It was supposed to be a good night.
I had made reservations for this new Japanese/French restaurant near us. The babysitter was free to watch the kids. I went to the wine store and bought a nice $30 bottle of unoaky, slightly citrusy Chardonnay that went well with seafood and meat (the place was BYOB).
It started out well. We ordered some apps, had some light conversation, finished our entreees and half the bottle.
Then it went south. It was about an hour and a half until I told the sitter we’d be home. So I suggested we go to a nearby bar to just sit and chat. The husband seemed reluctant. I asked what he wanted to do. He said he was full and all he wanted to do was go home and cuddle with our son.
What the fuck. I don’t remember the last time a guy went on a date with me and wanted to go home early.
He’s not a big drinker so I thought that he just didn’t want to go to a bar. So I suggested coffee. He seemed receptive to the idea.
Then he went on about how we’re trying to get our relationship back on track and that we shouldn’t force things.
Ok, by now I’m getting the message loud and clear.
This fucker doesn’t want to spend time with me.
I get that our relationship is in limbo. I get that on most days we don’t like each other. I get that we’re tenuously holding on, our kids the only lifeline to our otherwise precarious foothold.
But I’m trying. I’m trying to forge a new relationship. I’m trying to bridge the gap with one of the few things we mutually like, that being food.
Obviously it’s not enough. So I asked point blank, “Do you not want to spend time with me?”
And he said,”I don’t remember the last time we had fun together .”
So I did the only thing a person can do at that point – laugh.
I laughed because I see the fruitlessness of trying. Why??? Why am I trying so hard?
So I said to him, “Why am I spending time away from MY kids to be with you when you don’t even want to be with me? Why are we paying a babysitter to watch our kids when we don’t even want to hang out with each other?”
I told him that if I’m going to leave my kids at home, I’d rather hang out with my fucking friends and have a good time than be with a Debbie downer.
So we went home 2 hours after our sitter came. I told him to go in and pay the sitter because I didn’t want to face my kids all tear faced.
So I sat outside in my backyard with the half leftover bottle of Chardonnay, shivering in my parka, tears streaming down my face, feeling sorry for myself.
The light was on inside the house and from the darkness of the yard, I saw my husband picking up my daughter. She must have been glad to see him. Then I saw my son crying over something, throwing a tantrum. I hesitated. Should I go in and intervene? But I didn’t want to. I wanted to stay out here and be selfish. I wanted to have this time to myself, to not think about anyone else but myself. If I go in, I would have to erase my hurt and anger and pretend nothing was wrong. I would have to put my feelings aside while asking my children what was wrong with them. While on most days, this task was easy, today, I just could not do it. I needed to be by myself. I needed to wallow.
I waited until the lights went off downstairs and let myself in. I was sure my husband had taken my kids upstairs. But no, as soon as I came in I saw my son crying by the stairs. I picked him up and tried my best to soothe him. We laid together upstairs, my tears falling silently as I cradled him in my arms. What was to become of him? Was he to be a child of divorce? Another statistic? Was he crying because he felt the tension between me and my husband? Or was he just grumpy because he had a cold and was tired?
Therein lies the question. Should I stay because of the kids or should I leave because of the kids?