More Than Livable

Then – December 30, 1998

Another Christmas passed, New Year right around the corner.  It snowed on 12/23.  The night before we left for Michigan.

Marcus came home and was not happy.  As usual I got the brunt of it.  All I wanted was to spend a nice evening with Marcus, but that was not to be.  I don’t know if I can spend the rest of my life like this.  I feel like I am another burden on his life.  I refuse to be treated that way.  I was very upset.  I went for a walk.  It was snowing.  It was so beautiful and I felt so alone.  The tears dried on my cheeks and made them feel warm.  I was certain this was it.  My year was done.  Most people don’t even get a year.  I actually felt lucky.  My fantasy was complete.  What more could I ask for?  I had amazing feelings for a year and now they were gone.  I would be happy alone.

Marcus came to find me.  I was so surprised to see him.  It was very emotional for us both.  I really felt it was over.  He asked me to give him a week and finally I agreed.  I told him I would go to Michigan because I wanted to see his family.  Christmas Eve day was exhausting.  We didn’t sleep until 3am.  Thank goodness for one of his older sisters.  When we got there, it finally felt like Christmas and I wasn’t celebrating alone any longer.  We made cookies, wrapped presents and had dinner.  There were moments I wanted things to be okay between Marcus and me, but I couldn’t let myself.  Christmas morning I couldn’t even wish him a merry one.  I called my mom and sis.  We went to his sister’s and picked up her son on the way.  Seeing him with Marcus melted my heart.  Christmas Day we were okay.  We talked a lot Christmas night.  I fell in love again.  I must be the biggest loser.  Why do I let this happen to me over and over again?  Why do I love him so much?  Again I wanted to talk about getting married and when we would have children.  I am on a rollercoaster, but there is only the up and down with minimal coasting.

Our trip to Michigan was overall a good one.  We opened our presents the night we got back.  Our tree was not going to make it any longer.  It was fun.  I love my gifts.  It would appear that I did okay for Marcus too…I was hoping for a gift that would, well you know…tell me I was special.  I thought our first year together it would happen.  Why is this important to me?

Today I saw the signs of Marcus stressing and on the edge of how he gets when he treats me like a stranger.  It scares me so much.  I tried to ignore it and let it pass.  It did.  Can he not handle the regular stresses of life?

Tomorrow I will finish this journal with thoughts on the year.  Where is 1999 going to lead me?

 

More Then – December 31, 1998

The last day of 1998…  Today I did errands to prepare for tonight and tomorrow.  I am truly an at home mom with no children, hopefully some day that will change.

So much has changed during the past year.  I fell in love at the end of 1997 and it changed my life for hopefully ever.

My wishes for 1999 are that I continue to find myself, that Marcus and I continue to learn about each other and that our love continues to grow.  I am so thankful for such a wonderful and amazing year.  If 1999 is only half as good, it will still be a good year.

 

Now – I love my home away from home in Grand Cayman.  It was an amazing trip.  In some photos it even looks like Marcus and I are happy together.  There were definite moments when we were.  He even spent a day in the dreaded sand with us on the public beach.  He hates sand.  Granted he spent most of it snorkeling out in the water, but still it gave me time to sit on the beach and the children time to dig and make sand creations.

I remember leaving our apartment in NYC crying right before Christmas 1998.  I really thought that was the end of our relationship.  Maybe it should have been.  For whatever reasons, we have maintained our relationship and our marriage.  For the past couple of years when neither of us were happy, we tried to make it livable.  I started this journal one year ago to help me grow through the experience of lasting another year in my marriage.  I lasted!  Right now, it may even be more than livable.

In any case I have learned a lot about what is acceptable to me and what is not in my relationship with my husband.  I have gained strength and empowered myself by talking to attorneys and counselors – and my close friends.  I have examined the importance of my own happiness in the framework of family life.  I understand that children are a great reason to work on a marriage, but not a reason to stay in an unhealthy one.  I have examined myself to the core and know that I will be okay no matter what the future of my marriage may hold and so will my children.

My personal blogging experiment is over.  I thank myself for this outlet of self-expression to work through a difficult time.  If it helps someone else along the way, even better.  Here’s to 2014!

