Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Striving for Perfection: A Lesson in Futility Part I

Four score and eleven years (plus some months) ago I entered into the legally binding, altogether consuming bonds of matrimony.  At twenty one, in love and in desperate need of rescue I married a man who, to me, epitomized perfection.

Perfectly established.

Perfectly patient.

Perfectly encouraging and empathetic.

Perfectly driven.

Perfectly six years older to take on roles as both father and husband.

We shared a love of everything in the beginning and seemed to compliment each other in the ways that mattered most.  Him, the charming naval officer, me the young and *oh so skinny at the time* trophy wife.  Both fiercely conservative, appropriately extroverted and mutually faithful to God and family.

I made him perfect enough for the both of us.  And then later.  So much later when life did not go my way-I resented him for it. 

Gone was the care free girl who looked up to him like a doting child.  The golden pedestal I had placed him on began to slowly tarnish and crumble over the years as separation, infertility and loneliness crept into my heart like a disease. 

Thankfully and by the grace of God the love did not die. We had fun, entertained, filled our time with friends and family, traveled.  We still managed to laugh despite the biting, sarcastic banter that became our way of communicating.  This, it seemed, was what marriage was. Growing older, growing apart and settling.

It wasn't until we had two and half years together with no deployments, little travel and an abundance of time together that we realized-we really don't like each other. Really. Did. Not.  In the quiet times when the kids slept there was little to say and that became better than speaking with empty words.

I felt cheated. He was no longer perfection to me.  His pedestal had become replaced with comparison, bitterness and utter disappointment.  How could I love someone so utterly imperfect? After all of these years, had I misjudged my needs?  Was he enough for my forever?

I can say these things now because I am the proverbial fool.  A charlatan masked as a semi-pious Christian woman.  When I said for better or for worse I did not mean it.  Oh, I thought I did.  I promised and vowed with every beat of my twenty one year old heart but what I really said was  

take me as I am, but you sure as hell better not change

That was the moment when I set up my beloved for complete and utter failure.

Tomorrow I will continue with Part II of lessons learned in a perfectly imperfect marriage.


Mireille said...

Wow, you are honest! Can't wait to read the second part!

Wendy said...

Oh, I feel you on this one, sister, April!

April said...

Thanks ladies for the encouragement!

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