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Here we are again. Just a little reminder that depression is still hanging around, waiting for an opportunity to pull us down. It’s harder when Spike and I are both fighting it. Neither of us has any positive energy.

Thankfully we still coo over each other and snuggle and issue kisses, but that’s all we can offer when we’re like this. And it’s enough. I know he loves me. He knows I’m here. We don’t know what we want or what sounds good or what to do, but we love each other. We sleep, we work, we study, we attempt to maintain a healthy diet and keep the house from falling apart… But this weight is always here, pushing both of us into the mud. No matter if good things happen or problems are resolved, it’s always there – like a force.

Sleep brings rest from the fight. I should take more naps.

Marriage Scenes

Just a warning… Slightly more adult content. I don’t believe it’s anything graphic, but please accept my apologies if you’re offended.


Sunday

It was six-thirty in the evening. The gremlins would be getting hungry soon and I wasn’t really up for making a full-size meal. I logged off WordPress to see if I could quickly throw something together. Tortillas. Sold!

“Honey, do we have any rice?”

“Yeah, I think so,” Spike called back from the living room.

“Kay, could you make a batch and I’ll put the rest of the stuff together to make burritos for dinner?”

He got up from his desk and wandered over to the kitchen. I was still standing in front of the pantry, so he naturally was drawn to the fridge. He opened the door and stared inside.

“There’s no rice in there,” I laughed.

“You don’t know,” he play-argued back. He tried to reach around me to get to the rice in the pantry, but I didn’t move. His hands started roaming for what they could reach; my waist, shoulders… other places.

My arms reached over my head and I placed a hand on the back of his neck. His lips were on my ear, my neck, my shoulder. I pulled his face to mine and kissed him deeply. Without a word, he lead me back to our bedroom, shutting the door to the gremlins’ room. They were engrossed in a video game, and didn’t even notice. He closed our bedroom door and we wasted no time undressing each other, hardly breaking our locked lips…

When it was over I laughed as I snuggled against him.

“So, should I make the rice?”

It was the way you said it.

Loss by ChiccaNeko | deviantart.com

I was sitting a cafe, waiting for Spike to join me for lunch when he called to say he would be a few minutes late. “Hey,” he said when I answered the phone. Who ever knew such a small word said in just the right way could stir up so many feelings? I had completely forgotten the way my ex-husband used to say that; like an Italian mobster, but cut short.

I was so disoriented through the short call. I couldn’t get my head straight. Who was I talking to? Then I heard myself say, “I love you too,” and I was wrought with grief when I put the phone down. How many times did I have that same conversation in my previous marriage? That relationship hasn’t caused me grief like that in years, but remembering him in that moment, like a casualty of war, was painful. It’s painful now, two days later, to think about.

We met in December 2003. My best friend was finally marrying his best friend, and they recruited me to help plan the wedding. They wanted a short engagement: two months. I was frantic to get everything in order, but he steadied me. He joined me on errands to put it together and stayed up late talking to me like we were old friends. It didn’t take long to fall in love with him. Three years later we were married in the church I grew up in. Three years after that I asked him to move out. He had betrayed me to such a degree that I couldn’t even recognize him.

Divorcing him was an easy decision compared to the decision to lose his friendship. I couldn’t be married to him, but cutting him out of my life was like surgically removing my lungs. I didn’t know how my heart would continue to beat without him. He was everything to me for the sum total of my adult life from age 19 to 25. I don’t regret the divorce, but it doesn’t make me immune to how much I loved him.

It gives me hope to know the loss didn’t turn me to ice. My heart grew larger for lack of air, not weaker. Today I can assure myself that even if my heart must accept another path, my loyalty to its keepers will never fade.

It’s Late and I’m Awake

I am so tired, but I’m reeling from too much caffeine. I have a meeting with the CEO and the head of my department in the morning to explain my plan to re-define an entire system; something I should probably be fresh for. 

I’ll be lucky to look like something the cat dragged in.

