Posts

When Life Gives You Lemons, It’s Okay If You Just Want To F*cking Chuck Them At People

This post is for anyone who is struggling.

For anyone who is sick and tired of blow after blow after blow.

For anyone who feels like they can’t catch a fucking break.

And I hate vague posts. Vaguebooking.

You know,  when someone posts something on Facebook along the lines of I just don’t know what to do anymore…

Or  even better, just one word.

Shattered…

But as much as I hate it, I’m about to do it.

Sort of.

I received some really shitty news yesterday.

Really shitty.

It’s not something I can share. Not right now anyway.

And before you go crazy trying to figure out what it is, all my family members are healthy. Nobody is in the hospital. There has been no infidelity in my marriage.

To be honest, it doesn’t really matter what the bad news is.

Bad news is bad news.

It’s fairly major bad news.

And you know what?

I’m fucking sick of bad news.

I’m sick of hardship and sadness and worry and anger and anxiety and the fucking resulting depression.

I’M FUCKING OVER IT.

I know better than anyone else what I need to do to get through this.

I need to ask for help where I can get it.

I need to continue to exercise.

I need to get enough sleep.

I need to eat well.

I need to find a therapist. Like yesterday.

I need to take a shower and continue to show up for my kids.

I need to take care of myself so I can take care of them.

Because if I fall apart, then things will get seriously fucked up.

But you know what? I don’t want to do any of those healthy things.

I’m sitting here at the computer typing.

But I really want to be on the couch, binge watching Netflix in an effort to forget about reality for a little while.

I want to eat every single carb in my kitchen. And my neighbor’s kitchen.

I want to call in sick to work and drink a bottle of wine.

I want to call one of my friends who has a “prescription” for medical marijuana and go get completely out of my mind stoney baloney.

I want to be numb. Because this fucking blows.

You know what else I want to do?

I want to punch every single person who tells me that “God has a funny way of teaching us patience” or  “Sometimes you’re not getting what you want because something better is planned for you instead” or “God never gives you more than you can handle” directly in the face. Hard.

The Fall down seven times, stand up eight tattoo I got on my forearm in December?

I want to Indian burn that motherfucker right off of myself.

I don’t want to be inspired. I don’t want to be motivated. I don’t want to be challenged.

I don’t want to be positive or optimistic. I don’t want to look at the glass as half full.

I don’t want to fucking do anything.

I’m frustrated. I’m worried. I’m angry. And I’m fucking exhausted.

But my kids are counting on me.

So as soon as I hit publish on this post, even though I want to do every possible unhealthy (and ultimately ineffective) thing there is to do in order to deal with the bullshit I’m experiencing right now, I’m going to get out of this chair, exercise, eat, take a shower, and then get ready to go to work.

I am going to do my best to show up. I’m going to think about the people who are counting on me.

But I really, really, really don’t want to.

I just want to sit here and cry.

If you are in the same spot, if you are struggling, if you feel like you can’t catch a break, if you are fucking over everything, I’m not gonna try to pump you up.

I’m not going to tell you that Tough times don’t last; tough people do. I’m not going to tell you You’ll get through this. (But you will).

I just wanted to tell you that if you are tired and dejected and feeling hopeless because of whatever your string of shitty things is, I know how bad it sucks. It fucking blows.

I totally get it. Hang in there.

I’m right there with you.

 

 Not Your Average T-Shirts For Men, Women, and Children! Check ’em out!

please take  10 seconds to vote for me 🙂

top_mommy_blogs_signature_banner

I thought you guys hated each other.

What do you do when you are struggling in your marriage but there hasn’t been any one catastrophic event that has caused the trouble?

When there hasn’t been cheating? When there hasn’t been addiction. When there hasn’t been abuse?

What do you do when you and your spouse have just reached a point where you cannot get along?

Where you are starting to despise almost everything about the person you are married to?

When you are approaching The War of the Roses status?

What do you do when you keep fighting over the same things? When you can’t let things go? When you are waiting for your spouse to come to his (or her) senses?

When you are fighting so often that you don’t even remember what the fuck you were fighting about in the first place?

What do you do when your ten-year-old daughter says to you, “I hope when I get married, I don’t fight all the time with my husband.”?

Or what do you do when your five-year-old daughter sees you and your husband hugging, and she innocently and genuinely says to you, “I thought you guys hated each other.”

