“Runaway Stepford Wife: The Fear Of Quitting”

I’m leaving my husband! I’m leaving my husband so I don’t leave my husband. I’ve been with this man for 10yrs, married for (nearly) 3yrs. Tonight, it just dawned on me that I have to leave this house for my sanity, for my health, for the prosperity of our relationship. My husband is a good man in general, but when he sticks his foot in his mouth, it goes up to his calf muscle and out the back of his head. A statement he made tonight made me think about ALL THE THINGS I’ve done that have gone unnoticed. “…you haven’t finished your book…,” he said. Well, let’s ponder that for a second, while formulating the concept of my book(s) I met him, poured the God in me, through me & into his life; cared for my critically ill Mother for over a year, suffered a loss…ALONE, moved to TX…cared for my bonus son for 4yrs, got married, cared for my Mom post surgery, became very ill, got pregnant & now I’m a stay at home single wife supporting my 5days/wk traveling for work husband who comes home and focuses on schoolwork until it’s time to go to bed, even on the weekends. When I look back over the last 10years, I’ve been taking care of everyone else, allowing them to achieve their goals and he looks at me and wonders why I haven’t finished my book. To be honest, for the first time….I understood how & why people get divorced. It seems to be easier to accomplish your goals when you’re alone.

As I’m packing my suitcase I’m relishing at the thought that for the next 2days, he’ll have to complete his homework assignment(s) while caring for a very active toddler, HA! I feel the satisfaction of karma rushing through my blood. “…you haven’t finished your book…” he says, let’s see how much homework he gets done?! I bet he’s either going to sit in front of the tv all day with her, he’ll probably wash a few bottles to make it look good but very few other things will be completed (started but not completed as is often the case). “…it’s easier for you to deal with her crying because you’re used to it being home all day…” he inferred, maybe it’s time I allow him to get “used to it”. When I come home he’ll have stories of how difficult it was and if he doesn’t…GREAT…I’ll plan another escape next month since I’ll know he can handle it. Truth be told, I’ll still plan another escape next month even if he has a sob story! “Baby before belly,” he once told me. A snide remark when he came home and saw me eating cereal around 6pm one evening (first bite of food I had all day) but my baby was whining because she refused the bottle but now all of a sudden she was starving. “Baby before books,” I’ll say to him once he realizes I’m gone and he proceeds to tell me he has homework as if that will make me turn around. As you can see, if I don’t leave my husband now, this will begin to fester. I need to celebrate myself.

Speaking of celebrating myself, I’ve been trying to motivate him to celebrate himself and his accomplishments. Can you believe it, I have to convince him to be happy when he successfully completes a step towards his goal (or another year of life)? “…I celebrate myself if I choose to or not…,” he replied. That was the final nail in his coffin for me, I’m not in the business of doing more for a person than they’re willing to do for themselves. I’ve done my best to lead by example in our relationship. I demonstrated how to build a relationship with a teenager…FAIL. I used to cook gourmet meals 3 times a week because I came home first, but then when he started beating me home…no food, and then one day he had food for himself and not me. I stopped cooking after that. I am a natural planner, for years I planned events and activities for us to do. My efforts were met with sarcasm, I nearly begged to manage the finances but then I grew tired of comments like, “I was doing this before I met you,” so….I stopped. I took so much pride in keeping the house clean, and I do mean clean, I washed walls, floor boards, etc. However, when I asked for help, he would show his discontent by moving slow, procrastinating, snapping at me, etc. One day, he actually left me to Spring Clean alone because he wanted to go to his friend’s BBQ (last minute invite). After that day, I just didn’t care anymore. I learned something about myself each time I stopped doing something…I DIDN’T CARE TO DO IT ANYMORE! No manner of apologies, gifts or actions could motivate me to put in that amount of work again. Quitting felt good!

I’ve always been an overachiever! I’ve always given 200% and it’s paid off very well. I’ve always been a “worker bee” but if it weren’t for my husband’s sarcasm, snide remarks and jokes…I wouldn’t know how good it felt to give less than. The funny part is, it actually seems like he misses the “old” me. But I have NO MOTIVATION to return to that woman. I mean, I don’t have to cook regularly, I don’t have to maintain a regular cleaning schedule, I don’t even have to celebrate him anymore…not even a great job. I mean, he wasn’t raised that way so who am I to change what his Mother has perfected?! You know something, I’m putting this suitcase aside, my husband is right…I don’t really complete things anymore & it’s all thanks to him! As I think about it, I’m a lot less stressed because I don’t! At least I’m posting regularly on my website again, of course the complaint now is that I’m up late because I write after our daughter has gone to bed. Eventually, I’ll grow weary of that complaint as well and I’ll only focus on our daughter. Soon I’ll be his perfect “Stepford Wife” and there will be no more complaints, sarcasm or jokes. Then again, maybe I’ll say “forget it”!

THIS is marriage, you’ll never understand the true value of the good until you’ve been victorious through the bad. Comparable to some other marriage experiences, I’m sure this seems small, but that’s just it…I focus on the small things to prevent them from becoming big things. I’m under a great deal of stress but it’s undervalued because my husband is under stress as well. Although we are experiencing it in different ways, turning on each other makes things worse. Knowing when it’s time to escape to do self care is detrimental to the longevity of any relationship. Neglecting my need for solitude will only make my husband a target instead of my ally and partner. So yes, I’m definitely overdue an overnight hotel stay. I need to replenish my energy, be in my own space, be quiet…absorb peace and tranquility. Most of all, I’d like to return to my home greeted by hugs and smiling faces. Communicating my needs to my husband is the best way to achieve my goals. For the most part, with the exception of a few tense words here and there, our communication is effective. Who knows, maybe I’ll be writing next week’s entry looking out the window of my hotel room overlooking the beach and listening to the waves crash against the shore….alone!

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