 

 

 

 

Joyful and Merry

Then – December 23, 1998

In two days I will have been in love with Marcus for a year.  I do love him so much, but this love feels so fragile.  I really want it to last.  The last two days have been special for me.  It seems that he’s looking into my eyes again for whatever reason.  I hope it lasts through the holidays.

We’re off to Michigan tomorrow to spend the holidays with Marcus’ family.  We are returning to where we fell in love, just a short year ago.  I haven’t had a holiday with my family for a while.  I really miss my sister.

My sister started a new job with the same company in San Francisco.  She won’t have to drive across the bay to work any longer.  It’s a good change for her.  She is very excited.  I am for her as well.  Mom’s also moving to San Francisco with her job.  We all have a lot to be thankful for.

I feel I have grown a lot this past year.  I’ve come to grips with fear, loneliness and guilt.  I’m still standing.  I’m still moving forward.  I’m still trying to figure me out.  I’m trying to enjoy the journey.

I’m heating up dinner from Balducci’s tonight.  I hope Marcus likes it.  I just want him to be relaxed and happy.  Please.  Merry Christmas.

Now –

The way I used to think:  “We are getting ready to head to Grand Cayman for the holidays.  I just want him to be relaxed and happy.  Please.  Merry Christmas.”

The way I am feeling now:  “We are getting ready to head to Grand Cayman for the holidays.  I just want to be relaxed and happy.  Merry Christmas.”  I am not responsible for Marcus’ feelings.  I feel joyful and merry can’t wait to feel that way in the warm sunshine on the beach.

Feeling Content

Then – December 19, 1998

It’s the weekend before Christmas.  I’m not exactly sure how I feel about things at the moment.  Why is there always this void?  I know I must fill it from within.  Marcus said it last night.  I have the inability to be happy.  I am never content.   I’m learning – I think I can do this.  Why am I so insecure in my relationship with Marcus?  Why do I have expectations that he feels are so unreasonable?  Why do I fear signs that he may be bored with me?  How is this going to work?  I think I just need to relax and be myself.  I need to continue to pursue my own interests so that I have something to share with him.  I need to get my head on straight.  I know quitting work has been yet another transition for me.  I don’t do well without social interaction.  School will be a big help, but that doesn’t start until 2/9.  I will be busy during January though.  I need to enjoy this time and stop worrying so much about Marcus.  Things have a way of working themselves out.  I need to plan things better.  Let him know I am interested in him and make him feel good too.  The things I do just never seem to be the right things.

Now – Well, I still don’t do the right things, but I worry about it a lot less!  I remember being so happy to see Marcus when he got home from work, after I was mostly alone (or as alone as you can be in NYC) all day.  I’d want to talk and he wanted to have some quiet time and to read the paper.  It was so frustrating.  Was I being needy?

Things have been working themselves out for 15 years.  Two children go a long way in filling voids.  They are amazing little people, but they cannot be how I define myself as a person.  It’s too much pressure on them.  I’m still growing and changing and discovering who I am.  My most recent endeavor of training to become a Pilates instructor seems to be a great fit for me.  I’m with people all day, helping them achieve their fitness goals.  Plus I am getting to exercise.  The human anatomy is fascinating and there is so much to learn.  Marcus still wants his quiet time to read or stare and the computer and after instructing and learning all day, I’m pretty content too.

 

Disjointed

Then – December 14, 1998

It was a good and bad week.  I am enjoying being home and got a lot done.  I don’t feel bored yet!  Thursday was tough.  We went to Connecticut and couldn’t get the car registered or get a license as we needed more information.  We will go back in a few days.  We saw the Nutcracker with a friend last weekend.  We also went with our friends and some of their children to DC to see the Van Gogh exhibit.  Fun train ride, amazing exhibit and great night in Georgetown.

I can’t believe this year is coming to a close.  It has been such a wonderful year.  I don’t want it to end.  I hope the coming years are just as good.  I love Marcus so much.  I want us to be happy.  It scares me how much I want this.

I can’t believe I stay at home and don’t work.  It seems to take some stress off our relationship.  I am so thankful for all that has happened.

Now – As I read my journal entry from a year ago, what I notice is that we were a couple fifteen years ago.  We did things together, went places, and planned for the future together.  Now our lives seem so disjointed.  We each do our own thing, come together as a family to be good parents, but that seems like the extent of it.  We are maintaining, but not growing.

