He exploded again Monday night. It was a small one, but an outburst nonetheless; and in front of our daughter too. The worst part was it was over things that were absolutely trivial. Yes, those trivial things may have made him feel a certain way, I will not deny that much, but they were not something I, or anyone else, would say was explosion worthy. The short version of events was that he was playing 14 and queued for a raid in progress, when he got in he commented that it was probably a failed run. I didn't have much to say to that, I think I may have made a "mmm" sound, but I don't know for sure, maybe not; I was looking through Netflix for something to watch as I am still sick and not feeling like doing too much. He then asked me if I wanted to watch the final boss fight of the raid now that I understand how the mechanics work, I told him, "No, thank you. Maybe another time." I continued looking through Netflix (yes I am picky apparently) and then he brings up a topic about the new unstable magic set coming out that was on Reddit about a school poster/PSA thing with gears. Well he started, as far as I could tell with the poster, so when I didn't understand we researched the gear thing. Once I understood that and acknowledged as much I went back to Netflix, but then he brought up an unstable card trying to explain the gear thing again and I got really confused. My confusion made him visibly frustrated and I couldn't understand why. When I tried to ask about it he started to go off on me a little. I was ignoring him, I wasn't conversing with him, I wasn't understanding him. None of these things, I felt were true, and they were certainly not my fault. I didn't get it or appreciate the animosity I felt so I got up to put my dinner dishes away to cool off and think and that's when he started yelling and slammed his controller down so hard on his desk it bounced and fell. He then wanted apologies from me for making him feel ignored, apologies for not having anything to say or not saying I didn't have anything to say. It was ridiculous. I didn't feel I had treated him that way, and I certainly didn't feel I did anything actually wrong. I did my best to not only usher our daughter into her bath quickly to remove her from the immediate situation, but to also try to get through to him how DONE I am with this behavior. We'd gone over once or twice that I was pretty uninterested in the Un-sets of magic, yet he keeps wanting to talk about them with me. I tried to convey to him that I felt we were talking alright. It wasn't a riveting conversation, no, but I didn't feel like I was ignoring him, brushing him off, etc. And when I was confused over the whole gear topic I not only acknowledged that maybe he wasn't explaining things right, but that I also didn't blame him for it if he was. I was just confused and that is not something that was either of our faults. I have been decently sick since last Sunday (possibly Saturday night) so I am not at my best. I admit that. That is not something someone who cares about me should be faulting me for and asking me to apologize for. He did a 180 on me when I wasn't backing down or calming down so I have no idea how much I got through to him. I have no idea if he has a clue how close he is to losing both of us because I can't take it anymore. My "love tank" as one of the self-help books we were given coins it is practically on empty. I'm not asking him to shower me with gifts we can't afford and to go out to eat all the time. However, when we sit down to watch TV together most of the time I don't really get cuddled, I get feet on my lap. Most of the time when we go out I have to be the one to grab his hand to hold because he doesn't grab mine at all. His job has been hellacious lately and he's been sick and exhausted, I get that. I am long over due for my prednisone shot for my ears, not to mention been dealing with a sinus infection or something and not sleeping as well. We're both spent lately, and I get that, but I'm not going to apologize for things I didn't do, or shouldn't have to anymore, and I am not going to put up with that outburst behavior anymore. I can only hope he truly understands that, because I do have a trip planned to FL for my sister's wedding, and according to the attorney I spoke to back in April, we aren't married, so unless someone takes it to court I can take my daughter back to FL with me. That is a worst case scenario, mind you. I would much prefer to work things out and/or do things the right way. I am at my wits end though with what else I can do. It's pretty much on him to "grow up" in certain ways.
