Friday was our anniversary. As I do every year at this time, I found myself reflecting on this relationship with my husband of now thirty-three years.
It is never an easy time of year for me. I can't help but wonder if I am selling myself short.........settling for less than I deserve........to still be in a relationship with a man who has not done his emotional work. I have come a long way and changed a lot where he has changed little. I have emotional needs he has no desire to fill. He wants to do for me what he thinks I need. He cannot hear what it is I really need.
Yet, on the other side of the coin, I wonder if I don't owe him some loyalty for hanging in through some really difficult times. I am not the woman he married. He never expected this particular journey. How could he have? No one knew what lay under the surfaces of my psyche.
I'm not going to say he was supportive of my journey.........more in denial of it. Yet he paid the bills, took me to appointments if I needed.......even held me sometimes when I cried. He comforted me through some pretty horrendous nightmares..........even if he didn't "hear" what they were about.
He was best with my inner children. He didn't see them as weird or quirky......or if he did, he kept it to himself. He just took them shopping for toys when they needed and protected them. To this day he lives with their toys taking over our bedroom with little of his identity in that room, yet he doesn't expect me to have outgrown them or to move on.
He hung in there through all of the upheavals and he continues to hang in there. I am not an easy person to live with. My expectations are high. Even though I know life can not be perfect, I am always wanting more..........pushing the envelope..........for as much as is possible. I will not accept the status quo in any corner of my life.
Yet, I don't expect those around me to live life on my terms. I respect their choice to live life on their terms, in most circumstances anyway. I do refuse to let my daughter or my husband wallow in self pity because they feel overworked. I push them to see the glass is really half full..........and not half empty. I chose my battles carefully so as not to waste time on things that are important to me and not to them..........but I push.
Usually on our anniversary I am angry.......angry about the lack of intimacy in our relationship, any kind of intimacy really........both emotional and physical. I find it hard to understand how that can be ok with him. I guess in actuality, it really isn't, but it is easier to live with than it is for him to change.
He is content to not know the answers that make him like this. I can't imagine being content with anything less than giving it all you're got. We are definitely two very different people who somehow have managed to be traveling the road together even though our paths are different. This year that seems to be easier for me to grasp. Next year, I may be angry about it again. God only knows............