Saturday, November 10, 2012

Can't Climb Out -- UPDATED

I'm in a rut. Work is awesome and contimues to get more awesome. But everday stuff? Ugh. I feel like I do the same shit every day. As soon as I pick up the kids after work I sink into the same exact routine. Each day I swear it will be different. But it's not- usually because I'm too tired to do anything new. The baby is tired and clingy, the toddler is tired and whinny. By 6:00, I'm basically counting down the minutes until it's 7:30 and I can start the kids' bedtime routine. For some reason, I think that as soon as they are in bed, excitement will abound. But it does not.

After the kids are tucked in, I'm too exhausted to do any of the million chores on my list. My husband is back to staring at his computer screen all evening. There's nothing to do but follow suit. And like a zombie, I sit in front of my laptop clicking aimlessly around the internet. Sometimes, I'm so bored that I actually will work. Sometimes.

The past few days, this predictable routine has been frustrating. Mostly because my husband and I are so stuck in our routine that we barely exchange any words aside from the occasional text message about who is picking up dinner. When we do have free time, he's predictibly zoned-in on his computer. We've probably only had one real conversation this entire week. That conversation was on Wednesday when I asked him about a work event and he responded. It probably lasted two minutes.

Aside from that, he hasn't really said a word to me all week. At first I was slightly annoyed and would try to initiate a conversation here or there. But now, I'm furious. I've been purposely not saying anything to him to see how long it will take him to realize that he hasn't made any effort at communication. Sadly, either he doesn't even realize there IS a lack of communication or he doesn't freaking care. I can't decide which is worse.

Today I lost it. Jacob was having a tantrum in his room and screaming at the top of his lungs. Ryan was being clingy and fussy. My husband was, duh, sitting in front of his computer. Earlier in the week he had texted me about the possibility of going to a movie this day. I waited for him to bring it up all morning and afternoon. Nope. And stubbornly, I wasn't going to bring it up first. As 5:30 approached I realized there would be no date. With the screaming of both kids in my ears and the equally defeaning silence from my husband, I wigged out. Without saying a word, I grabbed my car keys, put on my shoes, and walked out the door.

I had no destination in mind. In fact, I didn't want to go anywhere. I just wanted to keep driving. I wanted to sit in the peaceful car and think. How hard is it for a couple to say "good morning" and "good night" and "goodbye" and "hello" every day? I never get any of those unless I say it first. When was the last time either of us actually said, "I love you." Not this week. Don't even get me started on our lame 5 year anniversary celebration last Saturday.

I started to cry. I fell into the self-pity trap. I thought about my ideal relationship-- a husband who kisses me goodbye every morning, who gives me a hug for no reason, who will randomly tell me that I'm pretty, who makes me feel loved without me having to seek out affection, who can sense when I'm upset and will actually care enough to ask me about it, who will tell me about his day, who will ask about mine. Then I compared that to what I got this week. Silence. Unacknowledgement. Apathy. Obviously whatever is on his computer screen, it's more interesting than me.

I continued to drive. Past the grocery store. Past the new housing development. Past the on-ramp for the highway. I drove in circles in a parking lot. Then I stopped the car. I sat there in the dark. In the quiet. I felt alone. Angry. Frustrated. I cried. I saw a couple holding hands as they walked to their car. When was the last time we held hands? I cried harder.

STOP. I forced myself to stop. I wiped away my tears. I stepped out of the my pity party and put my mom-hat back on. I ran into the store and grabbed something for dinner. I also grabbed a huge bag of chocolate to bury my sorrow in. I paid for my stuff and left the store. I arrived home to find everyone  sitting in front of the TV. Not a word from my husband. With tears left uncried and sadness still unresolved, I slipped back into that dreaded routine again.

Now the kids are asleep and here we are. Both back at our DAMN computers. I don't know how to break the silence. Why do I always have to make the first move. WHY?!

Appropriately, this was the fortune in cookie with dinner tonight:

I drowned myself in chocolate but it didn't help.


I confronted my husband turns out he's pissed because I "scratched his car" on Monday.


A '94 Ford Probe that barely runs, sits in our garage, and that hasn't been driven since my husband bought his 2010 Jetta. A car that is less valuable than the sum of its parts sold separately.

The silent treatment continues....


