When I was visiting my friend Claire in Indiana last month, she told the story of how she had sent a text message to my ex to tell him that she was sorry for the way that things had worked out. He responded to her that he just wished that I had tried harder. This response made her fly off the handle (not to him; to him she just didn’t respond) because she had seen me try for so long.
To my ex though, there wasn’t a problem until my outburst at Christmas 2011. He didn’t know that for a year and a half prior to that I had been fighting for our marriage. I had dreams too, but I quietly supported his while I worked 40 hours a week at an unfulfilling job in customer service in addition to running our home. I did little things to show him that I cared and supported him. I moved to Los Angeles, where I said I’d NEVER live again. This was my fight… and by the time I had my outburst that Christmas, I didn’t have much fight left in me.
Sure there were FIGHTS after that. But that was the beginning of the end. I had fought and fought and fought - and everyone around me except my husband had seen that. And I think that at that point when my husband had his eyes open to see the fight in me… all he saw was induratization.
He used to tell me that he hated the idea of getting on my bad side because he had seen the way I closed myself off to my own father and if I could do it to him, I could do it to anyone. He’s right in a way, I guess. But it’s not that I just set out to do this. It’s that I *HAVE* to in order to allow myself to survive.
During all my fighting for my marriage, I lost myself. I had to follow this practice in order to maintain my identity because I knew that if I didn’t, I’d be stuck in my cycle of unhappiness forever. I would keep moving with him from idea to idea and even from city to city to try to find that sweet spot of happiness that I know now wasn’t coming from that relationship.
Plus, I learned a new word…