The summer was over and school was about to start. We were entering season three in Detroit. The season didn’t quit go as expected. We won 20 games last season and I was hoping to get to at least that this year especially with the addition of a McDonald’s All American. The season never really got off the ground. We ended the season with a 17-20 record. Not only was the team under achieving but our children reached the age where they wanted to play more competitive ball which meant more travel, more time, and more money. Our two oldest daughters were playing on two separate AAU teams which practiced several miles away and played almost every weekend. So, Monday through Thursday I had to travel 40 minutes during rush hour Detroit traffic to get my children to practice. It was a 40 minute drive on good days but when you add in the sleet, rain, snow, construction, or accidents most days it was close to an hour. On top of that, I have two younger children who are also involved in activities that involve my time and driving capabilities. Thank God for carpools because I was doing most of the chauffeuring because Derek was so busy with the basketball season. If I am going to do everything alone with no help well then you better make the season worth it. You better win so I can get out of here. I know as an assistant he is limited on what he can control and as a coach he can’t always predict how his players will perform but I was busting my balls and I wanted something in return, if not a spectacular season then how about some appreciation. How about a “thank you”? How about some validation that what I do around the house is important and worthy of your recognition. So, in my plight of desperation, I blathered off one of my infamous emails to my darling husband.
“Derek, I am so tired of having this argument with you. Maybe if I wrote it down it may sink in but it probably won’t. I don’t know what else I can do to get through to you. I have a high tolerance of pain but once I reach my breaking point I am done and after 15 years of having this same fight I am just about there.
I think you are selfish. I know it is worse right now because of all the issues with your team but I don’t care. I am tired of being pushed aside because of your career. You take no interest in what I do around this house and you have no clue how hard it is to take care of 4 kids by yourself day in and day out making sure they get nutritious meals, making sure school work is done, making sure they get to all their play dates, practices, band recitals, etc. I am tired of parenting alone. I am tired of having to field every question, problem, or argument that can occur with 4 kids. I am tired of driving. I am tired of taking the dog out in subzero weather at midnight. I am tired of taking the trash out. I am tired of texting you updates about every kids’ games because you have not been to one single game that any of them have played. Tired of being a single parent. You have no idea what it is like. YOU NEVER HAVE TO DO IT ALONE BECAUSE I AM ALWAYS HERE TO HELP. That is why I get so anxious when schedules change or I get no notice because I have no help.
And the worst part is that you don’t care. You go off on your road trips or your 9 hour practices without even a thought to me or how I am going to get 4 kids to 4 different places. Why should you care? It is not your problem because you are gone. You don’t have to deal with it. Sure, I know it killed you to miss the girls’ tournament, but did you ever once ask, “What are you going to do about the dog all day?” or “How are you going to get Jade and Shane to their practices/games since they overlap?” NO. You don’t care about that stuff and it is all put on me to worry about.
Just like this weekend. Shane, Jade, and Bailey all play on Saturday and I know you wouldn’t even ask what I am going to do about it. You just assume I will take care of it all by myself like I always do and you will worry about your job like you always do.
I know I don’t have much of a life but it would be nice for you to take some interest. My God, you pay no attention to things I am in to. Like I said, I know they are little things but that is all I have right now. Do you think clipping coupons is my lifelong dream? But, right now it is all I have going for me so when I ask you to pick up the Sunday paper for me and you come back with the wrong paper I do get frustrated. Shit, you read the sports page every Sunday and you can’t pay attention to which newspaper it is.
Have I ever gotten a ‘thank you” for shoveling the driveway? Do you know how many times I have been out there shoveling? The driveway fairy isn’t doing it! You don’t do crap around here yet you want your laundry done, a meal waiting for you and sex. How about do something around the house? Have you not seen the huge goodwill pile next to your dresser? Take some initiative and take it to Goodwill for me. Oh, but you can’t do anything unless I ask you to. I get tired of asking you to do stuff.
I have followed you around for 15 years so you could follow your career. I take great care of your kids. I clean your piss off the toilet. I do your laundry. I cook your meals. I take care of your dog. So, why do I have to remind you to think of me every once in a while? I am tired of having to tell you to think of me. I shouldn’t have to tell you yet it happens all the time. And don’t say, “My bad, you’re right”. I am sick of hearing that too because it is obviously not genuine or else I wouldn’t have to keep telling you how you don’t appreciate me. I have heard it one too many times with no lasting results.
Once again, I ask you where are my benefits in this relationship? You can call it a midlife crisis but I don’t think it is. I have given up everything for you and the kids and now I want to be selfish. The problem is that we don’t have the funds and I don’t have a husband around enough that allows me to be selfish. I feel all I do is give, give, give. Everyone always wants something from me – you, kids, neighbors, school, sports teams.
Right now I feel no connection to you. It is hard to have a connection with someone through texting. Just like when you call after being gone for so long – I don’t feel like speaking because you are not here going through the trenches with me. It is hard to include you when you are not here. Love, Julie”
My poor husband – most husbands get little love notes stuck in their brief case but my husband gets a three page dissertation on why he has ruined my life. I hesitated to put this email in my blog because it is pretty raw but this is real life, real marriage. Just like I knew what I was getting into when I married a coach he knew what he got himself into when he married a woman whose mom was an English major. Nevertheless, I think my little “love” notes have helped our relationship because I, at least, get to communicate my feelings. I know he can read (not quite sure if he can listen) so I feel I am being heard which is all I ever wanted in the first place. He, in return, understands how I am feeling, apologizes, and then we have the same fight all over again in four months because even though he can read it doesn’t mean he can comprehend.