We went to a party last night and from the time we walked in, until we left a couple of hours later, I never saw him.  It’s not like all couples stayed together, but our paths never crossed.  I had invited him to get a drink with me at the bar when we walked in, but he declined and then I was swept up with friendly faces and holiday hugs.  Spitefully then I think, let him fend for himself and he does.  I see him talking to a gentleman from a small gathering at our house the night before.  I move on to say hi to others and that’s the last I see of him until I gather the children to leave.  Awkward.

Maintaining Equilibrium

Then – December 6, 1998

Yeah!  I had my last day of work on Friday.  A whole new adventure is starting for me now.  I hope I’m up for it.  So far I am trying to get organized.  I have a lot of things to take care of.  I’m actually pretty excited.

Marcus and I had an okay weekend.  It’s hard to explain but I feel so sad about us lately. He at times is so good to me and others I just want to get away.  I feel that with all he has done for me I shouldn’t complain, but I know that’s not right.

Yesterday turned out to be a great day.  We got a lot of things for the country house.  It really is shaping up.  It would be great to have our new chair by New Year’s so we can snuggle and watch movies.  We sang Christmas carols all the way back to New York yesterday.  Things are so wonderful sometimes.  I can’t wait to get our tree for Christmas.

Now – Always the dichotomy of good and bad times.  Turkey day has come and gone.  We spent it as a family and it was actually quite enjoyable.  Our trip to the Caribbean will be here before we know it.  We will be returning to the spot where Marcus told me he was done with our marriage two years ago.  I am not sure how I will feel about being there, but think it will be a part of the healing process in some way.  Not sure if it will be helpful or just remind me of how awful things were.  In any case, I would like to make my own peace with being there.  I am looking forward to family time, but I am also eager to allow myself time to relax and to fully take in the beauty of the waves and sunshine.

Fortunately since Marcus decided to maintain the level of respect in our relationship that I had demanded, we are maintaining an equilibrium that we have not found previously in our relationship.  I’m not sure how he’s doing it or why he couldn’t have done it before.  I keep waiting for him to collapse with exhaustion from the effort.

I’m surprised I haven’t collapsed from adding the task of Pilates teacher training to my life.  Maybe we are both just too tired to engage in a negative way!  In any case, I am loving having this daily diversion.  I am finding working with practice clients to teach them Pilates one on one is very rewarding.  I am being both physically and mentally challenged.

Gearing up for the holidays, one day at a time.

Change in Direction

Then – November 15, 1998

Did I fall off the face of the earth or what?  It’s been a very busy few weeks.  Marcus and I no sooner got back from London and things started to happen.  One night Marcus and I were in the grocery and Marcus said his friends in Connecticut were talking about opening an antique store.  I said I would love to help out which led to the thought that we could all be partners.  I have been spending a lot of time researching antiques for which my new computer from Marcus has helped.  I have been creating different lists in preparation and have basically been keeping myself busy, but I’ve enjoyed it.

Last weekend we went to the cottage in Connecticut for a night.  We looked for cars, no luck.  We checked out a few antique stores.  This weekend was fairly uneventful.  We went to a movie on Friday night.  I didn’t go to work Friday as I felt bad (PMS) and wanted to do a lot of stuff at home.  I don’t care if I ever go back to work.  I’m feeling rather depressed, probably just the PMS.  We slept a lot.  I did some Christmas shopping.  I also visited a priest about getting an annulment for my first marriage.  I’m not sure how I feel about an annulment or the church.  I feel a lot of pain right now about a failed relationship and a lot of fear about starting a new one.  I have so many doubts and fears about my future.  I think I’m heading in the right direction and yet my independence and career aspirations pull me in another direction.  Will I be happy being a wife and mother in a small town in Connecticut running an antique shop?  If I go that route I could be on that road for a long time.  Would it be enough?  Would it be enough for Marcus?  Sometimes I’m not sure we are right for each other.  We can get so frustrated with each other.  I will take care of myself.  Marcus takes good care of me too.  Why am I so insecure?