The red flags are starting to come up again. It feels like not long after the lease was re-signed that things started to trickle back into the same old issues; the same old habits. There is no denying that I care for him, and some part of me does love him. Yet not enough of me does anymore. I feel like his idea of a partner is a mom and a cheerleader and I can't be that. Especially for someone who can't manage to try and take care of himself beyond the minimum amount of effort and time. His weight is bothering him again and while it doesn't diminish his physical attractiveness to me, it diminishes his overall attractiveness when he constantly wants ME to remind him to exercise, he wants ME to make him eat healthy, he wants ME to do everything WITH him because it's more motivating to him that way. He wants to log it all on a spreadsheet he barely looks at himself for days/weeks at a time. I just don't want to anymore. It feels self-defeating to try. Experience has taught me that our bio-rhythms do not sync up, and while that's not a make or break thing usually it makes it hard to do the things he wants to do when he wants to do them. He wants sex usually at 3am, I don't want it until 6am or noon. He wants to be forced to work out after he's been home for a couple hours and that time is never consistent; it can be anywhere between 4pm and 7pm. My workout mojo (I guess it's called) is first thing in the morning or early afternoon. I also have no control over what he eats when he's at work 10-15 hours a day. I just don't really cook for him anymore. I can on the weekends, but that's not enough to help get his weight under control. I just don't want to hold his hand anymore, especially since we almost never hold hands romantically anyway. Cuddling to him is having his feet on my lap with me massaging them. I rarely get the more normal kind of cuddling. His behaviors are also starting to be mimicked by our daughter, for example he doesn't like kissing me when I have lip gloss on, that's fine, but his reaction when it does happen is one of comic disgust. Now our daughter does it to me every time I try to kiss her. That doesn't make me feel good. I already feel disparity in love with him, I don't need or want to feel like that with my daughter too. Granted, deep down I know better, but it doesn't make me feel good all the same. I feel like it's a long road ahead of me since we signed another lease. I also feel like all the answers have been staring me in the face this whole time and I just kept clinging to hope in vain.
So, we may be making some progress. He had a mini breakdown yesterday which was not exactly my doing. Yes I was bothered yesterday; I kept making little mistakes that bothered me and my stomach was being touchy. Both of those were a) no one's fault and b) gotten over in an hour or two (give or take). Still he stressed himself out to the point of tears over it. I feel bad in a way that he's this nervous, but in a way it's also good because it means he realizes we still need work. I did say WE mind you, I made some boo-boos the last couple days myself (and over all too). We laid together in bed talking things out. He's asked for a little more responsibility (he's actually been doing decent with the bit he already was given) and I am happy to oblige. He wants to cook more now. Granted, there are only 2-3 days a week he can (weekend mainly) which is fine; I still enjoy cooking. So I'm starting to shape a bit more of a menu now since there are going to be days where it won't be me cooking now. Yesterday laying with me he said he wants so badly to make me happy, and I do believe him. Not all the times I'm unhappy are his or anyone else's doing though. Sometimes it's just the wrong side of the bed sort of thing. He also said he wants to get better at cheering me up too, whether it's his fault or not, and I appreciate that a lot. I'm not 100% sure yet how to direct him there, but I think we can figure it out over time. All of this is giving me more hope for this relationship. I am very happy about that, truly. We still need some work, no denying that, but I feel a little more secure than I have been in months. Not 100% secure, I still have to keep things moving for the better, but more than I have been. Now I just need to get back on track with other things like tracking my spending, when I need the next prednisone injection and what I'm going to do about hearing aids. We have a beautiful family here, we truly do. We're just very awkward right now. Hopefully we can pull through this stronger.
Yesterday was another argument that left me in tears and feeling unloved. I left for work and came home to reports of how well Delilah did with flash cards and workbooks, chores being done and him trying like hell to find the card sleeves I originally wanted. A complete 180 from what I left for work. Effort is good and wanted, and I'm not saying, nor do I believe, that I am guiltless. I just wish effort didn't have to come at such a price. I even told him yesterday, amid tears, that when things are going good we are a beautiful family. Perhaps that sunk in, I don't know. He also managed to find better explanations online about the whole "you is an attack word" thing. It's actually more than that it turns out, and it was helpful. Maybe this is just a rough patch for us and we'll figure out how to come out of it fine or better; I just don't know yet. I am still here trying though. The ring has not yet come off my finger. It may be more than my loved ones feel he deserves, but I have to do everything I possibly can before a life changing decision can be made; it's not just my life that would change. Still, the back and forth we're going through is, in itself, unsettling. I'm still not sure what to think, but I at least understand better one of the major things he's been trying to tell me. He's had access this whole time to look it up, still, better late than never I suppose.
He made a considerable effort to make up for what happened in the last post, but I still feel wary/confused/like shit. I don't know what to do. I still feel like I'm having to jump through hoops for little to no reward. He hasn't said a word about my new purse, it was an early birthday gift from my boss and coworker, sure, but he hasn't even acknowledged it. I'm sure that's another one of his "great efforts" to make things better or whatever way you want to put it, but I get the feeling it's just another thing eating at him inside that will come out at me when he explodes with stress again. I feel like I'm doing my best not to let that happen, but I also feel everything I'm doing is getting nowhere.
