You are terrifying and strange and beautiful. Something not everyone knows how to love.
Married life is not what I thought it would be. It’s edges are sharp, jagged, and they leave me with cuts that bleed. Marriage is no fairytale – no romantic story – it is work. I never understood that, nor could I have … but I do now. It is dangerous to think that this can continue without working harder than we ever have; we both are unfinished pieces of a horrifying puzzle, and putting two together does not just simply go smoothly.
Somehow, I believed – perhaps from the fairytale of ‘marriage’ from childhood – that this would be easier than it has been. I thought that the kinks were going to be worked out before the vows, and that afterward, we would just simply live in bliss. “It takes work,” that is what they say … but who pays attention? What does ‘work’ even mean? Cleaning the house? Paying the bills? Giving up being right on some of the arguments? It all sounded so easy, so clean. We walked into this somehow thinking that we wouldn’t have to give much of anything, and that we would get everything we wanted & needed in return.
We scream and we fight, we walk out and we stand tall, defending ourselves until the very end because that is all we have ever known. Our words cut deeper than knives, and we spit the poison into each others wounds; we are hurting, and we want to make the other know our pain. Everything at this point threatens to tear us apart … this is not the marriage either one of us had imagined.
The crimson river flowing and flooding around us, carrying with it all of the pain and anguish we have ever known, brings the fear of divorce. We sit on opposite sides of the banks, wondering why the other has not come to our side yet. He must come to me, I think. She must come to me, he thinks. All of this time, we are forgetting that there is an island in the middle than can fit us both and keep us from drowning.
I believe that we will make it. I believe that I married him for a reason, and that reason being that I could see myself old and grey with no other man. I married him because I love him so fully that I could never bear to lose him. And because when he walks out the door, no matter how horribly we have been fighting, all I want is for him to come home. I believe that we will make it, but we must both expose ourselves in a way that we never have before. We must bend until we almost break. We must close our mouths if the words will not benefit our marriage. We must give up having the last word.
The truth of my marriage is that it is terrifying and beautiful. And if we stand, hand in hand, conquering problems together, we will have our fairytale, the one we create; a bond forged by taking on the demons that knock at our door, allowing them no privileged of welcome. We will not be broken, because we will refuse to be.