Now – Things here have been uneventful between Marcus and me.  We have been completely distracted by a close friend finding out that she has stage 3b lung cancer.  It has helped me put life in perspective, realizing how fleeting it is and how important our family life is to me.  Marcus has been helpful and supportive.  He has been spending lots of time with the kids and helping more in the evenings since I have been distracted by a few tasks in preparation for our friend starting treatment.   He even asked me to lunch one day.  He is making an effort.

I have also been distracted by starting Pilates teacher training.  As my friend said, I have wanted to do “something” for a long time.  The foundation I started is rewarding, but it is not work.  It was stimulating at first, but after six years I feel a bit uninspired.  The Pilates training has given me something productive to focus on.  I look forward to helping people feel better and move.  Just another change in direction on the pathway of life.  A new adventure and a new way to grow.

Holidays will be here soon.  I can’t even think about a Turkey.  Maybe next week.

How It All Falls Apart

Only about then – October 31, 1998

Happy Halloween!  Why do I have to be so emotional and care so much about what Marcus thinks and feels?  I stress myself out so badly and ruin everything.  I’m amazed he still wants to be with me.  Maybe it’s because I love him so much.  I hate it when he gets upset and treats me differently than he normally does.  I will learn to argue better.  So much for being lovers in Paris.

The Tower of London was incredible.  Not a lot of time to see everything, but enough.  We walked over Tower Bridge to a café and had some cheese and tea.  We were going to do the Jack the Ripper walk, but we were both tired and cranky and ended up getting into a fight at the hotel.  This is not a great way to start our weekend in Paris.  Friday morning we went to the train station and rode from London to Paris.  I saw Sacre Coeur on the hill.  Paris was beautiful.  It was also cold and rainy, however.  On Friday we saw Notre Dame, walked by the Louvre to the Musee D’Orsay, had sorbet and tea at the museum, saw the Eiffel Tower, took a brief nap at the hotel and then went to dinner in the Latin Quarter.  We went to a Greek restaurant where they smashed plates and the ladies danced on the table.  Thank goodness I was not selected to be one of the dancers  – at least not without a few drinks in me.  We went back to the hotel, resolved our previous issues and fell asleep.  Today was much better.

Yesterday for the first time in a while, I started to feel like I had made a mistake again.  He can be so cold and distant; I just want to be away.  I know we love each other.  I just hope that’s enough.  Part of me just wants to be on my own where he can’t hurt me.  We always make up, but it doesn’t make it any easier.  Part of me just doesn’t feel right about this relationship.  What can I do? I was so sure about us on Sunday night and then four days later I’m shattered.   What’s wrong with me?  Is it me? Do I just need to get used to it and get over it?  Help.

Today was better.  I think I just need not to put so much of my life into Marcus.  I need to think for a bit about what will make me happy.  I’m excited to get back to Connecticut where we went to Marcus’ business partner’s home.   I love it up there, being away from everything.

Today we went to the Gallerie de Lafayette, shopped and ate breakfast.  Then we went to the Arch de Triumph.  It’s very impressive and there were amazing views down all the streets that intersect at the monument.  We walked up the Champs Elysees and we got an adorable sweater for one of Marcus’ nieces.   We walked back to The Latin Quarter and had lunch and afterwards a crepe for desert.  We went to an ice cream shop on the island.  I think Marcus is trying to make me fat!  We walked down the street of shopping (Rue de Rivoli).  I got some boots – really pretty – black.  We walked more, but it was so rainy we decided to head to the train station a little early.  We are on the train now.  It will be good to fly home tomorrow.  I want to get our photos developed.

I want to make a promise here in writing.  I love Marcus.  I will not be hysterical again.  I will let him be grumpy without wanting to run away.  I will not threaten to leave.  I will not.  It is not fair to him.  I feel horrible.  I will make it up to him and never do it again.  I promise, on this train, I promise.

November 1, 1998

Our last night in London was ok.  I made reservations at the SOHO Brewing Company.  It was pretty good.  We had a good flight back to New York yesterday.  We cleaned up, unpacked and did a few errands.  The cats are very happy to see us.  We also went to a movie.  Again, I was exhausted.  We woke up early this morning and relaxed and lingered in bed.  I followed Marcus to get a bagel and he was off to work.  I realize today I need to find another job for both of our sake.  I just can’t be up late with him and then off early to work.  I’m exhausted.  I have nothing left for our relationship or myself.

