Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Love is a Battlefield

I was overwhelmed by the comments on my last post, but for those of you who are worried that my life is in danger, I think I've got some explaining to do.

The Father of This Lot is not a psychopath. I admit I may have called him one on many occasions, but for the moment we'll just have to put that down to my natural charm.

Once, we were a couple of twentysomethings with a houseful of baby girls. A blissfully happy, had-it-all type of couple. In fact, we were that couple for an awfully long time. Then things happened. Nothing major, just kids, marriage, financial ups and downs, more responsibilities, work stresses.
Life really.

And that was about the time that Stella got her claws into him. And to give her her due, she has hung on with a tenacity that is nothing short of remarkable. I told him it was a slippery slope, but he was only too willing to go the distance. I did fight for a long time, but then I woke up one morning with no fight left in me. The kids were hearing and seeing a lot of stuff that I thought they would be better off without and so after a lot of soul-searching on both sides, we decided that, for the moment, it would be better to live apart.

There are some things that the Father of This Lot, due to dogged determination and the amount of practice he has put in, does exceedingly well. Getting drunk is one of them. As for the others, well, this is neither the time nor the place. He always was, and still is, a fantastic provider for his family. He will do anybody a favour. He would give you (if you weren't too stubborn to ask) his last penny. If you met him, you'd think he was a great bloke.
He is a brilliant friend and a good son.
In fact, if he put his mind to it, he could be a marvellous husband.
He just doesn't put his mind to it.

All that said, he is still the first person I would go to in a crisis.
He's still my best friend.
And while we both agree that it's more peaceful living apart, neither one of us can imagine a life without the other one in it.
Which just makes it all the more sad, really.

I wish it could be different. Maybe one day it will be.

Normal service will be resumed tomorrow!


KitBrookside said...

As I remind myself (and others) marriage is indeed a vocation. A life's WORK. Keep at it, dear friend, and know that I'm rooting for you, prayers and otherwise!


Beth said...

Not really sure what to say except that I am thining about you and praying for you...

Hang in there...

Beth said...

O.k....I wish I was "thining" but thanks to the whole bowl of ranch dip I ate today, I am certainly not doing any "thining". But I am thinKing about you...

Renae said...

I have a book on my dresser that someone recently gave me. It is a marriage book, and it is titled, "If you don't die to self, I may have to kill you!"

Yep, marriage is haaaarrrrdddd.

Praying that God Himself will deal with Stella.

Praying that the two of you fall in love all over again.

But if that doesn't happen, so glad to hear that you love and respect each other enough to put some distance between you, rather than stay together and kill each other! (That was meant to be funny.)

Praying all of God's richest blessings on you and your family.


Jennifer said...

Oh, wow. Life is hard, but there is also a lot to enjoy in it - I'm sad that The Father of This Lot is going to miss a lot of that enjoyment because he is having trouble handling that hard part.

And I'm sad that you're missing his companionship in the meantime. Life is "more funner" with two. We'll pray that one day you will have that enjoyment again and maybe even be able to make up for lost time.

I admire your attitude and pluck! You've got it in spades, girl! I just read this today: "The children of light are sometimes found walking in darkness, but they keep on walking."

Well, sometimes it's just plodding, but at least it's forward motion, right? :)

I'm so glad you shared - I'll pray for you tonight, and The Father, too.


Monkey Giggles said...

I am still here. Praying for you and for Stella to move on.

Autumn said...

Props to you for holding it all together! My husband is a four letter word some days, but I'm not sure how I could do it alone. You are amazing and I hope that you get the happiness you deserve, no matter what.

ciara said...

i came because r.c. pointed the way :) funny how even when you can't imagine not having the other person in your life, it still doesn't work out. when my ex left it stunned me (i hadn't wanted the divorce and was still very much in love)...i never imagined what it would be like without him. but, with my kids and a good counseling session or two to get out all my aggression towards him lol, i persevered. i am grateful that my girls' father is still in their lives and good to them. i remarried a little over 3 years ago and moved out of state. i do feel bad at times about moving, but i give him as much time as possible when the girls' don't have school, and he comes out here twice a year.

Casdok said...

Very sad to hear of your difficult time. And very glad to hear he is still being a good provider and friend.
Who knows what tomnorrow brings.

Maggie May said...

Blow Stella! That is really horrible.
You are a very forgiving person and a lovely Mum to your girls.
At least he is helping you out with finances & you are in touch with him but it is very sad as you sound as though you really care for him still. Life can be tough.

david mcmahon said...

