Blaming the Top Tier

A few people have had the nerve to ask me questions about the disintegration of my marital vows. Some have asked, “What happened?” or “When did you realize things were going bad?” or “What were the signs?”

As far as what happened, in all honesty, that is not my story to tell, so I will leave you hanging on that question. (Sorry, but I must respect the privacy of others.)

When did I realize things were going bad? Oh, about four or five years ago our relationship dynamics changed, and it was all downhill from there. I always hoped that tomorrow would be a better day, but tomorrow never came.

What were the signs? I could list some of the signs that I saw, but I don’t want others looking for those signs and assuming that their nuptial vows are on the fritz. So, instead I will share a long lost memory that struck me this morning. You may say it is superstition, or an old wives tale, take it as you will, but here’s the story.

As per marital tradition, the top tier of our wedding cake was boxed up and frozen, to be thawed and enjoyed on our first anniversary.

As our anniversary approached we found ourselves with a new addition to our home, she was just a newborn, and cute as hell. I was registering for college, so things were rather hectic, and let’s not forget the other four children that he welcomed into his arms when he married me.

All seven of us were eager to relax and enjoy the memories of our wedding day as we served the thawed cake, but it wasn’t to be so.

Opening the box that contained the top tier we discovered a spider that had frozen to death in the middle of our cake. Now, it wasn’t anything spectacular, like a black widow or tarantula, but it may have been the first sign of doom just the same.

As I share this, I am well aware that we had a long, happy relationship prior to the discemination of vows, but even so, for some reason, the spider story hit me hard today.

It’s the simple memories … both happy and later sad, that make me realize that there has got to be something left for me in this world … some sort of peace within that allows me to move beyond the past.

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Old Patterns are UGLY!

I’m probably going to get a lot of heat over this post, so here’s my disclaimer: I am human, I make mistakes, in no part is any one in my life, past or present, solely to blame for what is now or what has been.

If you take the time to look at my marital relationships you will note that all three have ended in some sort of domestic violence. Many will say that I have done nothing wrong, but the truth is much tougher than that.

For instance, let’s look at my first marriage … yes, my ex will probably read this and deny any or all of it, but that’s his story and this is mine. We were mutally combative. I didn’t take crap from anyone, if I felt threatened I took a swing. The real damage, the chaos came from his “jokes” that were offensive and detrimental to my psychological health.

The second marriage was me attempting to be the perfect wife and failing miserably. I tried, really, I did, but the more I tried the more violent the relationship became until finally it was do or die trying to leave.

Now, the final chapter, where all seems perfect, my current failure, I mean marriage. This marriage went horrible wrong in such a passive/aggressive manner that I didn’t even see it happening, despite my past experiences and newly acquired human services degree!

Where did it all go wrong? The answer is as easy as it is complex. Black and white, all or none, do it or do nothing. Perfect life, perfect wife. Me trying to fit someone else’s mold. A failure to maintain healthy boundaries. After all, if you truly love someone there should be no boundaries … right!?

Wrong, wrong, wrong!!! I don’t understand this, because I have failed to love me for who I am, for who God created me to be. Past experiences have taught me that true love knows no boundaries … but in this definition I believe that true SELF love should know no boundaries.

There is a certain amount of respect that should be in any relationship, spouse, children, family, extended family, friends, partners, it doesn’t really matter … there should still be respect of personal space. This is something I have never known, and I find that to be heart breaking.

I was raised to do as your told … I don’t recall being hit very often (just that one time I called my mom the b word), but there was a certain amount of intimidation. It was never said, but I knew that I didn’t want to find out what would happen after raised voices or the ranting in the empty laundry room¬†were¬†complete.

Since I didn’t know what might happen if I screwed up, I did my best to be perfect and when that wasn’t good enough, well, I did what humans do best, I rebelled. I rebelled into the arms of a man and tried to fit his casting of a perfect wife and mother.

Again, I failed, so I moved, leaping into the arms of the first jackass that I met. “Honey, I’m home,” happened way too fast! Again, I wasn’t his perfect trophy wife, so I ran for the hills.

You guessed it, I couldn’t meet the needs of my third husband either! So, now what!?!?

Now I’m at a point that I don’t care what others want, or expect from me. I am going to take care of me first. My needs come first (well, right after my children’s needs are met). I am going to love me, I am still open for suggestions, but I’m going to tell everyone right now … don’t get your panties in a bunch if I don’t take your advice on who I should be or how I should live my life, because you aren’t me, and you don’t love me near as much as I need to love myself.

So when I say no more men, no more romantic relationships, I mean … Loving me has got to come first so that I can teach my children how to set appropriate boundaries and together we can end this cycle of domestic violence … We’re getting off this crazy train now!