Marriage: The Broken Road

The broken road: a path paved with pebbles.

I so easily fell head over heels; young and eager. A broken soul in search of a home, some where I was needed; wanted; loved. Running from the past and hoping for a future. One tracked mind; find a man, get married and have kids. It was a mission to fill a hole with a family of my own.

Back then it felt more right than wrong but the passing time and trails of life had a way of reversing the feeling. The bad days begun adding up and with time, it escalated out of hand more often than not. Funny how love starts out with silly fights over who loves who more, ending in kisses. Sad how they turn to wars over who loves who more ending in tears, curled up in a ball on the floor.

I always loved him more, through the rage, past the hate. I didn’t pay much mind to our differences, they didn’t seem so significant. I overlooked belittling words. I ignored the things you screamed without thought, the ones cutting bone deep. I forgave with ease, no matter how badly you hurt me. The problem is, forgiveness doesn’t always mean forgetting and the moments stick like glue to my soul; carved into me for eternity.

It didn’t take long to become the queen of excuses.

“He didn’t mean it.”
“He was just angry”
“He loves me, he doesn’t mean to hurt me”
“He’s tired or cranky”

“It’s my fault” the most repetitive of thoughts. I  blamed myself for
everything, even the ones I knew I had no fault in – not to say I’m perfect by any means. I had my share of petty moments, none of which I’m proud of. Though many of those moments didn’t occur until I was pushed into the defensive, with no option left but to fight back. That in itself though, is no excuse for stooping to low levels.

I tried to play the game but the rules weren’t always the same

I tried every tactic I had to avoid, to subdue. Attempted to not play into it, hoping he’d have no where to go with it. But, to my surprise, it only worsened the situation. For now I was ignoring him or
disrespecting him and those weren’t acts he’d stand for. They fueled the fire and sent him into attack mode. Digging into me until I was broken and begging him to stop. Then the tables would turn all over again, like a bad carnival ride.

If I did better. If I did more, then it wouldn’t happen. With every fight or complaint I took note, mentally cataloguing triggers. I catered all ours live to his but no matter how much I could control, there was always something out of my hands and it all felt like banging my head against the wall. Stuck in the cycle, watching the phases of kindness change until he felt safe again and settled back into his old ways.

Didn’t take long before I was waking up, preparing for the next battle. Moving kids along. Hushing children’s play. Begging, please just don’t wake daddy. Unless it’s a work day in which case, I’d be shushing them in preparation for his arrival.

“Okay guys, don’t ask daddy a bunch of questions.”
“Be sure to say hi but then get out the way, let daddy change and relax.”

Though kids are hard to control in that way, leaving me shushing and waving children off as they approached him at the door, eager to tell him all the things, like children so often do.

“Hush, you know daddy doesn’t like to be bothered”
“Shhh, you don’t want to upset daddy”
“Go play, daddy’s not in the mood”
“Go to your room, give daddy time.”

Hurting their feelings in such a way, was much easier than what he’d do, once annoyed. I weighted the options and did the best I could. I prepared them the best I way I knew how but it wasn’t a war I always won. I watched the fights play out, jumping in when I knew it was too
much for them to take. Drawing attention to myself, though I knew it’d
end in a battle I’d never truly win.

He’s a good man

The times weren’t always so rough.  I held on to those moments. Strangling them with a death grip. For if I didn’t have those, I feared, I’d have nothing at all. Because in truth, he’s a good man. Like all of us, he has flaws and over the years, they grew heavier
than I could carry. I know him as a good man, who didn’t always do good things. I blame myself entirely. I wasn’t good for him because it took me so long to see, he in fact, wasn’t so good for me.

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