Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Silence is Maddening

My kids left promptly, 9:00 a.m. Sunday morning for camp. Their trunks bulged, their laundry bags full of clean bedding and stuffed animals. They were a little nervous, but relatively excited. I have to admit I shed a tear as they hopped on the bus and I will miss them.

I still can’t believe it’s finally here…SILENCE. After the marathon of laundry all day Saturday, just home from a week away, I was happy to be home spending the day reading in peace interrupted only by a break in the rain so I could ride my bike. My husband was all out of sorts. My dog was confused.

Vacation was a little off. My husband has been distant,depressed, maddening, annoying and no joy to be with for many months. I was hoping he would get it together since we were with my sister and family all week, but moments of the “old husband” were few and far between. He insisted on riding his motorcycle ---and nothing says family vacation quite like riding alone. He fussed about where to park it so that it wouldn't be stolen (or touched!). He fussed about the rain showers. I think he rode it once all week and then left early Saturday morning to “avoid the traffic”…  I really hate that thing.

His parents also always insist on joining us wherever we vacation, but they really don’t want to see us all that much. This causes the husband more stress and angst.  Last year the kids (and husband) were looking forward to seeing his parents, but as is typical – they bailed in the 11th hour with a “medical emergency”. This year I vowed to NOT let them ruin or interfere with our plans. They arrived Monday afternoon. We invited them to dinner and they declined due to illness and the stress of the trip… Of course they couldn't say enough about how great their evening meal was the next day since they weren't too sick to go out alone…They didn't want to do any of the tours with the girls or take them out on their own. We met them for dinner just one night and they came to watch the sunset on one other. They left early Thursday to avoid weekend traffic. I think we saw them 3 hours? My kids are old enough now to know that they are the least popular of the grandchildren and how off-putting their behavior is. My husband does too, but it still hurts him whether he admits it does or not.

My sister and her husband have a loving relationship and they genuinely enjoy being with each other. My brother in law is very social and eager to please; always looking out for others. I was hoping my husband would model this behavior, but instead he chose to isolate himself –sitting in the back of the room, going to the library to check his email, going to bed without telling a soul. Basically, he wasn't looking to improve or repair anything this week. I can tell he’s depressed, but I can't help him. He has to want to change. Last year I practically begged him to lose weight and take care of his health. Instead of seeing what could be gained (a shared sense of health,working together, modeling good behavior for our kids) he chose to throw it in my face; buying junk food, soda, candy… over eating a lot. If I would make a healthy meal – he’d eat it and then a bag of chips…  On vacation we went for ice cream. Everyone got smalls which were already big. “A large is a pint, are you sure you want large?” remarked the server… I said no, make it a small too … and DH just glared. Yeah, I am all done trying to help. Sleep apnea, snoring that wakes me from a deep sleep, clothes that don't fit, out of breath when he walks a flight of stairs and having to hold on to the railing because of a bad knee... always 2 steps behind when we go for a walk and I am already going slow... I don't understand how he can't see it and I don't understand how he won't even try to make better choices. Forget me, forget the family. Why wouldn't he want to feel better for himself?

So now we are stuck here together alone for two weeks. I have plans to exercise - I actually made it to spin last night - and I am doing my best to not park it in front of the TV all night which is hard... The husband has work and the gym and ... needs a hobby that doesn't involve spending more money. I suggested dinner Friday and I think he's happy to be going out together. Perhaps we will be able to get the ball rolling and start communicating again. Marriage is hard work. I really don't want a divorce so making an effort to make things better between us- letting him know what I need - is a step in the right direction. Otherwise the silence is maddening... 

No comments: