Tag Archives: marriage

NaPoWriMo 2018, Day 16: Toys of Her Own

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Today we’re asked to write about play.  See the prompt here. This year, I’m noticing I’m consumed by the theme of the decimation of my marriage, and so this is the first thing that came to me as I read the prompt.

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There wasn’t enough of it in our relationship.
If there had been, we might have stood a chance.
But things got so serious, especially after we became parents.
The sad part is, we really had all we needed,
and the kids showed us every day how to be natural,
lighthearted, taking pleasure in simple things,
finding the joy in every little thing.
We could’ve let them be our teachers,
but we were too busy trying to be adults.
After a time the little boy in you began to tantrum;
he was tired of being ignored.
And you hadn’t done the work of deep listening,
so the feeling of discontent was taken as evidence
of my failings and our inherent incompatibility…
and that’s the story you told.
We’re just not right for each other.
We’ll never be able to make this work
or so you said. Yes, you weren’t willing to change.
That responsibility fell on me.
So the little girl in me said, “OH HELL NO!”
I had done the work of deep listening,
and I took time to honor the voices within.
Out of love for you and because
I was committed to our marriage,
I increased the time spent sorting myself out,
because I knew I’d be a better wife,
lover, mother, friend, and creatrix
if I could understand the currents at work
within me.
But all those things scared the little boy in you.
He called me selfish.  He said I wasn’t a partner.
And after eight years and two beautiful children,
the tantruming little boy said, “ENOUGH!”
So you got out and you played.
First with some friends,
eventually with another woman’s body.
I try to see the innocence,
you entering her
the way you would a playground,
you picking her up
the way you would pick up flowers
and sticks and bugs,
you riding her
the way you would a swing…
But it wasn’t as innocent as all that,
and you lied when I discovered your games,
tried to make me think I was crazy,
tried to make me doubt myself, my intuition.
Now you’ve found a more expensive toy,
a BMW. Is the little boy happy now?
Maybe one day you’ll see that all you really wanted
was to be seen, and heard and held,
to laugh, to run, to be free…
all you wanted was a little play.
I could’ve given you that,
but you thought you needed new toys.
Farewell, little boy.
This little girl has done her homework.
After the dust settles,
you’ll need to go back to school
and work hard to relearn some basic skills—
respect, honor, dignity,
commitment, understanding, empathy.
Meanwhile my little girl
will be having the time of her life.
She’ll be outside running in the open air,
shouting, whooping, dancing, spinning,
playing with friends and new toys of her own.

NaPoWriMo 2018, Day 15: Narcissus in the Spring

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Today we were invited to take a villain and humanize them.  Check out the prompt here. I have my villain.  If you’ve been following me you know who it is without trying too hard.

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He left us.
Left our marriage,
our family.
Left our children
to pursue another.
He lied.
Lied to me,
his family,
our friends,
created a camp,
started a war.
When I could sense the truth in my body,
he gaslighted me, told me I was crazy.
And now he wants my help.
How can I say no?
I met him nine years ago this month;
we were married eight years in November,
and the love doesn’t stop
even when he betrays the sanctity of our union.
He’s in pain.
He hurts and he doesn’t know the cause.
He wanted this transition to be the medicine
he’s been craving for two years now.
But the sorry sap doesn’t see his own folly.
If he can’t take ownership of his role
in our relationship
or any relationship for that matter,
he’ll be doomed forever,
caught in the endless cycle
of perceived victimhood,
looking outside of himself for the answers
that can only come from deep within.
No matter.
By the time all of this catches up to him
I’l be gone.
I’ve watched the narcissus blossom in the spring.
Anything could happen.

The Guiding Light

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I realized that what hurt the worst
was losing our shared experience
of life together,
raising our children together,
for the togetherness gave me so much meaning,
gave me an identity, a purpose,
a compass, a guiding light…
and suddenly that was gone.
Suddenly we were always at odds…
and suddenly he was with another.
Now he is preparing to leave our home,
a most final step in this process of dissolution,
and the pain gets triggered once more.
I look back on what I wrote,
I turn it around to myself.
What hurt the worst
was losing my individual experience
of life with myself,
raising my inner child, myself—
for this autonomy gave me so much meaning,
gave me an identity, a purpose,
a compass, a guiding light…
and suddenly that was gone.
When I embrace this turnaround,
I can see it is just as true or even truer
that what I wrote before.
Now my work is to live the turnaround,
reclaim my inner child, this Self,
the One in me who IS the guiding light.

Letting Go

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And then it finally hit me…
He gave me my freedom.
It was what I wanted,
what I was praying for,
but in the moment where
he was telling me
that he was leaving,
I held on.
I wanted to make it work.
I wanted to believe in love,
in this marriage.
But if it’s ending like this,
it never really was love.
I’m not going to hold on
to my story, my illusion of love, no.
I’m going to embrace my freedom
by letting go.

I Choose It

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He gave up on me.
He didn’t want my sweet honey any longer.
He thought he’d find someone sweeter
and I became stronger.
He’s afraid of me now
though he’d never admit it.
And I wonder how this
being I find myself pitying
is the same one I met
and felt so much love for
when love’s first blush
painted the rosiest of pictures.
I love reality because I choose it,
and I live life because I love it,
and meanwhile reality and life
owe me nothing.
How could I be so blessed
to see the beauty of the wounding
and accept the turn our lives have taken?
He set me free. This is a gift.
And I choose it.

My Contribution Speaks

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I wonder if you ever really loved me.
Why am I sad to see you go?
They say that shame can’t live
when it’s spoken.
Why in the speaking
do I feel so ashamed?
After this time,
the very idea of sleeping with
someone other than my husband
is utterly absurd
and yet…
he has already slept with another woman.
My husband, the man who was mine,
gave a part of himself away to someone else,
a part that was reserved only for me,
and he shall never be with me in that way again.
I think again about forgiveness,
the years I was told I wasn’t enough,
I didn’t contribute,
I wasn’t a partner.
Two beautiful children
look up at us with wide eyes.
My contribution speaks for itself.

Saturday Night Ruminations

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He is gone again on a Saturday night.
I stopped asking long ago where he goes.
And I suppose
he let this marriage go
long ago,
but not I.
I still wake up at night
forgetting this has happened.
I committed for life.
How do you uncommit?
How do you rescind your sacred vows,
spoken publicly?
When I stated mine, I meant them.
I saw us growing old together.
And each time I heard of a couple
going through a separation,
I spoke to him and told him
how grateful I was for our union.
I knew he was unhappy,
but I thought it was just temporary.
I tried to help him.
But he just blamed me.
He left the kids in front of the TV for hours
while I taught yoga today,
and upon my return he left.
Has he met someone else?
Is he with friends?
Will he ever be my friend again?
In time my heart will heal,
but right now it feels so real,
this grief, this pain
from a loss so profound
words cannot touch
this deep dark ground
I’ve fallen on.