It has been a hard weekend, my Plum spent more days than usual with his mama, removing our buffer. The joy and lightness he brings also means there is little time for deep talk or uninterrupted arguments. Important words go unsaid, feelings never expressed. He wasn’t here, words were spoken, feelings were hurt, a marriage teetered.
I came into this marriage emotionally strong but poor, two children already dividing up my time and love. Always trying to atone for the time I was away, I gave more to them than him, expecting him to understand. He did and didn’t. Waiting for his turn, for my time and attention, has taken a toll. My habit of putting him last hard to break.
As the children grew older, Arrow’s addictions and my dismissals from employment from strangers complaints regarding my history created crises under which my Chef and I could unite. With each new onslaught, we got better at leaning on each other, communicating, focusing on the goal together. My neediness was evident.
With an addict son, an unexpected pregnancy, taking in the mama, raising the child until she was able, custody battles, Arrow’s imprisonment, and now the estrangement from our daughter after she married, the crisis meter was always ticking. But what happens when I opt out? When I stop seeing everything as a mess that needs my fixing and just start moving forward? My marriage becomes the next crisis.
I want to change the pattern, to help my Chef see that I need him without being needy. I want him to become aware of how we communicate when the goal is not finding a rehab but just celebrating the day. We need to find a new way, that doesn’t involve just hurts and sorrow. Old habits are pushing us, I am pushing back. He has waited a long time for my time and attention, can no longer see that he has it. He thinks he still needs to fight for it, can’t figure out who to fight. I am here, waiting for him now.
Almost 16 years ago, I married this man. I came into it poor with two children. I still am poor, I have a grandson now. The vows I took on that day have not been broken, for better or for worse, I am here. Waiting for him to meet me in the better.