As it stands, my marriage is wobbling and things are hard. I am in the throes of envisioning different endings, and given my tendency for pessimism, most of them are not, shall we say, particularly rosy.
I tiptoe around my husband, there are no signs of affection but a kind of clinical acceptance of my existence that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. It's been a long time coming, for years I have known that something wasn't right- that the light in his eyes lit up for the dog but dimmed for me. I have seen this and I have accepted it because after all, I must fall short in so many ways.
It's tragic when the seeds of childhood dysfunction bloom ardently in your adult life, unexpected and so hurtful that at times it's hard to breathe. You try to take the slights in stride. The lack of affection- well- I did too many things that brought his disfavor, that I am not worthy of forgiveness. I grew up in a large family where parental neglect loomed large and I struggled with why my parents did not protect me. Of course in a child's mind- you must not have enough value intrinsically to be worth protecting- you must be less than everyone else to justify why you are left abandoned and afraid time and again to older siblings who don't understand themselves what they are doing.
Motherhood brought the chance to heal some wounds. I did not neglect my children. I could not let history repeat itself and it didn't. They seem sounder to me than I ever was and if I have left them down through my own stupidity or ignorance, I ask them to forgive me. They are the brightest lights in the constellation of my life and I am so grateful for the chance life afforded me to be their mother.
I'm sure my spouse will be fine. The men usually are. I know he will not look back. It will be my fault and he will be the wounded other- who wasn't prepared for someone so sensitive. "Why do you care?" "Why do I have to tell you how I feel?" And so it goes. I try to take up less space. I stop sharing anything internal- better to discuss real estate, the condition of the roads, the things that are so wrong, of course committed by other people.
This is not a lighthearted post. This is not a narrative spun of highlights and captured moments. This is the heart of the heart of the matter that is my life. It's what happens next where my future happiness lies.
That's all I can hope for.