I was furious last night, part emotional and hormonal and part post PTSD from my previous relationship that had let deep scars on my mind.
I had a 10 year marriage before, and by my standards it was good. I was deeply in love and I sacrificed many things that I wanted or needed for the sake of living in peace and making things work for everyone… his family, himself except that I forgot somewhere along the way about me and my priorities and needs.
It wasn’t conscious, it didn’t happen overnight, it just took one inch at a time to give in and to bury my feelings or feel like they were not valid. And when it was all said and done I had to muster the strength to walk out and end it. Whatever efforts i made were just not good enough, I felt invisible and lonely and very broken and bitter. Boy was I bitter!
Fast forward to now and I’m in a completely new relationship married to someone that is so different and wonderful that I can barely believe it. But there are these times that dejavú slips in. And I’m also different. This time around in my marriage I don’t have the same feeling of idolatry towards my husband. It’s a more mature love. I have evolved and even though I love him deeply I also keep in the back of my head a little door that says… “in case it all goes away” as a very real possibility.
There are these little moments that flash in my mind from how I did things and were fruitless. I remember how I would iron all of my ex’s clothes and arrange his closet to be in pristine condition so that he could just get dressed up in the morning faster without the hassle to have to do anything else. And then I see now my husband walking up early to iron his work shirt while I’m making him breakfast and in the back of my mind I could just as easily spend one afternoon and iron all of his clothes. However I just can’t get myself to do it. It feels like repeating the same story and following the same pattern of behavior of giving way too much and making him used to it.
The biggest point of the breakup of my previous marriage was his family… I was convinced into living with them and it was just so forced at the end of a decade that just going back to that same house made me want to vomit. At the beginning we went to his family house almost every weekend… for 3 years! Even though we lived 5 hours away. The rare occasions where we didn’t drive over we had to call and ask permission to stay and make sure it was ok for us not to go. I remember feeling so free in those weekends when I had actually time for myself. It was grueling and I brainwashed myself into believing that it was for the good of the family relationships and all that jazz.
Now my husband is also coming from a very close knitted family. However they adore me and I adore them back. The circumstances are much better. We live in our own apartment and there are not expectations for us to live with them in the same house. They also give us our space a lot and they make zero drama. However when my husband wants to come see them every weekend and have us stay with them 2-3 days it just makes me apprehensive. I do it. I try to put my best face forward but I’m beginning to hate it. And hate is a strong word. I don’t hate easily. I feel forced and manipulated and taken advantage of. “Why?” He asks. I can’t tell him that all these mental scars are built up around me staying with my in-laws every weekend for years before I met him. He made me promise that I would never talk about my ex again in our marriage and without that important reference it’s hard to make a valid point. I understand he doesn’t want me to bring my past marriage up since it would just taint many conversations. But I hate the feeling of walking down the same rabbit hole. And even though I know it can’t be compared I can’t shake that feeling off.
So yes. I was furious last night because for another weekend we were spending it at his parents house and I had argued with him that I wanted to stay at home. I grew tired of arguing back and forth and said “FINE… we’re going then!”. But I was pissed.
And in the middle of my anger he would come and tell me: “you know I love you right?” And I would say: “of course you love me! It’s easy to love someone when they do everything you want them to do!” I could feel the bitterness of my previous relationship being misdirected to him and he took it. He patiently tried to rationalize with my emotional self. And then I caught myself throwing in his face the fact that I’m not asking anything from him. I’ve not demanded anything material or otherwise intangible. All this time I’ve been flexible and understanding and very very low key even for my comfort. And I thought I did it willingly and with an open heart. But the unexpected feeling that arose in the middle of that discussion was of bitterness and it caught me by surprise. Then the wave of anger subsided and I was left with the realization that I might have to start to ask for the things I need.
I need to learn to ask in a nice way with the mindset of empowerment and stop being too afraid to make others uncomfortable with my desires; whether these may be time or attention or material things to make a comfortable situation for my well being and happiness. It’s still a long journey ahead and I can’t allow myself to do the same things again and expect a different result. Learning to ask for what you really want it’s a completely new lesson for me.