“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” – Winnie the Pooh/A.A.Milne
Author: Table For Five - Our Little Infinity
I’ve had to do a lot of introspective work over the last 3.5 weeks since my world flipped upside down.
Actually, that’s a lie. I did not have to. I chose to. I know a lot of people would just throw their hands in the air and walk away. I can’t do that. I won’t do that.
What I mean to say is it’s been 3.5 weeks since I was given the opportunity for a 2nd chance at life.
I’ve been processing as much as I can and evaluating things I’ve done, things I’ve said, the way I speak, my body language, all of it.
And I’m taking accountability for all of the wrong from the past that I have caused or have been a part of. I can’t heal if I pretend like I’m not responsible. I can’t heal if I blame others. I can’t heal if I make excuses.
I can’t fix the past. It’s done and over with. Living with regrets stops me from giving all of myself to being better in the present.
I can, however, learn from the past. And I’ve been thinking a lot about what a healthy relationship looks like, and what I want to work towards in being a better husband, a better father, and a better friend.
I’m learning to process through things quickly now, and not using my emotions as an excuse to avoid uncomfortable situations. So I’m having hard conversations and I am hearing and saying things that need to be heard and said.
My heart is completely broken right now. And rightfully so. I brought this pain upon myself. But this is a pain that I’ve not experienced in a very long time. The good thing about things being broken is they can be rebuilt to be stronger.
I am yearning for comfort. And I am receiving it somewhat through words. It’s all going to be okay. Things weren’t as bad as they seem. Etc. But what is missing is the action behind them. And holy shit does that bring about a pain that I have not experienced before. My heart literally aches and I can feel it throughout my entire body.
And I finally understand my wife. I finally understand the pain that I have put her through for so long. She longed for intimacy and connection with me and I would say beautiful things (sometimes, for awhile). But I would rarely follow through.
So for a long time she stood on the edge of a cliff, ready to jump, ready to fly, with me telling her I would hold her hand and fly with her. But anytime she tried to jump my hand would slip and I wouldn’t be there with her.
Having these intense feelings of wanting to be seen, wanting to be touched, wanting to be listened to and never receiving it is unimaginable pain. And to know that I put her through that for so long just absolutely breaks me down to tears. I’m hurting from 3 weeks, and I put her through this for years? I can’t blame her for leaving.
And my kids just wanted their dad. They would make efforts. They would ask to do things. And I rarely showed up in the way they needed me to. I wasn’t present with them the times we were together. Phone in my hand, or dissociating with something that doesn’t even bring joy to my life.
And I’m never… ever… ever going to make someone feel that pain again!
So what does this have to do with healthy relationships? Well let’s learn from my mistakes. These are things that I am finally doing. These are the things I am working on. These are the things I am building new relationships on.
I don’t think it’s too late for anything.
Safety – This to me, currently, is the most important thing that I am focusing on. The relationships that you have in your life should be safe places for all parties involved. That means you know that you can come to me and tell me absolutely ANYTHING and I will remain calm and talk through it with you. I’ve done a massive overhaul of this in my life, especially for my children. And not only am I saying this, but I’m actually living up to it. My children have come to me with some big revelations over the last few weeks. And every time I meet them exactly where they are at, thank them for trusting me to be able to come to me, and reassure them that everything is good. I don’t love them any less. I don’t think poorly of them. I’m honestly just thrilled to have given them a safe place to be themselves. I also have kids that are running around the house cussing at one another now. Why? Because this is their home and they deserve to be who they truly are. Not who they think dad wants them to be. I will meet them on their level from now on. Always. They should never feel like they need to meet me on mine.
Respect – In order for a relationship to be healthy, both parties involved need to have respect for one another. Neither should feel like they are above or below the other. Relationships are a two way street. What this means is you can not make assumptions about the other person. You have to respect that at any given time you are meeting on the same level. Listen and let the other person know that they are heard. Communicate back to them what you are hearing to ensure you are both on the same page. Support the other person’s interests and values. Be mindful of how you are communicating to one another. Be reliable. Appreciate their differences. Give them space when they ask for it. They need to know that they are seen as an individual and are valued for who they are, not who you want them to be.
Trust – A healthy relationship needs a significant level of trust to work. When someone tells you something, you should believe what it is they are saying. In turn, you need to only be speaking the truth to not break that trust. When confronted, be emotionally available and receptive to the feedback you are receiving. They should be able to come to you and trust that you will not gaslight or manipulate them. You need to not worry about what the other person is doing all the time. If they are going out, trust that they are being responsible and safe and let them be. Trust that they are not lying behind your back and are being truthful with you. If trust is broken, it can be challenging to earn it back. Be true to your word.
Intimacy – This is a feeling of being close emotionally, physically, mentally, and being supported by the other person. Obviously this will vary depending on the relationship, but in a romantic relationship it’s not just about sex. That’s a major one, and one that you need to take seriously. Intimacy comes from hugging, holding hands, looking deep into each other’s eyes, cuddling. That’s physical. Emotional intimacy is when you are able to be vulnerable and share your most personal and deepest thoughts and feelings with another person. Intimacy means having shared experiences. Spending quality time together. Going shopping. Date nights. Weekend vacations. Surprise trips. Pursuing the other person’s interests. Participating in hobbies and activities together. This all creates safety and lets the other person know they are cared for.
