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Petunia in a Flower Garden

October 17th, 2012 at 03:47 am

Wow, it's been a while since I've been here.

I've come to the realization that, despite all my efforts, Mr. H and I are unlikely to ever be on the same page regarding finances, or a lot of other things. When we got married I believed that we had much more common ground than we actually do. I had hopes for many years that we would eventually come together on things, in a way we could both live happily with. Now, after almost 20 years, I think it's unreasonable to keep thinking that. I've spent the last six months developing a sense of peace about this. It's a thin peace, but still it's peace.

I'm in a denomination that discourages divorce, and I've had the opportunity to observe a number of marriages over the course of many years. Some people have great marriages that are sources of joy and pleasure for them and some have difficult marriages that create lives of patient endurance. It's a comfort, really. My situation isn't all that different from many women (and men).

We are still together, and likely will continue so (divorce is expensive!). . . but it's a different kind of together than I worked so hard for, for so many years. Frankly, I don't think anyone would get married and hope they would have a life like ours. But it is what it is, and I've decided to put more of my energy into things that will be fruitful, instead of trying to influence a situation that will not.

As such, I'm going to rename my blog to Petunia in a Flower Garden. . . . when I figure out how to do that. The French onion soup was helpful, but I'm moving on emotionally.

Daisy continues to grow, and our financial situation continues to be stable. We aren't rolling in cash, but we've weathered the current economy pretty well so far. I've kind of checked out of our finances for the last year and a half or so - now it's time to check back in.

I have achieved none of the goals I have on my side bar. . . still there's two and half months left in the year. Probably some time to make some progress on them. . . or rewrite them entirely.

11 Responses to “Petunia in a Flower Garden”

  1. snafu Says:

    I'm so sorry that you and Mr. H have not found common ground in nearly 20 years. Would you both or individually consider counseling to, at the very least, get an outsider's opinion.

    I suggest writing out some goals for yourself at the very least you will have a road map of sorts the the next five years. If DD Daisy is more independent and less reliant on parents where will you be professionally, socially, financially & emotionally? Are there any places you'd lie to visit? Any skills you'd like to acquire? Any religious depths you'd like to explore?

  2. Petunia in a Flower Garden Says:

    Thank you for your comments Snafu. As you'd probably guess, there's way more to the story than what's in this post. Marriage counseling wasn't fruitful when we did it many years ago. I have worked with a few other professionals since then, and as such have gotten more than one outsider's opinion.

    I have given a fair amount of thought to what I want to do as Daisy grows up. It will provide much fodder for future posts. Smile

  3. ThriftoRama Says:

    Hugs, Petunia. it seems like a sad situation, but we all have to do the best we can with our marriages. The big problem with all marriages is that all emotional relationships with other people are difficult-- friends, family, spouses-- and you just can't quit. (Well, some people do, but that's another discussion). We have to deal with a separate person with their own beliefs, background, philosophy, hang-ups and preferences and it's hard!

    I've been married almost 11 years. The first five were fantastic. Happiness began to take a nosedive when I got pregnant for DS1. Now, two kids (2 and 4) later, frankly, we aren't happy. Life is too much. The kids wear through us, and at the end of the day, there is nothing left for each other.

    I have had to work very hard at letting go of resentment. I never wanted children, and yet I've had to put all of my dreams and ambitions, as well as my career in the freezer to chase after them all day. I've been turned into a SAHM, which is great for some people, but not for me. I spend my whole life taking care of the three males living in my house, and they give little back. (not even a homemade mother's day card this year).

    It's not what I'd envisioned for my life. Not what I wanted, even though I love them very much. It's very hurtful, and makes me angry sometimes, but I'm trying to move on. So yeah. I'm jut holding on hoping things will improve as the kids get older, and maybe one day our relationship will be as good as it was before kids. Fingers crossed. I'll keep mine crossed for you too.

  4. creditcardfree Says:

    I'd say you are pretty smart and strong for accepting things as they are. I can see where that gives you lots of peace. Wishing you all the best! Glad you are back, too. Smile

  5. CB in the City Says:

    I have to say that I think the joyful marriages are very few and far between. I think you have reached a good compromise between your dreams and reality. Best of luck to you.

  6. Petunia 100 Says:

    If you are resigned to stay, then I think you are very wise to seek joy in those areas of your life where it can be found. Your daughter, your relationships with other family and friends, your faith, work satisfaction, community involvement, etc.

    Best of luck to you, Petunia in a Flower Garden. Smile

  7. Looking Forward Says:

    Find joy and happiness where you can and in all the small things. Acknowledge the things that make you angry, then let them go. ((hugs))

  8. patientsaver Says:

    I thought there was a lot of wisdom in what you had to say, and I found some of the comments posted here so very poignant. I have always been a single person. It's not something I wanted, sought or ever imagined would be my lot, but it's just the way it happened. Somewhere along the way, I ran out of steam and conviction that I'd ever find the right man. Or maybe I have issues. (Heck, I KNOW i have issues.) But I always looked so wisfully, from the outside looking in, on the institution called marriage and I have often felt envious, lonely and missing out big time on the whole marriage/children thing. So it's very strange and surprising to read the comments of other longtime bloggers here who admit to some unhappiness with marriage. I guess the grass will always be greener on the other side.

  9. snafu Says:

    Petunia: I've several friends who as a result of *separation counseling* have moved forward towards their goals raising children amicably with legal and financial support. Two couples continue to live in their same house; separate bedrooms, sharing chores, retaining friends and social life. Those of us that know them well see they have become much more respectful of each other.

  10. Monkey Mama Says:

    I have mixed feelings reading this post and comments. I am a too much of a "you only live once" person (& have witnessed many amazing marriages). But the flip side of this is when you invest 20 years in a marriage, well, marriage is never simple. Doesn't mean if you walk away that all your problems are solved. Likewise, people in this day and age do give up way too easily. So, I can see both sides of the coin. Sometimes what is best for us is not the easiest road.

    I was reminded of a blog post I read recently at Happiest Mom. I found it fascinating. (She divorced her husband and then realized it was a huge mistake - they are remarried).

    Text is http://thehappiestmom.com/2010/02/happy-marriage-advice-from-a-previously-divorced-mom/ and Link is

  11. Petunia in a Flower Garden Says:

    Thank you everyone, for your supportive comments. I realize the path I'm walking is less common in our society than it used to be.

    Thriftorama, I have found it getting easier in some ways as Daisy gets older. Until she was two I worked half time from home with no childcare. With two 24 hour per day jobs I felt crazy most of the time. It gets easier when they can all dress themselves, put on their own seatbelts, use the bathroom on their own, etc. It's a season of life, as they say, and each season comes with its own challenges. Mind numbing exhaustion is part of the early years.

    PS, thanks for sharing the view from the other side. I am not lonely, but my lack of lonliness is not because of my marriage. I have good friends and a good church family. After going through what I've been through, I wonder how many people who are married 40+ years feel just the same way I do? We only see the outside and wonder about the perseverance, when perhaps it was just the easiest course of action to stay together.

    MM, thanks for that article. It was really quite good. I have considered divorce (did I really just confess that? I think many people consider it) but ultimately I figured that I would just exchange one set of problems for another. We do have areas that I would consider the Deep Dark Issues she describes, and they aren't resolvable at this point. I finally got to the straw that broke the camel's back on things, hence my decision to stop trying to influence the unchangeable and put some distance between Mr H and me.

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