I won’t be seeing my special, “I can screw around too” friend anymore. We hooked up a few times, but mostly became good phone friends. We take turns listening and bitching about what’s hard in our lives. Last time we spoke, I gave advice on working things out with his wife and being more patient. He replied that I must have it a whole lot better than him. I realized that I complained a lot about the move process, but that I hadn’t discussed the reality of what life is like behind the scenes of my marriage. I said that if we were going to play True Confessions, then I was withholding a lot. I wrote an e-mail with my real thoughts that I have not shared with anyone. Not even with myself for the most part.

Hi
So, you want to hear my True Confessions, huh? I don’t mind sharing my thoughts.
I realized after your comment about how much “better” it must be for me, that I was really misrepresenting how it is. Not on purpose, but I guess it is harder than I realized to see things clearly for myself. I think I pretty much summed up the situation by telling you those thoughts I have, and have had pretty much all the time, for quite a long time now (couple years, actually). I’ve never admitted that to anyone, and don’t even want to repeat it now in writing. It seems so cruel, insensitive, and self-centered and self-serving. But it is the truth.
He’s not a bad person, and I do still love him, and know that he loves me. But his personal characteristics that make me so unhappy and crazy and wanting to get away are the exact same ones that keep me from leaving. His temper, his intolerance, paranoia, are all tough to deal with. He is overly controlling, suspicious & vindictive. He’s the guy who breaks out into road rage behavior when someone cuts him off on the highway. One time on the Blue Route he got into one of those stupid situations, with Anjelica and me in the car. And the guy in the other car ends up pulling up along my side of the car with a gun pointed at me. Not fun, and totally avoidable. I can’t tell you all the fights with neighbors over the years, and the ongoing battles even after the disputes have been resolved.

It is like he feels the world is against him, and he is not going to take any sh*t from anybody. When someone does something that has an adverse effect on him, he assumes it was on purpose and premeditated, and he takes the offensive position, and responds in kind and then some. He holds a grudge, will not give an inch, and takes revenge seriously. I would not want to be on the wrong side of a dispute with him. Hence, I am always bending over to try to appease him, calm him, and make sure he feels I am on his side. When we were in the last week trying to sell the house, he got so mad at me that he hung up on me, slamming down the phone, and smashing it to pieces. That’s when I apologized for something I didn’t think I had anything to apologize for. It made him calm down, and I was better off for it.
If I were to try to end our relationship, I believe that I would automatically become enemy #1, and I know I can’t win and survive in that situation. I think he would make my life absolutely miserable, and I would not be the least bit happier than I am now. When I say I stay for my daughter’s sake, that is true to the extent that I know that the split would be very ugly and that he would end up making it impossible for an amicable, fair, sharing relationship with Anjelica on both sides. Not because I think she is better off with two married parents, no matter how miserable the relationship makes me.

So, I don’t see a way out that is any better than being here and trying to minimize the bad times, and keep him happy. When he’s feeling happy, loved, and that I’m on his side, he is less likely to do the things that make me insane. So, even when I am feeling angry and hurt and sad, I try to put extra effort to try to make him feel better, lather on the good stuff, and then he comes around. He starts acting different, and then I do feel better too. But all too often I’m on the edge that either I or someone else is going to piss him off and start up all the behaviors that are so difficult to live with.

I can’t tell you how close I came so many times to walking from this marriage. And, actually, I think our relationship helped me get through those recent times without walking. Partly because of the friendship and support you gave. But also partly because I didn’t want there to be any link between our relationship and any decision I made regarding my marriage. If it was going to end, it was going to be totally unrelated and not influenced by any outside factors. If I had been forced to quit my job here, go back to Delaware and abandon the move, I don’t think it would have survived. I still don’t know if it will or not. Things are a lot better than they were. He has been keeping it together better, and I can see him really trying sometimes to not explode, and barely holding it in.
But there are still way too many times when I am so angry and frustrated, and don’t feel like I can fight back without it turning very ugly. And I am too often just ranting and raving in my head. But I try to keep my head together and talk myself through it. I really don’t want to have a failed marriage, either.
So, that’s it. My cards are all out on the table. Hope you didn’t fall asleep or feel uncomfortable now. Hope it was the right thing to do – at least not the wrong thing. Hope you don’t think I am a nut.
Jo

The horrible, cruel, thoughts that I have had, that I admitted to him on the phone that day and couldn’t bear to repeat in the e-mail are my greatest shame in life. Far worse than cheating on my husband, resenting him, and considering of leaving him. Whenever I think these thoughts, I try to erase them, and swear I didn’t actually mean them, and chastise myself for allowing them into my head. And yet, they keep coming back. And when they do, I pull out my mental eraser, and try to wipe them off my brain. Sometimes, I’ll be driving down the road, and see flowers and a cross, and memorabilia left as a marker where someone’s loved one has died in an accident, and I think how sad it is that such a well-loved person is gone and recognize that I probably would not be leaving shrines at the site if Lou had a fatal crash. It’s not that I’m wishing it to happen; rather, it is a sorry realization that I doubt I would feel the same way. What is even more disturbing to me are the times when he is flying in his airplane alone, and this rhyme keeps repeating in my head: “crash and burn, crash and burn, crash and burn on your final turn.” It is a more accurate description to say that I hear that sing-song phrase playing in my head, rather than it being my thoughts. I always quickly contradict it with another positive thought, look toward the heavens, and audibly say, “fly safe, and have a safe landing.” But it keeps coming back to me. I’m not wishing anything bad to happen. Not consciously anyway.

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