Improvement... signs of life?
Well after the big confrontation and a miserable visitation weekend, I was very VERY relieved to see SD go. I was totally miserable the whole time and was ready to move out as soon as the settlement check from my auto accident came in.
I am a firm believer that it's best to lead in with all the things that someone is doing right before throwing a critique in so that night I told DH all the things that I thought he was doing right:
-He is a good provider (financially) and has shouldered the financial responsibility not only for me but helping with the cost of DD's private school since my CS doesn't even cover the tuition. Initially I was unable to work due to my accident but even now I've decided that I wasn't happy doing what I was doing and I want to wholeheartedly pursue my passions and DH hasn't complained about the lack of income coming in. I'm trying to pursue a passion that may never make me a dime but it's something that makes me truly happy and he hasn't complained about the financial impact.
-He makes us feel secure (physically) I know he would never allow any physical harm to come to myself or DD.
-He is great at being a stepparent and DD adores him.
-When it comes to emotional support and intimacy he's not giving me what I NEED. And since I am able to support myself financially (I'm pretty employable although I'm choosing to pursue my passion right now), take care of myself, and it's been just DD and I most of her life, THAT'S what I need the most from a husband. I told him that he's the only creating/exacerbating between SD and I because when he DOES take the time to make me feel important and loved, I know that I'm #1 in his heart and I get that SD is important to him so I try to create more opportunities for him to bond with her since when I'm happy, I want to make him happy too. I pointed out several concrete examples of where this had happened in the past.
DH stopped, paused and really thought about what I was saying. He told me that I was right and that he hadn't been doing a good job of juggling these things. He agreed to letting me turn the former guest room into a space for me that would be completely SD free; somewhere that I could have that was just mine so that while SD is over I can work on my projects, play video games, whatever I want and that way I'm getting the peace I crave when SD is being a monster (I didn't say that, but we all know that's what's up) and he feels like he can spend time with her without having to worry about me being unhappy.
Tonight I woke up with a very bad panic attack gasping for air, and instead of grumbling that I had woken him up, he took the time to rub my back, be sure I had my medication, and tell me that everything was going to be ok. Finally my medication kicked in and I was able to start dozing off again, and when I woke up, something miraculous happened. I started thinking of something *NICE* we could go and take SD to do this weekend, either just him and her or together since he found out that he was going to have to work overnight Thursday and so he wouldn't get his visitation that day and that bummed him out. The thought of doing this just came naturally since he was caring for my emotional needs and I automatically went to finding ways to reciprocate.
So it looks like my therapist was right (no surprise there) and that confronting DH would be extremely difficult and would result in making things worse but either the relationship would endure and improve, or I'd move on and leave all this behind me. My marriage still has a pulse, admittedly not a strong one, but we'll see what the coming days/weeks bring.