Friday, September 4, 2009

On Marriage and Devotion

comments off

I sat there trying to wrap my brain around what I'd just read, on a blog I've been following for quite some time, wanting more than ever to leave a comment. Usually if she's written something controversial and thought provoking I can think it over and then comment. Only this time, I discovered she'd turned the comments off, and I would not be able to do so. Ohohohoh I had some things I wanted to say in response to her post, but couldn't.

Truth is, I enjoy reading this blog. Sandi @ Lucky Thirteen and Counting has a very large family, and several members have special needs. The love that must be in her heart combined with the work that must go into taking such good care of this family has to be at astounding levels. And anyone with a family that large has to lead a life at least 10 times more interesting than mine, just with the extra opportunity for laughter and commotion alone.

All the same, I think I was more frustrated at not being allowed to comment than I was at what I read on the blog. And then I realized that I have a blog. I have a voice. Not that I've networked and grown my blog to ginormous levels, but even if it is a small one, it is still a voice, a place for me to- well- scratch my neurotic spot.

I don't usually share my opinions on things with people other than immediate family because for the most part I hate having opinions forced upon me. In fact, if you chose to stop reading now, I would totally get it. But I've been thinking hard about this all morning, and I have an itch that I can't ignore. Yep, I'm scratching.

What I took away from what I read is that no matter how happy I think my marriage is, my husband could cheat on me. And that I would be absolutely blind and lying to myself if I didn't see that possibility. And that no matter how much I trust my husband, there might be a woman out there who decides she has to have him and would stop at nothing to seduce him.

There was a time a few years into my marriage when those kind of thoughts ruled my brain. Every time he was away from me for more than 20 minutes, my brain would go there. Would he put himself in that position? What if he did? What is going on that I don't know about? Is he going to? Would he if he had the opportunity?

I spent a great deal of time with my stomach in knots. The knots in my stomach contained anger, and distrust, and they grew until I didn't recognize the person I had become. I was distrustful, needy, and just generally unhappy with my life and beyond a shadow of a doubt I was miserable.

This being the time before we had children, I seriously considered divorce over and over and over. After all, if I couldn't trust him, did it matter that I loved him with all of my heart if I was going to be miserable and carry an iron cannonball around in my stomach anyway?

And then our Smoochie arrived and touched our hearts beyond anything either of us could have imagined. For the first time, I think we saw our marriage for what it was and decided that a little intervention was needed in order to give Smooch the life and love he deserved. We went to counseling. Yep, the dreaded marriage counselor. For a long time, actually. And I went to see her on an individual basis, too, because I had a lot of other baggage to deal with and kick to the curb. Did the counseling help? Sure. After all, who wouldn't benefit from an outsider's constructive view on the relationship- especially if both parties are equally open to change.

But the real reason I am still with my husband is because I had an epiphany. Could Bonehead cheat on me? Absolutely, with 100% certainty it was a possibility. I couldn't then, nor can I now, guarantee that he will not ever err and cheat. Heck, I am human myself, and who's to say that 3, 5, 10 years from now I won't mess up myself? It's like being in an airplane and trusting your life to the pilot. If you're going to fly, you're going to have to give up a little control, otherwise you will be stuck on the ground and probably miss out on opportunity after opportunity in your life.

I could continue to live with that panic-can't-breathe feeling every time he leaves my presence, or I could put a little faith in him and simply trust that he wouldn't behave inappropriately. For me, it came down to the whole glass half empty/ half full scenario. I made a conscious decision to look at my marriage as a glass half full. I nurture it, trust it to still be half full in the future, and do my best not to drop it or spill it. And if some day I wake to find out someone guzzled the last half and left me with an empty glass, then I will deal with that. But I refuse to nurture hate and mistrust in my marriage (and heart) on the off chance that someone might be that greedy.

Its been several years since I adopted this view point. And in all honesty, I would be lying if I said that every once in a while one of those old thoughts didn't sneak into my brain. But then I remind myself that life's too short to allow those kind of thoughts to once again take root in my head, and I deal with it and kick it to the curb.

So could he cheat? Oh, absolutely. When it comes right down to it, I have absolutely no control over whether he does or not. What I can control is me, and I refuse to waste my limited number of days worrying over the 'what could be's' and instead choose to live in the love and devotion that is my 'here and now'.

*As I was finishing up this post, by chance this song popped up on my shuffle. The irony is that it pretty much says what I was trying to say, anyway. Here's the lyrics, and the Youtube link, if you care to hear.

I Believe- Cowboy Mouth

Whatcha gonna do with the restlessness inside you worried mind
How you think you're ever gonna get ahead when you feel so far behind
Step inside this endless moment for a subtle touch of grace
I've always found my strength inside the act of faith

I believe in the spirit of Rock N Roll
In the eternal stregth of the immortal soul
Cause sometimes everybody's gotta let it go
I believe in the power of love

I believe in the sounds of Sam and Dave
That little children should occasionally misbahave
That all that you get is all that you gave
I believe in the power of love

Little boy staring out a windowsill to a world that doesn't care
Everybody 'round is so much bigger that they don't even know he's there
But one day he's going to grow to be a man and maybe then they'll see
He'll provide the hope and care for the family

I believe in the chance of love at fist site
That your life doesn't always have to be a fight
And if you do it at all you ought to do it right
I believe in the power of love

I believe that sometimes you got to take a stand
That you're holding my heart when you're holding my hand
Cause everything is eventually in gods hands

I have got to take the best of me and keep that heart alive
Why'd i ever want to shut that down and kill my soul?

I believe that sometimes you've got to take a chance
That you can't lve your life just listening to can't's
Casue the thrill of the ball's part of the thrill of the dance
I believe in the power of love

I believe that we never really are alone
'Cause there's so much more than anything we've known
New Orleans is always gonna be my home
I believe in the power of love

I believe in the spirit of Rock N Roll
In the eternal stregth of the immortal soul
Cause sometimes everybody's gotta let it go
I believe in the power of love


Mom said...

This is a awesome post. I love your thoughts and how you view love and marriage. And you're right the song says it all. Great Job!
Love you!

Honey Mommy said...

Your post made me think about the difference between possibility and probability (my inner math geek coming out).

Anything is possible! Could the moon fall out of the sky tomorrow? -it's possible! Is it probable the moon will fall out of the sky? Nope. The probability is way less than 1%.

Could my husband cheat on me? It's possible. Is it probable that he would do such a thing? Not at all, so I don't worry about it!