Tuesday, July 2, 2013


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.


  1. The other day you came to mind about 4pm in the afternoon as I was doing some work on the computer for one of my bookkeeping jobs. At that moment, I felt compelled to stop what I was doing and pray for you and your marriage.

    It is painful to read this post as I want so much for things to get better between you two. I know I have never met you or your husband in person, but I count you as a friend and I never like watching a friend suffer. Please know of my continued prayers.

    Oh, and Morocco - really? Wow. I am in awe. Just in awe. However, your stories about the peaks and mountains did remind me of the one time I was in the Middle East back in 2005. I visited Israel and Egypt. Our tour group rode camels / hiked up Mt. Sinai in the early morning to be able to view the sunrise at the top of Mt. Sinai. It was crazy and looking back it probably wasn't one the smartest things I ever did, but it was pretty cool.

  2. Glad you are physically feeling better...that bacteria sounded horrible. Ugh. I guess that's a risk when one travels to foreign lands. Was it the water or something in the food you ate? Interesting trip.

    Wow...your hubby is something else. From what you said, he sounds like a complete ass. Why he didn't stay with you is beyond comprehension. Is he really that insensitive? Did he help you out while you were sick and in the hospital?

    I'm not an advocate of divorce at all. I do think for some couples it's an easy way out and it avoids a lot of work. You and your dh need to work this out. I suggest counseling...preferably someone Catholic with good morals view that can direct the both of you. If the therapist feels moving into that other house while you two sort this out is a good idea...then do that. Marriage is work and all marriages go through rough times...it's inevitable. Really. You married him for many reasons. Think about the good times and try not to dwell on the negative. I have to do that myself.

    That's my two cents....I do wish you and your dh well and I will offer prayers up for the both of you.

  3. I'm not sure what to think about all this. On the one hand, your marriage is important and you don't want to throw it away when it could be saved. On the other hand, you can't be married to someone who doesn't care about your well-being. If I could rewrite the context from scratch, I could put my finger on his behavior easily: this is a man married in the last six months who loved the idea of marriage in theory but can't get his head around the fact that he is now part of a team, and that the loss of carefree bachelor-hood is not a loss, but a gain. My husband and I had CONSTANT screaming fights when we were first married because I would spend time (and some of our very limited money) making us a nice dinner to enjoy together and he NEVER called, ignored my calls, and showed up hours and hours after his last appointment was over. This happened night after night, and I cried my face off for months. It took me repeating this to myself many, many times before it sank in: expect nothing, and you won't be disappointed. If he didn't show up when I was planning to make dinner - I threw something in the fridge for him to put in the microwave (hey, or not) and ran to the thrift store as my little treat, headed out to hang out with my girlfriends, went to the library, did the grocery shopping, went for a run, watched some TV he doesn't enjoy, or any other of the ten million things I would want to do on MY time (as opposed to OUR time). Eventually, he figured out that if he wanted a hot meal, he had to show up when he said he was going to.

    Long-term, I know we plan our time much more independently than other married couples (of course, most of those people have kids). But I think we're both happy with how we're allocating our time - we both work, we both have a lot of side projects, we have some friends in common and some of our own friends. I don't make dinner for us to eat together, since we have different work schedules and I don't usually eat dinner anyway. But if I asked him when he expected to be home, unless he really couldn't figure it out, he would tell me (and I would do likewise). As you know, that's not obeying the other person, it's just providing enough information for that person to organize his life. And that's where I'm thinking the problem is - your husband has been living as a bachelor. For whatever reason, men often seem to find that comfortable, rather than sad. I say, give him the overdose treatment. NEVER ask when he'll be home. (And don't answer your phone when he calls - call him back, but not right away.) If you can ballpark it, make sure you're not there when he gets there. When you cook, make enough food for yourself, only. This will take some time to sink in, no doubt. But I am sure there are some things about your company or assistance he takes for granted. Make those difficult to take for granted. Moving out would obviously emphasize that, but it also suggests a strain in the marriage; what I'm thinking (obviously without having remotely full information on the situation) is that what he may need now is simply to have his attention called to what his understanding of marriage is. Perhaps you could sleep a few nights at the other house, with some concrete reason (have a project you're working on over there, makes your commute easier, etc., etc.). No recriminations; just giving him enough room to realize he cannot be possessive of his time, but take yours for granted.

    I realize you didn't ask for advice - so, if this is not helpful, please ignore it. I'm sure there's more to this story than you could possibly fit into a blog post. And I'm glad to hear you're finally feeling better!

    I don't know what to say about the bike. The fact that he lied about it means he knows it was wrong. Has he apologized?

  4. Your blog is the first on my blogroll, so I often say a quick prayer when I see it. I'm so sorry that you're going through such a hard time.

    I know that all marriages are hard work, but your husband seems to be burden and he's only adding to your stress and heartache.

    I pray that you can work something out.

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  6. Sorry, having trouble with the Ipad.ATC, you deserve to be treated better. I know that we can never now another's thoughts, but I've had a few boyfriends who wanted to break up with me, but didn't have the cojones. So instead of just telling me so, they would treat me terribly until I got fed up and ditched them.

    Outting these anecdotes in the context of the discussion from a few weeks ago when your DH said the d-word, I'm actually wondering whether HE wants to remain in the marriage

    Ordinarily, I would agree with the misfit, but your DH is not newly married, and is not 25. He surely knows that to turn up hours late for dinner is to treat you with disrespect.

    I think you need to ask him if he really intends to remain married to you, and if so, you both need to come up with a set of ground rules and expectations for the marriage.

    1. Gah! Typos!

      Why didn't I bring my laptop?