Monday, February 7, 2011


There are times when things seem almost bearable. When it looks like everything might just work out. Like I might come out of this thing with my marriage at least intact, if not stronger for the experience. I've learned to lower my sights, some…

Last week, the kettle boiled over—the one containing the mélange of heartache, frustration, battered ego and loneliness; the one I've been trying to control by turning down the flame daily, by increments, beseeching it not to do that thing. To no avail. I am nothing if not completely consistent in my inability to mask my feelings, to live as if the elephant in the room wasn't merely huge, but had not fouled the entire block with its elephantine…emissions. Completely counter to the Universe's urging on the subject, I could no more "leave him alone" than I could have walked away if he lay bleeding on the sidewalk. The husband, not the elephant.

So as we sat down to dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant, against my own better judgment, I went on the offensive. I was, by god, going to drag the thing out into the open and poke it. I don't even know why, since we've had the conversation numerous times, and it always ends the same: everything is MY fault and he never does anything wrong.

The "discussion" went on well into the evening. In the restaurant over dinner. In the car all the way home. From our favorite chairs in the growing twilight in the family room. My sister came home and we smiled and exchanged pleasantries and enjoyed a companionable dessert together. Then she went to bed and we ripped right back into it without missing a beat. Quite a performance. We should put it on YouTube.

I didn't have an agenda, didn't expect a resolution of any kind. I just knew I couldn't hurt in silence and solitude anymore. It was poisoning my whole life, not giving me a minute's peace, and it had to go somewhere.

But, lo and behold, I think he finally heard me. I said something—and I don't really know what—that made him get it. Maybe it was when I wondered why in god's name he stayed with me if I was such a source of irritation and evil in his life. Maybe it was when I told him that I really thought that what everybody in my life needed from me was for me to just disappear. Maybe it was when I apologized yet again, and reminded him that I had apologized time after time for being a total bitch to him. I knew I had f'd up. I admitted it. I apologized. And he never heard me.

Until this time.

I'm not going to say our marriage has undergone this miraculous metamorphosis, but…things have improved, some. He doesn't run away from me every chance he gets. He does the little things he used to do all the time, back in the olden days—like get me a bowl of ice cream or a glass of water if I'm in the middle of something I don't want to put down. He kisses me goodnight, even if I've been in bed for hours and am snoring like a buzz saw when he comes up. He offers to help at the restaurant, and doesn't roll his eyes and act like I'm flogging him if I ask him to wash a few dishes or smile at a few customers.

So, at the moment, life may not be perfect, but I don't feel like I'm dragging myself through every day with one hand clapped over my mouth and the other hitting myself in the head with the claw end of a hammer.

Could be worse…


  1. OMG Lisa, I wish we could talk. At our age, isn't it supposed to be just a tad easier (and more peaceful) than this?

  2. Hugs, candles, and joyful that things are going a little better. Thinking of both of you lots.

  3. how curious? but I hope it's just the first of more opportunities for him to hear you and you to feel heard.

  4. I hope things continue to get even better. Sheila