Yes, my daughters have recently said both of those things.

And yes.

Those two comments stung.

But they were also eye opening.

The last eight months have been rough. Really rough.

Going-to-see-a-divorce-lawyer-to-decide-if-it’s-time-to-file-for-divorce tough.

Leaving-for-a-week-because-you-simply-cannot-bear-it-anymore tough.


One of my biggest challenges with the kids is getting them to stop the “getting to be right wars.”

Continuing to argue, just for the sake of arguing, it seems.

And I often find myself reminding them either not to engage or to just nod their head and agree with the other person. That if it isn’t a matter of life and death, there is no need to keep going until someone is declared victorious in the argument.

Just let it go.

Last June, shortly after school ended, I spent a week at my parents’ house with the kids when things had gotten to (a then) all-time low.

After five days at my parents’ house, Number 4 said to me, “Mom, I want to go home. Why can’t you just do what you tell us to do? Why can’t you just tell Dad that he’s right and then we can all go home?”

I was crushed.

But also immediately defensive.

I wanted to say to her, “This is different. It’s complicated. You don’t understand. It’s not the same thing.”

But in reality, it was.

In reality, the problem wasn’t infidelity or addiction or abuse.

It was a complete inability to communicate at all any more with my husband.

It was our complete inability to communicate at all with each other.

And the reason why the kids were having such a hard time stopping these getting to be right wars became glaringly obvious.

They had some pretty good (or bad) role models.


Number 4 is the reason why I didn’t leave for good last June.

Things continued to be up and down.

Mostly down.

And I found myself wondering how on Earth I could keep going.

There was no way this marriage could work. It was hopeless.

My husband wasn’t happy.

I wasn’t happy.

The kids certainly saw it.

The fact that Number 7 thought we hated each other was not only disturbing, but also a pretty good reflection of the state of  he union.

I continued waiting.

Waiting for my husband to get it.

Waiting for him to understand.

Waiting for him to see the light.

Waiting for him to make the first move.

Waiting for him to do something differently.

Everything, our future, our marriage, our potential, was hinging on him.

And then I pulled my head out of my ass.

I have spent 13 years pointing fingers.

13 years waiting.

13 years focusing on the faults of another person.

When the person I should have been focusing on was me. As far as my marriage is concerned, anyway.

I want to point fingers at someone else. It’s so much easier than pointing them at myself.

I tell the kids ad nauseam that they cannot make someone else do or say anything.

They can only control themselves.

I also tell them that the way they talk to and treat other people affects how other people are going to treat them. You know, that whole do unto others thing.

But I totally suck at remembering that myself!

The truth of the matter is, if your marriage is in a Mexican stand off where neither one of you is willing to make any sort of move to make things better, then your marriage is  pretty much fucked.


About two years ago, we started seeing a therapist we both liked. She practiced Imago therapy, and it was the first kind of therapy that had really helped us to make any progress.

Imago therapy, unlike other types of therapy, doesn’t treating the individuals. It treats the relationship.

And because of this, you don’t ever go see the therapist separately.

In fact, you don’t even step foot into the office separately. My husband and I had to enter the room together.

But at one point, my husband and I were struggling so badly in one of our Mexican standoffs that the therapist, in a last ditch move, told us she wanted to see each of us individually.

It was a major break in protocol for her.

It was that bad.

But when I went to that individual appointment, she said to me, “I see a lot of pricks in this office. Guys who I know are not going to change. Guys who don’t get it. I know those relationships are never going to get better.”

I felt relief.

She was going to tell me my husband was also one of those pricks. It would be my okay to leave.

I sat there waiting for her not just to give me permission to file for divorce, but to recommend it.

But all she said was, “I really like Daryl. And he’s not a prick. He’s a good guy. And if you can take care of your things, there is a good chance he will follow suit and take care of his.”

Ummm….. Whoah.

I was not prepared for that response from her.

Fuck.

It really wasn’t just him.


So here I am, two years later.

Ten days ago we were heavy in another Mexican standoff. It was the worst one to date.

We weren’t budging.

We were holding onto lots of baggage.

Rehashing the same things. Playing the same tapes.

In the middle of it I went to a friend’s house with a bunch of other moms.

I knew what was going to happen.

