When Carol brought the kids back from camping, I was elated. They shared their stories with me and I told Carol of my weekend adventures, omitting the details of my incident for the time being.
The rest of the week went on as usual. We spent overlapping time with the kids and Carol always went to her parents’ house at night time.
I was becoming quite depressed. I called around to find a therapist because it was starting to get concerning. It didn’t help that there was a death in the family. I couldn’t find timely help and eventually the depression got to a more manageable level.
Early last week, I came home from work and Carol saw me acting sad and zoned out.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
“I’ve been having a rough time lately,” I said, “and I miss my best friend.”
She hugged me and told me that while the kids are gone, she wanted to try to sleep over. I liked that idea a lot. We talked some more and I held her as she cried into my chest again.
I had told her before she left on her camping trip that our relationship is worth fighting for. It looked like she was starting to believe that too.
And so came the night she stayed over as I detailed in “Reconciliation?”. It was during this time that I told her about my incident and my dating website profile. I deactivated my dating profile and regarding my early morning with Tiffany, she said, “I can’t be mad at you for that,” and “I’m glad you feel confident now. I didn’t like how you felt about yourself before.”
The next day, I came home from work to find her at home again. “Oh, you’re back again,” was all I could say at first.
She napped for a while then we watched a movie together. The previous night, I took her out for a date and hoped we wouldn’t start talking again about our relationship, but it ended up happening anyway. This night, we didn’t discuss things at all. It was a nice break.
After the movie, I asked her where she was going to sleep.
“Where do you want me to sleep?” she asked.
“Right here, with me again.”
Again, I did no more than hold her as we slept.
The next day, I asked her how she was feeling.
“I liked being with you. That’s why I came back again yesterday.”
“Come here, I want to show you something,” I said. I brought her to the next room for some privacy (the kids were home again), and I pulled her close and kissed her.
“How does that feel?”
“I still love you,” she said.
“I know,” I said while holding her, “I know you do.”
She spent that night at her parents’ house but gave in and spent the rest of the weekend at home, even though the kids were at home and I’m sure that confused them.
During the weekend, Carol did some gardening and talked to me about future ideas. She acted and talked like we were together now and that’s the way it’s going to be.
I talked to her about this on Monday and voiced some concerns. I told her we should go to counseling together to help with issues that may come up with healing. She told me she wasn’t sure what she wanted and needed to talk to her friend since her next counselor appointment was too far away. I told her to see if her friend was free that night.
She didn’t come home that night. She sent me a brief message saying she’d be at her parents’ house again. I told her I was sorry for making her second guess herself. She replied that she needed to sort out her feelings. Starting to understand in my life that there is a time to just leave it alone, I replied, “Have a good night,” and left it at that.
On Tuesday, I was miserable. I thought she must be pushing me away again, which is a major reason why we’re in this spot in the first place. But when she came home, she went right into my arms and talked to me about her day and how she handled Rick’s new attempt at manipulation. She shut him down big time. I was so proud of her.
Again, she went to her parents’ house that night. She told me not to worry, so I didn’t.
Last night, she stayed with me again but I’ve learned that my new, too firm mattress is a big issue for her spending nights at home with me. She’s been waking up with back pain every time she sleeps at home.
Today, I ordered an exchange for a softer mattress.