Hard Work – Do not ever stop trying. You are in this relationship with another person for a reason. Since both parties are always growing, there should always be work being done within the relationship to respect one another and grow at the same time. Do not ever get comfortable. These people are important to you, so you need to show them every… single… day. On the easy days, and on the hard days, you should always be looking to be a better person for yourself, for your partner, for your family. Get up and do hard things. If you’re working hard, it’s obviously something worth working for. Hard work involves working on yourself, too. Go to therapy. Take care of your health, physically and mentally. Learn what it is your wants and needs are, and communicate them to the other person. Show up, every damn day even when you are drained. Always respect and support the other person, but encourage them and push them to be the best versions of themselves.
Communication – Just talk. And allow yourself to be vulnerable. Speak openly and honestly. Create your safe space. Make your message clear and do not leave the other person confused or not knowing what is going on. Speak truthfully. Be respectful. Pay attention when they are talking. Don’t just hear them, but listen to what it is they are saying. Listen to understand, and not to respond. Validate their thoughts and feelings. Take accountability when you are confronted. Do not make excuses. Do not place blame. Do not exaggerate conversations (never, always, used to, etc.). Express your needs, wants, and feelings. Respond calmly. Do not let your emotions take control of the situation. Understand that when there is a problem it is YOU and THEM against the PROBLEM and not you and them against one another. Do not raise your voice. Do not put the other person’s backs against the wall or in a corner. Do not interrupt when they are talking. Do not hold grudges. Do not walk on eggshells around each other. Do NOT let problems go unaddressed. Do not continuously argue over the same subjects. Do not name call.
Honesty – Don’t lie. Period. Lying breaks all of the items above. It creates an unsafe environment. You lose respect for one another. Trust is broken. Intimacy is hard. Growth comes through hard conversations. You should always be growing, which means you should always be honest about what your needs and wants are.
This is my massive fucking glow-up from who I was before to who I am going to be moving forward. And I’m damn proud of this person.
5 Feet, But 5 Miles Away – Missing YouFamily
Today is a difficult day. Not that anything specific happened, but everything I miss is catching up to me.
I miss the texts throughout the day where you just check in on me and let me know that you’re thinking of me.
I miss you sending me TikToks.
I miss knowing that you would be thinking about me during the day.
I miss your touch. And not just in a romantic way, but the way that your skin against mine would quiet the world and bring peace to my heart.
I miss holding your hand in the car while I played with the ring on your finger, always reminding me of how lucky I was to have you in my life. God, why did I not tell you how lucky I was.
I miss you running your hands through my hair while I am driving, instantly bringing a smile to my face and making me drop my shoulders in relaxation.
I miss having you lay on my chest every evening while I rubbed your back and played with your hair.
I miss playing with the rings on your clothes straps as you laid there.
I miss our breath and heartbeats syncing as one as you laid on my chest.
I miss the softness of your back as I ran my fingers over them. I miss the open back shirt you used to wear to bed so I would more easily be able to rub your back.
I miss the way you would look at me. The quick glances and the smile that would come across your face.
I miss your smile when you would look up at me while laying on me.
I miss hugging you. And not in the way that we are hugging now, but the intimate hugs where I could feel your heart and you could feel mine. God, I wish I never would have made you think that they annoyed me. You give the warmest, tightest yet gentle, comforting hugs than any I have ever received from anyone in my life.
I miss our goodbye kisses. The importance that we made to always kiss one another goodbye, no matter what was going on or where we were going.
I miss your arms wrapped around mine as we shopped together.
I miss your lips against mine. Another thing I made you think I didn’t enjoy, yet something my body aches for.
I miss you asking for my opinion on more things in your life. Yes, I know you still do, but the little things always brought me so much joy knowing you trusted me to help make those decisions.
I miss you putting your legs on me while we watched a movie or a show together.
I miss rolling over every morning and holding you tight.
I miss holding each other before we went to sleep each night. You rubbing my back, me playing with your hair, or switching it up when one of our arms got tired.
I miss the way you would dance in the kitchen when you were cooking and thought no one was looking.
I miss you calling me when something happened in your day.
I miss your laugh.
My heart is hurting today because all of these things that I miss could be gone forever.
I hope there are things that you miss about me. I didn’t love you in the way you deserved, but I did better to show you ways that I was in love with you. I have so much love in my heart that I want to give you. Every part of me just wants to do all of these things for and with you.
And my heart aches knowing I may never get to love you the way you deserve. I am loving you in every way that I can right now, and I am trying to take advantage of every opportunity that comes up to be able to show you in the ways that you are allowing me. I hope someday you will be able to let me in a little bit more so I can show you my love just a little bit more.
I just miss you.
You’re 5 feet from me, yet it feels like you’re 5 miles away.
I miss you so much.
Getting Lost In The “Comfort”Family
I’ve obviously been processing a lot of things lately, but one of the things that I keep coming back to is that for the last few years I got lost in the comfort.
Now I need to explain what “comfort” means. Because I was still in pain, I was still dealing with depression, and I was still angry.
But the comfort came in avoiding the issues.
And let me tell you, in retrospect the comfort was bullshit. Everyone was walking on eggshells because I did not provide a safe place for them to be themselves. The stresses of my day would come home with me and I would not allow room for others to be open around me. “Daddy’s stressed and I really just want to rest for a bit.” “Give me a minute and I will get to it.” “We’ll see….”
I was so worried about providing for my family financially, and to be “successful” in order to be seen, that I stopped putting in the work that needed to be done for my marriage and for my relationship with my children.
