Ambivalence: the Unfinished Story

I do not know whether my marriage will survive, thrive, or end. I struggle with disappointment.

I have been married for long enough to be comfortable in marriage. Today is not a conflict day. We have not argued or fought. We have actually partnered well. It has been comfortable. But not all days are like this. Some are downright painful. Some feel hopeless.

Within the last year, my husband has finally acknowledged something I have known for years. He is abusive. Even though he has not been physically violent, psychological abuse, verbal abuse, and neglect have plagued my years of marriage. This year I have committed to not allowing it to live in hidden spaces.

I stay because I meant it when I said ‘I do.’ I think he did too, but had no idea what it would call him to. I stay because I have a long family history of rampant divorce, and I want to be the one to break that generational curse. I stay because I don’t want our kids to be parented by him without my watchful eyes, and voice to name where his behavior/words/tone, etc. are not okay. I stay because, for some reason, I still have just enough hope that things will get better for good.

But I am missed so often. I am so frequently mis-heard, mis-understood, mis-represented.

After more than a decade of marriage, I feel like my husband does not even know me. He doesn’t treat me as if he recognizes my insight or intuitive gifts. He demonstrates almost no curiosity about me or my thoughts. I wonder who he sees when he looks at me.  I wonder how we got to this point.

Last night, I yielded to my muse. My story is not known because I have chosen not to tell it. No longer will I hold my story alone. Here, I bring the truth of my not-known story to the light of day. I am not alone in this experience.

If you choose to join me in this journey, I will be honest about the ups and downs of marriage. I will engage the ambiguity of this not-yet-finished story. I do not yet know how it ends, but I welcome you on the journey.

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Everything Has an Underbelly

One of the most profound statements I may have made in the last year was, “Everything has an underbelly.” And I thank my friend, S, who later brought that statement back to me, as we discussed something totally different, months after the fact.

I have had the bubblings of this text for years, now. I have not written up to this point, because in truth, I have not known the ending. In the bath tonight, I realized why I have rarely come across texts like I imagine this will be: because we never choose to write them as they come. We often wait until the ending is known, and in doing so, we miss ( and/or often misrepresent) the struggle of getting there.

Sometimes, we withhold the story out of fear. Sometimes, it is out of not wanting to “air dirty laundry.” Sometimes, it is a way to protect the others involved in the story.

I am tired of waiting until the end is known. I want to give voice not only to my own struggles and questions, but perhaps to those of many others.

Here I will tell my story. Raw. Unfinished. Undecided.