I thought I’d take a break from reliving my Nightmare to talk about recent events.
Carol spent Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday night in bed with me. We hadn’t gone beyond holding and kissing and I kept the discussion to a minimum, preferring to simply enjoy things as they are.
We decided to have a little family trip to the zoo on Sunday. I was tired and had a head ache that wouldn’t subside no matter how many painkillers I took, but all the same, I loved every minute of it. We were together, making memories with the kids. This is what I want for our family: all of us sharing our lives together, not separate trips and drop-offs and eventual step-families.
But it has to be more than that. You can’t go through life living only for your kids. You need to live for you too or you’ll become less than what you could be and that will end up harming your loved ones anyway. So I’ve had to think to myself, Do I want Carol? Can I be happy with her? Is she worth forgiving? My answer at this time is, yes, I love her and I want to try to make it work. I’m not certain it’s going to work out and I’ll get past what she did, but that’s okay. Nothing is certain and it doesn’t have to be. Writing this blog has been a great help in evaluating my relationship with her.
In the early afternoon, the sky was growing dark, so we decided we better get the kids over to the water park area before it’s too late. While they played, Carol and I had a moment alone to chat.
“You’ve been at home a lot lately. How does that feel?” I asked.
“I have an appointment with my counselor on Tuesday. Please, let me get through that before we talk.”
“I’m just asking, not trying to get in a big discussion or anything. I’m just wondering how it feels for you, staying at home lately.”
“It feels weird when I go to mom’s. Home is starting to feel more like ‘home’.”
“That’s good,” I responded.
A storm came and we left the zoo in a hurry. I used have so much anxiety about driving, but since the Incident, I’ve become so relaxed about the little things in life. I asked Carol to point me in the general direction of a city we’ve never visited before and we’d cruise around there and find a new place for dinner.
I enjoyed driving around like that so much, we agreed that we need to take a big, family road trip in the future. We are both completely down with the idea of taking more time off work and having adventures, sometimes as a family and sometimes just the two of us.
When I got home from work on Tuesday, I went right into Carol’s arms. We held onto each other for a long time.
“How was your appointment?” I asked during dinner.
“It was good,” she said with a smile.
“Good? Well you’re smiling. In fact, you’ve been looking a lot more calm and happy lately. It’s nice to see you smiling again.”
“I’ve cut a negative person out of my life and I feel so much better now. I wish I could’ve seen it sooner.”
“Sometimes things have to get to a really bad point before we can really see them for what they are. Now, you can move forward and be a better person. What makes us good people is not that we don’t fail, it’s that we learn from our failures and grow from them.”
Last Tuesday night, she went back to her parents’ house after her evening baseball game. This time she came home. We went into bed and I needed to know where we are at now.
“So, you came home again,” I said.
“Yes. This is my home.”
“So you’re here to stay?”
“Yes, I want to. No more sleeping at mom’s. I want to make this work.”
“As in us? Like, husband and wife?”
“Yes, I want to be your wife.”
“I want you to be my wife too. I think we can get through this. We’ve been through a lot together over the years and we can do this.”
She told me about the changes she has seen in me and the confidence I now have in myself. She asked if she was doing enough and I assured her she is making great progress. We agreed that we should see a counselor together at some point but she wants me to see one on my own too since she now sees how beneficial individual counseling is.
The touchy subject of sex came up. It was an area that we had really been struggling with for the past few years. Carol said that she does want to have sex with me but she doesn’t want there to be pressure such as a schedule or time frame when we should start, that hopefully it just comes naturally. I told her how I would never know with her if she wanted it because she doesn’t seem to give off any signals while I know that women can and do show when they want sex without outright asking, and recent events have shown that I am more than capable of picking up on such cues. She said she would try to show me a little more when she is interested. I also told her about that night at her parents’ place where she offered to let me stay there that night. I said, “With any other woman, I would see that as an invitation for sex, but with you, I figured it probably meant just to sleep.” I still haven’t gotten a clear answer on that. I could have followed up with, “So, did you want to have sex that night?” but I didn’t want to press the subject.
We finished the conversation by holding each other again for a while.
“One thing’s for certain, I’ve learned never to make any rash decisions. To let things sit for a while before acting. I never would have believed this was possible during the first month,” I said.
“Thank you for not divorcing me,” she said.
“Thank you for realizing that being married to me wasn’t the real problem,” I replied, “and the kids are so happy to have you at home.”
So, we’re still married and living together. I don’t want to put my ring back on or make any announcements yet. I think that means to keep taking it slow and don’t throw any pressure on the situation.