Behind the curtain of marriage I treasure the single men I know, each one a potential gem who would surely treat me better than my husband does.
I imagine how they would listen to me as we engage in stimulating conversations over a meal they provided, how respectful and grateful they would act, how passionate as lovers, how giving and attentive.
I fantasize about men who balance their check books and clean up after themselves, men who are calm and communicate maturely, who do the damn dishes, who save money or at least spend it on their family, who let go of past hurts, evolve and hold space for me to do the same.
I try to make myself at home within the sound-proof confines of my marriage, though the walls threaten to close in and crush me; both execution device and tomb.
Within the secret tortures of my marriage, my husband and I fight fervently leading up to the moment that we arrive out our friends’ houses, quickly plastering smiles on our faces as we ring the doorbell.
My veins are scalded by resentment for all the ways my husband takes miles without giving an inch.
I scan the horizon for a silver lining, a way to improve my situation: so far marriage counseling, life coaching and me doing the work on myself have all fallen short.
Yet deep below the cracks in our relationship, I sense a fertile humus.
We share more than our sordid history together; we make a home and a family.
We are united in our love for our baby, though we often disagree bitterly on how to raise her.
We share a commitment to our life together and a vision of our future, though we put different amounts of effort and resources towards both: in our relationship, I do all the earning and handle all the responsibilities for our household.
He drags down my energy and my finances, invoking a slow and destitute death.
Perhaps I’m not in a position to judge him: maybe he is the better one and I am the bitter one.
For now, I remain hidden behind the curtain of marriage, bound to my husband and yet alone.