MARRIAGE – When That Familiar Sweater Unravels … (Lil Miss D)

Last week I introduced you all to Lil Miss D – an Experimental Dater in the process of coming to terms with the breakdown of her marriage, and steps towards the big ‘D’ word.

Thank you for being so candid Miss D … I think a lot of people will be able to relate to a lot of the different issues raised in your first post.

Miss Twenty-Nine xxx

Ok. So this is my first blog as Lil Miss D, and to ease myself into the whole writing about my love life, I thought best to start at the beginning. You never know, some of you out there may identify with what you’re about to read……

I met my ex husband 18 years ago, and it was instant, spark flying, passionate attraction.

Although young, before I met him I was sceptical about love, especially love at first sight, and I definitely didn’t want to get married. But then he went ahead and swept me away with his enigmatic and charming persona and so changed all of that. The first moment I saw him it was weird, my stomach churned and my knees actually went weak. All cliche movie stuff and I just put it down to feeling unwell.

However, I noticed that whenever I was near him I felt unwell. Too much of a coincidence for my liking.

Anyway, a group of us had arranged to go out for a drink after work one night but as the time drew nearer everyone bar myself and my ex-hub had pulled out.

We agreed to still go for a drink together and it was on that night, about two weeks after we first met, that we gazed into each others eyes and our hands met across the table.

Electricity is not the word. It was the most bizarre thing I have ever experienced. And the most wonderful. I felt the hair on my head stand on end and shocks literally felt like they were zapping down my spine. I was almost 19, young, a baby really, but this feeling ……. This feeling was totally and utterly real and even at that tender age I knew that the connection I had just experienced was more than just deep.

We started to date and then quickly became an official item, literally living in each others’ pockets. We just couldn’t get enough of each other, physically, mentally, spiritually. It was as though I was one half of a mould and he was the other half and someone had simply placed us back together, where we belonged.

How did it all go wrong? you may ask.

Well, for all of the wonderful times we had, we had not so good times, like most relationships do, and things changed. We changed. We grew to become completely different people in our late twenties and early thirties, compared to who we were when we met.

To love with a passion so intense and to experience a love so deep, it can destroy a person.

Unfortunately for me he put me on a pedestal and when I changed, as we all inevitably do as we get older, I fell off that pedestal.  I feel as though he punished me for no longer being the woman he had met and married.

Some men can be very jealous.  They want you to themselves 100% of the time, like a puppy dog.  And when they don’t gain your full attention, they throw tantrums because they’re not getting their own way.

I’m not bad mouthing him here – just stating facts. I am sure he has facts about me he would like to voice, as I am far from perfect! But the jealousy and constant need for attention was draining after so many years of servicing and placating it, and things began to fall apart. Just little stitches at first, slowly becoming undone, until finally I had a sweater with a great gaping hole in it, that I was trying to fix with a shoehorn – silly analogy but you get the picture.

I’m not perfect and I don’t want you to think I am attacking him in public here.

He was a huge part of my life and I don’t regret anything.

It just transpires that we suited each other when we met and eventually did not suit each other any more. And the more we didn’t suit, the more his temper flared, and the more I withdrew, and so a vicious circle ensued to the point in time where his temper turned to violence.

Now, I don’t want you to think of him in a different light here – he had issues of his own which he thought I could fix, but I realised that he needed to fix himself. And I needed to fix myself.

Other people cannot fix you.

It’s your journey, on your feet and you have to take each step to begin to accept your past, no matter how horrific, and to learn to love and accept who you are. Once I started on this journey I changed massively and we grew apart. It really is that simple.

He wanted the old me back, but she was gone. The little lost girl was now a strong confident woman and that was quite some transition for us both to deal with. And I believe that’s why he struck out. There is no excuse for it. But he was as damaged as I was back then, and it must’ve been scary for him to see me so “healed”.

