Pushmi-Pullyu, Part 4

Do I see I crack forming right down the middle of this poor beast? Oh dear! How do we fix a problem like that without making a mess of this fine party?

Has someone pushed this marriage too hard? If so, whom?

Maybe I seemed too content. Chuck must have figured I was up to no good because life seemed too good. Knowing that HC was in the background reminded me that I was desirable to someone, and that lifted my spirits. I used my new-found ego-boost to improve my looks and try to get my husband to notice me with new eyes. But all he noticed was that I was happier and he hadn’t changed anything about our relationship. He probably hadn’t given any thought to my Divine Journal-writing/Book-reading therapy. HC aside, I was slowly discovering my Divine Self and she was lovely.

Don't laugh. It worked. Well, go ahead and laugh. It still worked.

I noticed a change in him, too. He surprised me with a Caribbean cruise for our family. We bought me fancy jewelry. I thought our relationship was experiencing a Renaissance of sorts and I wrote hopeful Divine Journal entries.

One summer day, before lunch, he asked me if I wanted to go for a ride. This was highly unusual because he was always extremely busy having business lunches. Although a bit leery just because the offer was so bizarre unexpected, I hopped in the car and we headed, literally, for the hills. Along the way we chit-chatted about “stuff” until we got to our destination, which was a dirt road in the middle of nowhere. He parked the car.

All the private nature and deep breathing could have been a sign of romance, but that wasn’t the vibe I got. He finally asked me, point-blank, was I “seeing” HC? Chuck knew from 10+ years of marriage that I was not a person who appreciated being surprised. My heart races, head spins, and I generally go into a mild form of shock. He took my hesitation as a “yes” and not my brain shutting down. I sat dumbly staring at a tree as if it were the most fascinating thing since the invention of the Fisher-Price View-Master.

Gee wiz! I feel like I'm in another world when I look in there. This is awesome!

He carried the conversation with rhetorical questions starting with “Why?” and ending with me hurting him. When I tried to explain the truth of the situation, he cut me off with his next question. I eventually figured out that this was less of a “Q & A” and more of a “Q” session. He already knew the answers, or thought he did. I was there to witness the pain I caused him. Again.

Not once did it occur to me to ask what gave him this idea in the first place. My brain never worked well in shock-mode. I just took my lumps like the hussy he portrayed me as, even though I knew I fought so hard with myself to not be that person. “Ironic” should’ve been my middle name.

Men were powerless around me, Lusty Lorna. Well, all men except for my husband who seemed immune to my hussifed charms.

Chuck would “keep me”  if I arranged for marriage counseling on the grounds that I was an infidel who needed dehussification and I stopped “seeing” HC. I had to think about his ultimatum, which shocked the shorts off him something upon which he didn’t count. First, I had to straighten up the whole “seeing” HC thing. I saw him once a few years ago and had been in email contact with him infrequently. If Chuck counted the number of times I “saw” HC” in my mind, well, then, he may have had a case, but he made it sound like HC and I were regulars at the Red Roof Inn.

Second, I had to decide who I loved more: my husband (real) or HC (fantasy). Chuck talked me into choosing him. He argued that I didn’t know what a “real” loving relationship like since I grew up without a father. He said “real” couples struggled through the hard times and were, fundamentally friends. Romantic love was for honeymoons and movies. He had a point about growing up with no father, so I chose to accept his ultimatum, with the caveat that he understand that I wasn’t “seeing” HC. The new arrangement was that I had to break off all communication with him. I agreed on the condition that I meet with HC in person to tell him. I needed to do that. The deal was struck.

Meeting with HC just to break things off was abysmal horrible miserable sad for both of us. He asked me how Chuck knew about our communications. I told him about my journal. That’s when it dawned on me that Chuck  read my Divine Journal. But he must have read selectively. There were plenty of entries about how I wanted Chuck to notice me like HC did.

We started marriage counseling and I stopped Divine Writing and Reading. I donated a ton of self-actualization books to my local library

It's not about me. It's about The Family.

We can’t reveal what transpired during the counseling session (privacy issues, you know), but we can stay tuned to see if counseling helped our “Pushmi-Pullyu” walk any easier through life.

~ by Lorna's Voice on October 15, 2011.

22 Responses to “Pushmi-Pullyu, Part 4”

  1. Yeah, Izzy! Where were you when I needed you? Oh, who am I kidding? My sisters were trying to tell me he wasn’t good for me and I didn’t listen. But having a kick-ass friend like you would’ve been awesome! 😉

  2. Understood. He doesn’t read my blog so he doesn’t have to deal with his father asking him what he thinks about it. Smart kid, huh?

