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.