Thank you so very much for thinking of me, for following up, for taking the time to give me your advice and perspective, the luck and the tissues - I need them! You are amazingly accurate in your perception. You are obviously someone who has learnt much from the difficulties you have faced and that is inspiring to others. It is generous of you to share what you have learnt.
I have been doing a lot of thinking and I suspect he has been keeping emotions to himself, and perhaps even from himself. I have always seen the impact of his abusive father, but just this week it also occurred to me that he may have more of his submissive mother in him than I have ever noticed before. And of course, I can't work on a marital issue I know nothing about, so perhaps I am just ignorant of things that have upset him that he hasn't told me about, all the while believing that I am doing all I can to build and sustain the happy marriage I thought we had.
Things are not going well right now. He moved out a week ago and I was feeling slightly more positive, (not rashly so, just a little) after he called me on Wednesday sounding quite upbeat, just to ask how I was going, then said he was coming over today (Saturday) even though I said he did not need to do so. But, I could see as soon as he walked in today, that he was wearing his depression mask. He wasn't angry so much as cold and remote and told me, when I asked how he was going, that if he had to decide today, our marriage would be over. He's been enjoying his solitude as I expected he would, but has also been thinking about all the wonderful possibilities his future might hold without me. But then, he wanted to go out to lunch with me at the local pub. I bottled up all my pain, stayed calm and open, put on a brave face and went with him, hoping to keep the communication lines open. He was OK at lunch, but not particularly talkative, then left as soon as we got back to the house. We talked about some random bits and pieces that would need to be addressed If we were to split among other ordinary topics, but nothing was decided and we did not argue or even disagree on anything.
So once again, my heart takes a beating. I feel so confused because he says one thing quite assertively based on how he feels today, but he isn't taking any action beyond running away to the sanctuary of an apartment, and then he still calls me and comes over when he doesn't need to, and that makes me see-saw painfully back and forth without really knowing my own mind. I have resolved to try to build myself an emotional wall and not take anything he says positive or negative to heart until he comes out of the depression, but right now I hurt like hell.
Your suggestion that I need to work on myself is absolutely spot on and I have been trying to do so. I have read more self help books in the last couple of weeks than I have in a lifetime! I am questioning and refining my philosophies and values in life and rebuilding myself as a person from the ground up. I figure that will stand me in good stead whatever happens.
You were right on the arts and crafts too. I knit too and started painting again this week after 20 years. Yes you can easily undo mistakes in these things and I will keep that analogy in mind.
I can see that as much as I want to be there for him, to listen unconditionally and without judgement, I am too close to him to be that support. As you said, he needs to work his own life out, his way.
I know that, whatever happens, both he and I will come through this pain as wiser, better people, no matter the outcome of our marriage. There is no emotional and spiritual growth without adversity. He is a wonderful man and I hope that he finds a way through the suffering soon.
I have to find my own way and I am working on that. Today I feel like hiding under the doona and crying but I got myself dressed and ready to go to the local outdoor cinema with my parents. I will keep doing those special things for myself and maybe learn to enjoy them.
Thank you again Giggles. You have helped me more than I can express.