Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ten Minutes: Clearing Things Up

I realize the things I’ve been writing about my marriage make it appear as if I have packed my bags, hired a lawyer and am just waiting for the right moment to whisk out the door. Let me assure anybody who cares that this is not the case. The marriage is definitely in a new stage. We’re able to sit in the same room together without clawing the walls (or each other.) We can join forces on small projects without screaming at each other. It might even be said that we are beginning to enjoy each other’s company again. Baby steps, to be sure…but it feels like we’ve come miles from where we were a year ago.

It must be said that much of the forward movement has taken place between the bones of my own skull. Even as much of the previous years of turbulence originated in that same place. I won’t claim sole responsibility for all the ill that befell my marriage as a result of our ill-fated conscription into the ranks of small business owners. But I will concede that the constant state of frustration, exhaustion and over-matched-ness in which I existed for most of five years produced plenty of negative fallout, most of which fell upon the person in my nearest emotional proximity—the husband.

It’s really no surprise that after a while he chose NOT to be the person in my nearest emotional proximity. It would have been ever so nice if he stuck courageously by my side, patted my hand and held me up as I floundered; but my life is not a $6 romance novel. The fact is, I’m prickly under normal circumstances. The café turned my prickles into poison-dipped arrows. Who can blame him for running away? If the situations were reversed, I’m not sure I wouldn’t have done the same.

Once the café was over, and I began to have my wits about me again, I attempted to get down to the business of removing those poison-tipped arrows. What I discovered was that they were firmly stuck in a layer of ice that encased my heart. Seems that as a defense mechanism against five years of assaults on my more tender sensibilities, I became adept at wielding a sort of emotional ice blast.  If something became too painful, I would take aim and freeze it out. Even with what I thought was my surgical precision with the thing, eventually there was nothing left but ice.

Honestly, I thought the ice would melt of its own accord. And I suppose it would have, if I wanted to wait a decade or two. Once I recovered enough brain power to understand this, and enough strength to hold an ice-pick, I realized my “job” for the foreseeable future was going to be to actively hack away at that monstrous frozen block. I haven’t been very good or steadfast at this task, and it hasn’t been easy. Because the layers seem to be made of different substances, some of which become corrosive when they thaw. Once I had hacked through the layer of cold, hard failure, I struck a vein of hurt and resentment. And I’ve just about had to call out the haz-mat crew to get rid of that one.

So when some of that bad stuff splashes back on me, I come here and write about it. Unfortunately, it all makes my life sound very dramatic and end-of-the-world-ish. But that’s not the entire picture, and I thought it might be a good thing to come here and try and give a more well-rounded view of what is happening, in case anyone is wondering.

So now you know.


  1. So, have you gone on your retreat yet? If so how was it? If not, when is it and who's putting it on?

    Meanwhile my reading list get's longer, and longer and longer...

  2. In 28 years with the same man I've learned it takes two to fight, two to make up. And one of us cannot make a major boo-boo without the other sharing at least a smigeon of the blame. The two really do become one in so very many ways.

  3. Yup. We're at 27 years this summer, so I hear you.

  4. I was wondering, so thank you, Lisa. As usual, you write so eloquently about your life.