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 spend my life reassuring, comforting, confirming and providing security. I don’t go anywhere unaccounted for, I don’t have any hours untraceable, I don’t make trips unaccompanied. Where I am is always announced, how I spend each minute tracked, who I go with is planned. Only to make sure I create a security, build trust, relieve any doubt. Constantly reassuring, constantly explaining, constantly building security. Not because I was unfaithful, not because I lied, not because I betrayed, but because he did.
He kept saying, “I’ll be right back”, “I’ll be right back”, I didn’t understand why. I thought I was coherent, I thought I was responding, I thought I was awake and recovering, but I wasn’t. It was a dreamlike state, remembering bits and pieces, I remember my husband standing in the door way saying, “I’ll be right back, I’m just gonna move the car”. Why did this seem crucial, why did he need to stress that he’d be right back? It was fine, I was just recovering from a DNC after birth, wasn’t I? But I wasn’t, I wasn’t coherent, I wasn’t responding, I wasn’t awake and recovering. I was non-responsive, and unaware. I had begun to bleeding out after childbirth, I had not been expected to live, it had been three days.
I have never been in the hospital to go under or have surgery done for anything, until this moment. I was bleeding out…after childbirth. Last thing I remember was the doctor saying they would perform a DNC to get the extra pieces of the placenta that are still in the uterus in order to stop all the excess bleeding. Assuming this is a routine procedure, I glanced over at my husband, my newborn son and back at the doctor. “Will it hurt?” was my only question. After giving birth, and delivering my son, the last thing I wanted was more pain. After my question escaped my lips, I blacked out and remember nothing for hours, even days. Nine hours of surgery, six blood transfusions, I was given a fifty/fifty chance to live.
I have been here before…many years ago. A marriage quietly slipping away, a desperate plea, an extended hand. I felt myself needing the confirmation, the affirmation, the love in order to let me know that I am not the only one fighting for us, for this marriage, for me. I knew I was reaching, knew I was asking, knew I was needing…clues were ignored, requests not responded to, my hand not grabbed. I need you to say something, I need you to do something, I need you to push me back off the ledge of leaving. Walking the fine line between leaving or not can be swayed easily by the grab of a hand. Grab my hand…tell me I am worth it, show me I am needed. Grab my hand….please
Don’t let me walk away. I know the path all too well. The last man didn’t recognize the pleas, ignored the clues, disregarded the requests. Please grab the hand that he did not. Don’t let this end us, don’t let me walk away. Please grab my hand…
We were told to meet at the jail for our marriage “ceremony” because after 7pm, they send the proposed couples to the jail rather than the courthouse. It was a story to tell…getting married at the jail, having my first husband’s new wife and sister as our witnesses and then running through the Taco Bell drive through to celebrate. It was to say the least unconventional. We talked about having a beautiful wedding within the year, talked about taking a short honeymoon and celebrating together. We talked about it…
Three months later…pregnant. Talk stayed as talk. We did not plan a wedding while I was pregnant, we did not take a honeymoon during the pregnancy or postpartum stage, we celebrated by having a baby.
I can name all the number of times my closest friends or even family members have seen me cry…including my first husband. This number can be counted literally on one hand. It’s not because I am afraid to cry or bottle up my emotions…I am just not a cryer. One of the few times I began to cry in front of my best friend, she simply looked at me and said, “What are you doing?”….as if it was completely foreign to her and to my behavior. My emotions are worn on my sleeve and crying isn’t a necessity…until I met my husband. In the past, my mother was truly the only one who really made me cry. Hurt prevailed and tears fell. My first husband was not a cruel man, he was tender and kind. Although we fought like any married couple, it was healthy fighting, no below the belt blows. Then I met my current husband. Never have I cried more in my life. I had to make the change to waterproof mascara simply because of him. It could be for any given reason on any given day that the tears came freely. He thinks of me as a crier, which is ironic. I am weaker because of him…time to find myself again and switch back to regular mascara!
I left my first husband because my heart was not 100% whole. He was the father of my children and my high school sweetheart. Our relationship went through the natural progression of a young couple. We struggled financially, we grew a family, we built our businesses, we bought a house, we found financial freedom, we evolved into something that didn’t finish together. When I left, we had already become the typical middle class family, making it financially, raising a family, missing each other with each passing day. When I left, I reset the clock and began all over again with my new husband.
I began again to struggle financially, I began again to grow my family, I began again to build a business…just as it had been when I was twenty, my bedroom furniture consisted of cardboard drawers. I have now begun my life all over again from leaving a man ten years older to marrying a man eight years younger.
Watching everything my first husband learned, I am now watching my new husband learn. I am again getting my underwear out of a cardboard drawer, just as when I was twenty. Can I do this again? My best friend once said, she would rather be back to cardboard drawers and be madly in love, like I was, then have the nicest triple dresser and have only half my heart still involved. I guess she’s right…so here I am, back to cardboard drawers at this stage of my life.