Monday, April 30, 2012

Insecurity in Marriage



I trust him with my life. I have no doubt in his skill behind the wheel, or the concern he takes in preparing chicken properly. My children are safe within his care and I have never feared that a raised voice might turn to something worse.

He is my best friend. I trust him with my life.

But I do not trust him with my heart. There are many childhood traumas I may attribute to this - divorce and custody battles, lawyers and bitter words - a thousand different reasons that explains why I shy away from handing him my heart and trusting that he'll keep it. Trust is a difficult thing to cultivate within a person whose seen it so mishandled.

Maybe it started when I was five. When my father crashed through the front door of our house onto the front lawn, looking wild and out of control, this was not unusual but still alarming. He dropped to his knees before my brothers and I, his voice choked with emotion as he whispered, "Your mother doesn't love me anymore". At five years old I could not understand how this might be true. Love can't stop, can it?

Yes. It can.

Truth be told my marriage is nothing like theirs. Theirs was young and hot and burned itself out long before that summer of '88. My marriage is stable, beautiful, full of give and take and we do not let the hurts fester. We communicate. My parents only yelled and screamed and shouted their own perceived injustices - never truly listening to each other - both wanting nothing more than to be right.

We are nothing like them.  Still...I wonder.

Hockey game or mistress? Email or secret rendezvous? Consistent overtime or a prelude to separation?

Love or convenience?

My mind runs rampant. Accusations fly and he rolls his eyes and he asks why he would leave when he has everything? And I stutter and choke and think that sometimes it happens. Sometimes love stops. "Your mother doesn't love me anymore"...And I want to prevent it.

I'm afraid to admit that I grovel sometimes. Better housekeeping? Better sex? Better looking? Just don't go. In this culture of divorce, in the statistics of police marriages, I flounder.

My insecurity runs deeps. And I do my best, everyday, to vanquish it. It is the remnants of a heart that's been broken once too much by a couple whose love not only died but imploded - sucking my brothers and I down into the ether with them. And I linger in the dark while my husband insists I turn on the light. My hand quivers on the switch. What if I do what he asks and his voice was only illusion and I have to venture back - back into the dark?

I trust him with my life - maybe one day I'll trust him with my heart.



57 comments:

Kristine Brite McCormick said...

You're a beautiful writer. You laid your heart open here. Maybe that's part of the process of it being able to trust.

carrie said...

Thanks so much for the comment. lol. It was a bit controversial with some of my other readers over facebook so I worried I may have exposed too much! So again, thanks so much for the comment!

Stephanie said...

This is so sad and beautifully written. What did your husband think when he read it?

Have you heard of the writing contest at www.yeahwrite.me? This post should be shared. <3

carrie said...

Thanks :) My husband didn't say much, he kinda knows my insecurities, he knows my family history and all the craziness that went on when i was little. He just joked and said one day he would win me over. I think he might just do that.

And no I have not heard of the contest. I will check it out. Thanks!

Adrienne said...

Insecurity sucks! I'm so sorry that you have memories of things that cause those insecurities. You are not your parents and our pasts do not define us. Stopped by from Yeah Write #56.

carrie said...

Thanks Adrienne and you are right...I am not my parents! I think it was my vow not to end up like them that has seen me attain so much success in my own family.

Gia said...

Ugh, insecurity is so tough. But at least you're aware of what you're doing. That's a start.

carrie said...

That's my belief too! At least I'm aware of my flaws, so I can attempt to fix them! :)

eloiza said...

this was beautifully written and heartfelt. thank you for being vulnerable and courageous in sharing it. xo

carrie said...

Thanks so much for the comment Eloiza. It's nice to have a voice here on my blog and so many wonderful people out there who will listen to my yammerings :)

Jennifer Worrell said...

So beautifully written! VERY powerful!

Ado said...

Oh I love your honesty. And you are so insightful to draw the connection between your experience w. your own father when you were 5 and your partner now. I had to really work through my own issues in therapy and by reading books etc. to pull my mind out of that old trough before it destroyed any chance I had at a long-term relationship - and I was able to. You can, too! (-:

carrie said...

@ Jennifer - Thanks so much :)

@Ado - Thank you for the encouragement. I think I can too. Every time I start to feel a little panicky I have a debate in my head lol About how illogical my feelings are. Recognizing where they come from is a huge step in the right direction. I'm glad to hear that you were able to overcome your insecurities too. It can be a hard road when the past comes to rear her ugly head, but if we face it, it can be overcome.

Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms said...

Self awareness is half the battle. I hope you work through the rest of it because it sounds like you have a very lovely life and relationships. Ellen

carrie said...

Thanks for the comment Ellen. I do have a wonderful life, full of wonderful people and everyday they heal me just a little bit more.

