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?
So I already have a six year old step son in my eight year long relationship with my husband, not that hard to do the math. I wear this on my sleeve for everyone to see. We made it through, with rough waves and murky waters, but made it through none the less. When the first fidelity happened, because there was a child produced as a result, everyone had been in the know. Not just me to handle and grieve alone but now my children knew, my friends knew, my first husband and his wife knew, my parents knew and my older brothers knew. Not an easy sell to the family when you explain that you will now become a stepmom after two years into a relationship. But we made it through. Although I felt in my heart that my husband viewed our relationship different now that we were married, I would still asked….would you ever do that to me again now that we are married. His answer was always the same…”I would never do that to you, it’s different now that we’re married”. And so I thought. I trusted, I believed, I thought it was true. Strike two…I suffered in silence. Now with no baby as a result from the affair this time, no one needed to know, not my kids, not my friends, not my parents, definitely not my brothers…only me. Not sure if it was harder or easier to suffer in silence.
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.
How do you respect a liar? Is he a liar or is he a man that lies? I used to think there was a difference…used to think it mattered if there was a difference. What do you look at, the intent of the lie, the degree of the lie, the longevity of the lie? And does it really matter? Is a white lie better? Isn’t a lie a lie?
As a person who does not make a habit of lying, I find myself unable to respect a liar. I don’t consider myself pious, but actually don’t have reasons to lie. A lie is a weakness in my opinion, an immature defense mechanism that adults use to mask their own weaknesses. I struggle with respecting the liar, I struggle with loving the liar. I struggle with forgiving the liar. Unfortunately the liar comes in the form of my husband.
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.
After a quiet night of alone time with my man, we were able to reconnect kid-free. When you meet someone while you already have four small children, kid-free time was few and far between. Our time was precious and enjoyable. We had made it through my divorce, his infidelity, the birth of his son, and now we had alone time. Growing our love, strengthening our relationship, connecting our spirits. Then he proposed! It was unexpected, it was joyful. We had overcome many obstacles in our short relationship so far and some happiness was well needed, embraced greatly. Time to heal!