  1. :( as a single girl, i am in no position to give advice. but i do know, that in many of my failed relationships, i have reached a point roughly similar to this and continued to be stubborn instead of just saying to the guy, hey, we need to switch things up, this is driving me nuts, wouldn't it be nice to do x for a change? can't say that it will work, but it might be better than the alternative. every day can't be the most amazing and exciting day, but it helps to have a little something special to look forward to at regular intervals, i think. hope things get better soon :)

    1. Thank you for that. I know I need to say something but it's hard to make the first move when I still feel hurt. This isn't a one-time thing. It's a recurring thing. I keep failing at figuring out how to prevent it.

  2. Marriage is fucking hard. I am not at all surprised by your update that he was holding a grudge about something that you had NO WAY of knowing was at issue. My hubs and I both do this. Its awful.
    Fighting in marriage is fucking hard -- hard to keep the fight about what is actually on the table and not bring up every slight (real and imagined) that has happened in the last week, month, year.
    I have no real insight other than, it is probably healthier to speak up, even if you feel like you're *always* the one who does, even if the fight *always* feels the same... it takes time and awareness to make the recurring issues go away.

  3. I have no answers but I do thank you for your post. It is nice to know others go through this. I get sucked into the idea everyone else has a great "normal" marriage (whatever that is). We have changed a lot after our daughter and not necessarily for the better, whether it is becoming parents or just that we have been together for almost ten years. I often feel bored, trapped and anxious.......I am in individual counseling, not sure it is helping the relationship but it helps me...You are defiantly not alone.

  4. Hugs, CP. I know what this feels like. We're coming up on 20 years and even though we rarely fight these days, learning to fight was *hard*. And we still both have days like this where the other is pissed but doesn't want to talk about it.

    Hoping you get some distance, some desserts, and that he gets the heck over the Probe. (And maybe this is a good time to start selling that thing for parts.) :)

  5. I am so sorry. I don't think anything hurts quite as bad as emotional distance from the adult you love most in the world. I hope you have a happier day waiting for both of you just around the corner.

  6. We have the opposite problem-we know how to fight and communicate and DAMN do we overuse it, but still. Hugs. Ruts end-this one will too. Which doesn't help while you're in it, but I'm thinking of you!

    Also. A scratch? Really? ::waves hands around::

  7. Wow, I totally could've written this myself. I hate how my spouse carries his touchpad around everywhere he goes and puts his earphones in. HOW AM ARE WE SUPPOSED TO HAVE A CONVERSATION if you're always hooked up to your stupid device?! It's so hard to keep up a good adult relationship when you're juggling so much--kids, work, housework, etc. After spending every last ounce of strength you have on all the foregoing, you really have very little energy and patience for each other. I know I need to really make time for just the 2 of us but that is just so hard when your day is so freaking full. But hopefully you guys (and me and mine) will find the time somehow...nothing sucks more than when the marriage sucks.

  8. Guys are so weird. Cant help much with his concern over the scratch; that would imply that I understand the male brain which I definitely don't. I love how the stereotype is that women are so hard to understand. At least we would scream and yell and explain why we're mad about a damn scratch rather that wallow in silence and make everybody guess why we're mad! But oh wait-the scratch probably wouldn't bother us. :) The rut happens to everybody! And it sucks when it does-cause it's so easy to forget when it wasn't like that. And it will happen again. Alex and I had the same issue about the rut thing; he would come home and I'd be so wiped from my day that I would give him the kid update and run away to my room to catch up on hulu before I fell asleep long before he even made it to bed. Long story short-it didn't take long for us to realize we couldn't remember the last time we had an uninterrupted conversation that didn't involve something having to do with poop! So we said we weren't going to go online anymore after the kids went to bed, and we weren't going to watch TV unless it was something we had agreed to watch together beforehand. We play cards, Scrabble, tell each other something about ourselves the other didn't know before, cook something, sit out on the deck with an amaretto sour, etc. It probably sounds lame, and I would be lying if I didn't say that sometimes I realize I am spending Saturday night playing Scrabble at the age of 27 and wondering what the hell happened to my life. Haha. You're an awesome mom, wife and person all around! And I love that you are able to just dump, vent and get over it-that makes you more awesome in my book. Love you and here's to hoping your husband gets the hell over the car. It's not like he can take it to the grave or anything!

  9. AAL and Grace both mentioned "learning to fight," which I think is such a huge milestone for any relationship -- unless of course you start out knowing how to fight, which we didn't. Have you ever read any of John Gottman's books? He's a psychologist who studies what makes a happy marriage, and in his research he has taped hundreds of couples fighting. He has some great insights!

    Anyway, glad you're talking again and feeling better!