I seriously don't know what to think. We had a good day today and then it ends on a really sour note. I tried to bring up something I felt wasn't handled right and provided how to handle it differently and I get, AGAIN, "your tone" "you don't understand" "we're fighting". I dropped it for the sake of our daughter as well as each other, but THEN I get cold shouldered when he goes to bed. Walks past me, says good night to our daughter, kiss and I love you, then walks past me again and I get nothing. I was NOT upset before that, concerned at his repetitive reaction, yes, but not upset. After that display and his reaction when I asked/confronted him (because in my emotional state right now idr which I did) I AM UPSET. If you truly love someone then you don't "pick and choose" when you say so/feel that way. That is what I have felt happening every time things like this happen and he cold shoulders me. "He doesn't love me right now". That's not how it is, not how it's supposed to be. When you're mad you still say I love you, you just also say I need some time to cool down. I'm still trying, even against everyone's better judgement.
It's been MAYBE a week since I pushed everyone away while I try to deal with/figure out how to deal with this relationship. This past weekend was nothing but abnormally good which makes me wary. I want to hope, but I still don't feel confident in doing so. Has anything really changed? Are we just going to fall back into the same patterns and never get anywhere therefore never making good on promises we've made in the past. Apparently we still have credit card debt on his end that I thought he took a grand of our tax returns to put towards. Maybe he did, I don't know, but he was talking to his father about it last we visited like it was still a HUGE hurdle. All I can do on my end is keep my spending based on my paychecks. I let myself go a bit these past two weeks honestly because I needed to vent somehow. I only overspent it seems by $40 which is not horrible, but it's set my spending back a week so food will be low end and leftovers for the next week. This month is amazingly clear of doctor appointments (save any that may come up as needed) so I will be able to balance my time a little better this month and get back on doing audits. Sadly my daughter lost her speech therapy appointments for this month because I was consistently unable to make the 8 am appt time. Our morning schedule is hard right now since my daughter doesn't get up until 6:30~7 am and then takes at minimum an hour to eat. I even tried getting breakfast out on our way to the appt but she refused to eat anything out. Since I'm struggling with her eating right now I chose to lose the speech appts in favor of getting them later for a more reasonable time for us. I thought I could make 8 am happen, but it turned out between her food struggles and morning traffic I was unable to make it happen three times in a row. Last night he was going through his Riku deck and, I think, seeing which cards he needs more duplicates of for "tokens". When I said I thought that would be a wast of his credit, he should want to save and use it toward bettering or constructing new decks he told me this deck was his baby, it deserved special treatment. When I asked about his other two babies he immediately thought I was talking about other magic decks, when I corrected him he said "you guys get privileges too." Of that I don't doubt, but I was suspicious of what he thought those privileges were so I asked. The response I got was "Well, I don't pay for tips at restaurants for other people." How do I even interpret that? I was raised that you went out to eat you tipped the server accordingly, unless they were really bad and then you don't tip (which has been a rare occurrence for me). That was just something you did, like pay taxes, check your oil, etc. It's not something I would consider a privilege for your fiance and daughter....Immediately he thought I was mad at his response. I wasn't, and I told him so, but I also told him that response didn't make any sense to me. Afterwards I still gave him a back massage, talked to him about FFXIV and Magic. I wasn't overly affectionate, but I was certainly not mad/cold either. I just, don't know. At one point yesterday evening he said he was mad at himself at that response, but whether he sweeps it under the rug and forgets or figures out how to amend it or change it and make it better is anyone's guess. His track record is the former. My boss and my new coworker got together and got me a surprise birthday gift (early) and it was the purse I found on ebay of chip and dale when my coworker and I were looking at purses together a few weeks back. Since the purse they got me, I remembered, was comparable in price to the current black one I had that my coworker had been fawning over I gave her my black purse as a gift back. I can still only hope that my fiance can finally get me something I have been wanting for almost a year now. I was even willing to combine it into a combination birthday/Christmas gift since it was a "higher" price tag until he spent that amount of money on himself for his birthday without batting an eye. Personally I don't care that he got himself what he did, what I do care about is that you're supposed to do for others that you truly care about the same as you do for yourself. If he's willing to spend over $50 on a Magic card, over $60 on an expansion for an online game and then ~$50 for dinner out then he should be willing to do the same for me and our daughter on our birthdays without batting an eye (or a complaint). Now, I know he beat himself up a lot over the $50 dinner and that ended up being a "fight" between us even though all I was trying to do was point out beating himself up wasn't necessary and that it was his choice to a) go out to eat and b) his choice of restaurant. That was not the consolation he was looking for from me the next morning so it ended up, in his eyes, escalating into a fight. What made matters worse was I had gotten a mutual between us involved that had a track record of being very objective but this last time he only got his side of the story, not mine, and basically told my fiance that his behavior and interpretations were fine, it was me. Needless to say I apologized to the mutual for getting him involved and