There are some wonderful, precious vlidations there. They suggest to me that dialogue and understanding and spelling out each other's expectations are the best way to mend whatever differences exist.

God bless you both.


PS: In reply to your comment about the E for Elephant post; I'm so glad you liked the post and in reply to your question, my brother is looking for the photograph!!

Lisa said...

I'm thinking Stella is to blame for putting a lot of good men (and women) and their marriages through the wringer... Holding you and the FOTL in my prayers. :o)

Lisa said...

Ann! Just like my sister! :o)

Sorry I missed this post. It was while I was in the hospital...

I'm off to high 5 someone else! ;o)

Journey of Truth said...

May it all mend soon, God willing. Until then, you keek on keeping on!

I am a child of a recovered alcoholic where the parents stayed together - it was often UGLY and DIFFICULT. I still say that in that situation, you have to do what is best for everyone if it can be done. No one can judge another persons choice. Instead, I applaud you (among these here in the comments), because you are holding in there.

I'll keep you and your lot (including the FOTL) in my prayers.

bella mocha said...

Thank you for sharing with us.

I have to 'fess that I have been in a similair position. 16 years of marriage was followed by a seperation last year. At the time I fully believed it was permenant..I'd had enough, I was so OUT, I was better off on my own. I had to get my children out too, but in all this time he stayed my best friend. I have to say it was the best thing that could have happened, for us, for me, for him. I gained bucket loads of confidence and independence; he learnt that trust is everything but everything, not to take us for granted and that life's too short to be selfish. And that was just for starters.

We really surprised ourselves by ending up together again, and although we've gained so much by it we still can't afford to take anything for granted. If anything it's harder this 2nd time around, becuase we won't settle for what we were before. We can't afford to.

Life takes us in unexpected directions. Sometimes there are 2nd chances, sometimes there are not; but there are other opportunities instead. I wouldn't change the strength and the self-respect I've gained from this for anything though.

Hang on that fact- even in your most afraid moments, you are One Strong Lady.

It will get better, it will.
Sending bloghugs your way x

Mrs. Fox said...

You know there is a lot of hope in the fact that you two have made some rational decisions in a very emotional situation. You don't need me to tell you that God is watching over you - the evidence is all around you.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

wow...sad, but also very grown up the way you put it. How on earth do you manage with 5 all on your own? I hope they realise you're amazing?

Jennie said...

*hugs from here* You are doing a grand job with those girls and if your husband is in the grip of the Stella then I think you have both made the right decision for now.
(I have my own experience of this kind of thing so do understand, but won't go into it here :/ )

the mother of this lot said...

Thank you, all of you, for your wonderful comments. It makes me feel quite important having so many far-flung friends! I just wish you were all nearer - can you imagine the party that would be?

Journey of Truth - I appreciate all your comments. I wish you would start a blog so that there was a way of getting back to you!

Daryl E said...

I am not the praying sort but I do know a smart woman when I meet her even if its only via a blog.

I am not going to offer any sage advice, because you dont need it. Whoever Stella is, one day she'll get her due, I just hope you get to see it happen.

Amrita said...

Oh Jackie, you put the story of your marriae so fluidly but i know its been a difficult and loney and hurtful road for you and the girls.

I am so sorry to hear this. Such a good hearted man doing this to his wife and kids. Many of my friends have been thru this and my younger sister 's marriage was saved only due to prayer and fasting.

May the Lord bring FOTL back home, clean, sober and committed.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

I could swear I commented on this. Oh well. I'll just do it again.

Thank you for telling us your story and letting us into your life. It really is never easy, is it? But how nice it would be if it were!

You've got a lot of us in your corner, m'dear.


family affairs said...

OK now I get it .... I hadn't realised we were single parents (with decent blokes who messed up big time with other women) on the sidelines...sorry. Bit crap. Should have read a bit more of your history....and it's all very new for you. My ex has no clue about my blog either...he would go absolutely mental - in fact, probably sue me for defamation of character....isn't it a great form of therapy and isn't it great to feel you're not the only one struggling to bring up kids? x x x

Mom of Three said...

I once met my Stella--only her name was Tiffany, and she was 19. I was only 23 at the time, but old baggage, I guess. I fought for a little, but then it hit me, it wasn't worth it for me. Of course, I didn't have kids and that's a huge consideration. Huge.

I left, started a new life, and 18 years later have SH and three great kids. But I also have the awareness that it could all change tomorrow, you know? Either way, I know I can do this alone, I don't want to but I can.

I completely admire you for the job you're doing!

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