Spike and I have had a couple “talks” in the last month to clear the air. “What’s wrong with us?” I elegantly started the first one. I’m always emotional when we have those talks. It kills me whenever he’s not absolutely blissful to see me. If he’s upset with me, I’m a wreck. Thankfully it doesn’t happen very often. 

When it does, we fight fair. We do our best to talk about what’s actually going on, rather than bring up past feelings. I wonder sometimes if people get “historical” simply because they know how to talk about past feelings. Current feelings are harder to pin-down and communicate, so the conversation just fights about something it’s already figured out.

Fighting, or in our case, emotionally discussing our current frustrations is a rough undertaking. It takes patience on both sides to let the other figure out the best way to communicate what needs to be said without getting defensive and dismissive. Hearing each other is how we love each other when we’re hurt. We do our best to give each other the benefit of the doubt: “It’s not in their nature to want to hurt me, so I won’t let what they said sink in.”

Of course keeping the conversation clean is a must: No swearing, no out-of-control anger, no aggressive body language. Of course none of these rules are written, but I think we’ve done well keeping them.

Didn’t take long… My eyes are getting heavier by the miniye!!!

Women, Respect Your Men

I didn’t mean for this to get so out of hand, but apparently I have an opinion about this.


 

I woke up, wide-awake, at 6:00 this morning. I made some coffee and cleaned the kitchen. Spike came out and joined me at about 6:30. He usually gets up about that time, but he doesn’t usually speak. I don’t either, but I was somewhat chatty this morning, talking about the book my friends and I are reading: The Scarlet Thread. I like Francine Rivers, especially Redeeming Love, but I’m having a hard time with this one. It’s 300 pages of terrible marriage followed by 75 pages of all you need is Jesus. I’m not knocking the power of Christ, but really? The heroine has a revelation that she’s been a bitch and her marriage gets to go back to normal after all the horrifying things she slung at him for three years? I don’t buy it. I guess that’s why it’s a romance: a completely unrealistic portrayal of real life.

If I sound pessimistic, I am. Marriage might be able to recover from that kind of communication breakdown. Anything is possible, but I’m passed the point of encouraging anyone to think they will be the exception to the rule. You cannot disrespect your husband and expect to stay happily married. You cannot dump on his dreams and his goals and his vision and his desire to provide and protect and expect him to lovingly wrap you in his arms. You can have one or the other. Your husband is not a robot. He hears the shit you say and he isn’t likely to forget it!

I am speaking from a position of judgment and observation and also from first-hand experience. I don’t speak in absolutes very often, but I am absolutely convinced of this. The moment a wife turns down a path of disrespect for her husband, it marks the start of her journey toward divorce. Sometimes the loss of respect is warranted, but if she cannot regain it, the marriage is doomed.

If you haven’t read Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs, I would highly recommend you do before you even think about marriage, especially if you’re a woman. Our culture trains boys to love their mothers and their girlfriends and their wives. It puts the pressure on them to buy flowers and sign greeting cards and be sappy in order to let women know they’re loved. But the other side of that equation is what the man gets out of it. Men want to be loved, of course, but never as much as they need to be respected. A man needs to know he’s respected more than anything, and our culture does a piss-poor job at showing women how to do that.

The traditional father figure in Modern Family is a joke. The guy that tried to stay married and have kids in Friends is a joke. Women who manipulate and condescend and judge and harp are heroes in the media! Voicing your opinion and putting a man in his place is heralded as a sign of a strong and independent woman – but she is not likely to make a relationship last.

Hear my heart, women – you probably don’t have any idea what kind of damage you’re doing. Until reading this, you have been innocent and oblivious of your crimes against men. But I have to say it, because our men never will. The don’t dare. The moment they say they need respect we will nail them to the wall as chauvinist pigs. They know we will, so they suffer in silence. They absorb every emasculating comment and tone and spirit because they love us. God help them, they love us! Do your part, and respect them! If you do not or cannot respect them, for God’s sake, don’t marry them in the first place.

[End ranting and raving.]