told him to stay out of it from now on since I didn't appreciate what he did and it was apparently causing more stress on his marriage anyway. My friends and family have, essentially, had enough of listening to me because they are all of the mind to just end things because people like my fiance don't change. I do recognize that if he can't change some things it's not fair to me and our daughter to turn a blind eye/think this kind of behavior is OK when it isn't. So far the two people in his family that I have managed to talk to, his grandmother on his father's side and his father, are both in agreement with me based on how much they know of him. He needs to grow up in some ways and learn how to be better in others or it isn't fair to any of us. They want to believe in him too, but given that he's 30 now and apparently hasn't changed at all yet in those regards and his mother never changed they are very aware that he may not and it's just sad. There's a good person inside him, but that good person doesn't want to work to succeed at his own goals. It's easier to sit on his ass playing video games until things fall into his lap. For example, if either his dad or his grandmother GIVE him their house, when Delilah starts actual school I can work more and THEN we'll hopefully make enough to start paying the student loans that are currently keeping us from even qualifying for a house here. Then there's also moving further out so we pay less in rent but pay more in gas to work, I don't even know if those prices are comparable to be honest. I know I drive an economical vehicle, I THINK he might too. I know his car is not a gas guzzler like my best friend's is so an extra tank of gas every month (or two) might still save us more money for x or y if we're paying less than a grand a month for most things. I don't know. His unwillingness to open his mind on certain things, behaving like certain things are so set that it's not worth looking into because he knows he's right when it comes to big things like this keeps coming across as a cop out, as being lazy or stubborn. I do hold in my mind that he could be right, I'm trying not to be closed-minded myself, but it makes it hard when the other person behaves that way. It makes you wonder just how much is them being right or how much of them is just being lazy/stubborn. Without doing everything, including the math, myself I can't really know. However, to reach the point where I am doing everything myself I might as well be on my own because then we're not a team anyway.
Today is my fiance's birthday and I do have a couple things planned. I got him a card/present, I am cooking lasagna with garlic bread for dinner and I got him a maple bar donut for his "cake". It's not much, but I have no idea what else to do/have little interest in doing much more. I already feel like this is even more than I will get come my birthday (if we make it that far, I don't know). He's getting the gift he asked for, a meal he likes made for him and even a treat I know he likes once in a while. I haven't gotten any of that in a while. I still feel that I won't even get what I really want for my birthday (even though I'm willing to combine holidays for it because I know it's on the expensive side). I still feel like he will "reason" his way out of getting it AGAIN. Do I know if this will actually happen? No. I understand that I am worrying/resenting prematurely and thus am getting it out here so I can find a way to work past it and focus on other things. Another thing that's been bothering me is now that he's making an effort to take our daughter out for a couple hours on Saturdays all of a sudden all the things we couldn't do because "we can't afford it" or "it's a waste of money" are being done....without me. I doubt this is on purpose in the sense of maliciousness, but this very irritating for me. I'm restricted to spending little to no money on activities because of the aforementioned reasons, but now that HE has to take care of her outside of the house for an extended period of time those things are on the table for him? The first weekend he took her to Chuck-E-Cheese's and some other similar style establishment. I think they only visited the first and left when it wasn't what he was looking for and actually spent the time and money at Chuck's. Regardless that was a first time experience for our daughter that I had to choose to miss out on for the sake of our relationship. Last weekend we ended up babysitting Makenna so we all went to the zoo, paid for, graciously, by her parents. So I chose not to have my alone time because I felt he wouldn't have handled two kids on his own too well. The zoo trip would have likely been a lot shorter than it was too. Regardless, even though it was paid for by someone else, that was ANOTHER activity that would have been done that he's expressed in the past we "can't/shouldn't" do. This Saturday he wants to find and take her to a community pool. Something he will have to pay for to get in to. Now, that one is not exactly a "first" for her. Our previous apartment complex had a pool we would go to in the summer. So, in that regard I am OK with that activity, but in another regard here is another activity that will have to be paid for that he's willing to do, but I am still restricted to free activities such as the park or the mall or if there's anything else I can find/manage. He can't do the free stuff, he claims, because he gets bored too quickly. I suggested taking and playing his DS then to help with that, but that wasn't good enough. I know things take time to change/get better, but his patterns he loves to talk about so much have set expectations in a not so good place. He may or may not realize it, I don't know. All I know is that this may intentionally be one of his efforts to help our relationship, but is unintentionally putting yet another strain on it in a different way. I am doing my best to give things time, but everyone I have talked to/knows about things all feel I've given him way more time then he deserves already. I will do my best to keep trying though, we do have that couples counseling appt coming in July. It's very hard for me still, especially when he likely feels/thinks he's doing a fantastic job. He's making some slow progress, I'll give him that, but it's not as much as he seems to think it is.
