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Coping

This is just an update. No drama, nothing of epic proportions to report.

When I found EP more than a year ago, I was on the verge on a weight-loss surgery. The impending change challenged everything in my life. Including my marriage. My SM.

I am so grateful for this, as I got clear as to what is really going on in my marriage, and my priorities. We are in a major financial SNAFU, and a payment plan, which still has 13 months to go, plus tax ramifications, which are still unclear on how that is going to play out. After going round the mulberry bush, I ended up agreeing with myself to stay, at least until this financial mess is sorted.

In the meantime, I was putting a lot of energy into my kids, especially their academic performance. This is another long story with details I won't bore you with. But the short of it is, I took them out of "Dutch" school system and put them in a semi-private international school. Which meant, I spent the summer home schooling them in English, so they had a better chance of keeping up when they started last September. This new school is also a 45 minute commute with trains and bikes. All in all, a huge adjustment for them, and it has cost me a lot of time and energy. All very worth it. Nearly 4 months into school, things are settling down a bit, and I can see fruits of my efforts.

On the marriage front, I have chosen for the least dramatic path as possible. There has been enough turbulence between the surgery I had (resulting in over 110 pounds lost), the monthly grind to come good on our financial obligations, and school change for the kids.

I've just been keeping my head low, trying to stay off the rage-aholic's radar screen, which has reduced the number of outbursts. Basically, nothing has changed. This isn't my place long term, when we do have conversations about this, I don't mix my words about this. I also don't get overly emotional about it, just matter of fact. He still maintains he doesn't want a divorce, ever. He also maintains things will get better once we've gotten ourselves out of this mess. I don't believe it, yet honestly there is a small bit of hope that it's true. But this is nothing more than the hope a wife married to an alcoholic has, hoping that the last binge, was the last binge. And should the 'raging' stop, most likely it will bring with another host of problems, which I don't see myself having the patience for to deal with.

So, this is coping. Just coping at it's finest. If you've read enough stories on here, as I have, then you know it is anyone's guess as to how long this coping strategy will work, or if it will even work long enough to see us through the resolution of the financial predicament. Like this, you can call it gambling.

Within my 'coping' existence, I find joy and pleasure where I can. I find it in the small things, in the small successes. I avoid the drama without selling myself out, and keep myself focused on two main tasks, making it work financially, and getting and keeping my kids sorted academically. I try to get away as much as possible, nearly every school vacation with the kids. I'm getting pretty creative with low budget solutions, and those are my little paradises, it is what I live for and it recharges the batteries so I can deal with all the weeks in between school vacations.

Not overly exciting. Pretty boring actually. With one little side benefit. A likely exit plan on my part will included moving back to the states. With my girls being in this new school, they are now being taught in English, this will be one less change they will have to deal with, when the time comes. Especially for child #2, who has dyslexia, this is a huge plus, she needs this extra time to ramp her English up...

Now, the test of time, to see how long my coping strategy works. And one day, the full me will be alive, but for now, it's about doing the 'right' thing.
voetbalmum voetbalmum 41-45, F 6 Responses Dec 9, 2012

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First of all, congrats on your weight loss! That must have been difficult but also must make you feel much better. I am in the best shape of my life at the moment and it has proven invaluable in keeping me upbeat and moving forward with my tough plans. Congrats also on enjoying your time with your kids the mini-vacations you take with them when they are off school. Those times are precious--little paradises as you call them--and it's wonderful they aren't collateral damage in the marriage battle. I deal with a "rager" who also wants to preserve the marriage, and I understand how exhausting and unsettling that can be. Hope things remain calm as you work toward your exit. I know financial things are important to get under control but remember that that can be a moving target. Make sure your planned move out isn't based on "perfect financials." Most of us--even those in good marriages--don't have perfect or even good financials. Good luck.

Agree that I see the financial thing as a potentially moving target. There are some concrete targets, so those are clear. But the tax ramifications of the financial construction we have chosen are less clear, and less clear how long that could drag out. I will have to cross that bridge when I come to it though. There just isn't enough information to plan with any precision at this point on that one....

I think you are doing what you need to, and seeing clearly. Good on you for getting on this path. Thanks for the update, hang in there, and keep going.

Hi VBM<br />
<br />
Nice to hear that you are moving forward, step-by-step. It's funny, as in odd, that you are both in the same financial mess, yet you both contend with it so differently. He rages pointlessly and unproductively, you try to see an end to it and put your energy into getting there. I can sympathise although I don't find my predicament as intense as yours.<br />
<br />
I would offer to kick his a$$ very hard and tell him to get a more balanced perspective on things, for his own sake if nothing else. However, I suspect that would be waste of my time and energy. More is the pity. And there he is, not being able to contend with the notion that his" experience" is going to get worse, rather than better, asking you for more time that you don't have to give him.

Great to have the update VBM, I think you have the priceless skills of clarity, focus and determination right now.

I also think you're doing much better than "coping", because you are connecting important values you have to your actions, and ensuring you are as safe and happy as possible in the process. This means that your situation is workable, and hopefully you can find ways to get fun & satisfaction for yourself in the process.

I have found a lot of comfort (not sure this is the right word) in seeing my marriage for what it is and no longer angsting about the situation. The decision to stay is yours, however you made it. Possibly part of the reason it is easier with H is that you are calmer and he picks up on that. I know exactly where you are......it's not easy but it's doable.

I gather you'd dispute that the marriage is toast at this point sister V. So humour me here !!!

Once you know your marriage is toast, it does NOT follow necessarily that there needs to be a stampede for the exit (though you could do worse in many cases).

What it does do is present you with an opportunity to discard useless thinking patterns - such as making your choices on a basis of 'what is good for"us". There is no "us". It also provides the opportunity to adopt thinking patterns that reflect the reality of the situation. Making informed choices on what is in YOUR best interests.

As you adopt this strategy (of removing the life depleting "us" dynamic, and adopting the life enhancing "my best interests" position) the result / outcome / future of your relationship will become abundantly clear to all involved parties as time unfolds.

Looks to me like you are pretty much doing this Sister V. Doesn't seem to be much "us" thinking going on in your life (other than the necessary co-parenting) and plenty of "my best interests" stuff.

Tread your own path.

Well said Baz. A lot more doing things that in 'my best interests' without being callous and cruel.

Marriage is burnt toast. He isn't on board with that concept, and maybe he needs to hold onto hope until we've resolved the financial predicament. Who knows. I'd prefer a mutually agreed arrangement, seems more adult to me, but again that would take two, and 'we' are only two 'ones'.