“I stand amid the roarOf a surf-tormented shore,And I hold within my handGrains of the golden sand —How few! yet how they creepThrough my fingers to the deep,While I weep — while I weep!O God! Can I not graspThem with a tighter clasp?O God! can I not saveOne from the pitiless wave?Is all that we see or seemBut a dream within a dream?”-Excerpt from A Dream Within A Dream by Edgar Allan Poe
“Marriage is not a house or even a tent
it is before that, and colder:
the edge of the forest, the edge of the desert
the unpainted stairs at the back where we squat outside, eating popcorn
the edge of the receding glacier
where painfully and with wonder at having survived even
we are learning to make fire”
-Habitation by Margaret Atwood
Marriage is…interesting right? It is bound by culture, religion, and pretty much anything a person can think of; yet, somehow this union, this fusion, (at least in my mind) should make one free, should make one boundless!–ready to take on the world and accomplish everything with their loving and willing partner by their side, of course.
I will get to it then. I have been married for almost three years. I dated my husband on-and-off for four years prior to our engagement, and we have been best friends since the age of 8 (I’m 25 now by the way).
I have found that marriage is much darker, much bleaker, at times than anyone could have possibly ever warned. Prior to getting married, single/divorced/married people would say, “oh it’s hard” “oh its’ tough” “oh you’ll make it through”, but no one went into detail really. After all, where I come from half of the vow is keeping your business to yourself, even if that means you end up more alone in your marriage than you have even been in life. Anyway, no one talked about how something so beautiful on the outside could rot so quickly on the inside. No one talked about the sickly sweet smell of a dying marriage and the pain and soreness those festering wounds would cause.
This is where I am, in the sickly sweet insides of a (dream) marriage deferred. I will get to the story at some later blog post, but I have learned that with the joys of marriage can come at a seemingly high cost for some of us. I cannot say I was not warned, and yet, I sometimes feel bitter that no one opened up to me about the day you find out your husband has been cheating, or the day you look him in the eyes and it feels as if almost three years of marriage and 16 years of friendship have completely disappeared. No, I am pretty sure no one said anything about the pain of laying by the love of your life while they are islands away in spirit. I think if someone had told me that, I would have listened. Surely.
Regardless of what I wish I would have been told or where I wish I was in life, now after months on end of fighting myself, my God, my ideals, I finally let the pillars of my belief fall. Have you ever tried it? It’s a complete crumbling of the innards–of the sense of self. It’s neither fun nor pretty, but it’s pretty damn necessary if you want anything to change. And so, back to the crumbling, falling, and whatnot; I have deemed it The Art of Ache. I am learning to ache in a new way. I am learning that it is awful, but somehow I am still grasping at meaning–I am still grasping at love–and I am still grasping at my husband.
This is my journey. It’s the story you never read. It’s about being in the limbo of a dying marriage. It’s about trying to breathe life into something that has already been decaying. It’s about believing in going against the odds regardless of what that looks like to others. So, here’s my blog. I would say this blog is for the married, unmarried, divorced, etc. I would say that suffering, loss, and sacrifice transcend all of the wonderful identities we shroud ourselves with to feel safe. And I would invite anyone who has ever been in such a painful limbo like “surviving infidelity” to join me in living the art of ache.