Monday, April 5, 2010

It just didn't take...

I didn't get married expecting to see the end of my sex life. Seeing as I was four months pregnant when rings and vows were exchanged, sex was not the part of married life that I was worried about. I felt that we pretty much had that part handled, and we knew it worked--for both procreative and pleasurable purposes.

Throughout the remainder of my pregnancy things were still good. Very good, in fact. It's liberating to have pregnant sex--one of your biggest worries about the consequences of carnal pleasure has already played out--so ENJOY! However, so many of the things that later went wrong ended up landing squarely in this area.

It's hard to understand why your husband would (obsessively) choose magazines, videos and the Internet over his flesh-and-blood, ready and willing, pretty damn hot wife! Add dishonesty, anger, declining hygiene, perpetual unemployment and incessant nights out with the boys to the mix, and it left me feeling bewildered, defeated and defective.

I thought that if I could re-introduce a level of physical intimacy to the relationship that would help us be able to communicate, trust and deal with the myriad other demons plaguing our marriage. But it didn't take.

At the end, (after years of therapy, struggle, a respectably sized library of relationship, addiction and marriage books, a million second chances, buckets of forgiveness and thousands of hours of thinking, talking, crying to my friends and gallons of wine) those are the very words my ex-husband hurled at my heart.

"I guess it didn't take."

This, at the end of our last-ditch couples counseling weekend that would reveal at its end whether or not there was anything left to work out. I took my marriage vows so seriously. Even though my parents had divorced and it had been the best thing for everyone, all I could ever hear in my mind was my mother's voice saying, "God hates divorce."

I had grown to believe that divorce was the unforgivable sin. I just couldn't give up. I couldn't fail at this. I couldn't disappoint my parents, his parents, my friends, my daughters, myself, my God. I was determined to never ask "What if" in regard to the death of my marriage.

My husband knew this. And, in what I truly believe to be his last act of love for me, he knew that unless he made it impossible for me to continue, I would never let go. And so he plunged in the knife. Deep.

He told me that when he met me I represented all the things that he wanted. He thought that if he attached himself to me maybe it would rub off on him. But, (and he said this with a shrug of the shoulders and a dismissive "you're blocking my sun" kind of sentiment) it just didn't take.

It was a nice experiment, but didn't yield the results that he desired. He didn't care to continue the charade.

Reading that right now, I know it doesn't convey the full brunt of what happened. It doesn't bring the demolition of my spirit to life. But after that final conversation all I remember is barely being able to speak (or breathe) through my sobs as I called Terri to come get me so I could escape from the demolition of everything I had been trying to build (and keep in tact) for the past eight years.

Terri was sick and in bed. Her poor (and wonderfully amazing) husband Jeff was the one stuck trying to interpret my gasping, sobbing words over the phone. I think I probably got one or two incoherent, racking wails out before I heard, "I'm coming to get you. I'll be right there."

Not only was this superman who came to my rescue my best friend's husband--but he was my husband's best friend. And he didn't even begin to hesitate with his generosity, love and protection.

There are good guys out there. When Terri and I see those cheesy commercials that talk about "good guys" and show them traipsing about in a cape, we always threaten to get Jeff one.

But I digress...this started out as a commentary on my sexless marriage. I don't know where that story really should go--this is the first time I've dared to tell it. It makes me feel more naked and vulnerable than I like. I guess I'll have to keep chipping away in order to find out...


Ricaren said...

Wonderful and powerful words from a healing woman.

Anonymous said...

My favorite yet of your pieces. This is so well written and honest. I really love it and thank you for sharing. I've said it before but...your amazing!

Kathie said...

Confession is good for the soul.
It breaks my heart to hear of your heart ache and what you had to endure while you were married. Not only as a mom but a fellow person, friend who has been there.

The Michiganders said...

:( So sorry you had to go through that.