Friday, December 29, 2006

Guilt and Fear

Those are my overriding emotions today -- guilt and fear.

I feel a tremendous amount of guilt for all that I have done and am doing to W. I feel guilty for everything that I have done that makes him feel like I lied to him for 20 years. I guess I did lie to him for 20 years. I told him that he was the one I wanted above all others and that wasn't really true. I wanted, or thought I wanted, J for all those years. I often wondered about J and often wished I had waited and married him. Now, what I have learned in the last few months is that J and I make great buddies. We can be fast friends, but it isn't going to be more than that. There is no real romantic interest in him now that I've gotten reacquainted with him. So if W's and my love was strong, J would not have caused more than a momentary blip on the screen of our lives. That was not the case however. The truth is that W's and my marriage has been in trouble a long time, but I stayed anyway, another thing I feel guilty about. I wasted too many years trying to deny that my marriage was in trouble. I wasted my time and W's, and now it is very hurtful to him that I want out. Guilt again, this time felt for hurting W. Part of me wants to suck it up, swallow the problems, hide behind the facade and stay to try to mitigate all the hurt I've caused for W.

The fear comes from having to deal with my request that W leave the house. Because of W leaving, I will have to talk to N about it, explain that his dad and I both love him and hope to hell he beliieves me. I also fear that just because I've asked W to leave doesn't mean that I won't have to face him again, that I won't have to deal with the sad puppy dog eyes, the pleading for reconciliation, the attempts to win me back. I fear that I will be so weak as to succomb to his wishes, to acquiesce and allow him to stay and to continue to work on repairing the marriage. I don't want to do that. I want to stand up for my happiness for a change. One other fear is the fear of having to take care of myself, do all the things W generally does for us like laundry and dishes and taking my car to have it fixed and all the other things he does. I fear this most of all, taking care of myself. For 20 years, in some ways, W has taken care of me. I feel ill-prepared to take over the task.

It feels like I've stepped off a really tall cliff, and like Wile E. Coyote, I just looked down and realized that I'm not standing on anything and am starting to fall. If you hear a loud splat you'll know I've hit bottom.


Emily said...

I'm not expecting any loud splats any time soon.

You know, most women find it easier, in terms of workload and things to do, to rear a child alone.

A man can make an excellent contribution around the house but, if the marriage is unhappy, and especially if the relationship between the man and the child isn't good (not usually otherwise), the woman spends a huge amount of time mediating between them, trying to soften the impact on the child, trying to persuade the man to behave differently, etc etc.

Its a huge amount of energy - physical, emotional, spiritual.

You can now turn that energy to becoming a stronger, more independent woman and enjoying your time with N a little more.

I am truly sorry that things are coming out this way, but I suspect you are going to find that every cloud has a silver lining.

Emily said...

Ps, I'm really sorry that I forgot to say that fear and guilt are very natural in these circumstances and I am thinking of you.



ps. My mother, decades ago, took up an offer from the Uniting Church (which I think is sort of similar to your kind of church) to have a divorce service. It recognised the need for healing after a divorce. It involved a confession of guilt and failure re the marriage and a blessing for the future life.

It's probably a controversial idea, but it seemed to help her.

And if people who are happy and in love and not yet having to deal with the hard work of a relationship get to have a blessing and the support of their congregation, then how much more do they need those things when they are feeling sad and guilty and alone?

Stinkypaw said...

Hang in there, you will make it and survive it all - you'll see you will be happy.

...that is my wish for you for this New Year!

Do take care, don't give up! *big hug*

Rob said...

We all naturally fear change and the unknown in our lives. After awhile though, when a new lifestyle and routine have set in, things no longer appear to be so scary and hopeless. And so it is with you and your decisions around W. Time and courage and determination make all the difference. You will succeed, of that you can be sure. Good luck and a happy 2007 to you.

Seeker said...

We all make mistakes. We all do wrong things. You aren't so different from anyone else; human beings are so good at making a messing up!

I hope your life improves a lot in 2007 and that you learn to forgive yourself. You said in an earlier post that you believe that God is a kind, forgiving God. Don't be too hard on yourself and don't ever forget how much God loves you, even when you feel you have made a mess of everything!

Take care.

All of her Secrets said...

You know what I've discovered is we are a whole lot stronger than we give ourselves credit for. When we challenge ourselves by putting ourselves outside our comfort zone and when we succeed each time we gain that confidence that we can do this on our own.

trueself said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you, each and every one of you. Everything y'all have said comforts me, and believe me, I'm in need of comfort right now. I am feeling lower than low. I feel like I'm the most horrible evil person on the planet. So thank you for helping me see that I'm not so bad, that things can get better.