Standing up and starting over


{This post has been sitting in my draft folder for a couple of weeks now. I read it now two weeks on and I feel proud of my words and I now feel strong enough to stand behind them. So with a deep breathe, I send them out into the ether … maybe someone out there can relate.}


I started this as a 2012 wrap up post, but my fingers stalled at the keys trying to find the words that summed up this year in all its glorious perfect imperfection. I sit here now watching my Hugo trying to stand. He grunts with effort as he gets his balance on his little, chubby baby legs. He’s not yet 9 months old and there he is so determined and every day he’s getting stronger. I look at him now and the light bulb goes off. That’s what I’m doing too.

About a month ago I found out something that knocked the wind right out of me. My husband was thinking of leaving me. I won’t go into the whole sorry, mess of events as the whole month has been a series of gradually emerging secrets, of highs and lows, of doubts and accusations, of finding that my gut was never far from wrong. I found out things I never wanted to contemplate and asked myself questions I didn’t yet know the answers to. He had a younger, female confidant that he thought he’d fallen for and she was showing signs of interest too. I felt unfairly treated, of being compared to someone younger, more carefree, without a toddler and a baby to take care of. I felt my life was being eyed off and gatecrashed, by someone who had no idea about the truths of my life and who my husband was ready to give up on us for. There was no physical infidelity but it was emotional damage that can’t easily be undone.

But in dealing with its fall out I found myself start to stand up, to pull at truths sticking up around me and gingerly place my feet on the ground, pushing up on shaky legs, sending my aching stomach, heart and confused muddle of a head sky-ward. I didn’t believe things had run its course here. We had been unhappy in a quietly, resentful kind of way. I kept telling myself it would get better. Afterall I had just given birth to a human mere months ago. Our home had become a pressure cooker. A bubbling goulash of work, household duties, child wrangling, appointments and engagements. Of quiet despair. Of things left unsaid.

So here I am a day into the new year and I’m standing. Some days I’m still shaky and my mind threatens to betray me and send me toppling, but I am still standing. Mr P is standing too. He feels ripped up and remorseful. I know that to be true. We are talking better than we have for years. We are trying to have fun again. Little tiny baby steps. As we reconnect we wonder how we let things get this far. The quiet, simmering unhappiness, that nearly tore our family apart.

There is still a long way to go, but I believe we are in this together now – instead of each heading off to our individual caves of contemplation. The pressure cooker is turned down right now, but it’s what we do when it starts to heat up again that will make the difference. Our actions will define our strength. We’ve resolved not to do this alone but seek help with the issues we each have.

We both need to keep standing up, without fear, for this to work. To redefine and accept ourselves and each other in all our perfect imperfection. I look at my youngest boy, all esctatic grin standing up on his chubby baby legs, taking wobbly first steps as he holds onto the furniture and I know that it can be done. I just have to keep believing.

It feels a bit weird blogging about this when many of our family and friends don’t yet know about this, however I felt I could either bolt this issue behind the closed doors of our seemingly happy home or I can stand here behind my words and say sometimes marriages suck and hard times find us. It’s what we choose to do next that matters.