Difficult discussions

December 30, 2008 at 11:08 am 2 comments

“Some of the biggest successes in life correspond to our willingness to participate in difficult discussions.” That is a rough translation of some wise words by Rüdiger Dahlke, which a friend of mine sent me to encourage me to start talking! As a matter of fact, I’d already had the discussion, but her words encouraged me to keep going. One discussion is not enough.

How did I do it? Well, first I made him some supper, then I opened a bottle of red wine and poured two glasses. After he finished eating, I asked him if he was up for a long talk. (As a recovered bulimic/eating disordered person, I know better than to start such discussions during a meal!) He was.

So I said what I needed to say, but in a loving, constructive way. I said that we’d both given it our best, but it just isn’t working out and I want to leave. We are still young enough to start over. We both still have a lot of life before us. We both deserve to be happy. He remained calm, said that several accusations come to mind, but that he didn’t want to get into it. I countered with the friendly statement that I was sure I had as many accusations as he did, but that I also don’t think it would be productive. We both made many mistakes over the years, but we always did the best we could. Right now, only the present situation matters.

My fears were unjustified — every one of them. He is not a monster. He never gave me reason to fear him, but I did. Those fears came from somewhere else. This process with him enabled me to name and face those fears, and to allow them to dissipate into air. He asked me what I wanted. I told him. It went quite well, actually.

The next morning he gave me a long hug and said that we can’t just throw away 25 years. He added that I won’t be able to get rid of him so easily. I responded that I don’t intend to throw away the 25 years, and added that even if/when we do separate, the children will always connect us.

I won’t give all the details, but there were a few points that I found extremely important. I told him that I’d never wanted my kids to go through the same misery I did, which I why I stayed for so long. But now it is clear to me that they don’t have to have the same experience. We are admitting to the fact that we don’t belong together and we will separate peacefully. We will tell the children the truth — that it didn’t work out and we are finally accepting that fact. And we will assure them that even though we are splitting up, we want the best for them and will act accordingly. They can discuss things with us.

The way it looks, I won’t move out right away. Neither of us wants to live without the children. We have lived fairly amicably during the past few years with this rapidly deteriorating relationship, thus we can imagine spending a few more together, if necessary. I imagine it will be somewhat more relaxed, as things are clarified. When I move out is not important at this point. I imagine that won’t be an issue until one of us has a new relationship. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

Another thing I decided is that we will do some marital therapy. We’ve been through this before — on the brink of splitting up, then we have a good talk, then things seem alright, then we slip back into the old patterns and start all over again as if nothing had ever happened. We’ve done that enough times, so I want a change. My motivation is not to save the relationship, but rather to establish a better basis of communication. It can help us now, and it can help us in the future — even in future relationships.

I assured him that I appreciate all he has done for me over the years, that I don’t hate him, and that I wish him all the best. He deserves it. We both do.

Entry filed under: bad relationships. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

When it’s time to change Coincidences and Letting Go

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. carolynlboyd  |  January 4, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Lots of hugs to you. I know how hard this was for you to do, but something that you have been wanting for a long time. What an honest, heartfelt post. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    • 2. diaryofarecoveredbulimic  |  January 5, 2009 at 9:43 am

      Thank you! The hardest part was getting started. It will still take a while to get everything sorted through and figured out, but it’s a relief to be on the path going in the direction I need to go.


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