After 42 Years, Love Isn’t Enough Anymore

June 14, 2010 6 comments

They always had a tumultuous marriage.  Their fights often ended with him packing his bags and leaving, but always returning hours later because of his daughters.  He never wanted to leave his girls.  And he did love her, or so he thought.

She was always bitter and unhappy.   Spitting out venomous words like “loser” and “I should have listened to my parents, they warned me.”  Or “failure”.   Hurtful names that, brick by brick, cemented a wall over his heart.

He always worked hard.  As hard as he could.  A competent lawyer but a god awful businessman, he often lost more money than he made, making her angrier and him disappointed.  Both in himself and his choice of a spouse.  He would stick it out.  He didn’t want to leave his daughters to be raised in a house with her alone.  He always tried to bite his tongue but he wanted to lash out and whip her with his words.  Instead, he sought solace with other woman here and there, to put out the fire that threatened to rage out of control.  What she didn’t ever know would never hurt her.  It would be hell for everyone when she found out.

He should have left after his daughters did.  The same old wasn’t necessarily good and comfortable, it just…was what it was.  Besides, he loved her, or so he thought.

She became sick.  Her body first and then her mind.  Although, her mind was always threatening to shatter but she used really good tape for a long time.  As her physical illness became worse, so did her mental illness and it unleashed her worse nightmare.  She lost the fight and became like her mother.   While many of her physical problems were real, some were exaggerated and made up for attention from the doctors, her children and most of all, her husband who started emotionally separating from her.

He wasn’t sure if he loved her anymore.

She got angrier and meaner.  He started drinking more when he got home from work.

42 years.

There were good times.  Early on, they loved dancing, antiquing and traveling.  Most of all, they adored their children.  They were a family that people were envious of.

It was enough to keep them together.  For 42 years.

Now, at 71, he has had enough.  She has become intolerable and impossible.  He has become defeated and miserable and he wants out.

Despite the fact that she has been so ill for the last 4 months.

Despite the fact that he is placing a heavy burden on his children who are now grown with families of their own.  He is giving his daughters their mother to take care of because he can’t…he won’t…do it anymore.

In sickness and in health means nothing to him anymore.  He is making us, his daughters, take that vow.  Because if we don’t take care of her now, no one will.

He wants to live now.  He wants to be able to enjoy the few years he has left.  He feels that if he stays in his situation with her one second longer then he will die.  And he doesn’t want to die without feeling like he really had a chance to live.

But we, his daughters…THEIR daughters…are reeling.

42 years of marriage.

We grew up with the security of a two parent family.

We grew up knowing that just because parents fight it doesn’t mean they don’t love each other.

We grew up with so many rules and regulations regarding relationships being instilled in us.

And now?

Our parents are hypocrites.  Everything they every taught us became a lie.

His girls are now in their 40’s.  And he is leaving them their mother.

It would have been so much better for everyone if they had done this 20 years ago.  Our hands so full with our family and responsibility.

But, he doesn’t care.

He loves us.

He loves her.

He just isn’t “in love” with her anymore.

He wants to put her in assisted living.

He wants to sell their house that they’ve been in for 33 years.

He wants out.

He wants to clean out the memories made.

She is overwhelmed and wonders who will take care of her and demands her daughters to give her emotional support.

His daughters aren’t sure what to make of all this.


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You Say I’m A Bitch, Eh?

May 27, 2010 5 comments

My stepchildren have lived with me longer than they ever lived with their real mom.  8 years.  That’s most of their young lives.

We’ve always been a pretty close family, despite the issues I have with my stepson.

I was the one who my stepdaughter wanted to come with her to pick out her first bra.

I was the one who my stepdaughter cried for when she got her period.

I was the go to mom for my stepdaughter.   The reliable one.   The one who knew what to do.

Now?  These last couple of months, I guess I’ve fallen from grace.