It is good to be home.  I really want to find a way to thank Marcus for the trip.  I’m just not sure how…

 

London – How It Can Be So Good

Only about then – October 25, 1998

We’re in London.  The trip yesterday was easy.  We left New York at 9pm and arrived in London at 8am.  I slept most of the trip.  The hotel is great (Intercontinental).  We had a bite to eat, slept, went to the British Museum for a little and then to Covent Garden.  I had the best hot chocolate.  We walked forever to the river and to see Big Ben and Buckingham Palace.  It was a long walking trip, but very scenic and it wasn’t rainy!  Today I’m not sure what we are going to do.  It’s already 12:30 and I’m not dressed!

Later – We just got home from our day.  It was great except I was a little tired.  We went to get theater tickets but they didn’t have any for “ART”.  We went and had breakfast and then found the theater where ART is playing and bought tickets for 5pm.  We went back to the British Museum and finished the Egyptian portion and also saw some marble statues and reliefs from the Parthenon.  I was really tired so we went back towards the theater and had tea and scones.  We saw ART staring George Wendt, Stacey Keach and David Dukes.  It was one act and only three actors.  We walked to Piccadilly Circus and came home to order some room service.  Good day.  I love being with Marcus so much.  He makes me so happy.

October 26, 1998

We’ll we didn’t end up getting room service after all.  We went to the Observatory (lounge in hotel) and had tea and dinner.  Yummy!  We then came back and had a very good night together including some American football.  We talked about getting engaged to be married after the holidays.  Sometimes I feel like I don’t deserve all that has happened to me and where my life has gone.  I am so happy and so in love.

Today we didn’t do much, but it was still busy.  We awoke to calls from the clients here in London.  We got up and ready and went to the aquarium.  We took the subway to Waterloo Station and ate breakfast on the steps.  Waterloo is where we will also get the train to Paris.  The aquarium was okay.  Not as spectacular as Monterey.  We walked across the Westminster Bridge and headed home to check for messages from Marcus’s clients.  We then went to a coffee shop which we had seen Saturday morning in Mayfair.  It’s in one of our tour books.  Yummy.  We came home and went shopping in Knightsbridge.  I got a hat in Harvey Nichols.  It’s very cute and matches my brown coat.  We had dinner reservations for 8:30 at Veeraswamy Indian restaurant.  It was okay, but nothing great.  Marcus’ clients were in the lobby when we got back.  We all had a few drinks together in the bar.  Marcus will go in to work tomorrow and Wednesday.  I think I am going to take it easy tomorrow and venture out more the next day.  It’s been a great trip but I’m tired and can use a day to relax on my own.

October 27, 1998

Today was fun. I walked and walked and walked.  I first went and had breakfast where Marcus and I ate on Saturday morning.  I had the porridge again with tea cakes and tea.  Yum!  Then I walked to Hyde Park in search of Kensington Palace.  I walked forever and saw the Serpentine Gallery.  Weird elephant dung at the exhibit.  Yucky.  I saw Albert’s Memorial – huge and gaudy.  I saw Kensington Palace.  Sunken Garden was pretty.  I took a photo of it and the building, which was not much to look at.  I took a photo of school children playing on the walkway to Kensington Palace.  I walked back to Knightsbridge and shopped at Harrod’s.  I got tea for mom and other gifts for friends.  I also looked a little at clothes.  They were very nice but very expensive.  You can find clothes for less in NY!  Then I walked to JOSEPH.  Mary told me about Joe’s Café.  I had the best sticky date pudding (cake hot) with ice cream in a caramel sauce.  The waiter recommended it.  It was awesome.   I went to Harvey Nichols.  It was just a little too much browsing for one day.  I’m home now.  I am supposed to hook up with Marcus and his clients for dinner.  I’m glad I met them all before.  Better get ready.

 

October 29, 1998

Dinner was okay.  I mostly talked with Marcus and his business partner before dinner.  I really like Marcus’s partner.  He seems like a very nice man and he’s funny, too.  during dinner I visited with people I hadn’t met.  One of them I swear I met in LA at the Viper Room.

