When Nothing Is Certain
Before I get into the nitty gritty of this particular post, I’d like to link to my happy hour test drive post over at the Modern Materialist, in which I recount how some friends and I tried out some premixed shots two weekends ago.
You can get the lowdown on our evening there (though you can pretty much guess the outcome from the photo above).
Now that that’s taken care of…
…this might seem TMI, but Michael and I almost gave up on our marriage this past weekend.
I know. Sounds melodramatic. And there have certainly been times when I’ve been suffering from PMDD and forgot to take my Xanax and almost walked out…
But thinking about divorce? That’s actually nothing new for me, hormones out of whack or not.
Our courtship was a tumultuous one, partially because I was terrified of commitment, and partially because I was afraid of making a mistake that wouldn’t be a snap to reverse. As we started talking marriage, my shrink sessions became filled with discussions of that one persnickety question: How can I be sure?
In the end, I decided that I could never be sure, but that there were certain truths I knew to be self-evident:
- we had a similar moral code,
- we were both nonreligious,
- we both wanted children, and figured 2-3 would do just fine,
- family was important to both of us…
- …as was career fulfillment,
- and I sure did miss him when he wasn’t around.
Despite what my single friends may think, marriage doesn’t tie everything up neat and, even after the wedding (and now slowly approaching our two-year anniversary), I still have my doubts.
There are the spaces in our lives we don’t leave for each other. There are the times I feel he’s not listening, and the things he does that he doesn’t think I notice or appreciate. There is the stress of not having enough money, no matter how hard we work, and of never having the energy to connect, on a physical or emotional level.
The biggest thing, though? Wendy explained it beautifully in her essay on why women in relationships fantasize about other men. I’m not necessarily unhappy with Michael. I’m merely scared of a future that will never happen…an alternate life that will never be lived. Will I never live in Boston? Will I never live abroad? Is it too late to disappear into a writer’s retreat? Are there no more surprises waiting around the bend?
This past Saturday, we cried and screamed and I got a migraine and Michael finally said: “Is that it? … You have to decide. … You can’t keep torturing me.” And then he left me in the bedroom with my own conflicted thoughts.
And because of all he’s risked for me, and all he does for me, and how bereft I am without him, I eventually determined that no, our marriage was not a mistake.
Will the doubts come back? Perhaps.
But a marriage is a work in progress, and I have to believe that there are still some surprises waiting around the bend.
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Tags: certainty, divorce, doubt, marriage, pmdd