Her mother has been around more often, which…yay her, that’s what she should be doing.  She has been wining and dining her children and bestowing spoils upon them.  She is wooing them.  They are enjoying being wooed.   They like the attention of their mom.  They soak it up, hesitantly at first, because they never know when she is going to disappear again.  But for now, she’s in one of her “being mommy” phases.  I know it won’t last, it never does.

But…

Good.  I think it’s great because all kids need their mom.  And after all, blood is thicker than whatever it is we share.

But if I hear, one more time, that my stepdaughter is going around telling people…including MY children…what a bitch I am, then there are going to be some serious trouble.

My husband better start sticking up for me and make it very clear to his little princess who can do no wrong,  how wrong it is to talk smack about family, blood or otherwise.

I don’t need to hear from him that he heard his daughters side and I “obviously don’t have the full story”.

WHAT THE FUCK?

When my children are crying and complaining to me that they hate their stepsister because she is talking smack about their mom…how much more of a full story can you get?  And yes, their stories match with each other.

It leaves me in a weird place.

If it was my daughter, she’d be in deep doo-doo.

But, it’s my stepdaughter.  And where my husband believes that it is ok to discipline my children, he sort of negates any discipline I enforce on his children.  Yeah…it’s an issue. I’ll save it for another post.

I’m not sure how to bring it up to my stepdaughter.  She is a bit of a liar and manipulator.  Her father falls for it every single time.  And I probably fall for my own daughters little manipulations and lies.

In some ways, I get it.  I was a teenager once.  I used to roll my eyes and complain about what a bitch my mom was for not letting me do something or go somewhere.  That’s normal.

But she is simply letting her friends know that she feels I am a bitch.

So, I’ve been stewing and festering.  My husband won’t discuss it.

And I came to a decision, which I acted on today.

If I am such a bitch.  And she loves to sing it loudly.

She’ll be folding her own clothes which have been tossed into a laundry basket, waiting.  She’s lucky I did that much.

AND.  She’ll be in charge of her own meals.

She wants something to complain about?  She’s got it.

Categories: life, step parenting

A Short Story

May 24, 2010 5 comments

I set my alarm and slam it down onto my bedside table angrily.  Noisily.

Frustrated.

“What’s wrong?”  I could tell by his voice that he was surprised by my sudden act of passive-aggression.

“Nothing.” I try to keep my voice as normal as possible.  I turn onto my side, leaving him staring at my back.    I can’t look at him.  I don’t want to look at him.

He heads into the bathroom, ready for a good shit with a good book.

As he sits and farts, I lay in bed trying to slow my heart down.  Breathing in and out.  But my feelings of being overlooked and rejected once again, this time for a VanDamme rerun weigh on me.  Making me feel like I want to cry, scream or both.  The lump in my throat begins to get uncomfortable.  But I refuse to cry.  I won’t let him be the cause of a single tear.

Nothing floating through his mind except words written by a famous novelist.  Something about about demons.

While my mind fills itself  with a sad story of a couple on the brink of disaster.  Words coming from my own demon.

Categories: short story

They Grow Up Eventually And Then You Don’t Need Sitters

May 20, 2010 8 comments

I just realized how lucky I am.  No, I’m not going to go and get all sentimental about my life and all the rainbows and unicorns tossed at me.  Because it’s not.  So I won’t go there.

Let’s talk babysitters, MMMMKAY??

So.  We give birth, after 40 or so weeks of being some sort of human oven.

We spend countless sleepless nights with this little bundle of squirmy joy, pacing, singing quietly and pulling our hair out.

We spend countless days pacing floors trying to figure how to get our babies to stop crying, spitting up, projectile vomiting, etc, while ourselves wishing we could drown in a bottle of wine or twenty.

We go weeks, months and some, years…without shtupping our husbands, wives, significant others because of the bloody goo coming from our nether-regions.

Ages go by without enjoying a date night, movie, dancing…whatever.

Because a)we can’t find a babysitter to save our lives, b)our parents refuse to give up their weekends to watch their first born grandchild, c)there isn’t a single neighborhood kid in a 500 mile radius that we trust with our heart d)all of the above e)other

Then, because we’ve been bored, our bloody goo is cleared up and there is nothing else to do, we finally have sex again.  And shock upon shock, we get knocked up with baby 2.

