Fractured fairy tales

May 16, 2015 § Leave a comment

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“Eff you!” He said to me as he stormed off. “Eff you too!” I shouted at his retreating back. Time for a time out. Luckily I had not booked our b&b suite for the next two weeks anticipating major renovation mess in our house. So I retreated to my pristine suite and spent my time alone puzzling out a drawing and then thinking about the relationship between the drawing and my internal emotional state and my discombobulated marriage.

It isn’t the first time we have parted in anger and I am sure it will not be our last. Every once in a while the tension of patterns of dysfunction between the two of us builds to an unbearable strain and we can no longer talk to each other. We just need to call a time out and separate for a cooling off period before we can talk again.

In the past, when we reached this point in our relationship I would panic because I would tell myself the relationship was over. Now I just get my stuff together and find a quiet place to collect myself. The drawing I did last night was part of that process, to focus and find a way to calm myself and make sense of the issues I was encountering.

When we got married I thought I had found the answer to all my problems of loneliness, emotional deprivation, bullying and put downs. I thought I was finally safe. When we had our first big fight after we got married I was shocked. All of a sudden I felt trapped. I thought I had made the biggest mistake of my life.

In the intervening eight years of marriage I have learned that our relationship is going to go through ups and downs. It is going to suffer growing pains and there will be periods of contentment.

My marriage is an example of a fractured fairy tale. I did marry the man of my dreams. I did sail off into the sunset. But when the sun came up the next day I was faced with financial difficulties, education demands, house renovations, and a reactive dog. Not to mention our combined histories of dysfunctional family patterns. So, I am living the dream, and sometimes it takes an unexpected but predictable swerve onto the gravelly shoulder. Luckily, nothing is broken.

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