Excerpt from DARKNESS IS MY ONLY COMPANION by Kathryn Greene-McCreight (A Christian response to mental illness).
“Help me O Lord, to make a true use of all disappointments and calamities in this life, in such a way that they may unite my heart more closely with you. Cause them to separate my affections from worldly things and inspire my soul with more vigor in the pursuit of true happiness.” Paraphrase from Susanna Wesley (1669-1742)
And now from me
My husband and I have been at war. Sometimes silently sometimes at ear piercing levels. The other day I slept literally the entire day just wishing everything would just go away. So I have kept a log of incidental things good and bad to see where on a daily basis we have fallen so far away… This is what I found
12/22 – wanted to go out to dinner at an Italian haunt we used to frequent years ago but restaurant was closed for private party. I had spent 2 hours getting ready, but agreed it was fine. I would save the dress for when we could go. I suggested it would be romantic for him to make reservation sometime the following week and surprise me by telling me to put on the dress, we are going to dinner!
12/29 – I hung the dress in the kitchen next to the garage door so he would see it every time he leaves or gets home. I just want to help him remember how excited we were to go back to this place of happy memories.
12/30 – He hung his work shirt over the dress when he got home. I told him that wasn’t nice. I reminded him again I am waiting for the day he surprises me with a request to put on the dress cause he is taking me to dinner. Not sure how to make it easier or clearer on how I would appreciate romance. I am spelling it out. Not making him read between the lines! Brought up New Years. Got little response. He doesn’t seem to want to do anything or care much about it. I told him it would be fun if he wants to stay home that we could just pick up champagne and start with some hot cocoa by the fire. Maybe play some board games. He didn’t respond but did warn me it was supposed to snow on Monday and he wanted me to cancel my client because he didn’t want to lose his asset. I get it was a joke. But would it kill him to say he didn’t want me to get in an accident. Or he was worried for my safety? I don’t know what to do. He isn’t making any effort. I have nothing to give back to. OK he said he would commit daily to the love game (an android game that asks each of us 5 questions a day just to see how much we know how each other thinks.) I cried that he suggested it. Not holding my breath, but a little hopeful.
12/31 – He brought me coffee in bed and made me a bagel. He attempted to make bed (gave up) He was extremely patient and kind with me getting ready (time wise). When I said I would put make up on in the car he said I don’t need it I’m so pretty. Good start to a day. I made sure to emphasize how sweet he is being and I went to the store and bought him some honey whisky he likes for tonight. I won’t even worry if he remembers champagne or hot chocolate. We shopped later for snacks and I reminded him I wanted to play board games. (No chancing it for him to remember and be disappointed). He did comment on my perfume that he liked it. I softly reminded him I sure would love to go to that italian place. Could he make a reservation in the next 2 weeks? He said no problem.
1/1 – Argued over house messiness inside and out. I am literally a maid down to the lawn mower. He wants our relationship fixed before he can focus on anything else. I went to bed and slept for the whole day.
1/2 – Today was nice. No fighting. I had to take out recycling and garbage again. He just won’t do it. He did finally get his crap off my folding table in the garage. Android Game still not played. We did start planning our survival hike weekend. Not dinner but he loves his survival gear and wants to try it all out so maybe we can bond over a 2 day hike.
1/3 – No android game played. The perfume he “bought” me for Christmas (I went online and bought it at his suggestion) has not been reimbursed. He did make coffee though. I have been sending him funny love texts. His gross humor kind. He loves them. Wish he would reciprocate. Sex is still not happening. Average of about 2 months between. Struggling with feeling insecure. Feeling disconnected to anything. Picked up his socks, left behinds around the house. Put laundry in front of basket IN basket. Empty boxes left on the kitchen table I am not taking out. He will just put more in their place.
1/4-I forgot to check pot before I pre-made coffee last night. This is his way of saying good morning. I came out and cleaned up the overflow. Not enough cause he made sure to tell me I missed under the actual pot. Got out the diet books. He wants to get going on the diet but I have to get the books and exercise vid ready. He wants to go shopping for diet food (we have to that is) which he will probably not feel like it after all when he gets home. No game again. He does have drive. He works alot, he works side jobs, he keeps track of his battle box monthly shipments for survival gear. Heck he will think about what sounds good for dinner at breakfast. He isn’t stupid. Just lazy about me. Dress still in the kitchen. We fought again over … oh who cares. I went to take a shower and all I see is everything I have to pick up after him. He called on his way to work to say he gets it. He needs to just step it up. Right now I just feel like I don’t want to hope but instead go back to bed.
Looking at these past days I have realized I don’t think he loves me. I wonder if I really love him. But he needs me and I need him. He fixes things, I do the laundry, he pays the bulk of the bills, I do the dishes, he cooks (although not much anymore), I get his back hairline straight when he uses a hair trimmer,I trim his toenails, he protects me. There is so much more that we rely on in our day to days. To quote The Story of Us… “A dance you perfect over time”. I don’t know. I just need to get on with whatever needs to be got on with.
Oh yea and as for fixing things…. The toilet seat broke and had no seat for weeks before he finally got around to deeming it a necessary repair. I was so embarrassed. I had a client come over and prayed he would not need to use the bathroom. The dishwasher has been broken for months now. He can easily fix it, he has done it before, but no matter how many times I ask nicely, nope still washing by hand. It’s the principal. I am perfectly capable of washing dishes by hand. Do it daily. I asked him to please move the furniture so I can finish painting the 1 living room wall… nope. He has been in construction his whole life. Heavy lifting and fixing things is part of his charm. But not lately.