Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Part III - How Do Women Stay Married to Jerks?

"You bide your time.
You have to."

You realize, now, you are married to a jerk.
You've known it for some time, but you've just come to grips with it,
so what do you do?

I mean, you've tried to obey "the rules" but the rules always change.
You've talked about counseling. You've even scheduled the appointments,
but as he's mentioned, you'll be the only one going because you're the problem.
You're out of ideas, hope, and quite frankly, not only do you not love him anymore,
you've stopped giving a shit.

For a while, escape is a fantasy, and you fantasize a LOT.
None of the scenarios are particularly appealing, but some are slightly less...
than others.
The least awful is the hope that your spouse will leave you.
You hope that they will fall out of love with you.
Little do you know that this has already happened
and they're still around because, well, you're reliable.

You plan, and "one day" becomes your favorite time.
You make plans while you wash the dishes, while you weedeat the yard,
while you're stuck with him on the couch watching another fucking John Wayne movie.

Your spouse loves John Wayne.
You have learned to think of John Wayne as the root of all evil.
You begin to wish posthumous harm on John Wayne, his entire family and all of his fans.
You want him to come back to life so you can push him in front of a bus because if you have to watch one more gods damned John Wayne movie and listen to your spouse go on about how much he'd love to live in "those times" (presumably those times being the ones when you could spank your woman for talking back to you and then go off and start a bar fight for, well, for no real reason at all) and then watch him hunch up his shoulders and do that stupid walk and laugh that stupid laugh and talk through that unlit cigarette (and you just now realized that he probably unintentionally as much as intentionally modeled his every move on stupidJohnWayneandhowdidyounotseeitBEFORE!?)
and where was I... ?

John. Irritating. Fucking. Wayne.
Is probably a whole separate post.

So. You make your plans. You will get the two of you out of this hole because he's not going to do it.

Except that since the reason you're in the hole is he won't hold down a job and is always around.
You're spending too much time putting out fires to properly fix the wiring.
Your plans become for YOU to leave.
But not now.
When the kids are older, that's when you'll do it.
Or when your grandma is too senile to realize you're getting a divorce
or when he finally does something in front of someone that you can take to the police.
When you can put a little money away (hahahahahahahaha....) for gas and an apartment.

You finish your college degree. In between jobs. In between kids. In between crises.
You fight and scrap for it, too, because he will think of every reason for you to not do it.
You will tolerate his suggestions that you are not really going to classes but are instead having a torrid affair, like you do when you go to the Hardee's drive through window (at his request to get his food) or out to pay the phone bill or to the library or anytime you are out of his sight for more than five minutes.
You fight until you can't. You start agreeing to things you don't agree with just so he will shut the fuck up for a minute and let you get on with things. You apologize for things you aren't sorry for. You learn to say the right words and dance the right steps.
You do what you must.
Until one day.
You have.
The thought.

The thought that you've had a thousand times except this time it's real. 

You've kind of shocked yourself with this truth.
You really ARE going to leave.
It really IS a matter of time.
It's going to happen.
You just don't know how, or when.
You aren't ready for active participation yet.

I don't know how it works for everyone, but I had that "last straw" moment.
I mean, I'd kind of checked out of the marriage already anyway. I kept going through the motions because I didn't know what else to do. I had helped him, pushed him, into another job that he hadn't yet managed
(but was trying like hell) to get fired from
and I will remember for as long as I live,
that long distance cell phone call,
when, from over two thousand miles away,
I heard the words that were designed to guilt me into apologizing for being in the bathroom or whatever when the phone rang, when I wasn't sorry that I was still in the bathroom when he called three more times in the next two minutes,

"I guess we just don't have anything left."

Huh. No, I guess we don't.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for parts 1, 2 and 3. I know them all too well. Waiting to read part 4, even though Im living it. You will write it better.