“You and I aren’t friends.”
Those were the ‘fightin’ words’ that signaled the beginning of the end of a cold war that he either didn’t notice, chose to ignore, or grossly misinterpreted tonight.
Sadly, they are true. I cannot imagine a universe that my husband and I would be friends if we were not married. I did follow these words up with, “I still love you, and will continue to be your wife, but right now, we are not friends.” He got up and went to the couch. No questions about what that might mean, or where it came from. No pursuit of my heart, or defining of friendship.
And yet, I will wake up tomorrow with a plan to still be married. I have settled uneasily on that.
Since my last post, we have taken a vacation together that involved only one tense time period. Budgeting has been a mess, and a stressor. And I think it is a passive aggressive way to do conflict on his part. However, the intensity, frequency, and duration of conflict are diminishing. That is progress. He is beginning to apologize for specific things. Progress.
But back to the plan that I almost glazed right over: I have decided for now that I plan to continue in marriage. I am not an inherently decisive person, so this is held with a level of “but…” that some may find disturbing. However, I will identify below how I landed on that stance.
My relationship with my husband is complicated. Aren’t they all? My relationship with the church is similarly complicated. I have a great relationship with our head pastor, with whom I came clean late 2015 about the abuse in my marriage. I believe he was flabbergasted, but he did not flee.
In an earlier conversation about some other thing I felt a strong need to speak out against, my pastor challenged me. I had identified some things that were said in a Sunday service that concerned me, and confronted him about it, but with loving respect. I expressed my views about something controversial, which highlighted my questioning and sense of belonging in that particular church community. My pastor responded by naming my underlying threat to leave the church. I believe divine insight led me to see in this reluctant commitment a correlation to my relationship with my husband.
Prior to landing on a decision to be married, I felt battered by the waves of relationship. I felt as if I spent a day or week knitting something that I would then take apart, as the tide of my decision turned. Those times when I leaned more towards separation (which is still not entirely off the table) seemed to do more damage to my relationship than they warranted on their own. And it was then that I realized that my potential to leave was powerful. At this point, I feel that power is more dangerous than fruitful and I hold that interpretation loosely.
In the wake of this decision, I am still faced with a longing for something more. I face several times per week a loneliness and alienation from my husband as he seems to have no clue how to engage my heart and deeper thought life and no desire to figure it out. He seems to have lost any sense of intrigue towards me. I am a roommate.
And this leaves me really sad. And I wonder, is making marriage work worth it? Will I lose myself? Will I fail to meet my potential for impact in this world, because I am tied to a person who may be a sociopath?