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I Know This Intellectually, But I Still Get So Frustrated!

I have just come back to EP from a hibernation of sorts.  My life was very busy there for awhile and still should be but I have been a little overwhelmed lately by life struggles.  The struggles aren't relatively speaking that bad, but all of them together is a lot to carry sometimes.  I can be up and hopeful and positive for only so long, and then I "collapse".

My frustrations, or major ones, center around two people in my life that I WISH I could change but am repeatedly reminded that I have no control over that possibility whatsoever!  The first is my spouse that I am separated from but still living in the same house with  until I can get a full-time job.  We are getting a divorce after YEARS of struggles, counseling, tears, etc... BUT until I get a job, I am "stuck" still living with him and dealing with the same issues that lead to the break-up of our marriage BUT now, because we are separated, I REALLY can't say much beyond venting my frustration which only tends to make me look like a naggy bitchy wife and he just quietly takes it with a smug look like he is above it all or a look like, "see, see what I had to put up with for so many years."  Recently, he told me that when he got married again (he wants to get married again, he LIKED being married - could have fooled me!), he was going to be MORE DISCRIMINATING!  Whatever!  He thinks that he is going to find someone that he is so compatible with that it will be practically conflict free.  I told him I hope he is right, but I don't think that ANY relationship is completely conflict free.  Anyway, enough venting about HIM.

Onto the other person - MY MOTHER!  She does not "approve" of this divorce in any way because she thinks we made Christmas nice, why can't we make our marriage just like Christmas.  Um, excuse, but 48 hours for the children and with the knowledge that neither of us has to be married to the other anymore makes it much easier to get along plus they went to bed before he turned Passive Aggressive with me and became his same old self so it wasn't as "perfect" as they thought.  They, my parents, especially my mother, think that my husband and I are being selfish and childish!  This is after they went to the beach this past summer with the whole family and personally witnessed my husband's lack of participation and blatant disregard for anyone but himself!  For some reason, having a nice Christmas set her back on her crusade to save my marriage by basically bullying me into relenting and staying in the marriage.

Not Gonna Happen!  I KNOW I am doing the right thing for my family - for my girls.  This has never been a happy marriage (except the one year we seemed to click and I got pregnant, then my husband decided he had enough of pretending to be someone else and returned to resenting me for "making" him be someone else).  

Anyway, back to my mother, first we have this "nice" Christmas, then comes my birthday (January 16), and I guess because I was out of town again (I go away for a weekend every 3-4 weeks, at first because the counselors that we saw wanted my husband to learn how to parent by himself), my mother chose to "punish" me by not calling me like she has always done before at 7:30am (when I was born).  She said it was because she didn't know how to get in touch with me.  Excuse me, I have a cell phone she had just called the day before!! When I suggested she could have called my cell, she said she didn't want to interrupt anything. Whatever!  

That evening, she and my dad were going to join us for dinner to celebrate and when my mom called to talk about where and when, she started in on me being gone and how my children missed me so much and she doesn't understand how I can do that, etc... after listening to her repeat these sentiments several times, I finally said, "You know Mom, I think maybe we should not do dinner tonight, I just end up feeling bad after we have been together. Goodnight."  She proceeded to then call my stbx husband and let him have it and told him that we were both the most selfish and childish people she knew.  Happy Birthday to me - woohoo!  NOT!

This birthday fiasco was followed up this past weekend with a birthday card and gift with a letter from my mom in it.  I KNEW what the gist of the letter was going to be - disappointed in you, love you but don't like you, don't know what has happened to you... and I was NOT disappointed.  The letter opened with "I love you to pieces and like the person you WERE and I hope you will be again someday."  That was the worst of it, so not TOO bad, but boy have those words stuck with me all week!

Back to the point, I wish I could change them - make them see how their behavior damages relationships, etc... but I can't, they have to do it for themselves. And I KNOW the only person I can change is me and I am working on this constantly with an amazing therapist that I have been seeing for 3 years now and some awesome friends - several of which I met on EP!  I just miss the relationship I used to have with my mom when I was being the "obedient" daughter, but I realized several years ago, I couldn't live HER life for me, I had to live MY life for me!  So, it bothers me, but it isn't going to change my decisions.  I just wish it didn't have such a profound negative impact on me and I KNOW this is something I have to change about myself!
DorothyofOz DorothyofOz 41-45, F 9 Responses Jan 25, 2012

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big hugz dot.

I am not one to give advice on this. Divorced and Married again but made a poor job of it. I can only hope things are a little better for you now.

Nice to see you back D! I'm so sorry both your STBX and your mother are such selfish people - it makes YOUR life unnecessarily hard. Stay strong - you ARE doing the right thing. {{{hugs}}}

Sorry for your hard times,... your mother will eventually have to accept you for you and not try to put you in a box.; define you to her specs. Hang in there! I was also born on January 16th!!

Sorry about the trials and tribulations, but welcom back I missed you

I know Dorothy you find some peace in all this !

First of all, Welcome Back!!! Hugs!! When I got to the part of your story where you mention the two people whom you wished to change, I automatically assumed you were going to say your STBX and mother. I have the same struggle. I need the both of them to change their attitudes and behaviors not for me but for my young daughter. I have accepted that this is fact of life for me and will be something that I have to deal with constantly. I'm trying my darnest to find better ways to cope instead of allowing the pain and anger bring me to self destruction. I'm also not very proud of the fact that my child has witnessed the ugly side of me. Instead of helping her cope, I'm added to her pain, anger and disappointment. Thats been the hardest thing to swallow. As for my mother, my divorce was final almost 3 years ago but shes only known for the past year. I know shes hanging her head in shame because its her daughter's legacy to be the first and only person in both parents families tracing back many, many generations to divorce. We have always had a volatile relationship anyways so I've given up on anything changing. All I ask is that she just continue to be the loving grandmother to my child. It has been a long, tough journey. What gives me strenght is that I want nothing but happiness and laughter for my daughter and I. The sooner I let go of all the craziness my Ex and/or my Mom puts me through, the faster I get back to having the life that I want and the person I want to be NOT the miserable, angry person they drive me to be. I'm sorry this is so long. But this is one of the reasons I haven't been around in EPland.

Oh, you aren't ******* me off anymore than I am already frustrated with myself. I actually have come a long way because she is NOT going to deter me from my decisions. I just would love to be able to be the adult that I am and the person that I know I am and have her say, "I love you and accept you as you are right now." But like the story says, "can't change her."<br />
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Several years ago, I realized that if I kept living the life SHE thought I should live, that I was going to be truly lost when she was gone. I had to seek help to find myself as I wanted to be - not as she told me I should want to be. I also had to get past old-fashioned beliefs about suffering through a marriage for the rest of my life because divorce is "bad" and there is no up side to it.<br />
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There ARE some marriages, even Christian ones, that are NOT meant to last. I don't know if it is because God didn't truly bless the union or because whatever. I know that we can't make these decisions lightly or without a lot of work to see if you can make it work (over 15 years of therapy for us!), and we did not. <br />
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I am well on my way to living MY life with God's guidance, and look forward to the day that we can afford for my husband to move out and get a place while I stay in the house and raise the kids. I also hope that after the divorce is done, maybe my mom will at least move on to a new "crusade" she can drive my brother and I crazy about! LOL!<br />
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Thanks for the comment!

I want to comment on this story but I hesitate because I'm afraid I will only **** you and me off.<br />
I'm glad to see that you have "the balls" to admit that you are a big part of the problem.<br />
Quit being dependant on you husband and mother and get out and claim your life. I want the best for you & you ain't gonna get it as long as you dwell in this negative life