Re: Looks like we're parting ways.
**Long post ahead - sorry!**
Today I had a doozy of a phone call from my husband at work. He's fallen back into severe depression about his job, with very little hope. But in the midst of that discussion, he said he wasn't sure if he wanted to separate and that he wanted to try marriage counseling again.
I told him that since we weren't planning on separating until January, I would be willing to go to counseling, but only if he went to individual counseling for himself AND got on anti-depressants to help balance himself out. He agreed immediately to both. I then said it was up to him to find a counselor for us to see, and to find another one for his IC, and to go see his doctor to get the meds. He said he would.
I'm not sure how I feel - I suppose my initial thoughts are of the "Wait and see" variety. Wait and see if he finds a counselor (usually I'm the one that researches things and makes appointments). Wait and see if he'll actually go to IC. Wait and see if he not only gets the meds but TAKES them faithfully every day. Wait and see if his actions show that he wants us to become better with each other.
What I suspect is actually happening is that he is still deep in the throes of the lowest chasm of his midlife crisis, and that he's realizing what his post-separation future may look like if he doesn't make a change. To me, his post-separation life looks very lonely. He has no friends in the town where we live (in 10+ years we've lived here he's made NO EFFORT to make friends - no one that he can call and just say, "Wanna hang out and watch a game?"), no connections with anyone, and he has no hobbies to speak of. I've encouraged him MANY MANY MANY MANY MANY times, "Hey, why don't you call Guy A and see if he wants to come over and watch the game?" or "Hey, why not call Guy B and see if he wants to go grab a beer with you." But he does nothing, makes no attempts.
And it's the same with the kids and me. "Hey, the kids and I want to go see 'This Movie' - want to come?" And he'll scrunch up his nose and say, "No, that's not the kind of movie I'd want to see." Or I'll say, "I recorded 'That TV Show' because I know you like This Actor - want to watch it together?" And he'll shake his head and say, "No, not really. You can watch it without me." "Hey, This Singer is coming to town for a concert - I know you love her and have all her CDs - wanna go?" "No, I don't like her enough to pay for tickets to a concert." After a few hundred times over the years, I've stopped asking.
As such, he is very isolated and really only has me to talk to, and his interests have become very narrow: craft beer and sports. I don't drink beer, and I hate sports. I've gone to sporting events over the years because I know he likes them (in fact, we're traveling four hours this June to see his favorite baseball team play), and I've not frowned at all on his desire to go to beer festivals (although I'm not a fan of how inebriated he is when I pick him up at the end).
On the other hand, I have people I can talk to at work, at church, at home; and I have weekly/monthly social events I attend, and I'm much more connected with the kids as well.
But I can't do "life" for him. If he wants a new job, he needs be proactive and do the work to find one - not me. If he wants friends - he needs to engage with people and build relationships - I can't do that for him. If he wants to have a good relationship with the kids - he needs to spend time with them and not just one hour between getting home from work and going to the gym.
If he wants to fix the marriage - well, I'll be honest - I'm not sure if that can be fixed.
Let's say that tonight I instantly lose the weight that bothers him. I'll never feel like I've lost enough to please him. Is 10 pounds enough? 20? Would that suddenly cause him to realize he loves me more than ever? Is he that shallow? What happens if I slowly gain the weight back? Will he suddenly go back to not wanting to be with me?
What if I regain my sexual interest in him (bear in mind, I lost interest a few years ago when he announced he had no physical attraction for me and no longer wanted to have sex (this led to his starting an EA that almost turned physical before I discovered what was happening))? I'll always feel like he's just "settling" by being with me, because of what he has said in the past. I'll always feel like he is just going through the motions versus really WANTING to be intimate with me.
What if we are magically able to be vulnerable and open with each other starting tonight? There may be too much that was said in the past that can be forgiven, but not forgotten. Actions can be forgotten, but words cannot. They are pernicious and stick around for years and years. I can remember where we were standing, and what time of day it was, and the exact words he spoke when he said some pretty harsh words about me and our relationship.
Married 20 years, currently working with husband to separate in 2018
Mom to two young teens