Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Anniversary

Today is our 15th wedding anniversary.

I was handling it well (which means forgetting about it and focussing on work and getting ready for school to start next week.) Then I came home from work and found an anniversary card from my parents in the mail. I called my dad to thank him, and he asked if we were going to go to dinner to celebrate. I told him no, that Scott and the older kids had gone to lagoon.(When and how am I going to be able to tell my parents?)

Then I was depressed.

I think somewhere in the back of my mind a year or two ago, I imagined that we would have the money and the kids would be old enough for us to leave them to go on our first romantic cruise to celebrate.

Three strikes against that happening.

Instead, we celebrated, or maybe just commemorated, a couple of days ago by going out for dinner and a movie.

It was nice, but awkward. Scott thought I hated the movie. Meanwhile, I didn't know how to act because I don't know where the boundaries are with us physically any more, so I am afraid to hold his hand or lean on his shoulder for fear of making him uncomfortable or anxious, afraid that he will have another panic attack at the thought of having to remind me that he needs the romantic and emotional side of our relationship to be over. 

At the movie, the armrest was already up between us, leaving the space open for comfortable cuddling, a benefit we didn't have when we were dating and held hands or snuggled uncomfortably across the arm rest. But neither of us put the arm rest down, nor did we cross over the space. I was painfully aware of the situation, which I guess Scott interpreted as me disliking the movie.

How do two people who are trying to be "just friends" successfully celebrate a wedding anniversary?

He came out to me 2 years (and one month) ago, and my initial reaction was worrying that our marriage and/or romantic and intimate relationship were over.

But within a few months, our marriage was stronger than it had ever been. If anyone could make a MOM work, we could...or so I thought.

Seven months ago he told me that he couldn't do this for the rest of his life; that he had to know what it really felt like to love someone, someone he could be emotionally and physically attracted to.

Three weeks ago he sent me an email telling me he was emotionally stretched too thin, trying to keep a relationship with me while looking for another relationship. He didn't want to "lead me on" with something he couldn't do any more. He started sleeping downstairs. He has completely detached himself emotionally from me. But since then, he has been happier and more "here" for the family than he has been for a while. I have really enjoyed time we have spent together with the children since then. He has been upbeat and helpful, instead of sluggish and withdrawn.

Obviously I have my moments, but my strength and attitude have really surprised me. I honestly laugh more than I cry, I think. My children are everything to me. Sometimes I feel very alone, but I never am. I always have my sweet little boys to snuggle with. And I'm sure there are other loved ones close by watching over me. 

So, I guess I need to stop of thinking of today as the anniversary of our marriage, but instead remember it as the anniversary of starting our beautiful family. And that is a happy thought to cling to.

4 comments:

Adon said...

It's really difficult for me to read what has occurred to your relationaship since Scott came out to you. I could see my marriage fall apart similarly if I am not careful. Unlike Scott, I don't think I could venture out looking for a new realtionship knowing that someone loves me as much as my wife does. I know she doesn't understand my attraction to men or even believes sometimes that it is true. And I know she was shocked at my admissions and doesn't condone my personal behavior but at the same time I also have never cheated on her or ever plan to.

I still encourage you not to hold back on your impulses to touch, hug or kiss him because you are afraid you might make him uncomfortable. You still have feelings for him obviously. He might as well know that you still feel for him. If he knows where you are emotionally, he will have an easier time time finding his way back to you, knowing that you are where you have always been. Does that make any sense?

By the way, as I told Scott, I ended up posting my response to his question on marriage on a page on my blog. www.forever-silent.blogspot.com. It's in the upper right hand corner, titled "My Marriage". Read it if you like.

Madame Curie said...

It is natural and expected, Sarah, that you should mourn the loss of your marriage when and how is best for you. What I mean is, you shouldn't feel like you have to be strong all of the time. Give in to being upset, angry, feeling betrayed, etc. I know you try to show your best on the blog, but i just hope you are taking time to grieve as well.

(((Hugs)))

carmitch said...

I have to disagree with you, Adon, with what you've said. Scott has started the process of living a separate life from Sarah. And, yes, Sarah, it may continue to hurt you to realize this, but your life as a part of Scott's is going to end. Yes, you and him will ALWAYS be a part of your kids' lives. But, at some point, Scott's going to find a man to love and date. I'm sure I'm not the only man that finds him attractive.

Adon, no offense, but I don't find your advice to be the best. There's too much dishonesty to one's self involved. I find Sarah and Scott to be more honest in their situation than you are in yours.

But, who knows? I may be wrong. I was never married or had any desire to be married to a woman. I came out at 23 and still find it to be the best and one of the important stages in my life. It wasn't easy and still isn't, but it has been worth it.

Anonymous said...

Sarah, I completely understand how acutely aware of Scott's physical presence you were, and the urge to touch, but not touch, just the comfort even the littlest physical touch could bring even though your mind knows and understands that there isn't necessarily a true physical connection. Reading your description reminded me of so many times when I felt the same way. I remember in the last days begging my ex to hold me as I cried, because I needed that. In that situation I felt how hard it was for him, but he did it.

Today, two years post-MOM, I struggle to overcome my learned behavior to fight that urge as I am with an incredible man, who is helping me relearn what it means to be in a balanced relationship.

Each year three days on the calendar always stand out to me, the anniversary of our marriage, the anniversary of our separation and the anniversary of our divorce. I think of the anniversary of our marriage, well, I don't really know if there are any words to describe it. It's just a weird day. I think of the anniversary of our separation as the day I started building the next phase of my life, and the anniversary of the divorce as the day I committed to understanding and loving all I have in my life. There's nowhere to go but forward, right?

Sarah, in the end, I don't have regrets. And I even don't have anger. I never really did. I think the one constant emotion I experienced was disappointment. Disappointment about all the complications, half-truths, mixed-up truths, and just that it didn't work out.

It's tough, but one day it'll get better.

I think the thought of your anniversary as the anniversary of starting your family is incredible and beautiful. Cherish that.

Love you lots, thanks for your blog a million times over.