I was finally able to reach someone on his side of the family to let them know what's been and is going on for me and my fiance. Will it help? Unlikely, but I feel better knowing SOMEONE knows on his side because they would otherwise be blindsided if I make the final decision to leave. His grandmother (which is who I was able to speak to) was surprised to hear some of what's been happening. She did say that based on her experience and what I was telling her it sounded a lot like what everyone went through with my fiance's mother. She told me a little more about his sister and how her and her husband had to gently work with her through these obstacles, but they never saw any displays quite like what I have been experiencing. They honestly thought he was just as bad off as she was and that is clearly not the case. I explained to her the things I have tried to do to help, how I shouldered everything before and now I'm trying to make him shoulder some things (not everything) and how neither seem to alleviate his constant state of stress and procrastination. How he handles people in social situations has resulted in him no longer having friends or people he sees. It's become just me (and our daughter). When I explained what happened last Easter she was floored. That was exactly his mother's behavior. She made the decision to not tell her husband because she knew how much it would hurt him that he hurt his grandson like that and he would thereafter never be himself again around him; i.e. the walking on eggshells I have been dealing with for years. She offered to babysit for our couple's counseling appt in July, which was very nice. If he continues to refuse to grow and make the changes in his routines for our sake (mine and his daughter's) then I will choose to go. I know these changes are not easy ones for someone who is so set in his ways, but they are also not hard ones. They are necessary for the betterment of our family as a whole. Breaking up his online game play and youtube watching intermittently for activities with his daughter, activities that are not all video game related, is exceedingly necessary for our daughter's growth. I am not telling him he has to stop doing these things entirely, I am just telling him he needs to take breaks and do more age appropriate and interactive things with his daughter. I am also not saying our daughter can't play video games, but I am saying they can't be ALL he does with her. That's not helping her growth with speech or social skills. I not only don't want her as stunted as he is but I won't let her be that stunted. If he can't grow with her then she will grow without him. Sad as that is, I have to think of our betterment. Telling me these explosions are who he is and he will likely keep having them is unacceptable. Everyone blows up in different ways, that much is true, but not everyone lets themselves stay at a constant elevated rate of stress so those explosions keep happening. Turning consistently to MMOs and youtube for hours on ends to "de-stress" isn't the answer either. Last Mother's Day he spent all day here with our daughter playing an MMO all day (I was at work) while our daughter played alone in her room. For an hour or two is ok, it's good that she can entertain herself, but all day is not only unnecessary it's bad. I don't want that happening anymore. I want more for both of us. I want him to get out of whatever rut it is he's in (if that is it, I don't know) and start making things happen for himself too. We all deserve better, I'm just still not convinced if we're going to achieve that as a family if things can't start and continue changing. This year is still my deadline.
The more I think about things the worse they really are. Not that I shouldn't think about things, it just makes me more sad/distressed at how wrong they really are. I talked to my other sister this morning. It started as mom advice because my kid is in the pushing stage, but it ended up talking about how her relationship with her husband worked. My current relationship (as it is and has been apparently) has little trust, almost no respect at this point and in my eyes he isn't functioning as a father should function. I hate to compare, but when other people can accomplish even a little more than he does it makes me question. He sees it as comparing or "it not a competition" or "not everyone's the same" which the last two are true, but he is not being the father he thinks he is. He is being a "father" when it's needed (as in discipline) and when it's convenient (when he isn't too tired to be). My sister's husband works twelve hour days, five days a week, and STILL comes home and does things with his daughter until bed. Granted, I am sure not all of that time is devoted to his daughter alone, but some is everyday and Derek isn't even managing that. Derek has worked 12-16 hour days before, and does once in a while. Personally I don't expect him to be a model father those days because yes, he is tired. However there have been days he's been off at 11 or 1 and has ample time with her while I work and still barely manages much time with her, let alone constructive time like flash cards or reading or playing with toys and creating dialogue. I'm still pushing for the counselling, but it really is feeling doomed to me. I am really missing my family at this point. This is so sad for me, but I can't help him any more than I already have. If he continues to see/do things in the ways that he has then he will never see things wrong and thus never fix them. I have been working as hard as I can on my things, and I am working on Delilah's things too. I'm reaching the point where all I care about is her when it comes to certain things; like food. I make what I like/think she might eat and if he eats it too, great. If not, he's an adult and can/should fend for himself at that point. I can't let up, I need to keep fighting for betterment for all of us; even if it means we go our separate ways.