I never thought about what I would do if my husband cheated on me. Because I never thought he would. I had no game plan, no plan of attack, no A or B, nothing. Throughout the years, no matter our difficulties, his faithfulness was the one thing I was always sure of. That surety was not so much a testament to me and my astounding capabilities as wife, but to him and the man I believed him to be. I never thought it necessary to ponder infidelity occurring in our marriage. Clichés are so cliché, but there is good reason to never say never.
I can feel incredibly alone in a room full of people. Terribly alone in a sea of people. Utterly alone in a world of over seven billion people. Such is the way of an introvert. Paradoxically, often the best way for me to keep loneliness at bay is to spend time alone. I can be all by my lonesome and not feel the least bit lonely. I know, it’s a real head scratcher. The most heart-wrenching form of loneliness though, is feeling irrevocably alone in the company of the one person in the world who vowed to love you the most. I’ve felt that too. That flavor of loneliness is what made me give up for all intents and purposes on my marriage many years ago. I didn’t leave the marriage, but I did give up on it. And that did not work out so well for me.
My husband and I recently found ourselves at the brink of marriage failure and in clawing our way back we encountered the single best piece of marital advice we’ve ever heard. Actually it’s the only advice that’s ever rang true, right and doable over the very long haul that every marriage is. It’s advice that’s ethereal in its authenticity and power. When we encountered it we knew without a doubt that heeding this instruction was how we would get back to our set point and even soar beyond what we’ve been settling for and on to new heights. The reason we knew it was going to work for us is because we had not done it with much regularity in the 20 years we have been married and we recognized this to be where we went wrong.
I’m one of the lucky ones. I’m gifted. Incredibly gifted in fact, with more than one thing even. I am a dancer and a writer and I am amazingly gifted with both abilities. On the off chance you’re still reading and not gagging on my arrogance I hope you’re reading me correctly. Just to be sure, please make special note that I am not saying I am gifted AT dancing or writing, but WITH them. This is a huge distinction and one I think adds huge value to the conversation.
During a couples counseling session with my husband about a year ago, our counselor looked at me and asked, “Jodie, what do you do for yourself that brings you joy?” I stared back at her blankly and started to feel hot and itchy. I could not answer the question. My husband and I were at a rock bottom place in our marriage. We were just beginning to attempt to recover from his newly revealed infidelity and at that point my days were filled with despair, anger, anxiety, grief, a sense of loss, uncertainty, insomnia, the inability to catch my breath (quite literally), shame, regret and I’ll just stop myself here because I could list every negative and unwanted emotion under the sun and be acutely accurate in my description of what those early days of recovery were like. So when she asked me what I did to summon joy, I had nothing, nada, zip, zilch, zero to come back to her with.
Do you remember (back to probably yesterday) when you paid someone a compliment and they tried to talk you out of it, as if you were about to adopt a pitbull or jump off a building? Continue reading “Why Can’t We Take a Compliment?”
Nostalgic is what I’m feeling this Mother’s Day eve. My son was a terrible liar when he was little. His eyebrows gave him away every time. Continue reading “Those Eyebrows, Though”
I sat in my counselor’s office for the first time a few years ago. I was there because I was struggling with motherhood, bottoming out really. My husband and I have two teenagers and I often harken back to the days when they were little and all our collective problems seemed little too. For the life of me, as I look back all I can recall are the snuggles not the struggles. So hindsight is either a dirty mo-fo trickster or a benevolent and loving friend. As our kids got bigger, so did our issues and I was on her couch because my depth perception wasn’t working. Continue reading “You Say Tomato, I Say Crisis”