Falling Out of Love
As I stated in yesterday’s post, the events I’ve been discussing happened over an 8-year period. I don’t want to make it seem like Bear was a bad guy, because he wasn’t. I’m only pointing out the major problems that ultimately ended our marriage, and I want to learn from my mistakes and not repeat them. Most of the time things were good or like any normal day. Typically, Bear and I did not argue at all. Working from home, I had a ton of things to do all day, and he’d come home from work and watch TV most of the time. Or it was “happy hour” and time to have some drinks and listen to him complain about his job.
We were more like roommates that went out to eat and did things together, but we were not working on our actual problems, just pretending they didn’t exist and hoping they’d go away. Still, I was in it for the long haul and thought that we were going through a rough patch. I know that he really tried at times, but usually by then I was beyond my breaking point over repeating the same issues.
The buildup of negative events eventually led me to fall out of love with Bear. I still loved him very much, but after he cornered me in our walk-in closet was the moment that our relationship changed. I became scared of the man I loved and was in love with and had trusted to protect me, not instill fear. I didn’t want to be scared of my husband, but how could I not be after that? He’d only acted that way while drinking, and even though he slowed down a little after that, it didn’t last long. He continued to throw temper tantrums over random things not going his way or random things he took offense to due to his own insecurities. He’d punch holes in the walls of our brand new house, and have to patch them – and that is the type of thing that continually pushed me away.
Except for drinking buddies, Bear did not really have friends, which meant he was home in front of the TV the majority of his time off of work. That was something that really bothered me, because I’m not much of a TV person, and today I don’t even own one because I watched him watch TV for seven years! The TV became a big problem when he and my child were constantly fighting over it. They’d fight as if I had two teenagers in the house, and that was also a huge turnoff. Except for going to bars, Bear did no activities outside of the house. (To give him credit, he did a lot of yard work each week, which was nice, then he’d promptly walk his dirty feet all over my freshly mopped floors.) I gave him gift certificates to play golf (he went once) and go deep sea fishing so he’d get out of the house and bring home dinner (he never went). He did nothing with the guys he considered friends except drink.
Bear’s extreme insecurities kept trickling out. We were on a boat with the same neighbors whose house I had run to the night I ran from the house. He took offense to something I jokingly said, because he had a hard time taking a joke about anything. He threw a bottle of Gatorade, hitting me, bending back my finger. It hurt like hell, I yelled and cussed, and then I didn’t speak to him for the rest of the day. This time, he hadn’t been drinking. Although he apologized for it, I stayed angry at him for acting like such an ass once again with his temper. I don’t believe he realized his own strength at the time, but I was tired of him being a bully to me, especially at his size, because I could never defend myself. I was tired of feeling like I was walking on eggshells and could never really talk to him or be myself.
The more incidents like these, the less I wanted to be physical with Bear. I felt like he was more of a best friend to me, because his actions had completely turned me off to the point that I couldn’t bring myself to want to be physical. We never really cuddled as a couple to begin with, but it became even less, adding to his constant need for attention that turned me away. The last three years of our marriage, we’d only had sex three times. Yes you read that right – about once a year for the last three years. Some of that was also due to me having an issue with pain from ovarian cysts – something I’d told Bear about, but he seemed to forget and still complain he wasn’t getting any. (If you’re a guy reading this, let me tell you that if a woman has ovarian pain or any pain whatsoever in that region, the last thing on her mind is sex, and it literally makes my stomach turn and resentment build to listen to a man complain he’s not getting enough sex when my insides are killing me.)
About five years into the marriage, I had breast implants removed. I’d gained weight, and my natural breasts were large enough, the implants causing a lot of back and neck pain, and I was glad to get them out. It seemed to me that once I got the implants out, Bear stopped touching me altogether. Even when I attempted to have sex with him when I actually wanted to (sober!) after not seeing him for a few weeks being gone from work, he questioned me as to what I was doing. (This is one example of why our sex life was dull.) I couldn’t understand why my husband, who was always begging me to have sex, was suddenly questioning and rejecting me. Between that and his constant leering at other women, I felt that he didn’t want to touch me and was no longer attracted to me. So I stopped trying. As much as I didn’t feel he was a cheater, I thought it was very possible that he was also having an affair or had one; I don’t think he did, but I would never know.
