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Thursday, June 24, 2010

I love him, I love him not, I love him

I've been keeping a secret. It's not exactly a total secret because several people who know me in real life know it. And I've hinted at it here. But I've never come right out and said it. I wasn't keeping it to be deceptive. Mostly I hadn't said anything because I wasn't ready to fully put it out there and because I wasn't sure how I felt about it. However, now I have a better understanding of myself and the situation and I am ready to share.

Mike and I are separated. Again. We have been living apart for almost three months. I won't speak for him, but I was saddened and broken to be having two separate residences less than a year after we moved back under the same roof. This time around has been really difficult for me (not that the last time was any cakewalk). I've spent a lot of time thinking about what is best for our family, what is best for me, and ultimately, what I want.

I've done the sad thing. I've done the angry thing. And I've done the "I don't care anymore" thing; I think that's been the most scary of all. I've had plenty of confusion. I've imagined life as a single parent even as I've been living it. And I've had a few spots of clarity where I've thought that what I really want is to live in realistic happiness with my husband and our children, all together as it should be.

So about 10 days ago, when I received an invitation for me and a guest to spend two days experiencing White River State Park, I had to really think about who to invite. My first thought was to invite a girlfriend. Then I thought about inviting Mike. Honestly, I wasn't sure I wanted to include him in my fun. But ultimately, I decided that some time away (even if it was in our own downtown), without the pressure of work and to do lists and carpools to coordinate, might be good for us. Give us a chance to reconnect -- or, more accurately, to see if there was still any connection there at all.

It wasn't long after we arrived at the hotel that we were laughing. His sense of humor is what attracted me to him over 20 years ago. He jokingly told everyone else in the group that he was there as my personal assistant. At the first museum we visited, he climbed aboard a replica stagecoach. He's always been one to be in the middle of the fun.

When he returned to the hotel as we headed to our second venue, the NCAA Hall of Champions, I understood. I didn't find myself irritated or being short with him -- and I was surprised at my tolerance. He rejoined the group about 30 minutes later and we good-naturedly poked fun about each other's athletic abilities.

Later in the afternoon, as we prepared to board our Segways, he teased me about my previous missteps with exercise/recreation equipment and I was reminded that we have so much history together. He asked great questions of the project manager on our hard hat tour of a new hotel under construction and I remembered the early days of our marriage when he was an eager reporter.

I'd be lying if I said it was all sunshine and lollipops. He did make me nervous as he wandered away from the group in the "bone room" at the Indiana State Museum. I was sure he was going to touch something he shouldn't. He spent $5 at an "art-o-mat" machine and I rolled my eyes, wishing he wouldn't waste the money.

Mostly, over the course of the two days, we held hands, we smooched, we enjoyed being together. And that gives me hope.

I know that those two days were an idealistic setting. No dishes to do. No kids to tote. No bills to pay. I know that everyday, ordinary life comes with bumps and roadblocks and responsibilities that aren't nearly as fun as having fun. I know that the long-term survival of our marriage depends on plenty of hard work on both our parts. But I also know that there still is something there between us, a spark, a shared past, a bit of the love we felt when we were college sweethearts, and yes, even a future.


Rebecca Jo said...

Relationships are hard... sending prayers for both of you as you all travel that road to see where its best led...

Missy said...

That's a heartfelt post. It's not easy sharing that kind of information with the world, but your story gives hope.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on putting yourself out there. Not only with this post, but for choosing your husband over your girlfriend - I imagine that was a tough that seems to be the right one!

Joanie said...

I hope this can all work out for you. I know it's hard to put a relationship back together, but maybe it will work for you. I can see hope for you both.

Micah and Emily said...

You're a strong woman Amy, not only in being honest with yourself but in letting others in on your experiences. I grew up in a single parent home and was witness to many of the hard choices my mother had to make for the greater good of the family.

We'll be thinking of you and hope that whatever happens, it's for the best.


mediakath said...

Good luck on your journey! I can assure you that our 28 years have not always been fun and lollipops, but you always have to work at the core of what's MOST important to you.

kimybeee said...

If living under two different roofs is what happens to work for you right now, then just let it work that way for right now. Don't put any undue expectations on it and let time and God be your road map. You don't have to live what may be ideal for everyone else, just what works for you!!

Jessica McCoy said...

I'm sorry to hear about the seperation but very happy to hear that y'all found that spark again.

I hope everything works out for the best for the whole family.

Momza said...

I'm going to give you my very best advice here, dear Amy.
I've been divorced, so my perspective is on the other end of what you're contemplating--and it's simple:
If you have HOPE in the situation, that is the Lord's way of telling you not to give up on this man and this marriage.

After you've done all you can think of to do to make it better, ASK God what HE would have you do, then DO that.

When you've given all you have, done all you can and have no Hope Left, go ASK God if it's ok to walk away.
Even if He says "yes", you're still going to have a broken heart...and it's going to take alot of time to move forward.

Healing comes, but that's alot of work too. None of it is easy.

Having said that, I left my husband not because of the chaos, the kids, the bills or the lack of time together. He was abusive on every level. I tried everything I could, everything He told me to try, and when I finally walked away, I had a clean conscience. I did my best.
Healing came in time and I've moved forward, while the ex is right where I left him--alone.

Do Your Best, Amy. Maybe counseling will help. I'm so glad you chose Mike over anyone seems to have been the right choice--which should tell you something right there. HOPE is a beautiful gift.

Eternal Lizdom said...

Momza's got me in tears because I just kept nodding my head in agreement.

As long as there is some kind of spark... some kind of hope...

I hope the kids are doing ok.

I hope you are doing ok.

I know you have a circle of friends but if you ever need me for any reason- you know how to reach me.

I'm super glad you got to do the weekend staycation with your husband.

Shell said...

Momza has such brilliant advice.

It does sound like there is some hope there.

Sending prayers that you figure out what the right thing is for you to do.

Cat said...

Good luck- it sounds like there's a connection still there. I hope you guys can nurture that... and however it works out, we're here for you. Making it work is hard.

Beth Zimmerman said...

Love you, sweet Amy! Continuing to pray!

Beth Zimmerman said...

Love you, sweet Amy! Continuing to pray!

Coby said...

What a wonderfully honest, heartfelt post. I've only been married 8 1/2 years, so what can I say? Except that I think Momza's words are brilliant, I'm so glad you found a place of hope (ideal setting or not, it's still HOPE!). Praying for you!

Mrs4444 said...

I'm glad you asked him; it sounds like it turned out to be a good idea. I hope everything works out.

Shelley said...


Beth said...

I love to be able to take a "time out" with my hubby. On a daily basis we don't always stop to "check in" and connect and we get caught up in the mayhem of life with 3 kids. It is so easy to get disconnected and off course. I find recharging our batteries once in a while helps significantly and does remind me of why I married him.

Hope your "time out" with your hubby was just what the doctor ordered. I hope that your journey is clear to you with little heartache, whether that journey finds you back together and taking different paths.

BNM said...

this post really made me smile. Me and my husband had a hard tme and we split up and it was getting away that brought us back together sometimes u have to be with each other without the hustle and bustle of everyday life in the wya! good luck hun