How to Husband Your Best Friend

Four years ago I told an old friend of mine that if he ever developed feelings for me beyond friendship, he should just keep them to himself. I was determined to not be responsible for another broken heart. I needed a companion – someone to vent to that had meaningful feedback to offer. As much as I loved my girlfriends, they were all pretty busy being married and having babies and not having a clue about what it must be like to be divorced and childless in your mid-twenties. They had mommy brain. I needed a philosophical, logical, intelligent brain to keep me together.

It didn’t hurt that he could write. Actually, I’m fairly certain his verbal abilities were one of the first things that laid a foundation of legitimacy in our relationship. It was a subtle confirmation that he valued his education and paid attention in school; at the very least, it meant that he was well-read enough to pick up on things. “We could be pen-pals,” I smiled to myself. “At least I won’t feel like I need to grade his paper every time he writes me an email.”

Then the entourage came out of the woodwork. I was newly single and my status hit the market before I was prepared to handle it. I was brutal. [See above command to keep all feelings at bay.] And I was fragile. I was still processing the layers of my grief-laden divorce, and I could never quite predict when something might trigger a ragged insecurity, or a love-filled memory. I remember going to my old, faithful friend during times that I couldn’t make any sense out of my emotions or my actions. Somehow he would weave an explanation of logic around them, and I would feel a little less like I was losing my mind.

Our conversations became more frequent, and I started informally dating a few of the guys I met. One of them proposed, ring-in-hand, six days after our first date. In a fog on unbelief, I said yes. I was still a mess. Over the course of several months, I tried and failed to fit my fiance and I together. I moved out, and all the while my old friend was still emailing and messaging me while I tried to figure everything out.

A few months later my old friend recorded a song – a cover – he was working on, and he emailed it to me. My heart skipped a beat, and I wondered at that. His voice was ragged, but it soothed a longing I didn’t know was there. Music. It’s so much a part of me, and I’ve pushed it away so much as a result of circumstance and manipulation and hurtfulness; I didn’t know how much I needed it, but He did.

Within two months, I found myself walking through the airport with my hand in his, smiling like a fool. How could I have written him off? When I realized my respect for him rivaled any I held for another human being, I knew I had found my match. My respect blossomed into a deeply-rooted love, which gave way to a mutual affection unlike any I’ve ever known; passion stole it’s way into my heart. Six months later we were married on the beach where he proposed.

And that is how my best friend wifed me. He didn’t push. With an easy confidence, he strolled into my life and was everything I needed, even more than what I wanted, and exactly what was meant to be. Three years later now, I love him better than ever.

Funny Story: The Hu’band And I Are ‘The Same’?

I took the Myers-Briggs personality test not long ago and discovered that I’m INFJ (Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling (6%), Judging). The hu’band took the same test tonight and discovered that he’s an INTJ (same as me, but Thinking instead of Feeling). Here’s where this gets funny: we’re described by our friends and family as total opposites.

The hu’band goes by “Spike,” as you might have guessed from my blog address. He wore his mohawk hair in 10-inch liberty spikes through high school. He was a punk rocker. He’s a black belt that’s been in a few fights. He still plays a mean guitar, and he’s got a fair share of tattoos, including one across his neck and a half-sleeve on one arm.

Then there’s little unassuming me (by comparison). I’ve had long hair most of my life, but I’ve never done anything crazy with it. I’ve never gotten a tattoo. I play classical piano. I’d probably cry and pass out if anyone ever physically threatened me (or maybe I’d kill them, I’m not really sure).

Still, somehow, our personality types are almost identical. He’s a true Thinker though. I’m a little more balanced in the Nature area between Feeling and Thinking. It’s just crazy to me that we can come from vastly different backgrounds and experiences and end up with the same types of reactions to the world around us.

For the record, I’ve never been happier in my life than I have the last three years. Our anniversary is next month. The time has flown by, and I have never been so well loved nor so comfortable with being who I truly am. Having the same personality traits definitely seems to be working for us!