Monday, May 28, 2007

Can We Talk?

Jim and I attended counseling of just about every type....both of us to couple's counseling at church with Pastor least twice, once to Pastor A. At the suggestion of Pastor B, we were to spend a weekend 'alone', that is with Jim leaving the house, and really thinking about our marriage, the outcome to decide if we were going to reconcile - and that Pastor B would hope that is what we would do. We separated for that weekend and I was miserable, because he was to come back Sunday night to tell me what he decided he wanted to do and visa-versa. I anxiously awaited his return and his answer with knots in my stomach. He proceeded to tell me that he drove 80 mph in his truck, with the windows down and the radio blaring the country songs - all of which mentioned divorce - and wondered if that was a 'sign'. He spent the night on a back country road, after stopping at WalMart to stock up with a blanket and snacks. Then he stayed at a hotel, and told me he enjoyed sleeping diagonally across the bed in the nude and felt so free. Never once did he talk about how he thought about our marriage. I had to ask him if he wanted to continue to try and heal the marriage and he said he thought so, and I agreed. I was willing to try anything to stay together.

I also visited with both pastors on my own, as Jim didn't trust them to keep our story confidential. There was couple's counseling with Leon for over a year, then Jim to him by himself, becoming his primary counselor. I went to Jane by myself at the suggestion of Leon and Speckmiear. I saw her at least once a week for about a year, then back as necessary.

Next we went to couple's marriage counseling with Martin, at the suggestion of Jane and Leon. I wouldn't say that it went well at all. He quickly saw that our marriage was 'done'. By way of explanation, one of our first exercises was to go home and make a list of what we each wanted to get out of the counseling sessions. My list included: improved communication; plans to approach things from each other's point of view; suggestions from the counselor on what we could do; skills on 'how to argue'. Jim's list: an active wife; a wife with energy; a wife that wants to mow the grass; a wife that will lose weight. See the differences? Even with the counselor explaining things outright to Jim, he felt like Martin was 'on my side'..and basically refused to talk alot of the time. He was mean to me in front of Martin, bringing me to tears. I did not want to cry as I thought it showed weakness, but it hurt. I remember the last time we saw Martin, I was crying uncontrollably and stopped by my friend's house and told her "my marriage is over".

I tried to hold it together for the kids' sake. Even though we talked and talked and talked, nothing really ever improved. One of the final straws was when he purchased a brand new pick up truck - that he said "God told me to buy - cause an ad from this dealership fell out of the newspaper and that was a sign from God" , and he would use it for his new 'hauling business' - that is, picking up junk and depositing it back at our house, recycling the metal for money. His truck - again HIS TRUCK - cost more than what we owed on our house - but he said he would pay for it from HIS MONEY. He then proceeded to have a trailer made to his specifications - a huge thing that he could not even back correctly or up our driveway - and spent more money. Next he had difficulties with the truck and the hitch - and when he tried to get the dealer to fix it to his satisfaction, the dealer told Jim it was his problem. Jim wrote something on his back window about that dealership and drove around with it on there for a long long time. When I asked him what God wanted him to do, since God told him to buy the truck - he said that God told him to buy a truck, not that specific truck - and this truck was NOT the color he wanted in the first place.

The junk kept piling the the the driveway. He went 'dumpster diving' at the BU dorms and brought home personal hygiene items he 'thought we could use'. He brought home broken furniture with dreams of fixing it up. Lindsey called me one morning and said there was 'a guy at the door with a clipboard' & that she didn't want to answer the door. I said that was fine. Next thing I knew we had a letter from the insurance company that they were going to drop our homeowner's policy if all the trash was not cleared out within the week.
Jim said they could move it, that he would not. I called Steph and she, Beth, John Ed and Anna came over to help the kids and me load that junk onto John Ed's trailer for the trash. Jim did not have anything nice to say about the insurance company or the fact that his family came over to help.

I am not trying to paint Jim as a bad person - but that he had difficulties following the surgery with his change in personality. Dr. Harvey told us there could be changes, but all Jim wanted was to be free of seizures and he could not understand he was actually changing at the time. I think he knew he felt like a new man, and basically went along with what the 'new man' wanted to do. I guess I could not accept these extreme changes - nor could the kids. I went to his family one night, to explain some things, including the fact that pastor wanted me to ask for their help in a type of 'intervention'. Just when we got started, Jim came in to 'defend himself against the trash' I was talking 'about him'. He just would not listen to reason. No one else was right according to him.

I don't remember the last thing we argued about, but we did argue and I told the kids it was getting bad and I was going to have to do something. They got upset, took our car keys, and insisted that we sit down and talk. (Evidently I had talked too much to them about what I observed and not so much to Jim.) Well the first thing he said was "so you want a divorce?"...and I finally just said "yes". "Yes I do". That sent the kids into orbit - cause they were listening when they shouldn't have been. We couldn't reason with them. They cussed, they cried, they stomped around and banged their fists, they went to a friend's house. Then they called Anna and told her, she got on the phone with Jim and of course he said "its what she wants and I can't change her mind". Well, duh!! Of course.

I actually felt relieved. I called Karen from my cell phone while pacing in the front yard and said "can you see it? It just hit the fan in Hewitt." She was such a good friend to listen to me and not offer advice, but helped me see what I needed to do - the FIVE FINGER RULE. If it had not been for her, my counselor, pastors and family, plus my work friends, I never would have made it through.

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