I was going to drink a glass or three of wine, and then I was gonna lose it.

That’s exactly what happened.

I had one (or three) too many glasses of wine and spent the rest of the night unloading my biased version of events to my very supportive (and patient) friends.

I left my Mom’s Night Out crying inconsolably.

I knew my marriage was over.

I knew there was no hope.


Three days later I had an appointment with a new therapist. A friend of mine highly recommended her. She was a ball buster, which is exactly what I wanted.

I don’t need to waste time (or money) with a bobble head.

I needed someone who was going to get shit done. And I was going to see her just for me.

She’d help me see things clearly. She’d help me figure things out.

That first meeting with a therapist is always a challenge, because you want to make sure she (or he) knows and understands your whole entire life story but you only have and hour to tell it.

But the other thing I know about therapy is that you get out of it what you put into it.

And if you aren’t totally open and honest, you might as well stay home.

So I put all the big stuff out there.

She asked me what I really wanted to get out of therapy.

And I told her, I needed to deal with the stuff I’m doing that is affecting my marriage.

I didn’t know what she’d say. Maybe she’d tell me I was doing okay. That there wasn’t a whole lot I was doing wrong.

And when our appointment was coming to an end, she said,

“You’re gonna need to come in at least once a week.”


For all of you who are saying, It’s been 13 years. You’ve been doing this for thirteen years and things still suck??? It’s time to throw in the fucking towel!

Maybe for some people, or even most people, it would be.

But I left the therapist’s office knowing one thing.

I have not done everything I can from my end to make this marriage work.

There is work to be done in the therapist’s office. And there is work to be done at home.

Marriage is work, even for the best marriages. But I have been off duty. I have checked out. I have been waiting for the effort to come from the other end. Even though I have given the other end reason to maybe not want to make an effort.

I have been sleeping on the couch for years. I have not been especially nice to my husband. I have held onto grudges, rolled my eyes repeatedly, called him terrible names and said horrible things to him (in the heat of a stand off, but still — that shit leaves a mark).

I have operated under the, he did it first, so I’m doing it back.

You know.

Five-year-old behavior.


So after I left that first therapy appointment, I made a decision.

I’d come home and end the stand off. I’d tell my husband I loved him. I’d ask him if we could wipe the slate clean (or as clean as possible) and start over.

My husband replied with,

of course.

And that is why thirteen years is not long enough for me to try before throwing in the towel.

I want to give him some more reasons to keep trying.

Because he’s not a prick. And he’s worth it.

I know there are no guarantees.

I don’t know where we will be three days or three months or three years from now.

But I do know my husband still loves me.

I still love my husband.

He’s not ready to give up.

And neither am I.

 

Check out this set and and tons of other cute stuff out at Betsy Boo’s Boutique — my fave place to shop online!

please take  10 seconds to vote for me 🙂

top_mommy_blogs_signature_banner

 

 

Do you need a therapist?

There is a vineyard in my town. It’s  1.7 miles from my house as the crow flies, and a 3.3 mile drive.

And in the seven years I have lived here, I’ve never been there.

Until today.

Today I went there with a bunch of friends to surprise another friend for her birthday.

It was awesome.

You can buy bottles of wine and sit outside at a table and bring a  picnic lunch and do whatever the hell you want, really.

So anyway, you can also pay $8 to sample six of the wines there.

After we had been there for about an hour and drank a few bottles of wine between the eight of us, we went inside for the tasting.

There were three or four people serving us.

One of them was the owner of the vineyard.

We were  all saddled up to the bar, we had all  chosen the wine we wanted to check out, and the owner zeroed in on me and said, “Is something bothering you? I can tell that something in bothering you.”

I have no idea how old he was, but I’m guessing maybe 75- 80ish.

I didn’t know what to say.

“Do you need a therapist?”he asked.

 What the fuck?

“Is it that obvious?” I asked him.

“I saw you coming from Nebraska,” he said.

Ummmm… I had no fucking clue what that even meant.

“So do I have a scarlet T on my forehead?” I asked him.

“No, ” he said. “I’m a gynecologist,” he said.

What. The. Fuck.

This was getting weirder (and funner) by the minute.

“I’ve got issues at both ends,” I told him. “Would you be interested in a two for one special?”

He laughed.

