I interrupt this love story to bring you this fast-breaking news report:
Jeff and Chloe made it to their 25th Anniversary!
For the record, because I know you’re wondering, my husband did not have a sexual affair. I know that’s what you all want to know, so there it is.
What did happen was almost as bad as far as I’m concerned, and we’ve both had to step back and take serious stock of our marriage and what we want our lives to look like from here on out, but sex was never the issue.
I hate to admit that–25 years in–Jeff and I are still struggling with the aftermath of our parents’ disastrous marriages. It pisses me off that neither of us seems to be able to get wholly past our respective childhood traumas. So back to therapy we go yet again to work through our deep wounds of abandonment and betrayal.
Jeff and I are both emotionally needy people, and if we don’t give each other what we need then apparently both of us will seek it out elsewhere.
My husband didn’t need sex from someone else, but he definitely does need a wife who isn’t glued to her own escapist interests 24/7.
It’s no secret that the last four years have been rough for me. This whole damn blog is about the last four years being rough for me.
It seems like Jeff and I have been struggling with the shit that keeps happening for so long now. Getting our kids raised; seeing our daughter married, coping with my mother’s cancer; dealing with the financial challenges of being stuck upside down in a house that no longer suits us in a rural economy that shows no signs of recovery; my intermittent bouts of depression and anxiety; and just the normal consequences of aging, have all conspired to make life feel really hard.
I’ve read that a marriage is like a garden. Jeff and I took a perfect picture of our lovely garden on the day we returned home from Paris, stuck it up on the wall, and set about living two separate lives.
What we didn’t notice was that we’d stuck the picture right over the window. And as we passed each other on our way to our own interests we didn’t notice–or didn’t want to notice–that weeds were taking over. On January 2nd, we pulled away the blind and saw the reality.
There is no doubt that this year has been the hardest for us, but also the very best. I truly mean that.
We’ve dealt with things we never wanted to deal with before. We both had resisted rocking the other one’s boat for so long that we almost capsized the whole damned thing.
So it was with tremendous joy that we committed to celebrating our 25th Anniversary last weekend. It was pure joy to reap what we’ve been sowing after having spent months and months weeding and pruning and planting in our garden once again.
I need to have balance in my life. I can’t hide in my computer, running away from all the things about my life I don’t like. That won’t work for Jeff, or for me.
But I’m a writer and I need to write. So how we work that out for us in a way that makes both of us happy is one of the things we’re working on. Jeff has his things too.
And together, maybe by our 50th we’ll have it all worked out.