For me, I thought that comfort meant that you have reached your goal and you no longer have to keep working so hard.
And I stopped fucking working at the most important things in my life.
My wife needed me. My children needed me.
Let’s be real, it shouldn’t have taken this to get me to finally wake up. I know that.
You ask me why when you talked to me in the past why I didn’t change. I’ve tried to process through this and come up with an answer, but I don’t want to make excuses for things that are inexcusable. I’m taking fucking accountability.
I can not change the past. I wish I could so damn much, but I can’t.
What I can do is make sure that my kids never feel like they can’t be themselves around me. I can make sure that you have a partner in everything. I can make sure that I am trusted and my word is good.
I laid in bed last night crying, and for the first night in weeks it wasn’t because I couldn’t be with you.
It was because our oldest daughter finally felt safe in telling me things. Not surface level bullshit, but deep, important things.
I know the world is waiting for me to go back to the way I used to be, but I will never be that person again.
And it’s only been 3 weeks. I could just be doing this all out of fear, right? And I’m just putting on a mask because I’m trying to make everything right just so I can go back to how things you used to be?
I can’t. I can not be that person again. That person is dead.
I see the joy on our children’s faces when I take them out on dates. I see the love when they put their phones down and watch TV with me for hours. I see them allowing me in to their lives and sharing secrets with me. I see how they hug me a little longer, and a little tighter.
I’ve asked them if they’ve seen any changes, and they tell me that I’m kinder, and gentle, and present.
I’m not “trying”. This is me.
And it hasn’t been “work” for me. This feels so natural and it’s all things that I look forward to doing on a daily basis.
I find joy in doing more and being more involved. I look forward to waking up early and making my family breakfast. I love being able to take our children to their appointments. Talking to our kids has been one of my favorite parts of the day.
Communicating to you with raw, vulnerable emotions has been so amazing.
The problem with everything right now is that I feel like I need to be perfect. But perfection is bullshit and that’s not what anyone wants in a partner. They want someone who is going to call them out on their shit and tell them how they are really feeling.
I’m not used to you doing that, so when things come up I think I’m doing something wrong.
And I do some things wrong. I’ve done and do stupid shit, but I’m not stupid.
But right now I’m doing so much right. Of course I’m going to have bumps along the way, but I have to give myself grace.
In a matter of 3 weeks I’ve somehow become a person that I am proud of. I’m the father I always dreamed of being, but failed to actually work for. I’m a partner in our parenting, jumping in and taking care of things as they come up. I’m proud of contributing to the household in the ways that matter – making it a home. Making it a safe place to be.
I’m proud that my children can finally come to me and tell me hard things.
I’m proud that instead of blaming or making excuses, I am taking accountability.
I’m proud that I’ve learned how to communicate. I’m proud that I’ve learned to be vulnerable.
I’m proud that I’ve learned to be patient. I’m proud that I’ve learned to process and work through hard things.
I’m proud that I’m showing up every damn day.
I’m not here to fix anything. You do not need fixed. You are right, you are not broken and you never have been. I do not need fixed because I am not broken. I don’t want the life we had before. I have things that I need to work through with therapy, and I’m already addressing the things that are most important to me.
I’m rebuilding relationships.
I know what it is that I want. I want my children. I want my home. I want the people around me to be safe and happy. But most importantly, I want you.
3 fucking weeks and look at the man I have become. And the kids tell me they see me being better every day.
I look forward to each new week, because it’s a new opportunity for me to keep proving to my family that the old me is gone. The shoe isn’t going to drop. I can be trusted. My word is good.
I’m never going to get lost in the comfort again. I’m going to show up every damn day of my life and show my loved ones how loved they are.
There’s no changing the past. There’s nothing to “fix”. Neither of us want the bullshit life we had before where we couldn’t even tell one another what was on our mind.
I want to start over. I want to be your friend. I want to become your best friend. I want to become the person you want to tell everything to. I want to date you like we never had the opportunity to do before. I want to get you to fall in love with me. Not the bullshit teenage love, but the intimate, deep, passionate kind of love where we are great when we are apart but amazing when we come together.
So for now, I will show up in all the ways I am able to. As the father of our children need. As the partner you need. And as the man I always should have been.
One day at a time.
I pray that we grow old and get to be grandparents together someday. But for now, I’m staying present because that’s where I need to be and now is the only thing I can work on. So I look forward to our weekly coffee meetings and getting the chance to look deep into your eyes and having meaningful, honest, vulnerable conversations.
I see what’s in front of me. I see everything that is around me. And that’s what I want.
I’m not changing out of fear. I’m changing out of love.
With a heart full of love there is no room for gaslighting or manipulation. It’s just love, and I have so incredibly much to give.
If there’s time, then there’s time to turn things around.
If there is a tomorrow, then there is hope for today.
You keep telling me that things are going to take time, and I think you believe I just want everything to be fixed right away.
I don’t. It took a long time to bring us to the point where we are at today, and I know it is going to take awhile for things to be trusted again.
I broke your trust by not being the husband you needed me to be, and I have to earn it back.
But I want things to take time so we can ensure everything that needs to be addressed is addressed. So you can feel appreciated, and loved, and understood, and respected, and cared for.
Yes, I want to hold your hand and play with your hair. But you’re not there yet.
Yes, I want to give you all of the compliments I can and spoil you with gifts. But you’re not there yet.
