Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Out of the dark, into the light

This past year of my marriage has been so hard.*

When J and I first got together, he was so sweet and adoring towards me, almost exaggeratedly so.  We were *that couple* - always schmoopy and all over each other.

But within a couple of years after we married, we started having problems.  I tried to figure out what was going on, get him to talk to me, whatever.  Nothing worked.

We had such an impossible time communicating.  During the most difficult times, no matter what one person said, the other person took it wrong.  I started to believe that there was something wrong with me -- that I really was the bitch-faced evil asshole troll that I was made to feel like -- so I would walk on eggshells around him all the time, hyper-analyzing every little thing I said and every little thing I did and every little interaction we had, so as not to evoke a bad reaction.  Rather than chat and engage the way I normally would, I withdrew as well, because if I didn't say anything, I couldn't be accused of saying something he didn't like.

I can't even tell you how emotionally exhausting it is to live like that.

Our interactions since we decided to separate have improved - we are cordial to each other, and I don't feel so fragile around him anymore.  But the reality is that I am still sharing a house with someone who doesn't love me or even act like he likes me very much most of the time.  

It's been an emotional desert.  

When J and I drove across the country before we moved to Hawaii, we spent a bunch of time in the desert - Santa Fe, the Grand Canyon, Utah, Nevada.  And while it was beautiful and striking landscape, I much prefer lush environments with humidity in the air to the brown, dry moonscapes that dominate that part of the country.  When we crossed from Nevada into California, I remember going through the Sierra Nevadas and descending down into Sacramento on our way to San Francisco and being struck by how green and vibrant everything was.  After just a few days, my eyes were so acclimated to the muted earth tones of the desert that the depth of color in the landscape shocked me.

That's how I feel after this past weekend in DC.  Suddenly, I was surrounded by people who were so excited to see me, who wanted to hear about my life and tell me about theirs, who couldn't stop hugging me.  Men flirted with me and made me feel beautiful and light and desirable again.  I felt like part of a family again.  My heart burst with all the color and feeling and energy, because I've spent so much time lately trying to stay neutral.

It's been emotionally overwhelming, but in a good way.  I weep at the drop of a hat, but I also feel like I'm quicker to laugh and smile.  I want to go around to my friends and shower them with love and let them know how much I appreciate them.  I feel pretty (oh so pretty, I feel pretty and witty and briiiiiiight... OK, sorry, couldn't resist).  I realize I'm not a bitch-faced evil asshole troll.  

I'm on the flight back to Denver right now (gotta love inflight wifi), thinking about the house I'll be walking back into tonight.  I'm so excited to see my children.  But I'm realizing that J and I need to get on with it. We need to get some distance from each other.  We need to actually separate.  Setting up a second household is financially difficult, but we need to figure something out soon.  

I can't go back to the desert.  
* I know that many of J's friends read this blog.  It is not my intention to make him out to be horrible, because he's not.  He's a good person and a wonderful father and we will remain good friends.  But our relationship was not a healthy one.  The point of this post is not to denigrate him, but to write about my emotional state over the past few years.  Though I do self-censor at times in order to spare feelings, I'm too raw right now to do it today.  This is my space and I need to use it the way I need to use it.  


  1. Love you, Wendy. Big hugs. I know it's been hard (although I hadn't realized how hard) and that moving forward won't necessarily be easy, but what you are doing is so so right for you. You can't go back to the desert.

  2. Ohhhhhh, honey. I am sooooooo in the same place right now. Total "shit-or-get-off-the-pot-because-we-need-to-move-on" mode. I'm extremely happy that you were able to experience all that you did in DC! What a great kick in the ass to make you feel like there IS life on the other side of all of this. We will need to get together on the phone at some point to compare notes and war stories. Hugs and love!

  3. I am sorry you are having to deal with those experiences. Communication is so important, keep that going with your husband if you can. You have friends who will be there for you and support you, old friends and new. Delhi powers unite. ;)

  4. Hey, Gal - I love you. You are an amazing woman.

  5. Dear lord. I've been so wrapped up in my own mess that I had no idea. Let me know if you want to talk. I'm fresh off a divorce and other blah, blah, blah. xoxo