Last year, I shied away from discussing the true conflicts in my relationship as much as possible. The blogosphere is full of wives who seemed constantly, irritatingly overjoyed to be with their husbands, in awe of the absolute Edward Cullen that had landed in their lives, and living in a blissful, grateful state of grace with their supportive soulmates who they find exceedingly sexy. (Seriously, how many bloggers actually marry sexy men? It's a statistical impossibility to have that many sexy men in the population to begin with, and the ones that are available have made it into the cast of Gossip Girl.)
To date I have found one blog where someone kept it real and said she had horrific fights with her husband and contemplated divorce on a regular basis. One.
Is there some unwritten law that equates blogger with Stepford wife?
I used to feel the pressure to put on the front of a shiny, happy relationship. At one time I even fashioned myself after the personal development mega bloggers in their euphoric marriages that were so healthy they were going polyamorous! (You know who I'm talking about.) I thought that I had to portray only the progress and not the constant, heartbreaking setbacks. I turned every traumatic fight into a "learning experience I could illuminate others with" - hell, I even touted the advantages of settling, framing it as the best form of commitment an American woman could wish to attain. (If you're over a certain age and don't have access to incredibly good eye cream or, preferably, Botox, then I still recommend settling.)
It's clear that I'm not going to see one buck from blogging any time soon, much less megabucks, and after the heartwarming reception of my vulnerable post about my father, it's time to speak my truth.
I've realized that endless positivity can be incredibly damaging.
It makes the rest of the population feel like they're not good enough.
"Great. Not only am I in debt, but now I have to worry about my attitude, too."
It isolates people.
"Am I the only person stuck in a relationship/marriage/job/city I hate?"
"You may be able to escape cubicle nation, but I have kids to feed and a mortgage to pay and [if you're Asian] parents to take care of."
It demonizes and disowns a whole chunk of the spectrum of humanity.
"Anger/sadness/discord/jealousy/etc. are bad? Guess I'll just repress it some more."
So, here's my contribution to the blogosphere: reality.
What We Did TodayMorning
After a difficult week, caught up on sleep, albeit uncomfortably.
Woke and, instead of eating, sent my novel to my friends on the East Coast who promised to read it and browsed the internet.
Fight Count: 0
Fight begins. Walk away from fight.
Fight Count: 1
Back to my apartment to change.
Orange County for belated anniversary dinner.
Near fight turns into surprisingly productive discussion on car ride home.
Fight count: 2
Since then he's been on the couch downstairs flipping through ESPN channels and I've been staring blankly into space, thinking, doing laundry, and blogging. Tonight, I will either sleep in the spare bedroom and cry myself to sleep, sleep next to him silently and cry myself to sleep, or perhaps manage to not cry myself to sleep. I finally have Inkheartfrom the library, but of course, tonight of all nights, I left my glasses at my apartment and I can't wear contacts for much longer.
This is not a unique scenario. This is my life. Each time we see each other, every conversation that is not shooting the breeze about the weather or movies, we fight. 6 out of 7 days, we fight. If we have to spend a whole day together, we fight 2 or 3 times a day.
They are not little squabbles; they are cruel and unloving, mini-genocides. Every step forward is undermined by the lack of trust and compassion, the walls and the closed-hearted nature of the relationship. I see the relationship, not even half a year old, dying and I cry over it, trying to mourn. But that only makes him more angry, so I have stopped grieving it, at least openly.
THIS is my reality.