There was a lot of resentment, a lot of jealousy, a lot of frustration. We threw words and phrases at each other we’ve never said to each other before. This was one of those moments where you get your head out of dream land, realize how things are, then either crumble in front of the other, or stand up and fight back.
Things have never been this bad between us before.
And we agreed that maybe we should separate. We’ve already taken back our own bank accounts. Where once we had a kitty to tend to us via a joint account, we’d gone so far as to decide “this is mine, and that is yours.”
I don’t know how the issue started. (Scratch that, I do know. Money. The death of many a couple has come at the strangling choke of finances.)
No matter how bad things ever got, we never really cared because we knew we had each other and we’d get through it. But, after a while, you begin to question how many times you’re actually going to have to go through it before there is a windfall….and if you’re willing to wait to see that happen or just give up and move on….on everything.
For three days there were bitter eruptions. First night, it was a fight between just my husband and I. The second night? We erupted into nasty insults and insinuations in front of a friend. By the third night I was sitting here in my chair watching “War of the Roses,” so loud that he kept peeking over my shoulder, joystick in hand, playing his game as Kathleen Turner said, “Oliver, I want a divorce. The very sight of you makes me sick….”
(Funny. He told me once that he liked the name “Oliver.”)
It was a vicious week, full of silence, passive aggressive behavior and good old fashioned hitting below the belt.
At one point the stress got to me so bad that I could feel my chest in pain. I felt I was having a heart attack….
My chest suddenly seized and I fell to the floor. He wasn’t here. I was alone, clutching at my chest and wondering if this was real. NO! Think about it! You get to a certain age and you’re told to LOOK for these kinds of things. You COULD be having a heart attack!
After two hours of pacing, wondering if I should call 911, I realized I was having a simple anxiety attack.
So, I sat down with my knitting, listened to some music and tried to think of my life if Phillip had never come into it, what it would be like without him. Stitch after stitch I contemplated my life without him. I saw myself as this massive power house of fame and fortune, with the apartment decorated like I want it, never having to worry if he’d eaten EVERYTHING in the fridge. I could have all the time in the world to devote to myself.
And with needles clacking away, I thought of what it would be like if he didn’t come home one day….
(I hate that feeling. I really do. I deal with it every Friday and Saturday as he’s walking home from work at 2am. Some part of me never REALLY gets to sleep until I know he’s home).
So, after one of the most disgusting dialogues in our relationship, after coming home to see me knitting, Phillip comes home from work, says nothing.
I’m working a purl round as I ask, “How was your day?”
Nothing more. You know that distinct coldness, don’t you? I’m simply answering your question to be polite, however I have no interest in speaking with you.
So, I dropped my knitting, slowly stood, watched him avoid eye contact, then went to him, held him. I threw these tiny little arms around that giant chest as best I could and said, “I love you.”
Just like in the movies. John Williams snags Yo Yo Ma to do a very heart wrenching piece as we embrace. He whispers back into my ear, “I love you, too!”
Now, this was about 2 or 3 days ago. I haven’t written very much in the meantime. I promise you I sat here to do some mesmerizing blog post only to be shut down by writer’s block. And Phillip mentioned that to me this morning.
“You know, I think the reason you haven’t written is because you haven’t written about our stumble.” Click clack go my knitting needles, smash bash go his thumbs along a gaming console. “You write about your life, about all of your stumbles. If it helps….I give you full permission to discuss our stumble if that will get you writing again.”
(You know, there was a small part of me that said, “Bitch, please….”)
So, we are working on it. The ins and outs of what we’ve been dealing with will come in time, I’ll write about all of that later. For now, just know that sitting here knitting gave me time to reflect rather than engage in rage, knitting allowed me a few moments to slow everything down and remember why I married this man….
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