and think they are truly the truest, and best, and funniest pregnancy, parenting guides out there)and then, 4 and a half months later, we lost the baby. Pain unimaginable descended upon me. My husband's one response was,"Well, now we can work on buying that house!" I was shocked, then angry then trying to convince myself that he didn't mean it "that way"... Two months later, imagine my surprise to discover (again on the pill) that I was pregnant again... That was a stunner. My husband was decidedly less good natured, but we muddled. For 17 weeks. And then lost the baby. I spent my days rocking an empty snow suit and not being a very good Mama to the one we already had been blessed with, wallowing in misery and not feeling like I had anyone to talk to. There appeared to be no medical reason. It just was what it was. I wrote more, buried the pain as best I could and moved on. Sort of. It is no fun visiting the OB/Gyn (what I termed as the "pregnancy pit") when you feel like a failure. It is no fun to go to baby showers of all of your pregnant friends, and it seems like they are ALL pregnant. One has a hard time making up believable excuses after the third invitation. And it puts a crushing burden on a marriage. We were "fine" but not fine.

Luckily, I did end up with the baby that I longed for, that had become my very mission in life. Funny sounding when we hadn't planned on it, but a bit of my own selfish needs to verify self came into play. A year (and what seemed like crates of progesterone) later I got pregnant and delivered a baby boy. And all was well. And he was adored. And my husband was happy. And I was fulfilled.

I wish I could say it ended there. It didn't. Because the fertility gods apparently like to really mess with you, I became pregnant for the last (decidedly unplanned) time in 2001. And both of us were crazy excited for some odd, yet happy reason. And then, quite early, I lost the pregnancy. Even though we had decided to be happy with our two children, I again had planned and dreamed and fell in love with this baby the minute I washed my hands after reading the results in the bathroom. And then, what I thought was, the unthinkable happened. My husband went out and got a vasectomy a week after the D and C. He told me he was going to. I begged him not to. I begged him for time to just let me get "it" back together...emotionally, hormonally, mentally. And he did it anyway. Sure, he told others it was because he couldn't stand to see me go through the pain of loss again...when in reality I know it was more financially driven...more, dare I say, selfish. He didn't want anymore. I wasn't sure if I did...but I didn't want to lose the option. Even though I admit that I drove everyone around me mad with my (shall we say) disposition at the time. As he left for his appointment I told him I was packing up and leaving. I still can't believe I threatened him like that, for I am basically a mouse when it comes to confrontations. I am ashamed to say that I fell to my knees and clutched at his pantleg begging him not to one last time. And he went. And I didn't leave. But I hated him. God I hated him with my very being. I actually thought about "accidentally" rolling over and kicking him in his selfishly wounded nether region in the middle of the night. Of course this is not the "real" me. The one I just know you are going to come to see the sweet, light, wonderful side of. This was the robbed and angry me. This was the me that was looking up lawyers and apartments and all the things you do when you are crazy mad..er sad... and think you have reached a "dealbreaker" moment. Only, over time, you realize that maybe you haven't. That maybe, even though you still think he is a selfish bastard for doing that, he is still your best friend. And don't best friends sometimes act in manners that steam you? And isn't he just great at changing diapers...rocking babies, teaching daughters how to ride a bike, rubbing your back when you need it? And maybe you can work through this enough to see what it was that you saw in each other the day you met, or how he stood on the porch and whispered "I love you" that first time, even though he was trying not to so he wouldn't get hurt again...How you felt on your wedding day? Which is what you told yourself you would do during the tough times? Never realizing how tough those times were going to be??? And you realize the answer to most of those questions is yes, and then you ( I should be saying I) can move on for reals this time. So you do.

And I am grateful I did. And we have two wonderful kids who fight too much, and hang on me too much, and smell delicious, and are polite in public and sometimes even finish their vegetables. And sometimes I still feel like I am reaching a "dealbreaker" moment and yet somehow it never gets to that point. Because I do try to remember. And I tell myself that he probably feels the same way too at times. And we keep moving on.

If you've made it this far, I am sorry I barfed all of this up. Have you ever reached what you thought could be a "dealbreaker" moment? Have you ever forgiven something that you didn't think you would be able to?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

When I got pregnant with now-6-weeks-old Henry, Paul wanted me to get an abortion. I wasn't sure we could get past that. We did, but there's scar tissue there now and I wouldn't want to try messing around with it.

The vasectomy thing would have been a similar thing for me.

I'm making this anonymous in case my parents ever search for comments by me--they don't know about what Paul wanted. But I'm deliberately using names/ages so you'll know who I am.

-Starts with Sw, rhymes with thistle

MrsGrumpy said...

Anon: What you posted is exactly how I felt and sometimes do feel. Move along, think of other things and try to forget it at some point in my life. For the most part, he is my everything. Thanks for sharing that.

Michele said...

Wow, alot to process here. We havent had any specific dealbreakers, but there have been a few generalized periods of time when I felt like I could walk and not look back. With us it is not one big thing, but a culmination of alot of little things all in one week that make me crazy.
And then it passes and I look back and think "What the hell I was so freaked out about? Why did I think I could leave?" and the cycle starts again.
It took me 7 years of marriage to realize that we do have a very good thing, even though sometimes I want to drive over it 87 times in the mini-van. And everything passes and something else takes it place.

Dealbreakers, at this point, would be infidelity or abuse. And toupees. Totally cant stand a toupee.

Anonymous said...

I just went back in your blog archive, way back. My husband cheated on me and that was a deal breaker. I kicked him out for 2 weeks and then realized that I really did want him back. I needed him, so I let him. Ask 2 years before it happened, no way would I have stayed with a cheating bastard! Hope you are feeling a little up.

Courtney