Disappointments Part 2of2
The Beach Trip
My 2 daughters and my 16-year old’s best friend took a short girl’s trip to the beach a week ago. Of course, this trip was not without any issues. Story of my life. We stopped for breakfast on the way. The lady at the drive-thru handed me our drinks and I gracefully dropped the very large strawberry lemonade right down the front of me, and ice was puddled in the floorboard beneath the foot peddle of the car. And there was a line of cars behind me. The lady kindly gave me a rag to start soaking up the mess and fixed me another drink. I carefully drove my car to the nearest parking space. My girls looked at me nervously and wide eyed, just waiting for me to lose it and have a meltdown. This was the first time that I had been on a trip without another adult, without my husband to help me with the kids. The beach was always our thing, that we did as a family each year. I was too emotionally exhausted to get angry or cry. I simply wiped up the mess and drove towards the beach. I was not going to let this ruin our trip.
We finally reached the beach and drove around for another 30 minutes looking for a parking space. My options were to pay $20 to park across the street in the parking deck and walk with the heavy cooler, pay $10 for 2.5 hours of maximum parking time, pack everything and everything up and move again, or pay $40 for all day parking right off the beach. Now I remember what was so great about the extra help or a man to do the heavy lifting. So, I paid the $40. That hurt because I’m a thrifty spender but again, at this point, I just didn’t care.
The waves were huge because a hurricane had hit 3 days before. The shells were monstrous, plentiful, and fully intact. I’ve never seen anything like it. After about an hour of picking shells, I sat down in my chair to relax and listen to music on my phone. That’s when I say it,” the text” …From My husband. It simply stated in so many words that he missed us, all of us. That he knew we had a troubled marriage, but he still loved me and no matter what we were always going to be his family and one day he hoped we could be friends. I was stunned. It had been almost 2.5 months of either silent treatment, no contact, or just angry/resentful behavior from him; and now this. Why now? Was it because we were at the beach? Did it seem like we were moving on without him? The thoughts raced through my head. I read it at least 5 more times before responding. I texted him and reminded him that this was a separation. A time for us to work on ourselves as individuals and try to become two healthy, whole, healed people. I explained to him that more than anything I wished we could be a family but we both had to be willing to go to therapy and work. I told him if he was ready and willing to do that, I would go. But there was no response from him.
The beach trip was exactly what we needed. A fun, girls’ trip. Some one on one “family” time. When we got back, we began preparing for my daughters sweet 16 party which was only 3 days away. Friday evening, we decorated the venue. I thought about what my husband had texted me. So, I made the effort to show him that we were still open to being a family. I texted him to remind him of the time of the event and the address to the venue. But he texted me back that he would not be attending. He also sent our 16-year-old a message apologizing to her and telling her that he was not going to be attending. He promised to make it up to her. She came to me crying and showed me the text. You see, my husband came into our lives when my son was 5 years old, and my daughter was 2. He had raised my children for the past 14 years. Their biological father was in the military and although he was involved in their lives, he lived out of the country or on the other side of the country and absent. I felt for her. He had broken her heart. How do you explain to a 16-year-old that the man who had raised her and she looked up to as a Father for her entire life was not going to show up for her on such a special day? I realized that the text message he sent me about us always being his “family” was just another empty promise. He was still only thinking about himself and his feelings.
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A few days later, I had a Therapy appointment. I was able to talk to my Therapist about all that had happened. I asked her opinion about what that text message from my husband may have meant. She explained to me that some people when they feel that their significant other is moving on, will try to “regain some control” by reaching back out to them. This was confusing to me. Why would someone do that? What are they trying to accomplish with this? I asked her if she thought he meant any of it? She said that sometimes they do it because they mean it and sometimes, they do it to feed their own ego. Like saying, “She still loves me”. I asked her what I was to do with this information? Do I still hope for change? She simply said, “actions speak louder than words”. “What have his actions showed you”? That’s when I realized. Our entire marriage was full of either empty promises with no follow through or blatant refusal to do anything he didn’t want to do. There was very little action or wanting to make any sacrifices in our marriage. It was that moment that I realized and decided, I was done waiting for him to change. I had waisted too many years on hoping and waiting for him.
I’m ready to move on with my life.