Sometimes when it is broke, you can’t fix it

Each session was harrowing, and I ended up either crying in the session or as I left.  As I am a natural talker about my emotions, and Kennith carries his cards pretty close to his chest, I found myself talking and talking and just blah blah blah – my friend Alice calls it emotional vomiting.

The result was that I felt there was this HUGE spotlight on me for each session and I just wanted to move some focus on to Kennith.  He would just sit there and listen. When the therapist would try to engage him, he would have a short answer and the focus would revert back to me.  I found it exhausting and did not find that we were making any real progress.  We just never seemed to get to the nitty-gritty of the problems.

In my mind I had rationalized that Kennith’s attitude was  that, if I only changed the way I behaved and my expectations, to come in line with his, then things would be great.  It felt like there was pressure on me to change and conform and adjust, but there was no pressure on him to do anything of the sort.

Many of my issues were wrapped up in emotional baggage, that I could not explain or express in neat logical point lists.  I often felt that “I wanted” or “I needed” something, but did not feel that those reasons were being validated.  Kennith is very logical and likes things in a list with definite pro’s and con’s.  He struggles with raw emotion as a decider in an argument – while my engines run on raw emotion.

The final straw came when we went out one evening.  We had agreed that it was his turn to drive, which meant that I could have more than two glasses of wine.  Maybe the fact that this was a Food and Wine Fair might have added some undue pressure.

After two drinks he decided to have some whiskey and some more whiskey, and was not really showing any signs of stopping.   I felt the only option was for me to stop at two, or both of us would be unable to drive.

I got really annoyed.  I felt he could not be relied on.  I felt he could not be trusted to stick to an agreement.  I felt that everything was about him, and what I wanted or needed was irrelevant when push came to shove.    Clearly there were more issues here than just us going to the Food and Wine Festival.

It is funny that is how women rationalize, discuss and argue.  It is never about the dishes being left, or the toilet seat not being put down.  There are bigger issues at play, and all the guy hears is “toilet” and “dishes.”  For us by the time we ask for something, it is a much more loaded argument.

I felt that we could not go out and have a decent evening.  We actually just did not want to be in each other’s company any more.  I am talking for myself, but that is how it seemed from Kennith’s actions, and from my point of view I really did not enjoy his company anymore.

A few days before this incident I had gone to visit a lawyer who specialized in divorce, as I wanted to know where I stood.  We were unmarried and had two kids, I had no idea what the laws was and what would happen in the event of us going our separate ways.

I had also met with an estate agent and gone to view alternate places to live.  My situation was quite bleak and I felt this was all going to implode really quickly, and needed to start making emergency plans.  Again my natural character of feeling better when I am doing something, rather than standing and just watching the situation and feeling helpless.

The day after the Food and Wine Fair incident, I sent Kennith an email – and cc’d our therapist – basically saying that I think we had gone as far as we could, and I wanted out.

I really had had enough, and felt that I could not communicate that verbally without getting very emotional and not being able to remain objective.

I knew that financially I would not be able to take the kids with me and move out.  I had mulled this point around for days in my mind, and really tried to work out all the possibilities of how this was going to work.

At this point, all I could think was “I need to get out” – I just could not see us fixing this and I felt like I could not bear another day in this situation.

I came from a pretty deprived situation, where my mother was out at work all the time, and had absolutely no time or urge to spend any time with us.  I felt that I did not want to be so pulled into the pressures of earning a living to support my kids, that I would not be able to spend any time with them, and have to rely on after care facilities and permanent daycare arrangements.

I calculated that I would need to work two jobs to support myself and them – and I felt that Kennith and I would not have an amicable separation. I had not discussed this with him, nor how far this had progressed on my side, so I had no real idea of how he would react or what his support would be, but I was fairly sure based on our present situation that things would be drastically strained and I would not be able to present a list of demands and have them met.

I had ruminated over this endlessly, and run this every possible permutation.  I did not want to leave Connor and Georgia, and had spent many weeks crying over it – but I felt that I had no choice.  If I took them with me to make me feel better, it would disrupt their lives, they would end up staying at aftercare until 6pm as I would not be able to afford someone at home.  It was all a waking nightmare!!!

On the evening of the Food and Wine Fair, whilst sitting outside waiting for Kennith and getting angrier and angrier, I had decided that if the worst was that I moved out, and left the kids with Kennith .  If that was the hardest decision I was going to make, then I needed to make it now and not let it stand in the way of getting out of this hell.  I was dying, and this situation showed no signs of getting any better.

I figured that at least the kids would have stability in their day and a safe home environment.  I had no idea how it would work and what it would really feel like having to leave them.  I knew that right now I just needed to get space between myself and Kennith and do it with as few casualties as possible.

Kennith was not a bad father, he was a little absent, but maybe when he took full responsibility for the kids he would change.

Once I accepted that as being the most difficult decision I had to make, and I made it, suddenly I could cope.

Leave a comment


  1. This is how I feel right now. I don’t want out, I just want our situation to change and I want HIM to change it. I am angry at him all the time. I have been angry at him for two years and he doesn’t seem to notice and/or care. We had a chat Sunday evening and the contempt he had for me shocked me. It shocked me that HE seemed to be angry at ME. We need some serious counseling, I just don’t know where to go in this small time plus he works away from home so is hardly ever home.

    • reluctantmom

       /  June 29, 2010

      You know I remember that hell that that period was … it was truly the closest I have got to off’ing myself. I could not have been more bleak and more at the end of my resources.

      I really have no words of wisdom …. I am sorry …. I wish I did … I still look back and wonder how we survived it. But … here’s the but …. we did survive … we went on to have a better relationship, agreed to have a third child, survived that and decided to get married.

      If you asked me then would I be where we are now … today … I would have laughed in your face!!!

  2. Awesome blog!

    I thought about starting my own blog too but I’m just too lazy so, I guess Ill just have to keep checking yours out.

  3. Nicky

     /  October 16, 2009

    “In my mind I had rationalized that Kennith’s attitude was that, if I only changed the way I behaved and my expectations, to come in line with his, then things would be great”

    This is exactly exactly exactly how I feel at the moment, and how it’s always been in my relationship- If there are arguments, it’s usually because I start them, I dont let things go, etc etc. BUT TELL ME HOW NOT TO NAG WHEN HE DOES SOMETHING THAT UPSETS ME??!!!!

    My colleague and I have been discussing this very thing for weeks now. Its apparently a man thing. They hate nagging, and being with us when there are issues, yet their actions provoke these responses!!!!!!!!


  4. Tania

     /  October 15, 2009

    I feel for you – I was in the same situation when Ethan was born to 6 months old – I did leave Ethan’s Dad when Ethan was 7 months – living with Ethan, no real family nor friend support close by as I was living in Gauteng, all what I knew as friends and family lived in Cape Town – Ethan went to a daymother full day, my life revolved around Ethan and work, weekends it was He and I – and know what… I was happier than I ever was during my pregnancy and the 1st 6 months of Ethan’s life… even though I was battling with a highly pressurised job and “yuppie flu” (Epsom Barr virus) which most days completed debilitated me

  5. Mandy

     /  October 15, 2009

    shame my friend(I feel I can call you that already), seems like this was really the end of the line for you. What a tough decision about the kids but seemed the best option. This happened to a friend of mine as well and it turned out to be a happy ending thank goodness. Carry on writing, I look forward to it everyday!


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