Since pushing “publish” on my last post, I’ve had a LOT of conversations with a LOT of people. My husband, much to my surprise, shared my post on his Facebook page – which took a whole lot of courage and casting aside of ego. This opened up a whole other “can of worms” (for want of a better term!), because although my blog is public, the majority of you who have been following me and reading my posts are quilters! I have a great posse of friends who have supported me and stalked my social media for years – but I dare say most of my husband’s friends and colleagues have no idea who I am, what I do or anything about the in’s and out’s of our marriage. So when I saw his share pop up on FB I had to take a really deep breath, and face the reality that pretty much everyone in our immediate circle, and the circles outside of that, now knew we weren’t perfect 😉
And although I write that with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek, I also say it with a great deal of honesty. So many of my friends have commented in the past week or so that they would never have had any idea things weren’t going smoothly in our lives. That Andrew and I always look so happy and like such a strong couple. And to some degree, we were. Regardless of how shit things were, we ALWAYS had each other’s backs. We ALWAYS loved one another. But we weren’t in tune.
And that’s where the big conversations had to come in to play. I started opening up to him about 18 months ago. My thoughts and feelings were not necessarily ignored, but I felt dismissed. I felt a bit silly. And I felt like my emotions perhaps were not warranted, and that I should just toughen up and move on. But I couldn’t. My whole life, I watched not only my parents marriage, but soooo many marriages of people I loved or just knew of, either fall apart or just become some state of complacency. Of “this is my lot, so I’ll just put up with it”. And I wasn’t prepared to put up with feeling the way I was feeling for the rest of my life. It wasn’t enough.
So I kept on. I kept crying. I kept telling him how I was feeling. And he kept not getting it….
Amongst the conversations I kept dragging up, I would also tag him all over social media. Bringing items of interest (clearly only my interest lol) to his attention. Articles and memes. Shit, I even started tagging him in sporting stories – if only to get his attention! But one article I actually sent to him privately. I sent it with a disclaimer of sorts, so he didn’t freak out and think I was leaving him. And I’m sharing it here with you all, because it hit a nerve with me, but surprisingly, didn’t even raise a comment from Andrew…… Which sort of brings home how spot on the damn article is.
Things took a massive turn early December. I invited Andrew (via email!) out for a drink. I wrote that we needed to have a good honest conversation, and that after 16 years together, if we couldn’t do that, then we really were in big trouble. He accepted my invite and that night we sat at a local cafe for two hours and talked non stop. It was a realllly hard conversation. Telling someone you love that you are incredibly unhappy is not easy. But for me, it was make or break time. And thankfully…… he finally got it.
So – being like a dog with a bone can pay off! If you’re feeling unheard, feeling like you’re at the end of your tether…. don’t give up. Push on. If it’s worth it to you, and you really want it to work – make those big conversations happen. Make them listen. Because when they DO finally listen, and realise you’re at a fork in the road, the effort will pay off. Admittedly, not all marriages or relationships are going to work out. I’m a realist, and as I’ve mentioned before – have been through the breakdown of a marriage. But I certainly wasn’t prepared to give up on this one!