  3. P.S. My apologies to your son … I do realize that this is his father … BUT … this is about you and your relationship.
    No harm intended for the Father- side.
    Izzy

  4. This is one interesting Chuck. The hills ??? What was he going to do get angry and kill you and have the perfect spot to dump the body??? I suppose the house wasn’t a good enough location. No sense in having bad memories in the love nest.
    MMmmmm … i’m from Brooklyn … as you know … I’m having really different thoughts on how I would have managed his little drive.
    How about I ask Chuck to open the door for air … kick his sorry ass out the door … close the door … drive away … with a special finger up in the air.
    Are you kidding me ??? I’m afraid to read the next chapter. I might go find Chuck. Enough said … your fellow blogger are going to think I’m insane.
    Going to have a breath of fresh air …
    Bless your over-the-top-nice heart.
    Izzy

  5. I was guilty as charged before I got in that car. You’re so right about the “set up,” although I didn’t think about it like that (even as I was writing it). The message I kept getting was that “I done him wrong” and I was a “Bad Girl.” For a “Good Girl” that’s about the worst news you can get. So I don’t remember defending myself or trying to turn it around and confront him about violating my privacy. I felt stupid for writing down my thoughts (again, going to that familiar place where it was my fault). Maybe in counseling we addressed that issue, but not in any satisfactory way. I just let it slide so things between us could heal.

  6. The element of surprise obviously favors the prepared. He stacked the deck against you, leaving you vulnerable by taking you to an undisclosed location, ensuring you wouldn’t walk away, and then springing it on you. I wonder, was he really curious to know what had happened, or had he already drawn his conclusions, already tried and convicted you in his mind.

    This must have been an awful time in your life. I realize it may have been difficult to think quickly on your feet in such a circumstance, but tell me, did you ever revisit this with him and address the breach of trust and privacy issue of his reading your journals?

  7. Thanks for commenting. I’m not on Twitter, so I don’t know how that would work.

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  9. I don’t remember the discussion about his invasion of my privacy. Everyone was so focused on the reasons I was so conflicted about my marriage–including me–that his violation of my journal seemed secondary. I don’t think the counselor justified his actions, although he did; I just accepted his actions and forgave him in the spirit of reconciliation, then let it go. We didn’t dwell on it, or I didn’t dwell on it.

    Looking back, maybe I should have been a bit more upset about this. But I felt so guilty. I do remember showing him sections of the journal in which I wrote about my love for him and asked him if he bothered to read those sections. I think he got the message. I also told him not to bother looking in it again, there would be not more entries because I didn’t trust that my journal was private. He just took this as me trying to make him feel guilty. Talk about a classic lose-lose situation!

  10. Well, it looked that way to me, but my optimism blindsides me all the time! Stay, tuned… 😉

  11. Our counselor was also quite spiritual in the non-traditional sense. Very interesting how similar my path is, when I thought I was bush-whacking it alone… 😉

  12. I share your brain “shock” scenario. For years I was in shut-down, anxiety mode until my husband and I went to counseling. My husband soon quit going because the pointed questioning aimed at him made him too uncomfortable. It was the beginning of me finding my strength. It was during this time that I started practicing vipassana too–my counselor turned out to be a Buddhist meditation teacher! Yeeha! 🙂

  13. It sounds like all of you get an A+ in communication!

  14. How the brain turns to mush with certain people who possess a tommy gun mouth.

    I wondered if you remained silent because you saw it as an opening. Potential exit point?

    I’m wondering how the discussion went about the invasion of your privacy. That must have come up in counseling.

    Years ago, I came across a card and letter from my (then) partner’s ex-partner. I read it – it wasn’t hidden, but I knew it was an invasion. When I asked about the content (which was evidence that threatened my ability to trust him) all he’d address was my invasion. He was a rager. Shortly thereafter, I left the relationship without answers to many inexplicables.

  15. Thanks, Holly. I wouldn’t be where I am if I didn’t go through all that I went through. I learned a lot about who I was by denying who I was, if that makes any sense…

  16. 8.5 W (in American shoe size measurements) but I know we Americans don’t measure anything like anyone else in the world…

    Yeah, the money we’ve put into those self-help books…

  17. Is that part of the XX genetic code? I know way too many women for which this is true and way too many men for which it is not! 😉

  18. What I recognize in this is my inability to respond to issues on the spot (no matter what the circumstances) and I often end of thinking of what I should have said and berating myself for not having thought of it at the time.

  19. Our shoes are so similar… what size are yours… I’m sure we’ve shared…LOL Getting a ton of self-actualization books ready for the library, LOL Thanks again for sharing your awesomeness with us,Lorna.

  20. I’d like to think that I would have been all ‘hey you! Just wait a minute. How do you know? Besides I’m not ‘seeing’ him, can’t I have friends? And you can’t just read private stuff like that. Maybe if you paid a little more attention to me I wouldn’t have that journal!’ And say ‘see you’, but the fact of the matter is I think I would have done what you did….I’m a total push-over. I may have little/no experience, but I’ve done something similar in the past.

    I’m so glad that you’re in a happy place right now!

  21. More common that you might imagine. And how about the love triangle: wife, husband, [insert professional sport(s) of choice or ALL]? 😉

  22. Strangest love triangle I’ve ever heard of. Husband + wife + journal.

Silence can be just what the doctor ordered. You know I'm a doctor, right?

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