Dear one, this is for you. Looking back over the years, maybe decades, you observe the rubble that was your marriage. You are searching for the treasure, but all you see are broken pieces of what could have been beautiful. To have and to hold, […]
Lying in the dark, a cold stillness all around me, I know that he wants me to “meet his needs”. I’m turned away towards my bedroom window. His hand grazes my hip, and my heart burns under my ribs. His words from previous disagreements echo in my head, “You shouldn’t withhold your body from me. Don’t deprive me. Your body is mine.”
I turn towards him, tears already in my eyes. “But you were so mean to me today,” I voice.
The heat comes into his voice a little, “Every time I want to have sex, you make me jump through hoops. It always has to be your way. We can’t ever just have sex. Your body is supposed to be mine.”
“I just don’t know how to get close to someone who hurts me so much. It seems like you don’t like me at all; why would you even want to have sex with me?” I refute.
“It’s always the same thing. Don’t you have any sex drive?” he quips.
Tears hit my pillow in dejection. J says, “Oh, come here. I’m sorry. I am a jerk sometimes.” He pulls me close and I cry into him, tears slick on his skin. I want so badly to believe he sees me, to believe it will be different in the future.
“Excuse me, I need to go to the bathroom.” I listen to the door close quietly as the hot tears come. Isn’t this supposed to help? Then why do I feel more hopeless than ever?
We sit a few inches apart on a stuffed couch in the counselor’s office. He takes our payment at the beginning of the appointment. I wonder what happened that makes this his standard protocol.
“So, can you give me an example of one of your fights?” I’m scanning my mind, trying to think of a safe issue to raise. After an awkward pause, I bring up a disagreement about laundry. “So, he is mad at me because I won’t do the laundry on Saturdays. I actually used to do the laundry on Saturdays, but he also wants to do things as a family. So then he was getting upset because the laundry was started, but it wasn’t finished before Sundays.”
Husband, “Yes, I want to be able to relax on Sundays. She always leaves the clean clothes all over the couch.”
“So, it became an issue. I decided to switch laundry day to Wednesday so I can stay home and make sure it gets done.”
Husband, “Yes, see I really think it’s best for the laundry to be done on Saturday so that on Monday I have everything that I need for work. Then all my clothes are clean on Monday morning, and I can be prepared for my week.”
“I’ve told him that he can certainly do a load of laundry anytime he wants. I would actually prefer to just do one load a..”
Husband, “That’s ridiculous. Then there will always be clothes everywhere. You can’t get them put away as it is.”
Counselor, “Okay, J, I’m having a hard time understanding. It seems to me that if someone is willing to do my laundry for me, they should get to choose what day they do it.”
More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the U.S. having experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Source: National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, 2010 Summary Report. National Center […]
A new counselor, with grey at his temples asks me in his formal office, “When did the problems start?”
I remember the room. I remember the tile floors, large white square tiles. I remember lots of light in the room, a simple room, a nice bed. There was no real air conditioning in the room. I remember packing for the trip, purposely bringing all of my cutest outfits for my honeymoon. I packed skirts and tank tops and a few dresses and shirts. I packed cute pj’s and all the nighties I was given at my bachelorette party. With all the stress of the wedding, I was really looking forward to the trip, the time at the beach with no agenda, time to enjoy my new husband.
On our first evening at the hotel, I go to change into a cute outfit. He appraises me and says, “Don’t you think that skirt’s a little short?” I am confused; I haven’t ever thought of it that way. I say, “Well, you’re the only person I’m dressing for. I don’t understand.” “What kind of woman would dress like that?” he counters. My face starts to squinch up, my heart beats quickly, I stop breathing. Walking over to my suitcase, I try to think if I’ve brought anything modest. All of these clothes are slutty. I give up and walk out to the beach, alone.