When you are there, you will let me know. I know you will. Our communication has been so great lately, and it’s only going to get better. I know you will tell me the things that need to be said.
I have to give you time to see that I am not the person I used to be, and that I never will be again.
I have to give you time to heal.
I have to give you time to figure out what it is that YOU want.
And I have to give myself time to heal.
And I have to give myself time to earn your trust, and not beg for it.
And I have to give myself time to show you that I can be nurturing, and supportive, and attentive, and engaged, and present.
We have time. And we are still giving each other our time. So let’s take things slow and focus on the here and now. I can not predict the future, and neither can you. I don’t know if we end up together in the end, but what I do know is that if I rush you and do not do this right I will push you away forever.
So take your time, dear friend.
I’ll be here becoming your best friend. I’ll be here becoming our children’s role model. I’ll be here showing how much love I can give.
“You can’t make up for lost time. You can only do better in the future.” – Ashley Ormon
The Importance Of BoundariesFamily
As someone who is reevaluating all of the things they have done wrong in their marriage, there are a lot of topics that come up where I have completely fallen short, and flat on my face. The biggest of which is the importance of boundaries.
Here is the thing about boundaries. They are put in place for a reason. They are put in place to protect. They are put in place to heal. They are put in place to avoid unnecessary conflict.
They are not for you, they are for the person who is establishing the boundary.
And when you fail to adhere to those boundaries you are telling that person that you don’t care how they feel about the situation and that your thoughts on it are more important.
Guess who was a fucking moron and overstepped a lot of boundaries?
I was showing my wife that I didn’t respect her when she would let me know a boundary of hers, and I would ignore it. Not always, but more times than I like to admit.
Boundaries are an essential component of a healthy and successful relationship. Usually it means the person setting the boundary is comfortable speaking to their significant other and expressing their emotional, mental, and physical needs.
And when you continually overstep those boundaries the other person will lose trust that you will respect their needs.
And the worst part of overstepping boundaries is when you make it about you.
“Yes, I hear you, but…”
“That’s not what I meant, but…”
Quit with the damn excuses!
A boundary is a boundary. It’s not for you to decide if it’s appropriate or not. You can disagree with it all you want, but IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU!
I’m in this place now where there are a lot of boundaries that I need to follow. And at first it was easy for me to make excuses and to continually say “but”, but now I understand just how important boundaries are.
There is no trust in a person who continually oversteps boundaries. It can not and will not happen.
And without trust, there is no way a relationship will work.
So while there are times I really want to overstep a boundary because it is different now than it was a few weeks ago, I don’t. Because I see you, and I hear you. And I know that DOING the work is more important than TALKING about the work.
The more boundaries you overstep the more boundaries get put into place.
And the more you show up and make another person feel that they are respected, maybe the more they will be open to letting you in just one step closer.
People are seen by feeling respected. It’s showing the other person that not only are you hearing them, but you are listening, and you are comprehending what it is they are saying and/or asking of you.
When I am given a boundary, it is up to me to be accountable and show that person how much they truly mean to me.
And when I fail to respect a boundary, I make that person feel mistreated. When I overstep a boundary, I fail to give you a safe place to be yourself and to speak truthfully and openly.
I’ve listened to a lot of Brene Brown, and one of the things that stuck with me the most was her quote “When we fail to set boundaries and hold people accountable, we feel used and mistreated.” So, in essence, it’s another form of abuse. And it’s one that I will not be a part of any longer or ever again.
Boundaries do not need an explanation. It is not owed to anyone else. NO IS A COMPLETE SENTENCE.
BOUNDARIES ARE ALL ABOUT SAFETY
So when boundaries are crossed, I need to be held accountable. And I’m being accountable now. I’m taking ownership, and I am never going back to disrespecting others again.
Violating someone’s boundaries makes them lose parts of their identity. It makes them feel mistreated. It makes them feel unsafe.
My words will carry meaning again someday, because they are coming from a place of love. When you tell me something, I will trust you and believe you and not think that you are lying. You are telling me things for a reason. They could be boundaries. They could just be conversation. It’s none of my damn business, but it is my compassionate responsibility to respect you no matter what.
I want to be a SAFE SPACE to you again. I want you to have COMPLETE TRUST in me that what you tell me, what you ask of me, what you need from me will be RESPECTED and HONORED.
Anyone who truly wants to be in your life with respect your boundaries. Period.
Raw, Vulnerable, HonestFamily
It’s all fucking bullshit. And yes, I know my children read this.
Let’s start things off. If I’m going to be honest and vulnerable I need to drop this act of thinking I’m better than anyone else. People have created this facade of a “perfect” life that I have that I thought I needed to live up to. Follow these rules, don’t curse, keep the house perfectly clean and organized, keep doing more and more and more. But I can’t keep it up anymore.
I don’t think I’m better than others. In fact, I’ve caused so much damage and hurt to the ones I love in the past that the depression that I carry is self-inflicted. I worked through my childhood traumas in therapy and learned to forgive others. But I stopped after I got through the childhood issues because I was terrified of looking at myself as an adult.
Let’s be raw. Let’s be vulnerable. Let’s speak the fucking truth for once.
I was a narcissistic, mentally and verbally abusive husband to my wife. Not in the way that it is portrayed on TV where I am just constantly screaming at her, or telling her she’s not good enough. In fact, I don’t think we have ever gotten in a screaming match with one another. There was never any physical abuse. But I made her do things, say things, feel things that she didn’t want to do. And I made comments to her that would tear her down and belittle her.