I don’t remember what exactly was said after that, but there was some back and forth which ultimately resulted in me saying to him,

“I know you want me.”

He laughed some more.

“Well, you do have a great smile,” he told me.

I was laughing so hard.  We all were.

The owner was playing along. He was really cool. Especially for an older dude.

He was smart and fun.

Was he really able to know shit about me just by looking at me?

I don’t know.

Maybe not.

But who knows. Maybe he was.

He thanked us and said goodbye.

 

It was a random and so fun afternoon.

And if I find myself in need of a therapist,

or a pap smear,

or a bottle of wine…

Well, now I know exactly where to go.

 

Check out Betsy Boo’s Boutique — SUPER CUTE STUFF —  my favorite  place to shop online!

please take  10 seconds to vote for me!!!!!!!!!

top_mommy_blogs_signature_banner

What I learned in therapy yesterday (and 52 things you can do to improve the quality of your marriage).

Last night my husband and I went to see a new marriage therapist. Or couples counselor. Or whatever you want to call it.

We are approaching twelve years of marriage, and this is the fourth therapist we have seen.

Our first therapist was a super nice lady.

We liked her.

But we both liked her because we both thought she was on “our side.” I was sure she thought my husband was the one with the issues, and my husband was sure she thought I was the one with the issues.

She was what you’d call a bobble head.

She nodded in agreement with everything my husband and I said, but she didn’t really give us any tools to work with.

The next therapist we saw started out as my personal therapist and then my husband and I started seeing her together.

She was incredibly helpful to me. She was by far the most effective therapist I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen a bunch).

I’m not so sure she was as helpful to me and my husband as a couple, but it didn’t really matter.

Because one day, out of nowhere, she disappeared.

Literally.

She fell off the face of the planet.

A couple years later we saw our third therapist.

She was the best therapist my husband and I saw together.

But when we couldn’t afford our health insurance anymore and we lost it, our new insurance didn’t cover her.

So we had to stop going.

When our financial situation started to improve a tiny bit, she gave us a reduced rate since we still had to pay out of pocket, so we started seeing her again.

Then she moved to England.

So that was the end of her.

And then last night we had our first meeting with Therapist Number Four (TNF).

That first session is always tough because there is so much to talk about.

I’ll spare you the details and get right to what I found to be very useful from last night.

So often when a couple goes to see a therapist, you are rehashing old arguments.

As grown ups, we will hold on to things for a long, long time.

But if you look at children, as TNF explained to us, they will get really pissed at each other, or at you, but it takes a very short time for them to get over it.

And they really get over it.

They let it go, and they move on.

They don’t keep bringing the same shit up over and over and over again.

And they don’t give you the silent treatment for days

Or weeks.

Or months.

(I’m talking about children, not teenagers).

Rehashing old stuff that really isn’t significant to what is going on now is a waste of time.

And the more you focus on it, the more angry and resentful you become.

The more angry and resentful you become, the less likely you are to be willing to make any changes.

And if you are unhappy or dissatisfied with your marriage or your marriage isn’t healthy, you need to make some changes.

Both of you.

And one of the things you need to do is go back to that point in your relationship where your relationship was a priority.

Where you made an effort.

And that’s when TNF said if you each made one change a week for the next year, that would be 104 changes you’ve made to your marriage.

He wasn’t talking about massive changes.

Just little things.

Little things that you did back in the early days that for one reason or another are no longer present in your marriage.

I’ve attempted to do this in the past.

I’ve attempted to do some of those things I did back in the honeymoon phase of the relationship.

But as soon as I felt that my husband wasn’t immediately reciprocating, I stopped.

Which is part of the problem.

If you are keeping score, you aren’t self-reflecting and changing your behavior.

You are waiting for someone else to change their behavior.

And like we tell our kids, the only person you can control is yourself.

If you are dissatisfied with or struggling in your marriage you have to make changes.

Regardless of what the other person does.

Of course if you really commit to making healthy changes and do that for like a year and your spouse has made absolutely no effort at all, then you’ve got some decisions to make.

But to try something differently for two or three days and then quit when things aren’t immediately reciprocated is not committing to making changes.

I’ve already declared this upcoming school year The Year of NO.

A couple weeks ago I committed to  decluttering my life. To clearing my plate of unnecessary responsibilities and self-imposed tasks.

This will give me more time and energy to devote to my marriage.