:)

jamie said...

Beautiful. Honest. And so much truth. You have just written out loud what many wives couldn't or wouldn't admit it out loud ;) Great post, Carrie!

christina said...

i love the honesty here. and i can very much relate. it took me Y-E-A-R-S to "get over" my parents demise. as a result, i didn't get married till 35... but... it's all worth it. it really is. once you really trust and love- yourself first- it gets easier to trust and love others. good luck.

Delilah Love said...

I love the honesty and the vulnerability that you expose. I too suffer from insecurities and they are really hard to overcome.

carrie said...

@Jamie - Thank you for the kind words and I was hoping I wasn't the only woman with these insecurities in an otherwise very happy and stable marriage.

@Christina - It is surprising how much a parents relationship can impact our own especially if we are insecure in our own personhood. You hit it right on the head. My biggest problem is seeing myself as someone who deserves so much love, affection and trust.

@Delilah - I think we all hold insecurities in one facet of our lives or another and I believe its natural to question our worth in the world. I think recognizing where the insecurity comes from is the first step in learning how to overcome the feelings. I'm still working on mine! Obviously. lol.

Susanna Hickman Bartee said...

Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing it.

anna said...

thanks for sharing, i'm glad to have read it and look forward to hearing more about where your story goes from here...

carrie said...

@ Susanna - thanks for reading and leaving a comment :)

@Anna - thank you very much! And my newest post describes my next marital epiphany and why it seems we might be drifting apart. There are no solutions yet except being aware of it and trying our best to come back together on some common ground. Last night we had a date night which we hadn't had in a while. It was nice.Thanks for the interest :D

Kathy Kramer said...

You're very brave to open yourself up like this. I've had some of those same insecurities myself.

Mondays with Mac said...

The honesty in this post is very brave. Thank-you so much for sharing it.

I'm sorry that your trust was so mishandled. I truly hope that you are able to find the kind of peace you deserve in your marriage.

carrie said...

@Kathy - Thanks for the encouragement and I'm sorry you've had to suffer with the same insecurities. They suck!

@Mondays with Mac - Thanks for the comment and I think I will find some peace. It'll just take a little time, a lot of work, and some dedication!

Stephanie said...

I'm so glad you joined up this week! Yay!

carrie said...

LOL. Thanks for telling me about it! I'm so intimidated though! Gawd there are so many great bloggers - including you!! I'm also a little confused by how to vote but I'm hoping it will be obvious tomorrow.

Robbie said...

Such brutal honesty. Thank you for sharing.

carrie said...

Thanks Robbie :)

Lisa Nolan said...

Such powerful, honest words. Our childhood becomes a part of us, who we are as parents, spouses, friends. I married very late in life (THANK GOD!) and so had my son at 41 (he was born with Down syndrome). I don't think I could have had a successful marriage under the age of 37 or 38 or 39! I had a lot of growing and learning to do. I threw plates at my second boyfriend when we fought, I was 19 or 20. My boyfriend before that was physically and verbally abusive and stalked me when I tried to leave him. I was 16, 17. He was 19... Not a great start in life! But enough about me!

So sorry to hear about your little one who is gone. I know Down syndrome babies have major heart defects. And a little boy age 9 in our DS group did not survive Cancer recently.

Life is crazy. Hang in there and allow all your feelings to surface, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let them all out so you can then move ahead! (Men take longer to heal. Patience, lots and lots.)

Wily Guy said...

Very intense post. Trust is so hard to establish and it is such a leap for many. I hope that you find some good resources to help you.

WG
http://itsmynd.com

Jennifer A. Hall said...

Aw, man. This was a "wear your heart on your sleeve" post, and I love those. So glad you were pointed to yeah write!

Tracy @ Scribblesaurus said...

Aw this post is sad and lovely at the same time. It sounds like your husband is well able to handle the situation without letting it break him. You scored a winner there :)

Insecurity is damn hard to beat. The things I've missed because of it. Do you find that blogging helps you? It is helping me in ways I never imagined or wished for - opening oneself up to the masses is a huge step in self-confidence.

And when you posted to Yeah Write you hit the gold coast of support :)

Katie @ Chicken Noodle Gravy said...

What a beautifully honest post! I have a number of insecurities that sometimes cast a shadow over my marriage. I wish I could vanquish them and move on, but that's easier said than done.

This post touched my heart...good luck in one day letting go and giving your hubby your full heart.

carrie said...

@Lisa - thanks so much for the comment. I agree that marriage is not for the faint of heart. It needs attention just like anything else and I think recently we've neglected it, mainly because of our youngest -Preston - who has the CHD but he is still alive and kicking lol.

