In April we made a change. Rather than my husband having the kids every weekend at his house, he would come to my house and we would spend weekends together as a family, in an attempt to spend more time together and feel out where our relationship is going.
The first weekend was great. The kids loved it. He let me have Friday night "off" and I left the house to run errands ALL BY MYSELF! Being the mom on three young children, getting to have any retail experience ALONE is wonderful!
Second weekend was Easter. He is participating in a different church congregation, and is in their choir. They had services Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. As a result our weekend time together was limited.
Third weekend, he had a retreat he wanted to attend, and asked me how I felt about him being gone for the week-end. I said it was "fine." I knew that this retreat would be really good for him, and help him clarify things, or at least give him some new things to think about.
By the time weekend four came around I was looking forward to having him around. Not only because it is difficult and demanding to single parent three young children, but also because I felt like I had not spent much time with him, and I enjoy spending time with him. He mentioned on Friday that several of his friends had gone to Bear Lake for a weekend retreat. Then he mentioned it again on Saturday that he had been invited to attend, but said "no" because I would "kill" him for being gone a third weekend in a row. Then he proceeded to tell he that it was hard to say "no" because he was getting a lot of pressure to attend. I told him "thanks" that I appreciated him being home for the weekend. It was the end of the discussion between us, but it continued on inside my head.
I felt hurt. Yes I was glad that he was with us for the weekend. But I had wished that he was there because he wanted to spend time with me, rather than out of guilt or obligation because I would "kill" him for being gone. But the truth is, he probably would have preferred to spend time at the retreat with his friends. As much as I love him, I can't give him the one thing he desperately seeks, love and validation from men. And it sucks....