I started this blog – to help me along my journey to health and it’s still that, but then it became more focused about the band and connected to this amazing, supportive group – which is the biggest blessing of all. But really, I think it’s an extension of something that’s been coming for a while now. I need to take back my life – really I need to take my life for the first time. I’m not sure I ever had a hold of it.
It’s a slow process. It started a few years ago when I first started to loose weight, no not then, when I first decided to really do it. I had to ask for help. I knew it was mental. I knew I wasn’t dumb. At 251 lbs I joined the Johns Hopkins Weight Management program and asked for help. I chose that path because of the name and because it had a counseling component. I lost a bunch of weight, but it was really just a diet; actually not unlike what I’m eating now. Lots of protein. It wasn’t a good fit. I’m a hard nut to crack. I put on a good show, but I don’t let my walls down hardly ever. I live in my protective little bubble and go about my day. I told them that while I was excelling at their diet, that’s when I needed to talk about the tough stuff. I’m in a good place and I can talk about that stuff in an abstract way – a way I’m capable of. I knew myself well enough to know that if I waited until I was failing at the diet as I knew I would, I wouldn’t be strong enough to deal with the tough stuff. I had to do it when I was strong.
They couldn’t hear me. They were so impressed with how well I was doing. If I did ever hit a bump, we could talk about it then. So when I started failing at the diet, I walked away. I didn’t gain it all back but I gained most of it. The thing is, though, I knew I wasn’t done. I knew it was just that “that” didn’t work for me.
About the same time I started randomly searching things on the internet that I hoped could help me find what was missing from my marriage. I’m pretty sure back then (this was 2005-2006 I think) I couldn’t have told you what I was searching for or why. But as I found things that piqued my interest over time it became clear. There are holes and I need to fill them – or they need to be filled in some way. And a lot of them are within my marriage.
My husband is a wonderful man and I have told the world that for all of the nearly 20 years we’ve been together. I haven’t lied exactly. I just highlighted only the good stuff. I never, ever participated in mindless husband bashing. I was the first and often only one to say… hey wait, my husband doesn’t do that. And he didn’t. He’s great. On paper he’s damn near perfect. He has always shared completely in everything we’ve done – housework, child rearing. There’s no doubt he has changed way more diapers than I have. Our kids go to him as easily as they go to me – see I’m doing it again. That’s mostly true, but they know I’m their mom and will comfort and protect them better and stronger than anyone else, even their dad. But, compared to many, many men in the world – my kids will seek comfort from him much more quickly.
He’d be offended at the concept that he was “babysitting” his own kids. Seriously he’d get actually mad at such a notion. He handles our home schedule which is much more traditionally a female role. He sets up play dates and arranges for babysitters and signs them up for sports or camp.
But it’s more like we’re friends. Not married. Our sex life is all over the place. Some years we cant’ keep our hands off each other and some years not so much. When we have problems, though, he doesn’t want to talk about it. Talking about it makes it harder for him to deal with. He’ll fix it on his own – he promises. He doesn’t.
In my searching I came across some things – some ways to structure our marriage differently that might make the lines of communication more clear. We made some changes and they were amazing for both of us. He’d readily agree to that. The changes made him stand up straighter and be more proud of who he was every day, they made me do the same for me. They brought us closer. It was a very good time sex wise too. Then he stopped. He’d say; Read, I love this! I’m going to do X, Y, and Z are you good with that? Why yes dear I am, that would be great. And I’ll do A, B, and C.
Some of our best, most honest conversations were/are through IM or email where we could really think about what message we were trying to get across. I’d share them with my BFF and she’d be amazed at how open and honest and respectful we always were. But it was a lie. Or rather, he was lying. He wouldn’t do X, Y, and Z. He’d just go downstairs and play on the computer.
There were too many lies. It’s such a strong word and one I would never have thought I’d ever use about him…. ever. He’s the most moral man I know. But what else do you call it. He came to me. Read, I’m sorry, I’m not living up to my end of the bargain. I’m going to change that today. These are the very specific ways I’m going to do that. And he never did. Not until the next time we had that same conversation and he’d say that same thing.
Man this so got away from me. I think this post started out as me talking about using this blog as therapy in addition to weight loss support – but it sort of morphed. I guess you can guess what’s on my mind? So – the moral to the story is, boys and girls. I think this blog is going to be a means of therapy for me and I’m very thankful to have found it – and I’m really struggling with my marriage right now. Oh and 12 year old boys are no fun at all sometimes.