Yesterday  was fun too.  I went to the changing of the guard.  It was cold and it seemed long.  It was not as ceremonial as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in DC.  Maybe they’ve been doing it too long here in London.  I went to Westminster Abbey.  There was a lot of dead royalty there.  From there I walked to the Thames and went to the Lamb and Flag pub in Covent Garden and had a Guinness and some lunch.  I love the Guinness here!  I walked back through Piccadilly Circus and got some Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz, a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavor that my sister had recommended.   I stopped in Fortnum and Mason, a department store that’s been around since 1707.  I got Marcus a scarf.  I hope he likes it.

Marcus and I went to deliver the Twinkies I brought special from the US for one of the client’s girlfriends and I got my haircut.  She is a stylist and did a great job!  It was really nice to chat with her.  Later that night we went to dinner at Scotts.  We all sampled each other’s desserts. Good wine.  I got cranky at the end though.  Too long of a day – and I didn’t even work.  The clients picked up the tab.  Today Marcus and I are off to the Tower of London.  It’s 12:45pm and he’s just out of the shower.  Tomorrow off to Paris…

 

Holding Pattern

Then – October 15, 1998

Time goes so quickly.  The moms came and went.  I love my mom, but she is so morose and sad.  I tried to have a good time with her, but it just wasn’t.  I’m sure she noticed.  By the end of the visit as usual, I just wanted her to go.  It’s very disappointing.  I just don’t enjoy her company.

We went to Phantom of the Opera, the bar in Rockefeller Center, Tavern on the Green, mass at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, and wandered around downtown.  Monday I worked.  Tuesday we had brunch, went downtown, took a boat ride to Staten Island and back, and went to the Seaport.  We had dinner at an Italian restaurant with an old friend of my mother’s.

Last night I went to the City Opera with a friend.  It was amazing.  The voices and the emotion are incredible.  I’m really looking forward to our tickets to the next opera being on a Sunday, so hopefully I won’t be so tired.

We may be going to London the week of October 26th! I am keeping my fingers crossed.  Either way it’s okay.  It would be fantastic to go though.

Marcus was wonderful with the moms.  I wish there were something I could do to thank him.  He’s the best, but has a cold and is cranky…

Now – This weekend I visited family in Chicago with the kids, while Marcus stayed home.  The children think it’s odd that he not go with us.  They see his behavior and question it.  Happy to be home.  Marcus took the kids to his “workshop” today.  They had some things they wanted to build.  I’m just hopeful they come home with all their fingers and their eyesight.

While I wished Marcus would come with us, it’s a relief that he did not.  I made him feel welcome to change his mind and join us, but it’s just easier without him.  When he is somewhere I know he’d rather not be, it makes me uncomfortable and unable to relax with people I care about.  Just as well he stayed home.

Marcus and I usually get along when we are not together.  Texting and calling seem safe.  We continue to make plans for the future.  I’m trying to focus on the positive and not get too impatient.  There is so much I want to do and I want a partner to do it with!

Deja Vu

Then – October 3, 1998

Life continues  to move forward.  I really thought about applying for another job last week.  Things are slow at work which makes it even more unbearable.  I like the people that I work with, so that helps.

Marcus and I talked about a lot of things.  I’m not sure how it will all work out, but we are doing okay.

Marcus can be so wonderful.  I really liked being with him yesterday just doing stuff.  He can make me so happy, but also so sad.  This week was a good one.  Let’s hope it continues.

Now – Life continues to move forward.  I am really thinking about what I want to be when I grow up (after kids are a bit older and I have more flexibility to work).  Things have been a bit tedious lately and not that fulfilling, but I have a lot of good friends which helps.

Marcus and I have talked about a lot of things.  I’m not sure how it will all work out, but we are doing okay.

He can be so wonderful.  I really liked being with him last weekend.  He can make me so happy, but also so sad.  This week has been a good one.  Let’s hope it continues.

Basically the same, right?  Fifteen years later.  So curious that I have the same sentiments and can basically copy a journal entry from so long ago.  I am feeling optimistic however.  I feel confident that no matter how this turns out, I have a good future.

I can look at him more openly now.  He is good with the kids and really tries to make a difference in their lives.  He is helping me with the dishes and appreciating the effort to make dinner.  It really is the little things that help you get from one day to the next.  Right now I don’t need roses and diamonds.  I just need kind words and loving support.  Can he do it?