Yesterday was the first day R has left me alone with the baby for 2 weeks, since my recent wobble. We’ve been getting on ok. We’ve never been a couple that shouts and screams at each other. When we go through difficult times, he retreats. He can appear very cold but its his way of protecting himself. Self-preservation. His defense mechanism.
In the 3 years we’ve been together, 20 months of it has been dealing with my depression, anxiety and recurrent relapses. Then trying to re-build trust. The time between these relapses has gotten shorter and shorter – the last one being 5 months. It’s hard to recall a time where I didn’t feel guilty and scared he would leave me. He says he’s tired and can’t go through it again. I totally understand. I try to put myself in his shoes. Would I stand by him? I like to think I would. I know for a fact if F didn’t exist then we’d have split up after the last time. We both would have given up.
We love each other a lot but my bullshit is fucking hard work – for both of us the deal with. I know when I am single I feel a lot less pressure. I don’t have to live up to someone else’s expectations of me but I love my family and want it to work. I love him for not giving up on me. We’re taking an emotional break. We’re ‘on hold’. We’re in separate bedrooms but we eat together, spend a little time in the evenings together. Take the baby out together. It’s more than I could have dared hope for. His anger seems to have dissipated but he’s suffering with terrible anxiety. It’s making him ill. He needs to take a step back. He’s doing as much as he can for me without feeling like a doormat. We have a lot of work to do but I think we both realise that our relationship needs to come second for bit. I need to work on myself. I rely on his financially which is an issue for me. I kept my own home until May last year and supported myself until we decided to properly move in together. I really struggle with being so dependant on him. He has NEVER made me feel bad about it. It’s all me. However, we both know that if we split up or he decides he can’t do this anymore – that would mean I become homeless, without any income. I would lose visitation with my older children and custody of F. He would automatically get custody because of my substance abuse history. That is a big bowl of added pressure on both of us.
His expectations of me are not unreasonable. He just wants me to stop trying to hurt myself. He wants me to be healthy. He doesn’t want to sit around whilst I numb myself with drink or drugs. He wants to be able to go to work without worrying that I will get drunk in charge of the baby. He wants F to grow up with a mother.
I have had moments of resentment.
‘Why can’t he accept me the way I am?’
‘If he loved me, he’d be more supportive and sympathetic.’
What horseshit! So childish and selfish. I’m embarrassed to even admit that.
Would I really want him to enable me? At times, sure! I have wanted that. But I know deep in my heart, I wouldn’t respect that. That we’d both lose out if he indulged me. It would be an unhealthy relationship. I don’t want to be that person. I want to be a good example for my children. I want to be at peace with my mind.
It was birthday yesterday. I made him a cake. I helped F make him a card and I painted him a picture of the symbol for caffeine and framed it. We watched Arrival. We hugged. It was a sweet evening. Then we said goodnight and went to our separate rooms. Before now this would have deeply distressed me. I have always needed to sort us out before sorting me out. I am an affectionate person. I need smiles and touches so it hurts me a lot to feel the wall he has put up but I have to respect it. He is trying his best. I don’t want to be the reason he is ill and in pain, physically and emotionally. I want him to be happy. I want to be happy.
I intend to do a bit of research on co-dependency after some advice from ainsobriety, another blogger on here dealing with recovery and sobriety. Thank you for your advice. I really appreciate your kindness.
(Added note – until now I have been undecided about my level of privacy. Names, photos etc. I think I’ve done with hiding. My name’s Kel. Hello!)