Now, to be clear I am not this person any longer, nor have I been that person in nearly 4 years. But while I have been better, I still never treated my wife the way she needed to be treated.
Let’s be honest.
About 6 years ago I decided that it was finally time to lose weight. And if you knew me back then, if I was doing something everyone else needed to be doing it too. And I hyper-fixated on it to the point that I was going out in the middle of the night to ensure I was hitting all of my physical activity goals for the day. It was obsessive and unhealthy. I put an expectation on my wife that she needed to be losing weight too. I didn’t discuss this with her, but I thought my needs were more important than hers. So me being the person I was, I lost the weight very quickly because I put all of my attention into it.
But my wife was busy taking care of the family. She was raising our children. Cooking all of the meals. Doing all of the appointments. Everything.
So, obviously she was not able to lose the weight like I was. And now finally looking back, it had nothing to do with her effort, but everything to do with the fact that she did not have a partner that would take the emotional, mental, and physical burden from her. Her body was just coursing with stress everyday, all day.
But I was being a fucking narcissistic husband and didn’t look to see how much the weight of the world was crushing her, and how she just needed me to be there and to hold her hand.
My weight loss became an obsession. A very, very, very unhealthy one. To the point that people were telling me that I needed to stop and I needed to see a doctor.
Prior to this I was going through periods of depression from feelings of abandonment from my childhood and my friendships as an adult. I felt abandoned by my family who I felt never saw me. I felt abandoned by my close friends as an adult who decided to cut me off with no warning. I thought there was seriously something wrong with me.
So I thought maybe it was just me. Maybe people didn’t see me, they just saw this fat kid that no one wanted to have around. So the weight loss was my attempt at making friends and being seen by others.
Two important things to know during this time. One, I was losing weight for the wrong reasons. Two, I started drinking during this time. This one is very important.
I never drank before, except the one time we went to Ireland for our 10-year anniversary. I was petrified of drinking because I grew up around alcoholic people and behaviors, and it honestly scared the shit out of me. I did not want my kids to experience that, and I did not want to be that person to my wife. But during this time I used it as an excuse to be more sociable. “This is just a thing adults do to loosen up and make friends.” And it kind of worked. When I drink I become very social and very happy. It made me more OPEN but not more VULNERABLE. This again is another important thing.
While I was doing all this, and losing this weight, and drinking, and being social, I was also ignoring my wife who was still at home building our life. And the more weight I lost, and the more social I became, the more alone I felt, because no “friends” were sticking around. All the conversations I were having were shallow and didn’t lead to any friendships.
So I began to fall into a massive depression. And you’ll understand how massive it was…
I made a decision to end my life, but not by doing anything drastic. Granted, there were many scenarios that played out in my head, and there are many places that I can not go because of the thoughts I experienced there.
So I wanted to basically work myself to death and continue to lose weight to an unhealthy level.
I didn’t want to be alive anymore. I didn’t deserve the life I had and I believed my family would be better off without me if I were gone. But I didn’t want to leave a mess.
So I basically starved myself and kept pushing myself to lose more and more weight. And I got down to a very unhealthy level before my body hit a plateau. And I became angry.
Why was I being denied something this?
My depression was so bad that it got to the point that not only was I hurting, I wanted others around me to hurt as well. And I had no one else in my life so who did I take it out on? My wife.
Something to know about my wife is that she has always given so much of herself to make me happy. And something that I should have appreciated became an expectation. I knew she would do anything that I asked her to do. Absolutely anything. Even things she never wanted to do herself. Even things I never wanted to do myself.
I couldn’t get to the point in my depression where I could physically take my own life, because I always had the guilt of leaving my wife behind. But if I could get her to divorce me, I would no longer have a reason to live.
So I began telling my wife that I was interested in other people. That I was attracted to them and that maybe we should talk about having an open marriage. And of course, she said no. And I would accept it for a few days before I would begin to push the subject again. “Hey, look at these videos.” “Hey, what do you think about this person.” I was intentionally pushing her away and hurting the person I loved so deeply in the world because I hated myself so deeply.
And then she started to play along for a bit. She thought this was making her husband happy, and no boundaries were really being crossed yet, so why not? So the conversations kept going and things would be talked about more during intimate moments and we both had this charade that we were playing for one another, which in honesty neither of us wanted to play to begin with.
Things continued to escalate because she continued to meet me with the things I was saying. She didn’t seem to pull away, but I didn’t see that she was just desperately trying to connect with her husband and for him to wake up and quit being a fucking idiot. My depression continued to decline. We got to a point where conversations started becoming more of a reality. Jokingly we both joined Tinder just to see if the idea of actually meeting another person would become a reality. I matched with someone on Tinder, no clue who they were, or even if they were a real person, but I talked to them for a bit. I was sent pictures and nothing ever came from it because it’s not something I wanted and I shut it down fast. I also had conversations with someone at work at the time. It never became anything, but we thought they were someone that would be open to the things we were talking about. Thank God that was shut down quickly as well. I didn’t tell my wife how uncomfortable it made me, because I thought she wanted it to continue.
My depression kept sliding. Work was exhausting me. I had a boss that treated me like garbage. I wasn’t getting paid for the work I was doing. I felt like I was failing my family. I didn’t want to be here anymore.
My wife was the one person keeping me from ending it all.
