Is this thing on?
Hello GT! I know it’s been a minute since I’ve poked my head in here but things have been... well, let’s just say 2020 is totally on-brand for how my life goes. Everyone is running around freaking out and everything sucks and half of it is on fire and I’m sitting here going “.... eh this is no big deal at all.”
It’s a long story, but What’s-His-Name lost his dream job in December because he had been fucking a co-worker and she basically tried to blackmail him. Apparently she was already leaving the company and she asked him to help her negotiate for extra time on COBRA and he did, and she wanted MORE time and he told her he’d done everything he could, so in her exit interview they asked her if there was anything else she’d like to add and she was like “yeah, so BY THE WAY...” and that was that.
If I ever get my hands on her, I’m going to RIP HER HAIR OUT BY THE ROOTS.
So he comes home and is like “um, I have something to tell you” and so as you can imagine, the holidays were super-fun. We had some savings and he got severance and we basically cancelled everything we pay for that is optional. To his credit, he immediately started working his networks and the phones and started hustling for a job the next day but HOLIDAY SEASON so nobody was hiring. Meanwhile, I’m over here with the worst bronchitis I’ve ever had that turned into walking pneumonia and something called Reactive Airway Disease (which I think is code for “we don’t fucking know”) and I spent all of December, January, and February coughing my fucking lungs out. And crying. And not eating. I lost 24 pounds.
We are both in therapy individually and we had one joint session with his therapist whom I do NOT like and that didn’t even BEGIN to scratch the surface of what happened and why and it didn’t help but BOY OH BOY did it piss me off and hey did you know that staying angry for a long time helps you focus and get shit done when all you really want to do is SET FIRES? It’s not healthy in the long-term but for short bursts, it’s great!
At the end of February, he got a new job THANK THE GODS and even though it was a pretty massive pay cut, we ran a budget and we can make it work.
OH BUT WAIT, it’s 2020! Enter COVID-19. Two weeks after he starts the job, NJ goes into lockdown and he’s home again, after having spent nearly 3 months at home 24/7. With me. AWESOME. I spent about a week fretting that he’d be furloughed or fully laid off, what with being the New Guy, but the universe isn’t a COMPLETE bastard and he’s still there, but with a 30% pay cut.
On top of the hit we already took. Sigh. It could be worse and I’m really not trying to complain too hard but since December 2, it’s been BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM one thing after another. BAM! We breathe through it and it’s fine.
So we’ve basically been in Crisis Mode for 7 full months. It’s not a comfortable way to live. I had just started a career development program that was aimed at buffing up my CV and helping to get me a job in or near enough to my field in hopes that it would be something I could enjoy and not want to kill myself over. My field? Entry-level museum or library situation with an eye toward getting some experience on my CV so I can go to grad school! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH OH MY GOD I AM HILARIOUS.
Instead, I am working GrubHub (which isn’t great but is actually pretty interesting and lucrative) and I have a couple of people I do grocery shopping for who pay me a stupid amount of money each week to buy their Twinkies. What’s-His-Name works from home in my craft room. That’s how it’s been since our lockdown but I think he’s going back to the office a couple of days a week starting Monday.
We have been talking a lot. He talked about why he did what he did - it was only a couple of isolated incidents and not a pattern or a full-on affair situation so I am taking that into consideration. I have been out of the workforce for 14 years (a choice I made, which was the right one for our family at the time) so even if I did kick him to the curb, how on earth would I be able to support myself and WeePiglet? What would that even LOOK like? And despite everything, I do love him and I believe he loves me so we are working it out. Somehow. We have nearly 30 years of history together and I think this marriage is worth saving but HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS I AM SO FUCKING ANGRY ALL THE TIME.
My therapist and I are working on THAT.
To his credit, he DID tell me about it. He said he was planning to eventually, because the guilt was bothering him. But the job situation sped up the timeline a bit (YOU DON’T SAY) and it wasn’t ideal but maybe that was the best way? I don’t think there’s ever really a “good” way to tell your spouse you’re a shithead. He has taken responsibility for his actions and is doing everything he can think of to make amends and once this fucking lockdown is over (if it ever ends), we are going to couples therapy (with a therapist who is neutral to us both) and we’ll see what happens.
WeePiglet is about to start high school (I KNOW) and so the practical move would be for us to stay together until she’s done, regardless of the state of our marriage. Since we’re both willing to work on the marriage, I think we’ll be okay. It won’t ever be like it was but it will be okay, I think. Eventually. Relationships do change over time and maybe ours will settle into something neither of us can predict just yet.
What’s hilarious to me about this is that I am doing the exact opposite of the advice I would give to someone in this situation, and it has really changed how I approach it with other people. If this is what it takes to make me a better person, well, THERE ARE OTHER WAYS, UNIVERSE. But sometimes I need to be smacked in the face in order to change my attitudes toward things. I don’t know. I don’t know a lot of things and I sure as hell know a lot less than I did a year ago. I have discovered a rather deep well of patience that I didn’t know I had (The Voltron Project notwithstanding) and the list of Things I Care About has both grown and shrunk at the same time.
Being me is a very weird way to be, right now. It’s always been weird, but this is... weird.
Overall, I think I’m okay. I wasn’t, at first, but I am now. I think WE will be okay and if we’re ever allowed to venture out into a post-Covid world, we’ll see what happens next.
So... hi. How have you guys been?