Rinse, repeat times two.  Then three.  And perhaps…so on.

Well, the years go by.  These babies grow up to toddlers, preschoolers, elementary schoolers and finally…they are 12, 13 and 14.   And they have the biggest mouths on the planet.

After years of struggling to find and keep a reliable sitter and being at their whim, finally…we don’t need one.  We can come and go as we please.  Because our babies…they can watch themselves now.  They can make their own mac and cheese…minus the cleaning up.  They can, begrudgingly, watch the youngest.   Sometimes for money, sometimes because it’s part of their job description as older sibling, they have to do it for free.

WE HAVE A REAL LIFE AGAIN!!  We can be a married couple and go on dates!

We no longer have to be jealous of couples taking walks, while holding hands,  in the evening…child free, because their kids are old enough to be home alone.

We can go out to dinner with another couple, midweek, and throw some pizzas at the kids as we are walking out the door.

And we can say nanny, nanny boo boo to our Twitter friends when we see their tweets about finding sitters and having to cancel plans, etc…

Been there.  Done that.  Hunnies, one day you’ll be excitedly writing the same kind of post!

But trust me, it happens way, way too fast.

You blink.  And poof.  They aren’t babies anymore.

There is almost nothing about being a Mommy that isn’t bittersweet.

Including not having to find a babysitter.

This Too Shall Pass…Hopefully. Oh Please, Say It Will!

May 19, 2010 8 comments

Once upon a time, there was a bouncy, twirly, leapy, giggly girl.

She lived in a house with her mom, dad and a plethora of other forms of life…cats, dogs and even siblings.

This little girl bounced, twirled, leapt and giggled herself all the way to age 12.

Suddenly, one day, without any warning at all, the bouncing, twirling, leaping and giggling stopped.  (although, there may have been some warning signs but the Mom chose to ignore it)

It was replaced by crying, complaining, moaning and tantruming…to name a few shuddery changes.

The Mommy tried to find out what was wrong with her once sweet, always beautiful daughter but didn’t understand this new garbled language coming from her precious child’s mouth.  So she shrugged her shoulders, patted her her daughters curly hair and went to ask the Daddy to find out what their daughters problem was.

He tried as hard as he could to figure out what the once bouncy, twirly, leapy, giggly girl was saying from her cherubic face that was spewing out words in a voice with a language hardly understandable.  But he couldn’t either.  He shrugged his shoulders, hugged and kissed her and went to ask her siblings if they knew what her problem was.

Each of them tried, individually and together in a group (safety in numbers) to find out what was wrong with their sister.  Finally, after hugging her and then punching and pinching her…which they claim she totally deserved because she was hitting and kicking at them…they decided she was possessed.

They went to their parents with their findings and conclusions.  It was unanimous.

The siblings believed that his once curly haired bouncy, twirly, leapy, giggly girl was now demonically possessed by a PMS’y, whiney, unhappily hormonal pre-teen.

Just like each of the 3 bigger siblings had gone through, only she was much, much worse…or so they claimed.  Which, in all fairness, the Mother had to concur.  Not the worse, per se.  The whiniest, for sure.

The parents gave each other a look of panic, shrugged and decided to become closet alcoholics until it passed.

If it ever passes.  Oh please, tell me it’s going to pass…ahem.




It Doesn’t Always Work Out The Way You Expect It To

May 19, 2010 5 comments

We were awarded custody of his kids the week before our wedding.  It was a definite shocker to me that it had happened.  I mean, I had found out a couple of weeks prior that he was going to go after her for custody but what kind of mother willingly gives up her kids?  I didn’t really think she’d do it, but she did.  She allowed it to happen.  Easily.  To be honest, it was not what I really wanted for my life but I was too in love to back out over something that I thought might end up fine.

And now here we are, 8 years later.  It’s not so fine.

