(#1) Hi Emelia,
I have felt totally unfulfilled for the past two years. I fell in love with my fiance in January 2013 and I saw parts of him that seemed overbearing, smothering at first and I wanted to run in the opposite direction, screaming “danger, danger!”… And then in April that same year I found out I was 5 weeks pregnant. It was horrible, not holistic and earthy and meditatively serene like my first pregnancy. He disgusted me and turned me on in the same moment and all kinds of crazy would transpire when we were mad or scared or insecure.
He feels safe yet he irritates the shit out of me and for the last two years I have not worked and half-assed my business, my writing and my passions, as I have felt totally immersed in him, and his empty promises, not coming through, inconsistent in providing a home for our family… Oh, and lying, caught more than once ‘sexting’ exes and random young girls. I don’t trust him. I have gone through intense postpartum depression, anxiety attacks and hating myself for just ‘waiting’ for him. So…. My question to you is… I was given the opportunity to pursue a Masters- acupuncture program in California, moving in August, starting classes in September. Do I embark upon this new journey as his wife or do I enjoy the new start with my daughters and a renewed mind for self care?
(#2) Dear Emelia,
I’m 25, soon to be 26, and I have a one-year-old baby girl. My partner and I got together 3 years ago, just one year after he ended a 12 year marriage, which included 4 children. The wife took off, leaving all of their children in his care. He and I fell in love, hard, and shit got real, fast, and once the 6 month honeymoon wore off, things got rocky — he was emotionally unavailable due to his divorce and recent single-fatherhood of 4; I wanted more than he could give, which left me feeling perpetually unfulfilled and sad, so we broke up A LOT, but kept getting back together because I still loved him and I knew he loved me.
Anyway, shit got even more real when I found out I was pregnant only a year into our relationship but after many breakdowns and teary, heart-wrenching conversations, I decided to keep the baby and we both vowed to try to make it work.
And then something happened that I completely overlooked prior to moving in: I became the mother of not one, but 4 kids — three of which were dealing with some major emotional issues having just endured their parents’ divorce and the departure of their mother, and then the arrival of this other “mother” and their soon-to-be half sister or brother — WOW. So yeah, life became REALLY hard, REALLY fast for everyone. After taking a month off to stay home with me after the baby was born, my partner returned to work and he worked a lot because our rent was astronomical, which left me home alone a lot with no vehicle, no friends, just a brand new baby, and around 2 pm the other kids would come trickling in and all hell would break loose. I was up to my eyeballs in stress/postpartum depression. Life was hellish and our relationship suffered BIG time and became really unhealthy. I experienced a lot of resentment towards my partner in regards to his “freedom” — freedom to leave the house, to exist out in the world and not be chained to the home-sphere. And so as my resentment for him grew, he became cold and distant and many fights ensued.
Finally, I started toying with the idea of leaving, of getting an apartment in the city and becoming a single mother. I felt like it was either I do that or die.
And then…it happens: my partner has an emotional break-through, an “epiphany” where he realizes that FINALLY he is over his ex-wife and is ready to move on and REALLY be with me. He apologized profusely for letting me down before, getting cold feet, for keeping me at “a distance” for so long — pretty much everything I had been dying to hear for the past three years. He booked a plane ticket to get over me. So then…I let him in. I let my heart get the best of me -and finally settled on giving it ONE. LAST. SHOT.
*All I want is for us is to be able to live together, just me and him and our baby — secretly, this is all I have ever wanted, I love his kids but I am also selfish and do not want to have to take care of them full-time EVER again. They have their own emotional u-hauls that I simply cannot unpack. I tried, but the weight nearly killed me.
My question is: Can we make this work or am I as crazy as I think I am?
I highlighted the words in your letters that stuck out to me and a lot of the bolded words from both letters are the same. I’m not putting these two letters together to save time, I want you to see how similar you are to another woman, how normal it is that you are feeling how you do.
That being said…you gals both gotta get the fuck out.
1. Life is hard. There is so much pain. People you love will die. You will be poor. You will get sick. Lots of horrible things could happen at any minute. And a partner cradles you through this. Your partner is a soft place for you to fall. Your partnership is the only thing in the world where you know you are always safe. Go find that partner.
2. Relationships don’t have to be this dramatic and complicated. Especially when you have kids. Where’s the time to fight and if you’re gonna fight it better be about some Goddamned shit you can work through like “you use too much toilet paper.” Now you’re dealing with emotional infidelity on top of isolation and post partum depression and anxiety. HOLY FUCK. Too. Much. Drama. Mama.
3. You both have opportunity. To start anew. You have things you want to do. Go do them. This has taken up too much of your time and it hasn’t proven worthy.
4. I have a personal rule that if you break up more than once then the relationship is doomed. Dire I know, but true. Also, every person I’ve met (including myself) who was scared to leave their “bad boy” and dragged it out for waaaayyy too long, met their soulmate/husband soon after they finally broke free. (This is initiative for you!) It sounds like your well has been poisoned. There was fresh water at the beginning and you both drank from it and it fed you, but then every time you fought a bit of poison was dropped into the well. And now, the well is fully poisoned. There is no fixing a poisoned well. You have to board it up and dig somewhere else.
5. This flip/flopping is not cool for the kids. Coming from a woman who’s parents broke up when I was a baby- it’s ok. I’m ok. My mother modeled self-love by being self-sufficient. She’d rather be alone than be miserable- and that’s a great thing to teach a kid. Also, they are more important than you; so for *Mama #2 who loves her hubby’s kids but never wants to live with them again. They need their dad’s love more than you do- so if you aren’t willing to share him you have to go.
Wow. This is a real opinion isn’t it?
Coles notes: Your love should never be offered to the mouth of a stranger. Only to someone who has the valor and daring to cut pieces of their soul off with a knife then weave them into a blanket to protect you.– Hafiz