Thursday, November 08, 2007

N Focus

I try to make N my number one priority in my life. I don’t always succeed. In approaching a new life with BJ I have put N’s needs way up towards the top of the list. N needs love and security and peace and safety and comfort. N also needs a mom who is not miserable and depressed much of the time. So I’ve struggled, as those of you who’ve been reading a while, to balance providing N with a stable home and a mom who isn’t miserable. I think I swing too far in both directions occasionally.

My big question that I’m trying to answer now is whether my leaving W is truly the best thing to achieve the best for N or if I am indulging in a bit of self-justification in believing so.

My argument (to myself because I’m not really talking to anybody else about it, if you don't count my three readers here that is) is that W’s treatment of N is too harsh in general, even though they do have their good moments, so breaking up the family is not necessarily a bad thing. Also, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I will personally be a happier person without W, with the exception of the guilt I am bound to feel for abandoning him.

On the other side of the coin, maybe I should be focusing on those good moments W and N share rather than the overriding tension between them, and continue to hope that the good moments will become more frequent and lessen the tension. I can no longer argue, however, even to myself, that I can find a way to be happy with W. I find myself increasingly frustrated with him. Anything I feel for him at this point is closer to pity than love, and that’s no way to run a marriage.

I wish more than anything that I could give N the perfect upbringing, but I’ve already blown that. W has been so different as a parent than I ever imagined he would be. In some ways, he acts like a belligerent child himself, sulking when N hurts his feelings or lashing out with cruel words. It is hard to teach N to act better than that when that is the example set for him on a regular basis.

I tell myself that life will be better for N if W and I split up as it will limit the time they spend together. On the other hand, the time they do spend together will be just the two of them without me there as a buffer, and I know N counts on me to be there to be the buffer.

So what is better for N given that I can’t give him the ideal of a two parent happy home? I’ve tried to make that one work, and it just doesn’t because I just can’t suck it up that well. So will N do better in a one parent happy home or a two parent joyless home? That must be my overriding concern. That must be my focus. Am I fooling myself to think the best for him is for W and me to split up? Is it really just me trying to talk myself into feeling okay about it? Or is it really okay?

Well, I’ve talked in circles here long enough. Now my head hurts.


Anonymous said...

TS - I hope things find a way to work out for you and N and I'll even throw in W too.
I'll leave it at that because of an aspect of the post that bothered me.

G said...

Trueself, I have lurked and read your blog for awhile now. I have stayed and continued to read because I am in a similar place myself that you find yourself in. I find myself in a marriage where I am unhappy and unloved and I have found someone that I truly do have love and happiness with. Yes, I have also questioned whether it is better to keep the family together although my husband and I no longer love one another or to move on and let my kids see a happy mom. I have talked to friends and have prayed a lot about this. My conclusion is that it is far better for me to move on and for my kids to have a mom who is happy than for things to continue on the path that we are currently on. Yes, it is hard and it is difficult. But in the end, it will be worth it ... I just know that it will be. My thoughts and prayers are with you and I wish you the best.

Val said...

& here (if I were more talented w/this computer) is where I would insert the cleverly-captioned kitty picture from "IHazCheezburger":
"She Siphons De T'ots from Outta My head"...
That's all I ever wanted for MY boy, too; something resembling a "normal childhood"! Go figure.

freebird said...

Well, TS, I haven't got an 'N', but I can certainly relate to the way you feel about W and how it affects whether you are overall a happy person (and therefore, in your case, a happy influence to N).

However, sorry to throw a spanner in the works, but I can't help remembering how not so long ago both you and BJ were expressing doubts about his readiness to take on being a parent to N. Could it not be a case of 'out of the frying pan...' for N?

Trueself said...

SM - Wish I knew what aspect bothered you. If you'd like to email me and discuss it, I'd be happy to do that.

G - I agree that moving on is the right thing to do. I just sometimes second guess myself and wonder how much is just self-justification vs. reality.

Val - Sometimes we all aspire to an ideal that we label "normal" that isn't necessarily the norm at all. I suspect you and I both do that.

FB - As usual, you make a good point. I am trying to make two decisions separately, not always successfully. Decision #1: Will N be better off with or without W and me together? Decision #2: Given a decision in #1 that the better thing is to split, then will N be better off with or without BJ and me together? This post dealt mostly with #1. Perhaps #2 merits another post.

Bunny said...

This is the dilemma I have as well. I want my children to have two happy well-adjusted parents and I don't know if they can ever have that whether we stay together or split. Which way will be better for them? How do you know which to choose?

If Spousehole was a horrible father, my decision would be easy. But he loves and wants to protect the children as much as I do. He just doesn't always know how to go about it. But if we split, the children lose me as a buffer when they are with Dad.

We are living such similar lives, you and I.