Do you know what true stability is?
For me, true stability is not having to worry about what will happen to my dog for a month straight. Just the assurance that he will be in good hands. True stability is the ability to have a peaceful dinner with my grandmother and aunt without being bombarded by text messages and calls from my estranged husband, Pierre, who is lost in Los Angeles and needs my assistance to get to where he needs to be because he doesn’t have GPS on his phone. True stability is my knowing that if I wanted to stay at home for a little while longer, that my husband wouldn’t threaten to abandon our apartment for the month and complain about how lonely he is. True stability.
Most times I have no clue if I love him or hate him.
This is what happens when I give him another chance to prove if he is worthy. I had the option of short-term pain in exchange for a lifetime of peace — or at least my own definition of peace — versus short-term happiness in exchange for a lifetime of headaches. Dependence. Mood swings. Fear. Anger. What the fudge?
I realize that Pierre is making an effort. He has been attending his Alcoholic’s Anonymous meetings, and he has spoken to a therapist on the phone (supposedly). However, two and a half weeks of clarity and self-improvement is not enough time to heal decades of psychological damage and addiction.
Hope. I want to believe that our love is strong enough to defy all odds, and I want to prove all my friends wrong about us. Sadly, homeboy doesn’t even respect me enough to grant me some time to myself after I text, “Please don’t contact me for tonight. I will talk to you tomorrow. I need to calm down.” Scratch that. He gave me 45 minutes before he broke. On the bright side, after I chewed him a new one through a series of frustrated follow-up texts, he chose to heed my advice. That’s a start.
Everything was going well, but after two days of respectful texts, emails, and phone exchanges, my husband decided that it would be great to plan a month-long trip to Miami to visit his friend.
Positives: He needs to be around friends, and it would be good for him to be around people who love him. His friend is clean — meaning no alcohol, no drugs, but mostly no alcohol to tempt him. My husband was practically begging me to understand his point of view.
Negatives: It disrupts his daily pattern. Does he really expect to go to meetings in Miami when his friend is there? That shit ain’t weird? Another thing — suddenly, I’m the one who needs to figure out what to do with our dog, and I’m 3000 miles away. Pierre tells me his family will be paying for his flight out of town. He’s a 30-year-old man, and he’s still depending on them to do that when he would be perfectly fine staying put? He doesn’t see that this just stirs everything up? The one part that pushed me over the edge was when he told me that he would be staying in Miami for up to one month.
What the hell does he want to do there for one month? Because he can’t be alone? Suck that shit up, fool. If the situation were switched, I would happily embrace loneliness and time to improve myself. I’ve done it before for three months, and I grew into a much more independent and stronger woman because of it.
He tells me that I don’t understand. I really do understand, but what I’m looking for is seriousness and stability without worrying for my dog’s well-being every single day. Who’s going to watch Bear when he’s gone? Pierre made a deal before I left with my mom that he was responsible enough to watch him. He was still a puppy of 8 months. My mom was silly and believed him, when I wanted to take Bear with us.
I understand Pierre’s point of view as well. Truly. It’s not fair that he is alone in our apartment with no knowledge of when I’m coming home. He thought I would come home sometime this week — but I made it clear to him that would not be the case. In reality, I was thinking of staying here for another three weeks. I get it, but right now, his time alone is the true test of his endurance, dedication, and loyalty.
My therapist saved me from going Hulk on Pierre by sharing some coping techniques for anger. If it weren’t for her “take a step back and pull yourself out of the anger mode” chat, I would have unleashed a scary beast on him via crazy text message rants. Instead, I pulled back, watched half an episode of Grimm, smoked a cigarette, showered, and washed the dishes. Hooray for self-improvement.
However, this erratic behavior is forcing me to second guess my decision to give him another chance. The smart decision would be cutting things off permanently and experiencing that short-term pain. However, looming around the back of my mind is this. Will the pain really be short-term? Or will I be suffering from lost and disappointed love for the rest of my life? Has he really changed this time around?
I am pretty sure I know the answer, but I don’t feel like admitting it to myself right now. I’m drained. Je suis fatigue. Bonne nuit.
(To start over and read from my first post, click here)