Thursday, May 3, 2012

Therapy the Seventh

First, please go back to Friday's post and then take the poll to the right.  Honestly, I keep changing my mind about what I'd want to do.

Things are happening both within and between sessions.

Story time:
When my first son was a few months old, my wife went back to work.  We "tag teamed" ~ I'd come home, we'd have dinner, she'd go to work.  She'd be gone three or more hours.

I'd hold a screaming baby the entire time.  That was my evening.

I sang, I danced him around, we went for walks (pushes) if the weather was good but he spent his time screaming.  He didn't want dad.  He wanted food.  Dad didn't have any food he wanted.

I held him, he screamed.  (note: our relationship has improved since then.)  My wife would come home, pull out the milk containers she conveniently carried around at all times and he would be happy again.

In hindsight, I see that there were two possible scenarios:
* I could hold a screaming baby whilst trying to calm him down (impossible until he discovered solid food). 
The result: two unhappy people.

* I could put down the screaming baby and do something else, like enjoy life. 
The result: one unhappy person.

There could not be a "two happy people" outcome.  But I never thought of putting him down.  I never had time to think about a solution.  All I had time to do was get screamed at.

Right now, my wife and I have nice chats with my (younger, still at home) son.  He's old enough and smart enough and wise-guy enough to be enjoyable.

Then he leaves the room, and my wife steers the conversation to relationship.  We no longer actually talk; I feel like when he walks out of the room I'm left with the screaming baby.  I can't think, I can't figure out what's wrong and what's right and how to get from wrong to right.  All I get is pummeled with new information, new problems, new issues.

There's no literal screaming, but I'm being screamed at ~ no thinking time.

Last Saturday, my wife suggested she should move out, get an apartment near the kid's school, and leave me in the house.  We have two different ideas though, as came out in therapy: she thinks separating equals end.  I think separating equals time without the screaming baby so I can THINK.

There are two problems though, and if she leaves me in the house only one is solved.  There's still the elephant in the room ~ my dressing.

Even if I'm left alone, I can't dress.  My college son comes and goes as he pleases.  Every time I go out, there's a risk neighbors will see me.  They can't miss my car.  I told my wife if I'm going to stay in the house alone I have to tell my oldest son about Meg.  I don't want him dropping by to what's still his house and getting a surprise.

A better solution would be for me to find an apartment right across from my new job.  There are townhomes and apartment buildings a short walk from the offices.  I can tell or not tell neighbors ~ she's out of the loop so she won't be embarrassed.  I can keep everything contained in one bedroom so when the boy(s) are over they don't see evidence of Meg.

She sees this not as an opportunity to see if I can get back what's been lost, but as an opportunity for her to not have to drive so far to bring our son to school.

I want to work on the relationship, but I don't have time or space.

I don't think things are ending.  I do think things are changing.

Half a solution is no solution.  I think I have the right answer, but I'm not sure she understands that half a solution isn't going to help.

I'm worried about the future.


  1. by bitter experience, i can tell you that moving out is a *big* change that will create as many problems as it solves - well if you want to continue in the relationship, anyway. if you can't think with your partner present, moving out isn't going to give you that ability and it will help you both develop a lifestyle that doesn't include the other.

  2. Good luck.
    THe best you can do is take things one day at a time and try to find some time to think. It seems like your wife has her own agenda and you may not have many options.
    First focus on the new job since that has finite time lines.

  3. I haven't got the time to make too much of a comment at the moment but may I suggest you stop feeling so sorry for yourself? Resigning the way you did last week was selfish in the extreme and I can well understand why your wife wishes to get far away from you. So you had a screaming baby for a few hours a day...just how many hours a day did SHE manage a screaming baby? If you lose everything blame yourself. Wake up before it is too late.

  4. You're on the verge of losing it all. Wake up. Things are ending, at least for her. It seems like your focus is more on how and where you can dress, and not so much on your relationship. You can’t find time or space to work on your relationship? Really? You might find a few spare minutes by spending less time creating wedding polls and wondering if you can get away with wearing lip gloss at your new job.

  5. Oh Meg. I don't know how old you are, by the picture I would say you are in your 30s and became a parent when you were in high school (insert winky faces here). In my circumstances, I've been seeing a (young) therapist who keeps commenting on how many of my barriers to change relate to other people's needs. I resist the urge to pat her hand and make a matronly comment about how we weave our lives with other people as we go through life. Now I think that the reason there is such a bubble of mature trans gals who strain against change is EXACTLY what makes us who we are. Our inner women feel the need to pay forward before we do things for ourselves. My mother did it, my wife did it, and I'm doing it. I'm faced with a parent who needs more attention and doesn't really need the complication of a son becoming a daughter. I have a grandson who deserve a Grandpa, but might get a Grand Trans instead.

    I see how so many trans men take charge of their lives and say, "look out, here I come and you better make room!" I envy that but then see that it just isn't what I can do without feeling Tremendous Guilt and Loss.

    Not only do I not have an answer for you, I don't have an answer for myself! I empathize 100% about your feelings of needing to catch your breath. Clarity is a rare enough commodity in anyone's life. Meg needs someone to talk to in a safe setting. Don't do anything rash before you find that.

    Be careful, sadness and worry will give you unflattering little lines on your face where your foundation will settle. We can't have that!

  6. "…my wife suggested she should move out…"
    "…she thinks separating equals end…"
    I think putting these two together is a pretty clear message on her part.

    "…my wife steers the conversation to relationship…"
    I think what she's doing is filling as much time as possible with "logical reasons" to explain how she feels (see above). She may be doing this to assuage her own guilt at wanting an end, or to persuade you to come to the same conclusions, or under the advice of her therapist.

    I know when I was in therapy towards the end of my marriage, my therapist advised me that it would be best if I could maneuver my husband into being the one to initiate a split (for many reasons). She gave me example phrases to use, such as "…and there's another reason we're incompatible." Perhaps my therapist and your wife's therapist went to the same school?

    "I can't think, I can't figure out what's wrong and what's right and how to get from wrong to right."
    I don't know your wife at all, so this may or may not apply, but read this article. Your description of the confused thought patterns that you find yourself in under constant discussion of relationship matters rang a bell for me. I hope I'm way off the mark, though.


My day is brighter when I hear from my friends!