Other things affected us too. I admit to suffering from depression when we almost lost my Dad to cancer. It is hard to live with someone who is depressed – I know as I’ve done it. He intermittently had depression too. And so we swam around in this huge melting pot of emotion for many years, but alas, it was not to be. Even marriage counselling (I went alone and then we went together) could not even fix us.

Hindsight is most definitely a wonderful thing.

Looking back I can see that many things had happened one after another which meant my eagerness to placate and smooth my then-husbands fraught feelings, took a backseat. My sister lost her baby, my niece, at 7 months, and I was there for the delivery and held my beautiful lifeless niece in my arms. My cat who I adored was terminally ill with kidney failure, and both of these helped to trigger the grief of my Grandad, who I was like a pea in a pod with, from his death 12 years before as I never really dealt with it. Finally, my Dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer and he fought off death many times before finally dying last March. Dad had almost died a few times before and amazed doctors each time he came back from almost dead. He was such a fighter, dignified and positive in his fight, and it was the toughest thing I have ever faced, or think I ever will face.

So, a lot happened in such a short space of time that I had nothing left to give. I could no longer placate any mood swings. I was struggling with day to day life myself, and couldn’t give him the attention he so craved, and so he would become moody and take it out on me verbally.

I mentioned that I went to marriage counselling alone at first.

I did this because I felt that there was something wrong and wanted to pinpoint it. What I was not prepared for was the revelation that I was in an unhealthy relationship with an angry and controlling man.

Yes he could be an angel and the most wonderful and loving person on this earth. But it was a seesaw. If I kept him happy, then all was happy and shiny. If he couldn’t get hold of me on a night out, or if I was spending too much time with the cat (Yes – I did say cat), or I wasn’t wearing something that he approved of or liked, then he would become unhappy and I would be the one who verbally suffered. Even his own Mum one day told him to stop talking to me in such a way. I suppose you just get used to violent words and empty threats.

However, the amazing, loving, beautiful, intelligent, caring and kind side would surface, and all would be ok again. It truly was a Jekyll and Hyde situation whereby I feel I was punished for someone else’s insecurities.

I hope that this post gives anyone who reads it at least a small understanding of what an unhealthy relationship is.  When you focus ALL of your attention and life on them, then they are happy and will treat you like a queen or king …. give them anything less, and lets just say things are not so harmonious.

The funny thing is that this kind of relationship is somehow addictive.

The love and passion and intensity are amazing, and when it’s good it is the best feeling in the world.

Unfortunately, when it goes bad you feel broken, on the floor, and all as a result of cruel words spoken maliciously with an intent to hurt you by the one you adore and love. I finally realised after many years that relationships are not about that.

I finally left him in 2009, only for us to talk things through and attend marriage counselling together.

We tried our best to make it work, but it was all too broken. So last summer we parted, a decision which broke both out hearts and devastated us both.

I remember feeling as though my heart had been torn out by talons and slung on the floor, only to be cheese-gratered into a thousand tiny bloody raw fleshy pieces, and finally someone came along and dug their heel into the floor and watched each piece squirm for life. A very vivid picture of how I felt – and I am sure some of you can relate to feeling like that.

It was so hard to come to terms with the fact that the spark had finally died. To realise and come to terms with the fact that the intense love and passion that ran wild through my veins for this man, had gone. This is sad. But it is fact. I shall always love him, but now I love him like a brother and friend.

I wish him all the happiness in the world and he knows, should his back ever be against the wall, that he can count on me. But now, I am trying to move on with my life. Afterall, life is for living, you only get one chance, and I am determined to be the best person I can be and never let myself be controlled by anyone ever again. I need to be true to myself and to who I am.

And if, like Miss 29 and me, you can lose people you love, whether it be parents or friends or someone else, and still smile through, well, your life is a success. Yes there are sad times in the great journey of life, and you must allow yourself time alone to heal, but as soon as you feel ready to, grab the bull by the horns and enjoy life.

DO IT!!! You only get one shot and you’re a long time dead in the great scheme of things. So let life in and it will give you it’s all – I know – I’m living proof! 🙂

Lil Miss D xxx

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