So I did the single most dumbest fucking thing I ever could have done and lied to her and told her I was attracted to someone that she was always compared to. Obviously this was a big deal, but she didn’t pull away like I thought she would. So I pushed further. Then we began talking about this person in other ways. And it got to a point that I had convinced her that that is what I actually wanted in my life.
She said she believes that’s what I really wanted because of my “physical” reaction to the things we talked about. But I remember the struggles of actually being able to “finish” and I got really good at learning how to fake. Me being fake is why things were different.
I asked her to do things for me that just absolutely make me sick to my stomach. I asked her to tell this person and in doing so my life absolutely fell apart. It obviously was not taken in a good way (nor should it have) and in fact there were lies and accusations that came from those conversations that to this day hurt so incredibly much that anyone would make those claims.
Nothing ever progressed past this point because neither of us truly wanted it and we knew as far as we pushed that boundary, it is not one that either of would fall over.
In trying to push my wife away so that I could end my life, I stole and destroyed parts of her that I promised I would protect.
She finally got to a breaking point where she knew she had to speak up and stand her ground and 4 years ago she told me it was time for me to move out.
And everything changed. My wife had finally stood up to me and told me where she was with things, and we finally expressed to each other that neither of us wanted the things we talked about.
And seeing the reality of what I was looking for – my wife telling me to go, my kids out of my life, suddenly I didn’t want to be gone anymore.
I changed that day. But not as much as the change my wife went through during the times I was making her into a person she never wanted to be.
I have not been that person since that day. But I also was not the person I needed to be for my wife. She needed to heal from the things I did to her. She needed to talk through them. She needed to have a partner that would help her heal.
And I was so fucking mortified and disgusted by myself that I thought the best option would be to bury the past and not address it.
Ignoring the problem doesn’t make it go away.
I live every single day knowing the pain that I caused to the most amazing person I have ever met. And I cry and pray about it a lot. But I was so fucking scared of hurting her more that I thought talking about it would make things worse. I thought that owning up to the mistakes I made and being honest would make things worse. I have nightmares and wake up in the middle of the night having panic attacks because of what I did.
I hate myself for what I did to you. My depression now is not from the childhood traumas. It’s not from the work stresses. It’s because of the pain I caused you.
And I have been so incredibly fearful of hurting you again that I completely withdrew myself from everything. Our intimacy changed because I was so fucking scared of doing or saying something to you that would hurt you again, even though I wanted to be with you as much as you wanted to be with me. I started talking less because I thought only stupid, hurtful things come from me. While you all were walking on eggshells around me because of my emotions. I was walking on eggshells that weren’t even there thinking I was going to hurt you again.
You ask me why. And I can’t make excuses. My behavior was deplorable and makes me sick. But the answer is I hated myself so much that in order for me to end my life I had to push away the person that I loved the most.
Let’s be raw. Let’s me vulnerable. Let’s be honest.
I lied to you when I told you that I fell in love with being a father before I fell in love with you.
I loved you within the first few weeks of us messaging each other on Myspace. I fell in love with your laugh. I fell in love with your smile. God, your smile. I fell in love with the gentleness of your voice. I fell in love with the way you would just say “hey!” I fell in love with the way your touch would heal so many wounds. I fell in love with the way you listened. I fell in love when you were the one person who was able to get me through my grandparents passing.
There was a reason we got engaged so quickly. There was a reason I came home to get married and to stay with my new family.
It’s you. And it’s always been you.
It should have been about you. It should have been me who was showing up to help you emotionally, mentally, and physically. It should have been me who was waking up with the kids in the morning. It should have been me who was screaming to the world how proud of you I was on every accomplishment you worked your ass off for. It should have been me who was showing you every day just how important you are. It should have been me who was reminding you how appreciated you were.
But I didn’t do those things. This whole fucking mess is because of me. Because I made our lives about me.
This whole situation breaks my heart, but I have no anger towards anyone but myself. I caused this mess, and I shouldn’t ask you to help clean it up. So I’m not going to. It never should have come to you putting an end to things before I finally woke up. But I’m here. And I’m working my ass off to be the father my children always needed me to be, the husband you always needed me to be, and to create a safe space for everyone around me.
I don’t want you to put in the work anymore. I’m the one that needs to show up and put in the work.
Let’s be raw. Let’s be vulnerable. Let’s be honest.
You and I are communicating more in these past 2 weeks than I think we ever have before. And there are no filters. There are no concerns about hurt feelings. The things that need to be said are being said. And its been amazing. Because it’s making a difference. To know that you will be honest with me and call me out on my bullshit is so relieving. To know that you are telling me where I have failed you helps me to fix those things and be better. There’s a whole lot that we still need to talk about, but it’s so great to know that these conversations can be had.
How many things have we already learned about each other in these past 2 weeks that we did because we both made assumptions about the other person? How many scenarios have played out in each other’s minds because we thought we knew what the other person was thinking?
It’s absolutely stupid to think how much things would be better if we weren’t afraid of talking in the past like we are now.
It’s probably too late. I really hope that it’s not, but I know that what I have done in the past is a big issue. And I know you feel you can’t heal through those things with me.
