Thursday, June 2, 2011

Marriage as Shoes

Twenty-four days since the end of my career as a restaurateur. I've spent the time resting, sleeping (I took a two-hour nap this afternoon….aaahhhh!), nesting, fussing a bit with the ending-of-the-business details, and putting distance between myself and the husband at any possible opportunity.

My feelings surrounding the un-success of our venture, as they relate to my business-/life-partner, are complex and not altogether sanguine. I haven't really wanted to confront them (and him), so I've made it a priority to make myself scarce. I feel like I need to clear the fog of exhaustion from my brain, and the pool of unshed tears from behind my eyes, before I can take on these issues with any hope of improving—rather than destroying—what's left of our relationship.

Unfortunately, he's not making much of an effort in that direction. While I feel that I have lightened up remarkably in the past three weeks, he doesn't seem to have released one bit of five years of pent up tension. He's still wound as tight as a python around a rat, and he's about as willing to ease up as that python would be to let loose of his dinner. And I have no idea why.

Which has led me to contemplate, lately, who we are, individually; and what there is left of shared interests, goals, desires, habits, needs—to keep us bound together. What drew us together in the first place? Was it a common love of…anything? If it was, what happened to it? Is there anything that we both enjoy and value anymore?

I know our relationship was never based on how alike we are. We found in each other things that we were lacking. We each have strengths that negate the other's weaknesses. Under ordinary circumstances, we complement each other; under stress, apparently, not so much. We handle stress in completely different ways. I'm not sure I could even describe the specifics; but I do know that the whole experience has served to drive a wedge between us that is, evidently, going to be very difficult to extract.

Do we still love each other? How do you define "love" in the context of a relationship that has spanned three and a half decades? Certainly, our love is vastly different now than it was in the beginning. The fire and spark have been replaced by security and habit. Which is not necessarily bad. It's entirely appropriate, at a certain age, to prefer the comfort of an old pair of Easy Spirits to the flash and glitter of a brand new pair of Gucci stilettos. After the debilitating drain of the past five years, I'm absolutely ready to sink back into the well worn, familiar shoes of our marriage. The problem is, I'm not sure we haven't kicked, scuffed and abused the poor things so much that they won't keep out the rain.


  1. A huge part of me truly believes that marriages where there has been great love and friendship can be mended, despite wear, tear, damage and pain. I say that knowing that I've spent the last three years shredding myself over what all Randy and I did and didn't do to and for each other -- the good and the bad. It hasn't helped at all after the fact. And it only helped before he died when we were both going over things and looking to make changes together. Though it's different with every couple, I do know how hard this can be. You have my love, my thoughts and my prayers.

  2. I wish there was more I could say. I've never been married but I know I've probably missed something very special.

    All I can say is that the candle is in the window and I'm a really good listener. We should set up a time for a good chat.

  3. Kiril Lakota: There is only one area to search. And if love is mislaid, where did you see it last? And if you can't remember, maybe there was no love in the first place.

    Ruth: Oh, there was.

    Kiril Lakota: Then it is mislaid and you must find it.

    The quote is from The Shoes of the Fisherman. Perhaps love isn't gone just mislaid.