I’ve come to the realization that things are never quite what they seem. I don’t care if I’m looking at a bucket of sand. Maybe it’s not a bucket of sand, maybe it’s the remnants of a fossil, broken and finely crushed over time. Time so gradual that no one even noticed the fossil turned to pebbles; turned to dust.
They say, all good things come to an end, but I never believed that to be true. I figured, sure, if we choose things to end, than I guess that can be true, but never did I believe it to be inevitable. But if I’m being realistic about it, we all die, so for us, in our experience everything does end. But my marriage? No. My marriage was rock solid.
I didn’t know one other woman on this planet that had anything close to what I grasped in the palm of my hands. A husband who would move mountains to make me happy. Someone who worked tirelessly for his family, and a father beyond my wildest dreams. What’s to be unhappy about? Well, I wasn’t. At least I didn’t know I was.
If you read my writing, you know just how deep I feel. Not just for myself but for others. I can literally feel other’s pain. It’s the most terrible and most beautiful gift I possess. It gives me life, yet also gives me such anxiety to think of others suffering. My point is, I’m sensitive, empathetic and emotional. Really fucking emotional. Let’s not confuse “emotional” with “unstable.” Sure I can be unstable, we all can, but what I’m saying is, I lead with my heart. I listen to my gut. And this part of me isn’t just a piece of me, it’s most of me if not all of me. It’s the biggest part of me. It’s what drives my purpose in this existence, and to understand me is to know this part of me.
My marriage was rock solid. Except for the stake of not feeling understood, which was softly beating down on the rock that was my marriage. It was soft enough that I could barely feel it. I was sure it wasn’t doing much damage, and would eventually go away. I could have bigger problems than not feeling understood by a man who gave me the world. I felt selfish for even having such feelings, and came to the conclusion that what I really needed was to be grateful. I was obviously spoiled and ungrateful. Looking past something so small as not feeling “gotten” should be easy enough.
Until it wasn’t.
So I’d do what any wife would do, ask to talk about it. Express myself in 12 different analogies and then beat a dead horse until tears saturated my pillowcase. That feeling of release to the man who gives me the world was not just cathartic, it was healing to know he wanted to improve our emotional connection. And just the sheer fact of him wanting to try, that was enough to keep me “happy.” Because what is there to be unhappy about?
As time ticked on, and years flew by, babies were born, parents were born, growth plagued us with pain and stretched us to greatness. Passions were realized and moves were made. A husband and wife who pursued their professional and personal happiness, as a team, united for their children and loving one another unconditionally. What is there to be unhappy about? Sure, I didn’t feel like my heart was understood, but if that was my biggest problem, I must be spoiled and ungrateful. Staying grateful, and praising the man who gives me the world, yes this is how I’ll feel better. This will help me to feel happier.
Until I couldn’t pretend anymore.
So I’d communicate. Communicate my feelings, my grief, and express the emptiness inside that I haven’t been able to fill. I’d explain these things to a man who looked at me so deep, with tears in his eyes, yearning to understand me, and telling me he’ll do better. But I couldn’t understand what he needed to do better. He was perfect. A saint if you will. Sure he didn’t understand me emotionally, but he wanted to, and to watch a man so loving, so caring, want something so bad, he was the love of my life. Well he loves me a hell of a lot, so he must be the love of my life.
How many years would go by until I felt like I was understood? Maybe I just needed to stop feeling so much and focus more on my kids, or making my husband happy. Lord knows I wasn’t the best wife in the world. You couldn’t domesticate me if you tried. I hated cooking, and cleaning felt like a waste of time because it would all be a mess again.
What is this emptiness? Wait. Stop! Focus focus focus, on anything else but that.
My marriage was rock solid, but I was wearing thin. That stake beating down softly has gotten heavier, or maybe harder? Either way, it hurts, and it’s harder to ignore. Well I’ll be honest, I was never able to ignore it, but I tried. I’d begun noticing cracks in our foundation, in me; pieces of me crumbling everywhere. I’d try to pick them up as they fall but they’re falling at a rapid pace and I can’t keep up. This can’t be dissatisfaction. I have the most incredible and compassionate partner, what’s to be dissatisfied about? What is there to be unhappy about?
I must be depressed.
I’d go to the doctor, get on meds, and in 6 weeks start feeling like a new person. This is amazing! THIS is what was wrong with me! I can’t believe I’d been living with such a cloud over me for so long. I’m able to get out of bed, not be as anxious and enjoy my family more. It was amazing.
Until it wasn’t.
And I was back where I started, feeling empty, void, misunderstood. I was yearning for connection, for emotional understanding, to share my passion and bigger purpose with the one I love. He knows me, he gets me to a point, he wants to understand me. So badly he wants to understand me. Why does this not feel like it’s enough? Why? Will one more conversation cure it? Will 5 more years numb it out of me? I need to stop being spoiled and ungrateful. BE GRATEFUL! You have the world in your arms every night, so why do I feel so far away? Why do I feel like he’s chasing me, trying to catch me, why does he look so sad, like he’s never had me?
Oh my god, he’s never had me.
I’m lost. I’ve never felt so fucking disappointed in myself in all my life. I’m an awful person for feeling unhappy in my rock solid marriage. The stake has turned into a jackhammer and I’m disappearing. There’s barely anything left of me. Pebbles everywhere quickly turning to finely beaten sand. Where did I go?
And then I looked up, and there she was.