And that is something I really need to do.

So I’m not going to assign myself a challenge.

But I am committing to making changes in my marriage that are reasonable and sustainable.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot since last night.

Could I make 52 changes?

Are there things I can do differently?

There are. Because I made a list.

There’s a lot of stuff I don’t do right now.

I’m not holding myself to it. I’m not assigning myself a task that I need to check off every day of the year for the next 52 weeks.

But I’m using it as a list of suggestions. A guide. A tool for self-reflection.

What are things I’m not doing now that I did back in the day? What are habits I could reestablish (or even establish for the first time ever) that might make my husband feel more loved and respected?

Here are 52 things that I’m not currently doing that could have a big effect on the quality of my marriage:

1. Tell my husband I love him every day.

2.  Give my husband a hug every day before he goes to work.

3. Give my husband a kiss every day before he goes to work.

4. Greet my husband with a smile when he gets home from work.

5. Say hello to my husband when he comes home from work.

6 Give my husband a hug when he comes home from work.

7.Give my husband a kiss when he comes home from work.

8. Stop sleeping on the couch at night and sleep in the bed (I actually started doing this again although as soon as my husband and I have a fight I go straight back to the couch).

9. Keep my phone out of the bedroom.

10. Commit to not doing any work after 9 pm.

11. Send my husband a text during the day just to say hi.

12.  Set aside at least two hours a week to spend one on one time with my husband.

13. Leave my husband love notes in random places (like in his car or on the bathroom mirror).

14.  Give my husband a card just because.

15. Tell him one thing I appreciate about him every day.

16. Tell  my husband one reason WHY I love him every day.

17. Rub his back/shoulders/feet (even if it’s just for 30 seconds).

18. Ask him what he’d like to do on the weekend and then do it. No questions asked, no eye rolling, no heavy sighing.

19. Make his lunch to take to work with him.

20. Stop by and visit him at work.

21. Call him during the day to say hi.

22. Make him a cup of coffee to take to work with him.

23. Make the bed (because I never do this but I know he really likes to have the bed made).

24. Make his favorite meal (I used to make him a steak at least once a week because that’s his favorite thing to eat and I can’t remember that last time I did that).

25. Praise him. In front of the kids.

26. Sit next to him on the couch and hold his hand.

27. Stop watching Netflix on the iPad in bed (that one will be a true testament of my love for him).

28. Touch him on the back/arm/shoulder when I walk past him just because.

29. Get him a gift card to a deli or  coffee shop or something near where he works and put it in his wallet.

30.  Plan a weekend away with no kids.

31. Apologize to him when I’ve done something wrong or hurt his feelings or whatever.

32. Thank him when  he does things around the house to help out.

33. Watch a movie on the couch with him. (and do #26).

34. Let him enjoy a day off of work without giving him a to do list.

35. Plan a trip to visit his family.

36. Greet him at the door with a beer when he comes home.

37. Write him a love letter.

38. Recognize when he’s making an effort.

39. Say something nice about him to my friends when he can hear it.

40. Wear an outfit he likes even if we aren’t planning to leave the house.

41. Plan a date night that involves more than going out to eat to the same place we always go to.

42. Eat dinner by candlelight.

43. Flirt with him.

44. Ask him what new hobby or experience he’d like to try together. And then actually do it.

45. Let him sleep in. On a day other than Father’s Day.

46. Make him a surprise breakfast. Just because.

47. Don’t spend money on anything we haven’t both agreed on ahead of time.

48. Ask him for what I want rather than expecting him to read my mind and then getting mad when he doesn’t.

49. Tell him what I appreciate about him as a father.

50. Compromise.

51. Buy a bra with straps that are less than three inches thick and let him see me in that.

52. Buy a pair of underpants that aren’t the size of a hot air balloon and let him see me in them.

Wow.

There’s a lot of room for improvement.

Even if I could do five of those things on a regular basis, that would be a start.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

Focus not on the things I wish my husband was doing, but instead, the things that I’m not.

And I think I’ll just start with Number 1 and see how far I can get.

 

 

If you are in need of a new game to play, check out Panda Pop!

Fun for all ages and you don’t walk off a cliff or get hit by a car when you play it.

please take  10 seconds to vote for me!!!!!!!!!

top_mommy_blogs_signature_banner