I just turned a quarter of a century...it keeps repeating itself inside my head, as does the long list of things that I want to do, and of who I want to be when I "grow up."
Well, here I sit, in my pj's, pondering my life, my 3 little men running, and crawling all around me. I'm not sure if it's the fact that it feels like 2 seconds ago I was 20, and in a blink 5 years have passed, and - okay, what happened to ME?
The dawn of my Birthday, I made a few decisions.
After a night full of tears, barely no sleep, and having spend it alone for the first time in my entire marriage in a different bed, in a different room, crying. I got up, and I felt different.
My husband has been making work his first priority since mid summer, and after months of fighting, and what I thought had been the worst of it behind us, I went to bed the night before my 25th Birthday with my husband calling me a "bossy," "nagging" wife who should have dinner at least in the microwave ready for him when he gets home late, again, and strive to please not only his stomach, but his insatiable desire to have sex daily, all without having my 1 true need answered - his presence.
I suppose he simply cannot understand why after he works so hard to provide for his family, why I should have any complaints.
Everything for me came crashing down.
Looking in the mirror at who I had become, and what I had allowed my life to be, I was silently making grave, near catastrophic decisions.
Would I stay married to the man of my dreams for as long as we both shall live? Would I allow my husband to make me feel guilty for not being the bread winner of the family, and yet not being a door mat, and making demands for myself and my family? Would I continue to be the cause of his misery because his hopes have sourly been disappointed at the lack of sex in our marriage, in his opinion? Should I continue to feel alone, with no support, miserable, that I had been deceived in having a partner in marriage, in raising kids only to find out that I'm on my own?
Would I continue to life a lonely existence, without the support of a husband, and father that was promised to me?
I thought about my dreams too.
Of being a writer, an illustrator, an artist. I wasn't going to go another day in this life without working towards these goals, never again. I've always put what I want last.
Before I was married my mother said this to me: "Don't get married. Not now. It's not the right time. You're young, you have to finish school. You'll wind up barefoot and pregnant, and he'll want to be the boss - because he'll be the one supporting you. Get your life straightened out first, get finished with school, make something of yourself, and you be his equal. He grew up with old-fashioned parents, he won't ever be able to see you as an equal unless you put yourself first."
With these words haunting me as I look in the mirror, crying because I feel like my mom had been exactly right. With her no longer here to help console me, to listen to me, or to guide me, I feel terrible alone, and for once I feel silenced.
I think my husband knew it on the day of my Birthday, he saw it in my eyes that it was as though I had died a little - or given up.
I believe that all marriages have their reasons for discord. Ours was sex, and money. While we both have different needs, and expectations, I feel like we have come to a point whether we need to decide whether we go one unhappily, happily, or not at all.
But, I also believe that a person can only go on so long while being ignored.
For my Birthday he had agreed not to buy me anything upon my request, all that I asked for was a little of his time - specifically to help finish a room in our some what neglected house.
He was about to leave for work, and asked if he should go ahead and get the required materials on his way home for the job, and I said that I didn't care.
He could have just let it be, and went about his way. But he didn't, he came home with the supplies anyway, and finished the room completely.
Afterward, he turned to me, and held me, and it was as though I had my old husband back. He asked what was wrong, and for once he really listened.
I told him how I felt, that I didn't want to go another 5 years with him being miserable that he doesn't get enough sex, me being the cause of his misery. I didn't want to be miserable because my kids, and myself don't get to spend enough time with him. I wanted to choose happiness. I asked - what he wanted to choose. Again, I told him my one and only request - that he just be home a little earlier, for dinner, and to help put the kids to bed, every day. That's it.
He choose happiness, too, albeit it's imperfection.
We went out that evening, it had been the first time we'd gone out in a month or so. It was much needed.
I spent a lot of time talking to an older neighbor that had been there as well, and this is what she had to say about marriage:
"Marriage is never perfect. Couples always have their differences, their problems. It's when one person believes that the grass might be greener on the other side, that they aren't satisfied that they are sorely mistaken, because the grass on the other side has it's pitfalls too. It's important to play together, the family that plays together, stays together. Make time for just the two of you, and make your expectations clear."
I repeated all of this to him, and I think we both needed the night out together, and to hear these words. Marriage certainly has it's ups, and downs, and they all certainly make us stronger.