But I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to be here waking you up in the mornings to get a jump on the day. I’m going to be making you and our daughter breakfast every morning. I’m going to be helping pack your lunch when I know what it is you want. I’m going to be sending a good morning text every day until you believe that the words come from a place of love and not from obligation. I’m going to be reminding you that you look good in the things you wear. I’m going to tell you how good you smell. I’m going to wake our daughter up in the mornings and cuddle with her before her day starts. I’m going to help our son get ready for the day and to ensure he is eating breakfast. I’m going to be best friends with all of our children and give them the attention they so desperately crave. I’m going to take care of our oldest daughter and ensure she is taking care of herself. I’m going to go to therapy and work through the adult issues that I’ve gone through. I’m going to go to family counseling with our family so we can work through the shit I’ve put you all through. I’m going to be taking our kids to their appointments. I’m going to be calling and making the appointments myself. I’m going help our kids with their homework. I’m going to be leaving work on time every day. I’m going to be going to their school events when they come up. I’m going to be cleaning the house. I’m going to be taking care of all of the laundry. I’m going to be making sure no dishes are left on the counter after the dishwasher is loaded. I’m going to be helping with the grocery list and shopping. I’m going to be helping with the meals. I’m going to be playing games, watching movies, and tv with our kids. I’m going to be soft and kind with my words. I’m going to be loving in everything I do. I’m going to show up. I’m going to be putting your wants and needs above my own. I’m going to be looking for ways that I can do more for you. I’m going to show you that I see you. I’m going to show you that I hear you. I’m going to surprise you with Starbucks and know your order. I’m going to listen to the things you are interested in so we can have open discussions about them. I’m going to be supportive. I’m going to push you to be the best version of yourself. I’m going to be vulnerable with you. I’m going to see and hear you even when words are being spoken. I’m going to tell you about my day and get rid of the word “busy” from my vocabulary. I’m going to look you in the eyes when you talk to me. I’m going to put the phone or controller down. I’m going to take our kids out on dates. I’m going to take you for coffee every chance I get. I’m going to take you on dates, no matter how busy life gets. I’m going to be a partner.
I’m going to do something I never made you feel before…
That you are worth fighting for. Every damn day. On the easy days, and especially on the hard days.
I fucked up. It’s the biggest fuck up of my life. But I am taking full accountability.
The people we were 2 weeks ago were no longer compatible with each other. But I’ll be damned to believe that you and the person I just talked about above are not compatible.
We have a history, and with that history comes a lot of pain, but it also comes with a lot of good. The memories we have together. The trips we’ve taken. The family we’ve raised. The life we’ve built. The accomplishments we’ve achieved. The struggles we went through to get there. But even in the pain we have seen each other at our worst. We know each others faults, and we can see when there is growth. We have fought, but we have fought for each other. We have loved. And we have loved for each other.
We have to start from the beginning. I don’t want the life we had before. I don’t want things to be about me anymore. I want them to be about you and our children.
But I want you to know how fucking much you are worth fighting for. I will never be the person I was before. And I will never make you feel less than again. I will respect all of your boundaries, and I will hear YOU when you speak, and not what I think or what I want you to say.
And I will always be here.
And I will always be fighting to get you to fall in love with me again.
I know you don’t read these anymore, but I can’t blame you for not wanting to. I hope you want to see how I’m processing.
The dust is starting to settle and the ring in my ears is beginning to fade. My face is covered in debris and I can hear the remaining walls fall around me.
It’s gone. Everything that I worked so hard for is destroyed. My home is gone. My children’s safe space and security is gone. The love of my life is gone. The family vacations I wanted to take are gone. The life I wanted to give my family is gone.
I didn’t hold the detonator, but I’m the one that planted the bombs.
But that doesn’t matter. Everything exploded and now everything is gone.
But my kids are still here, and they are begging their dad to keep fighting. They are begging their dad to rebuild.
And you are still here. It’s hard to see you through all of the dust, but I can hear your voice in the distance.
I want to rebuild. I have to rebuild. I must show up for my family and give them all the life that they deserve.
So I’m going to do hard things. When I feel like giving up on everything so the pain can go away, I will fight harder, knowing the pain is because of how much love there is.
The foundation is demolished. That life was never built correctly in the first place. We built on stilts, on a hill. It was bound to collapse at some point.
I don’t want that life rebuilt. I want to build the one that you deserve. I want to build the one my kids feel emotionally safe in again. I want to build the one that you know can never be shaken again.
So we have to start from the bottom and work our way up. The foundation is the most important part and if it’s not done right, and the time and care are not put into it, then it’s never going to fully be able to support the weight of the amount of love that the rest of the house will be built with.
So I see you.
And I know it’s going to be a tough fight. My hands are tied and I can only walk through small pathways to get to you. But I’ll be damned if I ever stop pushing forward. Every step I take is going to strengthen the foundation beneath us. I may not be able to do big things, but it’s the little things that make the foundation secure. I can see you faintly in the distance, walking slowly, pained from the damage that you have been through, hesitant to trust the foundation as it’s failed you in the past.
I hear you.
I trust you.
You have no more reason to lie to me.
I won’t question you when you talk to me. I won’t make assumptions on what you meant. I won’t try to control the situation.
So here we are. Starting over.
I’m here. I’m going to show up every day, especially on the hard days. I’m going to work with everything that I have to make sure that you finally feel safe with the foundation we will build together. And I hope that you see the hard work I am doing to make sure this foundation is going to be stronger.
I know I can sometimes start walking towards the edge to begin building the walls, but I know that’s not where you are. You can’t move far until you can trust the floor won’t give out. And that it is a safe space to move about.
