Are some people born cheaters or possibly circumstance developed cheaters while others don’t have it in their DNA? I cannot fathom what it would be like to cheat on your spouse, on your loved one and then simply walk in the door, greet them with a kiss and lay with them in your arms at night. How can you just come home after such a huge betrayal and have dinner. And do I want that person who can do that in my life anymore???
I no longer see the face of the man I married…no longer see the eyes that captured me from the start or the soft features that showed me love. Alcohol has turned my husband’s face into another one all together. It was not age that changed my husband, not years of life effecting his good looks but rather the face of alcohol. This is one that, I believe, many others have seen take over their loved ones. Eyes darken becoming more direct and accusing…mouth becomes stern, free flowing of insults and negativity…cheeks tightened with tension. This is the face of alcohol that I see…when my husband has left, checked out with the bottle in hand.
When my marriage is on the verge of divorce every day…I asked my husband, is it us? Or is it the depression? Us, we can fix…work harder…talk sweeter…be kinder. With depression, it doesn’t seem to matter how kind I am, how positive I can be, how hard I try…the depression rears its ugly head at every turn. Good days turn to bad in the blink of an eye over a simple word, the wrong gesture or the absence of thought. How do you save a marriage when depression is your biggest opponent? Can I? Will he? Does it? Can I fix it? Will he get help? Does it matter? Too many unknown variables to decide. But I am here, day in and day out, still fighting my battle with depression…my battle with my marriage to depression…my battle having a husband with depression.
How many times do I need to be called a f**king selfish b*tch before it doesn’t matter? To be honest the first several times hurt like hell…then the next many times, you become numb to the cruel words. Name calling is done when an individual doesn’t have the tools to provide a better argument. Does that make it hurt less? No. Does that make it mean so little? No. Abuse is abuse in any form. How many times does it take before it hurts again. Hurt, numbness, hurt…that’s the pattern. I can let it go and numb myself to the words, knowing it is his own insecurity that allows him to be mean, but once an awhile it cuts to my core. When things have been good, it hurts more…it matters more. So how many times do I have to hear it before I don’t care anymore? I wish I knew…time will tell!
Leave it at the door…
This is something my dance teacher always told us…then later my boss…leave it at the door. Pretty straight forward to me. Whatever it was that happened in our day, we were to leave it at the door when we entered the dance studio. If we had a tough day emotionally, it was to be eliminated from our thoughts, our mood, our behavior, and our performance for the few hours we had to dance. It was to be left at the door…not to affect our well being while we danced. Then if we decided to pick it back up on our way out then that was our choice. We could take it back with us or leave the emotional baggage of the day at the door at the studio. Most chose to leave it behind. Smartly so…
This is the current state of my marriage.
I fell in love, did not know at the time, that he was a hater of all women. This man loves me, this man does not trust me. This man thinks my mind is terrific but believes I am manipulating at every turn. This man can appreciate my female body but thinks I am out to get him. I have married a women hater. He has spent his life being used, lied to, manipulated and abused by all women in his life. Walked all over, unappreciated and under recognized in all aspects, by the women who mean most to him…his sister, his mother, his grandmother. Now as the wife of this man, I am paying for the debt of many others. I could not be more trustworthy, more honest, more truthful in my intentions, my thoughts or my actions but it all falls short in comparison to what he believes, what he needs, what he has created with his hate for women. He loves me but overall he is a women hater…
Ignorance is bless but knowledge is power. Unfortunately I am not ignorant, yet very knowledgeable. How do I achieve bliss, how do I release some power. With power comes responsibility, with ignorance comes regret. As much as I would love to be ignorant, my past has given me too much power, too much knowledge. Trust comes from where, the ignorance of what could, would, or did happen. Or does trust come from the knowledge that you can trust honestly even with the knowledge of the past. I choose knowledge over ignorance. Trust through knowledge not through ignorance.
Some people think the generational difference in my marriage may be a challenge. While other’s might think that race may be a factor in my marriage. Or some may believe our economic family backgrounds could be an obstacle in my marriage. But none of these issues are hard for me, or even a thought for me or my husband. I have fun when he tells me I have stuff in common with his mother, since I am older than him, I laugh, I don’t take offense. I don’t even think of being in an interracial marriage, I truly don’t see the color, never have and never will. Having my husband come from a background where poverty, abuse and life struggles are commonplace versus my middle class upbringing, offers us a different point of view of each and of live in general. But when I am married to a man who is broken, who is deep down insecure, who doesn’t know how to overcome life obstacles because of his insufficient emotional development.
I have stayed through cheating, lying, drinking, and verbal abuse, not because I am weak but because I am strong. I am stronger than he is, I have a healthy emotional foundation that does not shake easily. My biggest fault may be that I am unconditionally loyal. My strength within is something I have had to pull on in order to be there for a man that is not strong, he is broken.
For those who love a broken person, you will understand. From the outside, we look weak, we look like we are being walked over or taken advantage of but on the inside, I know this man holds onto me for salvation. He has messed up, he has hurt me, he has lost my trust. I still continue to be his light, his strength, his saving grace. This is loving a broken man.
Not having any more than two sexual partners in my entire life, I may be old-fashioned. I have only slept with my first husband and then my second husband. Because of this, I can’t begin to fathom the intimate act of infidelity. I have only slept with someone I loved. I did not wait on marriage for sex but I did wait on love. Is this a rare occasion? Am I to take sex lightly simply because the man I love slept with another woman? How do I tell my heart that it meant nothing to him? How do I tell my mind that it’s more normal than not. The connection through the intimacy is something to be cherished and nurtured. I have been intimate with my husband after his affair but it took many years to not cry after, alone in the bathroom, wondering how and why he would connect with another on that level. Now I no longer cry but I hold back my heart. It hurts to do both. I only exchanged one vice for another.
I once read that you shouldn’t judge someone on their actions or choices if you are unaware of their resources. That’s how I feel about my husband’s verbal abuse. He has no resources, he has no options, he has no way out. When being involved in an upbringing that provides limited resources, it offers no options for individual’s choices. Is he just out of resources, out of better options? Does he abuse verbally because he knows no better, because he feels trapped, unsure, limited, etc? Maybe…
It doesn’t excuse it, doesn’t justify it, does’t make it better but maybe to a small degree it explains it. I am not broken but I am married to a man that is broken. He is limited on his ability to do better, to know better, to feel better. Is it my responsibility to understand this and support or is it my job to stand up and defend myself?