Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Forcibly Quieted

I was quiet. I was quiet for months at a time while he threw tantrums and called me names. I was quiet while he ignored me, belittled me and talked down to me, not only in public, but in front of our friends. I was quiet. I think it’s a common reaction. Our husbands come home and we just want life to feel normal. I know that was all I wanted. Retrospectively, that is probably more damaging. It took me two years to tell him enough was enough. But, by then, the damage was done. My heart was shattered, our marriage in shambles, and a fracture in our marriage that has edges so jagged we can hardly speak to each. After being quiet for so long, life feels incredibly overwhelmingly loud. The shouting, the constant defensive posture I must take, the constant attempts to talk with him feel like they are constantly echoing through every room of the house. The sudden audibility of our life together is nearly too much to bear. I was so quiet for so long that I had lost my voice, my ability to be heard. My audibility. And yet life is roaring so loudly, even thought I am not heard, I am not recognized, I am forcibly quieted. Photobucket

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

I Said It Wasn't About Winning, He Said He'd Already Lost the War

I didn’t raise my voice at all. Not a single octave. I repeated for the third time that I was not interested in “winning” but simply in reaching a compromise. That is usually how it starts. Something simple turns into something big, that turns into an outrageous fight. It’s not uncommon. But for my everyday life, I know that there are triggers and certain things will always result in a fight. When you are married for long enough, you can see the fight walking down the street a block away. And so I said I didn’t want the stick vacuum in the closet. And he repeated that that is where it was going. And on and on we went. It’s a cyclical type of fighting. Rarely are we both rational. Rarely are we both calm. Each of us has certain things that trigger an emotional response. One of his is where things NEED to be, one of mine feeling unlistened to. I have long since learned, however, that fighting rarely ends in agreement. I think it’s safe to say that most people know this. I have also long since learned that I have a 50/50 shot that being calm will make it worse. I have a 50/50 shot that being emotional and loud will also make it worse. Calm did not work. It feels like it never does in the moment, even though I know that it does often times help dramatically. But it didn’t. He continued down his path, spiraling, as angry people tend to do. Then… suddenly… we were at that moment. The moment someone says something they can’t take back. The moment they open their mouth and even they realize that things may never be the same again, they may never be mended, there may always be a hairline fracture threatening the stability of everything. I asked to meet in the middle one more time. I asked to be heard and to discuss what both our needs and wants are and how we can meet in the middle. I said it calmly. I said that it was about compromise. He said it wasn’t. He said compromise just meant that no one got to be happy. I asked again to compromise. I said I didn’t feel marriage was about winning. It was about trying to keep both party’s needs met and desires met when possible. It’s a partnership. We share our lives. And in partnerships you have to meet in the middle somewhere. It’s not all about winning battles. He said it was. He said that is exactly what is was. He said he had already lost the war. And I cried. An undignified cry. A cry I usually hide in private for no one to see, not even me. And as my first silent tear fell, as his jaw began to return to neutral from speaking his final syllable, he saw it. I saw it. The damage. The fracture. The tiny little crack that may never be sealed. Photobucket

Thursday, September 17, 2015

I'm not Julia Roberts and Love is Not Like the Movies

***It has been a while, over a year, since I last posted. I have wanted to, but there is simply no way to describe how the last year has been or what has kept me away. I can't promise to be here often, but I will be trying to share more... Goodness knows I need it. With all that said, here's the latest.

We sit across from each other at the metaphorical breakfast table not saying a word. If this were a Julia Roberts movie, I’d ask you to pass the cream and my words would have such a heavy meaning. Deep, sorrowful glances would be taken when the other is not looking as we reach the height of our conflict. Music would sway the heartstrings of all those watching as they wonder if this couple can overcome the obstacles they face.

But I am not Julia Roberts. You are not a handsome and debonair man who swept me off my feet with quirky charm and a British accent. We are simple two people who met when we were still trying to figure out the world.

We can’t be sitting across from each other at the breakfast table, the room filled with a tense silence because we don’t each breakfast together. In fact, it was only within the last year that we were even home at the same time. For some reason, after years and our entire marriage of me working nights and you working days, our relationship no longer works. Sleeping at nearly the same time seems to be something we are incapable of doing.

After all these months, I still struggle to be asleep before 3am. After all of these months, you still sleep on the couch most nights, favoring your computer and your smart phone games over meaningful conversation and evening snuggles.

No one talks.

We don’t talk.

It seems, I fear, that we made the same mistake so many make. It seems that when you are 23 years old, there is no mountain too high. There is no cloud in the sky threatening to rain in the near future. And so, as young newlyweds do, we assumed things would always be like they were. Young, in love, able to look at the hours apart as nothing more than a better reasons to love being together.

But we no longer have that spark. We no longer look at the quite kiss in the morning as I crawled into bed and you left for work as the moments we live for. Somewhere, at some point, it became too hard to get that kiss in for you. I no longer fall asleep with the lingering warmth of your lips on my forehead. To be honest, I don’t even know why. One morning you simply slid your work shoes one and left quietly, gently shutting the bedroom door behind you. And you never kissed my forehead again.

If I were Julia Roberts, I’d be crying and explaining how that simple act exemplifies our entire relationship. You would angrily listen before realizing in your heart that you want to kiss my forehead in the mornings. And now that I no longer work at night and sleep during the day, I might even be awake for that kiss.

But I am not Julia Roberts. And you didn’t have a change of heart when I cried. You clung to your routine with a feverish frenzy. You clung to your ways, unable to adapt to my being home.

I am not Julia Roberts. And you don’t kiss my forehead anymore. And we can’t find a meaningful glance over the breakfast table because we don’t have breakfast together and you much prefer to be alone; so I am alone too.


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