Tag Archives: Divorce

The tale of two husbands


I’ve had two husbands. Well, I’m still on my second one. And hoping to stick with him. I quite like this one. Not that I didn’t like the other one. Well, at least at some point.

OK. This is not how I envisaged this blog going when I thought it up.

Hmm.

I should have started like this:

According to our (very lovely) Kindergarten teacher, there are two types of men in the world. N.B. I have a ‘special’ relationship (yes, one of those) with Akasha’s Kindergarten teacher.

Which began like this:

We just clicked.

We can talk about everything and anything under the sun. Love. War. Men, obviously. Stray cats. Allergies. Our hilarious pasts. Food. We even talk about children sometimes.

So this morning on entering the Kindergarten, I could not be content with just saying, “Hello” and depositing my child. No. I felt compelled to tell her about all of the events that took place the night before. Which, although also included baking lots of cakes with Akasha – causing a general sticky feeling to the whole house – mainly focussed on the terrible toothache of my poor husband, Reini. – Please note the toothache has NOTHING to do with our cakes.

No. The pain was due to an evil wisdom tooth.

Now on informing the Kindergarten teacher, lets just call her Alex (because that’s her name), I also felt the need to express my fear that my husband would try the ‘going back to work’ routine after the dastardly tooth would be pulled.

And that is when she made the broad sweeping statement intelligent observation about the two types of men.

I understand exactly what she means because I have been married to both types. H-hmm I am still married to one of them.

My first husband, let me see… Liked to express clearly all of his ailments. No matter what those ailments were. OK, sometimes I had a hard time believing he had such incredibly, intolerable ailments.

Like the time he had the flu. Right after I had a small cold. He lolled on the sofa and begged for medicine. And on my suggestion of him pulling himself together and going to work, he looked at me, incredulously, and informed me that, “I just didn’t understand his suffering.”

I understood perfectly well that he was getting on my nerves in my way and that he had, in all truthfulness, the exact same cold that I had had a few days previous.

This opinion didn’t go down well, but is not the only reason we divorced. He declared that I had not really been ill.

I threw the final punch. Explaining that he may not have observed me being poorly, due to the fact that I had just, “Got on with life and not complained every 10 seconds.”

A friend arrived later and saw my ex-beloved rolled out on the sofa. Being a thoughtful person she expressed her concern and asked of his ailment. I informed her, that, my husband was fine, he just had man-i-tus. Being an understanding and similar suffering wife, she laughed extremely loudly and informed all of her friends.

And thus, ladies and gents a new condition was born.

So having followed the law of opposites (I once asked another friend what she saw in a boyfriend she’d picked up after her split with her husband, she detailed: he’s tall – hubby short, he’s chatty – hubby quiet, he’s bald – hubby had hair and so on…) my husband number two is brave. Strong. Uncomplaining. And heads off to work, despite whatever discomfort he happens to be facing at any given time.

It’s not that he loves his job. It’s that he’s loyal and takes all of his responsibilities seriously.

But as un-complainy as he is, he is prone to making his own hardships therefore worse.

And the only cure for that is an oppressive wife.

So, when Alex offered the suggestion that I should clunk him over the head with a hammer and drag him home after the pulling of the nasty, evil, viscous tooth, I wholeheartedly agreed.

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My ADHD son and me


We had a fight.

I mean a full on shout your head off fight.

One of those fights where the words come screaming out of your mouth with no momentary lapse for thought or reasoning. Those words, which can never again be unspoken. But can only beg to be forgiven.

Yep. One of those types of fights.

My ten-year old ADHD son and me.

The trigger was small.

Just an everyday action from a boy who acts from his impulses and heeds nothing of the STOP, THINK, DECIDE ritual we’ve tried to impose on him.

And in an instant, with no warning to either of us: I snapped.

I saw red. I pinged across the room like an over-wound elastic band. I erupted like a volcano.

I’d had enough.

Enough of the constant lying.

Enough of the not trying.

The stealing.

Enough of the constant frustration felt by his sisters.

Enough of the manic outbursts.

The apparent lack of conscience.

Enough of hearing my own voice repeating the same instruction over and over again.

Which in itself is different to the not listening. Which is overbearing too.

Enough of the not caring.

Enough of the constant need for attention. And motivation.

Enough of my constant unfair division of time between four children.

Enough of having to apologise for him or to explain.

Enough of the looks. From both those who don’t know me and those who do.

Enough of the unhelpful, condescending advice from clueless busybodies.

But most of all I’d had enough of the fear. The fear I have every time I pick up the phone when he’s not by side. That’s he’s done something stupid. Hurt himself again. That he’s lying somewhere in pain. Or even worse. That he’s dead.

So I shouted.

He laughed in my face and didn’t care because he didn’t know. He didn’t know just how close to the edge I felt in that moment and he pushed just that little bit more. And I cracked.

And the words rolled off my tongue, so fast, and I couldn’t take them back, not even an instant after they were said.

“Go and live with your father! I’ve had enough!”

Shock smothered the room.

He looked at me, still laughing slightly and I ordered him to leave the room and pack.

Then the rest of us sat at the table, everyone silent, feeling the anger hanging in the room.

No-one knew what to do, including me.

Where the anger slowly left, the tears quickly began.

I breathed.

I climbed the stairs to see my one and only son, who after two short minutes of initial upset, had raced on to his next emotion.

Excitement.

Nothing I could say would sway him, from my sorrys to my sadness. His determination despite a prospective change in land, language, and school knocked me.

And for a brief moment, I started to consider the alternative. Being a mother who lived without her son.

I could see calmness and structure, harmony and rejuvenation but most of all I could see time. Time for me. Time for the sisters. Time to breath.

And then I felt the pain wash over me. The devastation of living without him cut deep into my heart.

I tried to see the whole picture. I thought of the girls and their needs. I looked at my son’s happy face. I saw the exhaustion in my husband, who is not his biological dad.

I sort opinions and I discussed until my throat hurt and my ears refused to listen any more.

I looked at my son and he smiled back at me. The argument gone. To him, it seemed the row had never existed, for me it felt like I would be devoured by the guilt and the shame.

My little boy who I’ve protected and fought for doesn’t want me. He wants his daddy. The daddy that he lost in the divorce. The daddy who lets you play computer until three in the morning. The daddy who lets you sledge down the stairs. The daddy who asks you if you want to go to school. The daddy that my children have not been allowed to see in two and a half years in another protective move from me.

You see, my ten-year old sons father also has ADHD.

And what I have discovered is that no matter how much I want it, or push it or encourage it, I cannot make my ex-husband, the creative genius that I once loved, take any kind of responsibility for his children in any way.

Daddy did not call at Christmas. He did not even send a card.

I called him myself, after the argument. I wanted to test the waters. I wanted to see if he could maybe, possibly live up to what my son needs him to be. He promised to call the next day. Several days later, we’ve still heard nothing.

He has not actually spoken to any of his children since October.

Last night I talked with my husband well into the night and he re-motivated me.

We had a fight. And I lost it. I am an emotional person and that happens sometimes. But that emotionality is what makes me me. My son is staying put. He is safer here. And he has the good fortune to have three lovely sisters, a mum and a non-biological but actually a proper father, to love him and try to guide him. And that’s all we can do.

I just have to convince him that the grass is not greener on the other side of the water.