And I pray that the time comes when you will want to look around, with me closer to you than I’ve ever been, and tell me “I’m ready for a roof.”
So here we are.
Hi, my name is Kyle and I would like to be your friend.
It’s Not About MeFamily
Words can carry so much emotion and meaning behind them. They lose their value when the actions do not follow. These are hard for me to write, but every part of my heart is in them.
“I’ll never be as good as I’d like to be.” And I’ll never be as good as you deserve.
I love you so very much. But it’s not about me.
I have hurt you. And when you needed me most I didn’t show up.
I don’t want to hurt you anymore. And as hard as it is going to be on me, I know that I have to let you go.
Too much of our life has been about me, and it can’t be that way any longer.
I’m never going to stop fighting for you. And I’m never going to stop loving you.
I am always going to be here for you. I hope our paths meet again someday and I can make you fall in love with this person I am going to be.
It hurts me to know that I am hurting you by being this version of myself that you have always wanted me to be. But it’s not about me anymore. It’s about correcting the things that have been brought to my attention. So I can be a better father. So I can be a better friend…
You deserve the world. You don’t believe it, but you do. And all I can give you is my heart.
This song has been playing on repeat, but it’s true. I’ll never be as good as I’d like to be. Because the best part of me has always been you.
We will all be okay in the end. You. The kids. Me.
I will never stop loving you, but I have to accept that I will have to love you from a distance.
I can’t wait to see the beautiful life you are going to build for yourself with me no longer holding you back.
It’s not about me. It’s about you, and you putting yourself first. It’s a bittersweet dream come true. My biggest dream has always been that you would see yourself the way that I see you. And now you have, but it’s not with me. And it hurts, but that’s okay. Sometimes good things come from bad situations.
Pain is inevitable. It means that it mattered. It means that there was so much love. It means that there was kindness, and care, and empathy.
I’m proud of you. And I love you. And I hope that we can meet again someday and start over. I’m not giving up, but I love you so much to know that this is what needs to happen for your happiness. And it’s not about me. Your happiness has to come first.
I am a better person for knowing you, and for the love you have given me all this time. And for that, I will be okay. Because you have always shown me that I am worth loving, and you have always shown me what true love is.
So thank you. For being you.
I will always be here for you. Always.
For My KidsFamily
Since my children have now found my blog and have asked me to continue using it I will be putting in more time to put my thoughts to paper (metaphorically of course).
I’m processing a lot of emotions right now, but one that I’m not experiencing is anger towards anyone but myself. How can I be angry for something that made me wake up and realize I am wasting the precious time I have with my 3 amazing children?
I hope that I have been a good father to my children. I know there are areas where I have failed, but I think I’ve done okay. I know I have been overly critical to my oldest daughter. I see so much potential and want to give you the world, but you frustrate me sometimes with some of the choices you make. And in the past I have lashed out at you verbally and put you down, or even silencing your voice. I should have just sat down with you, one-on-one, to understand what is going on with your life.
You don’t need me to fix anything. You just want your dad. You want to feel loved. You want to know that you are wanted.
And my heart aches so much knowing I have hurt you.
I’m sorry it took this to finally be better.
I’m not going anywhere. And we will be close again. You need your dad, and I need my daughter.
And my youngest daughter who feels like she is invisible and not seen. I see you. I know you love me so incredibly much that you physically get sick when I’m not around. I see the pressure you are putting on yourself because you think that is what I want. But for all of you, your health and your happiness are the most important things to me. Give yourself some grace. You don’t need to carry the world on your shoulders. I’m your dad and I will be better about taking these burdens off of your shoulders. Be a kid. Enjoy life. Follow your passions. And I will support you in anything you want to do.
I see you. I need to say it again. I see you. You are standing in front of me and you need your dad. I will always be here for you.
My dear boy. My sweet sweet boy. You already struggle with processing things and you are going through so much right now. Daddy is going to be okay. We are all going to be okay through this. I’m going to be such a better father to you because of this. We will work through your feelings together. It’s okay to be sad, but know that no one is intentionally trying to hurt another person. Sometimes decisions you make in life will cause pain, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t the right choice.
I’m going to get better about understanding how you are processing things with your autism. I’m going to take a step back and communicate with you better to get things figured out. You are learning so much right now and I know you see a lot of the world in black or white, right or wrong, but things are a lot more complicated than that. Just always know that as long as you are making decisions from a place of love in your heart, then you’re headed in the right direction.
I know I’m really good with words when I write. Not that great when I need to speak them, but I acknowledge that to all of you my words have lost a lot of meaning throughout your lives. All I can do now is be intentional and show you how much I love you all. We will play games together. We will sit and have conversations. I will listen when you need to talk and not try to fix things. I will support you. We will go on regular date nights and have one-on-one time.
When you are older I want you to know what love is. I want you to look back and say love is what my dad gave me. He made me feel appreciated. He made me feel seen. He let my voice be heard. He gave me a safe space to be myself without fear of judgement.
And that’s what I’m going to do for you.
So I will never have anger in my heart for what is happening, and neither should you. Good things come from bad situations. The rainbows follow the rain. Know that I have so much love in my heart. I have been so incredibly loved, even when I didn’t deserve it. To know that feeling so intimately has been one of the greatest joys in my life.
I will be okay. I’m not doing any of this because I have to, but because my heart is so full of love that I need to be okay so I can give that love to you all.
Your dad is here and I’m not going anywhere.
I love you!