Ch-ch-ch Changes

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We are in a restaurant discussing the fate of our marriage. The cards are on the table and the chips fall as they may. We spend the next hour talking about finances, what our lives would look like sans one another, and what this rupture would do to our innocent children.

He says: ” If we were to stay together there would be a lot of changes and I am not sure you would like them.”

“What changes might those be?” I ask.

“Well, I’ve never told you this before  but I am pro-life like they house I was raised in. I might want ours to be a pro-life household too. I would want our children to be raised this way.”

Whiplash has slapped me hard because I have shaken my head so violently trying to make this man come into focus again. You mean after 30 years of togetherness you felt like you couldn’t say something about this? WTH.

“And I want to be treated like the man of the house.”

Somewhere I hear the words obey mentioned.

I stare at this man I’ve saved and who has saved me numerous times over the past 30 years. He looks the same on the outside but obviously there is a lot changing on the inside. I’m not sure I like it. Actually, as a feminist I know I dislike it…a lot.

“What does this mean to you? Man of the house?” I ask… while I am thinking to myself…so you are finding your voice and now you want to roar. Roar out all the misunderstandings. Roar out all your “unheard” convictions. Roar out life as you imagine it should be while you figure out who you want to be. You want to be heard after feeling unheard all of your life. A hurt that started with your mother and one that you feel continued on with me.

My eyes stare back, unblinking, both locked into a battle of silent conviction.

“At the end of the day I want to know that my word is the final word.”

And in the end the only thing I can say is nothing. Because talking to this man before me is like talking to a stranger who speaks a different language, has different values, and wants different things than I do.  Things I never knew about. Things I never guessed. They are not the things that delight me. They are sharp and they sting the inside of my heart and of my head.

So I look down at my feet and stare at my crooked big toe observing how it leans to the left, as does my philosophy, and the tears start to glide silently down my face as my awareness of how deep this situation dwells in a land of which I know not; and it seeps from the very center of my pores.

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16 thoughts on “Ch-ch-ch Changes

  1. OYTFT, my heart broke reading this. I’m tearing up thinking about how awfully difficult and painful that talk must have been for you. I hope and pray that your gut speaks to you in the midst of this, and that you hear it loud and clear – whatever the message might be. Hugs

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  2. This breaks my heart. But I also feel like he is pushing you. Trying to name you as the villain. The last time… It was your yelling. Or your whatever. .. Other things that need to change. Nagging. Etc. But you conquered that. You didn’t yell. You did your own list of honey doos. … And he was passive about it but seemed to ignore the new outlets etc? For what? So he could be “the man”… ? And he gets to just tell you his new decisions. And you have to… Make yourself smaller and smaller. What I think I would hear is that he wants to go back. To charge back into the time where you didn’t hold him accountable for emotions and feelings sharing and understanding. He just wants the wife appliance. A quiet one. A well behaved one. This blog made ne think of this poetry slam I watched years ago and I found it for you. Do not be squashed by someone who isn’t big enough to be vulnerable. You are amazing. You can do what you need.
    Lily Myers – “Shrinking Women” (CUPSI 2013)
    YouTube – Apr 18, 2013

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    • Thank you. Your words about making myself smaller and smaller hit me hard. I have seen this clip and am going to watch it again. Thank you for your thoughts and cares.

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      • I love your strong confident womanhood. I don’t think god created us to be secondary the way some do. We aren’t subordinate we are diffrent. What would your house and your life be like if you really left it all to his bidding? A strong man who puts his family first doesn’t leave his chores untended for months. He doesent get resentful when their capable wife supports them and does it. A strong man knows that teaching a child to make a decision and trusting your social and emotional guidance to support them into adulthood and understand that … Jesus loved everybody even if he didn’t like their decisions- is actually the best you can do. I just think he is asking everything from you. What did he put on the table as what he is bringing? A strong man treats his wife like rubies . knows she is precious. Put her worth above all.

        I don’t buy it.

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  3. Best advice anyone ever gave me was ‘ You do not have to find a solution today.’
    Go slow, be kind to yourself, kinder even.
    Remember, you are not the problem here. I really believe this is not about YOU . Sounds like he is in crisis and taking it out on you.
    Come here for a holiday is what I meant to say.

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  4. I’m so angry for you. I know it’s considered bad form to encourage divorce, but I have to admit I hope you leave. It seems like something is going on with him; it’s almost as if he’s stringing you along in limbo because he won’t make a decision. Just trying to make everything unbearable for you. I’m so sorry.

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  5. I’m sorry 😕 but I know throughout this process you’ve not just been making changes for HIM or even for the marriage, but for yourself. The hardest thing to remember, and what I continue to remind myself, is that we have no control over others but we can improve ourselves, no matter what happens with the rest.
    Hang in there {{hugs}}

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    • That is so true. The changes I have made have been important to so many aspects of my personality and that of my family. All my life I have tried to control and letting go of that recently has been liberating. Thank you for the hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

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