Sometimes I felt that Bear was in competition with me, which made me really uncomfortable, because I’m not a competitive person, and I certainly don’t want a partner that feels he needs to compete with me! I think Bear may have felt insecure about the fact that I have a much better education than him and am more intellectual. (Okay, I’m smarter than him overall. LOL) He was always trying to one up me or do something better than me, which was really annoying, and worst of all, he acted like he knew everything (several people had noticed and commented on it) and was never wrong.
Plenty of times I felt like Bear had told me whatever I wanted to hear in order to get me to marry him, because a lot of what he said didn’t match what he actually did. When we’d first met, Bear said liked the fact that I was a writer and could correct his grammar; in fact he’d asked me to correct him so he didn’t sound like a moron. I did exactly as he asked, and then he flipped out on me for doing it. He had also made himself appear smarter by claiming he read books and bought several expensive ones right around the time we got married. In all the years we were together, he read 1/2 of one of them while the rest sat on the shelf gathering dust. Those books were packed up and moved with us four times. Not exaggerating. He simply did not read books. We had discussed spiritual things, and it seemed we were on the same path, but when I started going to meditation regularly, he only agreed to go once, so he’d stay home and watch TV. Once I felt that we weren’t heading on the same spiritual level, I began to question everything, not knowing at all what to do. Being on the same spiritual level is something that was and is important to me in a relationship.
It seemed obvious to me that Bear didn’t value education as much as I did, and he questioned why I would take online classes that I enjoyed (they were free). I consider myself a lifetime learner, have always enjoyed school, learning new things and bettering myself, so I didn’t understand his issue with it except that maybe he wasn’t getting enough attention, as usual. I often felt like I was dumbed down being with him, because there wasn’t anything deep or intellectual that we ever discussed, and I don’t believe I could’ve really gotten there with him. I felt he was more of a surface thinker, having no common interest in anything I did or liked. I started realizing we didn’t have much in common. At all.
During the year I’d had my breast implants removed, Bear’s job had him staying four hours from home. I thought that maybe being apart would help our marriage. He would drive home on weekends, or I would visit him. There were a few weekends skipped, but not often. Because we shared a checking account, I could see when and where Bear was out drinking. The few times that it really pissed me off was when he was out and I’d suddenly stop hearing from him, so I never knew if he made it back okay, and of course, a wife is going to wonder what the fuck her husband is doing out drinking without her and not answering his phone. So yeah, that was a problem, and had the situation been turned around, I cannot even imagine the hell I would hear. I enjoyed the time away from Bear and didn’t miss him nearly as much as I thought I would, because I actually had a house without a TV constantly blasting and distracting me from working, the house stayed clean all week until he came home, and I was sleeping better since no one was waking me all hours. The time away from him actually felt really good, because I had felt so suffocated with his schedules and his lifestyle and things that kept me from being myself.
About a year after his job sent him away, Bear decided to retire – and it was still during the recession when people lost everything and became homeless. No matter how bad of an idea I told him it was, he was determined that we were going to live this fantasy lifestyle in Hawaii. Since I’d been in the civilian working world and he hadn’t in twenty years, I stressed to him that it’s not easy getting a job like he thinks or make the amount he thinks. He was totally convinced he’d be making six figures a year, which is almost unheard of with the type of work he wanted to do (or any jobs at all!). We were also underwater on our home loan, as the value tremendously dipped to about half of what we’d paid. I attempted to talk him out of things, but again, what he wanted, he got. Instead, he talked me into agreeing with him, and somehow he convinced me that everything was going to work out fine. Deep down, it didn’t feel right, but I loved my husband and thought maybe this was what we needed for our marriage and was willing to give things a chance. Besides, he knows everything.
Six months later, we were living in Hawaii. I had given up my entire business and sent clients to other people. We sold the house for half of what we owed, sold almost everything inside, and sold his truck that he’d just paid off (another stupid decision).
Five months after we arrived on the islands, we were forced to make the decision to either move back to Florida or be homeless in Hawaii.