Part of the reason for such a long absence from (infertility) blogging is because we went on a hiking trip to M.or.occo for sixteen days. Then we (although I got it 10 times worse than my husband) contracted the Sh.ig.ella bacteria which took me to the emergency room with severe diarrhea (it was water, people) and dehydration. I got two bags of fluids and took three different antibiotics to get rid of the infection. Although we returned a month ago, I only started to feel better last week. Most people in my life received the censored, watered down (no pun intented) version of the hike and the ensuing illness but you, my dear IF folk, get the real story.
The trip was awful. I've received very complimentary comments from people saying how sporty/fit/adventurous/cool we are, but I'm here to say we are just foolish. I am not discounting the training and fitness required for the trip, I'm just saying I/we were able to endure. And that's all it took.
We had only five others on the trip; all British. Normally, I have no problem with Brits but this particular group was pretty bad. Anti-marriage, anti-wealth, anti-religion, anti-intellectualism, anti-the right to bear arms - all things I cannot tolerate. The sexual innuendos were out of control. One woman (leaving only me and E.lain.e) couldn't hang physically so she was asked to leave by our group leader. The rest of the group made fun of her everyday after her departure. I asked them to stop after the fourth day of that crap. "She can't do it - that's clear but why gossip and put her down? That's wrong."
The relationship with my husband deteriorated even further. He said I was difficult to get along with and the group was shunning US because I was too slow on the downhill portions of the trails. I had to literally beg him to be loyal and protective of me rather than side with the group (people we didn't know and would never see again.) Half-way through the trip, I told him and the guide and heck, the group that I wanted to leave. They all convinced me to stay saying I was more than capable of completing the trip. Physically, that was true. Emotionally was a very different story.
There were two incidents that really crushed any hope of the marriage working normally. Our first major downhill section (3,500 ft) was really tough. It's hard on everybody's knees. I don't care how fast or slow you go, joint pain is inevitable. My husband wanted to chase the muleteers so he and two others took off fast. I was able to keep up with them for the first twenty minutes. I then decided to rest more and slow down. I found out later that John had told my husband that I had dropped back. In fact, he did know himself because I was still on the mountain when I called to him down on the river bed.
The slow group (with our guide) was at least twenty minutes behind me. But I couldn't see or hear them at any point so I was alone. The trail was pretty clear (head to the river crossing) to the bottom of the canyon but after that, I had no information other than what the dossier had said, "we take our lunch under the welcome shade of trees near the river." You might think that north Africa is dry; it's not. There are plenty of waterways.
I got lost in the nearby village. I was scared. I didn't know where to go. I was then caught between waiting for the slow group (not knowing how far they were behind me) and desperately wondering why my husband didn't come look for me. I kept heading down. I trooped through some villagers' wheat fields. A woman was making noises at me as I tried not to look and keep walking.
I finally saw a mule near the river but couldn't be sure it was one of ours. There are lots of mules in Mor.occo. I finally spotted John, then El.ain.e, then my husband. He was facing away from me, towards the water, with his boots off, relaxing in the sun. I was livid.
I won't retell the epic fight we had. The resolution was that he acknowledged he did the wrong thing and wouldn't do it again. Famous last words.
This trip was billed as four, 4,000 meter peaks in the At.las mountains. I did the first peak just fine. The second required a major uphill slog after a 4:30 am wake-up call. Once we got up to the pass, it was another 1/2 hour down to the canyon. Those wanting to do the peak would climb up another mountain and go over several passes to the peak. I had told the guide a day earlier that I was not inclined to climb the peak. He told me that I didn't have to make an early decision: I could do that at the canyon.
Since I was the last to the canyon, the group waited all of two minutes to pack up and get back on the trail. They started to walk up the hill when I yelled, "Wait! I don't want to do the peak!" Our guide told the cook in Berber, "[take the blonde to camp]" which was just a half hour down the canyon. No one said a word to me at that moment - not even my husband. No one called after me. They just left.
When they got back to camp, another argument.
I decided that I could no longer trust my husband would give even the slightest thought to my well-being in these situations. I have, for many years, forgiven and forgot these situations but I just can't do that anymore. It's getting out-of-hand. And some of the situations we get into are inherently dangerous. Class 5 river rafting, racing his sport bike to 120 mph with me on the back, etc. But this is actually an important side story.
Two weekends ago, because he hadn't ridden the sport bike in weeks, we wanted to take it out. We needed to run some errands and I wanted to go with him. I like that bike. The fastest he will normally go for short periods of time is 80/85. On the way home, on a straight-a-way, he kept pulling back on the throttle. I could see that the speedometer was rising.
I was pretty nervous but not scared. In fact, I told a co-worker, my sister, and my husband's cousin what we did. Nobody reacted well. My sister thought it was reckless and said not to tell our parents. Cousin's reaction was the most telling. He said DH had told him that story but left out the fact that I was on the bike, too. I asked my husband why he omitted me from the story. He said that at the moment it seemed like a good idea to go that fast but in retrospect it was a stupid thing to do. He lied to his cousin, unbeknownst to me, about the speed because he knew if he told the truth, his cousin would think he was a reckless idiot who put his wife in needless danger.
Yesterday afternoon, I called my husband at work and asked him 1) what time he expected to be home? and 2) to please call me when he left work so I knew when to have dinner ready. I was home around 5:30. I didn't hear from him. At 6:45, I decided to go ahead and prepare dinner and eat. At 7:00 I called and he said he was a few minutes from leaving. He didn't get home until 8:39. The first words out of his mouth when he walked in the door were NOT, "I'm sorry." I was devastated. I felt completely used and dismissed and disrespected. I made a nice meal and he couldn't even call to keep me posted at any point. He just showed up.
This kind of behavior has been common since he started his new job. This morning, he finally said the words - "I have a hard time calling you and telling you what time I'll be home because I feel like I'm on a leash." I told him to think about the lease I'm on and if he wasn't willing to be simply decent, there was no point in continuing to live together as a married couple. He said we'd talk about it tonight.
I am highly inclined to move out. I can't continue to live with someone who doesn't care even a little to consider my feelings or my motivations. This is where we are.
We have a se.con.d house about 15 miles from our existing home. It sounds pompous, I know. However, it does provide an opportunity for me to get out of the torture of being a foolish wife waiting like an idiot for her man to show up.
Please understand: I've told these stories truthfully not to elicit pity or even prayer (not that I would ever reject it, believe me) but to be able to get this off my chest. Yes, I could privately journal and hell, I probably should have but I'd told you guys some of the challenges and thought it was fair to tell the rest.