It’s so freaking hard to be a bio-mom AND a step-mom.  The tiptoeing and sidestepping so that fragile egos aren’t stepped on.  It’s a good thing I took dance when I was young.

I get along with my stepdaughter.  While I’m pretty sure she’d rather live with her mom, she’s made due with me.  There is quite a bit of newly developed rivalry between her and my daughter though.  Although, maybe it isn’t so much that it’s new as it is more apparent than in the past.  Hard to say.  But apparently my stepdaughter is gossiping about my daughter to her track team and it’s getting back to my daughter, who is devastated because this is someone who she considered to be her big sister.

Then there is my stepson.  Oh wow.  He is a tough one.  He has a whole list of  emotional problems that are being satiated and kept at bay as much as possible with a mini cocktail of meds.  But that isn’t even where our problem begins.  He and I don’t like each other.  At all.  The disruption in our home due to his behavior is off the charts.  When he is gone overnight, we can breathe.  I am sure that one of these nights, I will wake to find him standing over my bed with a sharp object raised over his head in preparation to plunge into my helpless, sleeping body.   Nice, right?!  When my husband is home, he acts like a typical teenaged jerk to me, which I respond to likewise.  I can’t help it.  When my husband isn’t around, his anger and negativity heightens.  Darkens.  It’s kind of scary.  And my husband refuses to look at the matter with an objective eye.  So he blames me because I’m the adult.  I’m sure that I am partially to blame.  After all, it takes two, baby.  But no matter how nicely things start out, my stepson quickly turns it into a war.  And I will never wave the white flag to a teenage boy who should have the manners and the respect.  Which…he is so obviously lacking.

My step son wants to live with his mother.  I’m not sure that he would turn out a clean and functioning individual if that happens.  But.  And I don’t think I’ve ever said this on a blog…I want him gone.  I can’t stand living with him, the biggest shit disturber ever.  I know!  That’s so horrible of me.  Trust me, it makes me feel such guilt but, it is what it is.  I can’t help how I feel, though I try my hardest to pretend with him.

I thought that being a mom was hard.  It is!  My kids pose so many emotional challenges.  The job of Mom is so strenuous but because I gave birth to them, it’s…different.  Being a full time stepmom has even harder obstacles.  Sometimes they seem insurmountable, especially when the husband doesn’t always seem to be part of a united front.  Which ends up making it mine vs. yours.  That isn’t healthy.

I can’t help but think that if we had the typical blended family, kids living with mom and coming to us every other weekend type scenario that I had been anticipating, things would be so much better.

Or would it have?

Open Letter To My Husband

May 18, 2010 13 comments
Dear Darling Hubby,
One of the reasons I divorced my ex was because I didn’t particularly enjoy being anywhere near him.  He annoyed me.  He frustrated me.  He even grossed me out.  Yes, I find him repulsive on so many levels that I can’t even begin to name them.  Which is why I stopped having sex with him LONG before we divorced.  Yes, I was in a basically sexless marriage.
When I finally got rid of him, I was very pleased and quite comfortable with the fact that I would only have to see him briefly during his visitation pick up and drop off.  If I wanted more interaction, conversation or relationship (not sex) with him, it was up to me and completely in my control.
Then I met and married you.  Aren’t we lucky?
Things were amicable yet arms length with my ex for a long time.  But then, over the course of the last couple of years, you’ve begun hanging out with him for poker games.  Which, I suppose is fine on a charitable level of you.  He could use some socialization, which he lacks so pathetically.   It is very nice of you to take pity on the less fortunate.
But honestly?
I’m sick of him being around.  I don’t want to have dinner with him.  I don’t want him to come to my home every single time there is a poker game.
You say that it is nice for the kids.  And I’m sure that in some way it is.  But ugh.  Really?
Maybe you should just sneak to see him like I used to do with guys my parents didn’t like?
Or maybe?  Just dump the dude.
Thank you so much for your consideration in this very pressing and disturbing matter.
With Love,
Your Wife