I could see where some might think he passed though. People hear heart failure and automatically think dead but in fact you can live while your heart is failing and it can be reversed if the heart is repaired. In Preston's case his heart repaired itself. The holes in his heart grew over (all but two) so in fact he not only survived but has since thrived.

We were enormously lucky considering his type of defect is notoriously difficult to close.

And I do know that Downs Syndrome babes have heart issues, it was the first thing they checked him for. So sad, so many babies affected.

I hope your little one hasn't been affected by CHD. Gawd he's a cutie!

Thanks for the comment :)

carrie said...

@Wily Guy - we have been talking about marital counselling but having three kids puts a near kaibosh on every outing. But we just recently spent a night looking at the stars - chatting and laughing like we used to. We are communicating, which I think is the most important thing. Thanks for the comment :)

@Jennifer - thanks for the lovely comment! I'm glad too. It seems like you guys are such a great group of writers!

@Tracy - Writing does help me enourmously. I think its helpful to see the fear in writing. It becomes less ethereal and a little more real. Truth be told thats why I have this blog. It is my therapy lol. And Its a place I can scribble about my love, my hopes, my dreams, my fears, everything I think all in one place! I love blogging!!

@Katie - Thanks for the comment. I hope everyone can vanquish their demons. It takes a hell of a lot courage to admit to our personal flaws. So I think we might be halfway there!

The Writer, Rinser, Repeater said...

Insecurity blows. This was a beautifully written post.

carrie said...

@the Writer Rinser Repeater - Agreed! and Thank you! :)

Melissa said...

I love your honesty and can so completely relate - what a beautiful post.

Kimberly Speranza said...

I like the way you approached this issue in your writing. You managed to weave your past traumatic event in with your current insecurity seamlessly. I struggle so often to write about how the past connects to now. Well done. On a personal note, offer yourself much kindness and know your insecurities sound normal for what you've been through. You're OK, you deserve to heal, and you deserve love. ;)

Stephanie B. @B4Steph said...

Great post. Brave, too. Self-awareness is half the battle. I hope you continue to find ways to work it out. It's your issue, not your husband's. He sounds like a great guy. Speaking from the other side, living with someone who needs constant reassurance, it gets old, there is only so many times you can say the same thing. Believe what your husband tells you. Don't ask him to repeat it over and over. Good luck. You can do it. I can feel that in your post!

carrie said...

@ Melissa - Thank you for the kind words and I'm sorry you can relate but at least i'm not alone! :)

@Kimberly - thanks for the comment on my writing. And I also find it difficult to interweave the past with the present. I must have rewritten this post 10 times trying to find the right balance between past and present. And on the personal note, thank you for the kind words. You're right of course!

@Stephanie B-Accusations are definitely not helpful lol. Thats why I decided to blog. I needed my husband to really know that I understand its my own issues and that im well aware that hes a trustworthy guy. But sometimes I give in to my neurotic thoughts and apologies are warranted!

Heidi said...

What beautiful writing - so honest and heartfelt. I'm glad you trusted us with your heart here.

carrie said...

Thank you Heidi! I'm glad too! Truth be told I was terrified entering the competition. But now I realize "Yeah Write" is more of a supportive place for bloggers of all types to hang out and enjoy eachothers writing. The competition is just a little added fun!

Dude of The House said...

Your honesty is refreshing. Fortunately you recognize what the issues are and their origin. I think that is a huge step toward overcoming them.

Great post.

carrie said...

Thank you Dude of the House. I think honesty is good for the soul! :)

Jackie said...

How brave of you to put your insecurity on display. I commend you and hopefully, you can give in and find that security you so deserve. Hell you trust him with chicken, and that could kill you!

carrie said...

LOL. So true, allowing him to cook chicken is an act of total trust.

Cathy said...

Beautiful and raw piece of writing.

carrie said...

Thank you Cathy! :D

Michelle Longo said...

Very nice piece. Open, honest, real. Well done.

carrie said...

Thank you Michelle!

Pish Posh said...

I missed this the first time around! A real writer can bare open their soul in a uniquely personal way and yet in a way so honest we can all relate to it as readers - you sure did that here!

I hope you can build towards trust someday. It is so hard. I sympathize. I don't know how to do it fully either, other than to just know I'll be okay if the worst thing happened.

carrie said...

thanks muchly ;)

I love that you went back and found this post.

:D

Kait said...

I used the word fester just last night. She said it was an icky word. And so it is.

Your writing is beautiful it tears me up and puts me back together again. But I have to stop reading on breaks at work. They are going to wonder at the tears in my eyes if they wander by.

carrie said...

@Kait- Fester is an awesome word!!And thank you for the kind words. I'm sorry you are tearing up though! :(

Kait said...

It's all good. :) As I said, you move me.