What I Want You to Know is a series of
reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their
personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the
unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to
this series,
click here. Today’s guest posts is by an Aria.


I’m not much of a writer. Never really have been. I’m also (probably)
very very bad with grammar. It is what has stopped me so many times from
writing and sending anything to Rage Against the Minivan. And then
tonight, I read the post “Sue” sent in about forgiving her spouse.

I
was sitting in my car at the time, in the cold garage of our apartment
building, crying my eyes out. I had gone there to escape my life for a
few minutes. And that’s when I read the post. I cried and cried for what
seemed like hours. It hit home to me, more than I ever thought anything
would or could. You see, my life has made me just go numb.

I got
married during college over 6 years ago. Things were great. And then we
graduated. And things weren’t so great. He started working longer and
longer hours. Complained I wasn’t supportive of him. I was drowning in
responsibility because he refused to stop behaving like we were still in
college. I had to be the one to remind him of our bills, to keep us on
budget, to say no that we couldn’t spend the money on xyz thing.

We
fought. All the time. Then one day I found text messages on his phone.
Late night messages from a coworker. A blonde former cheerleader, now
working with him coworker. She was beautiful. I’m average on a good day.
I was livid. I was hurt. I was upset. Why was he getting text messages
from a female coworker at 2am???? And WHY was he responding? And WHY
didn’t I know about it?

He told me I was crazy and that it was
all in my head and she was just a friend. She was a good friend. She was
possibly even his best friend (funny… I thought I was.) She laughed
at his jokes and told him how awesome he was. I told him it had to stop
or we were done.

He grudgingly agreed. The late nights at work
became the norm for him, The fights continued. One day, the fighting
escalated. He threatened to leave the house. While fighting over the
keys, he pulled them out of my hand and cut me. I lost it and slapped
him.

He took his keys and left.

For 2 weeks. With not a
word, no call, nothing. He just disappeared. I broke into his work email
and found that he had (surprise) turned to her for help. He told her he
couldn’t be with me any more and he wanted a divorce. She, of course,
told him it was a good idea and that he could stay with her.

I
called and emailed and called – he picked up once. To say he wanted a
divorce and that was it. I was friendless in the city we live in, no
family and no support and completely alone. I reached out to our priest
who met with him and mediated.

During those two weeks I spent
christmas and new years on my own in our new apartment. While checking
our phone bill, I found that he had texted her the entire 2 weeks he was
gone.

Eventually he came back. With not much of an explanation.
But promises of changing and working on our relationship. 1 month later
he got fired from his job. His blonde friend had played him and moved in
on his position. THAT is when he realized she’d used him.

He
swore up and down nothing happened between them. He’d stayed with
another coworker. He swore he just saw her as a friend regardless of
what her intentions had been. I still felt incredibly betrayed. He
apologized. I said I forgave him.

I lied.

3 years later, I
am a SAHM with a 1 year old, still with no friends and no support and a
husband who hasn’t changed. I now do the budget completely. There are
entire weeks where I go without ever seeing a single soul outside of my
baby and husband.

Our relationship is strained at best and as we
fight and fight now, I realize more and more that since the day he left
and walked away with not a word to me… I’ve changed. I don’t love who
he is anymore. I resent him. I resent my life and I wish more than
anything I’d never met him.

I’ve turned into my mother and am now staying in my marriage for my child. And every day, I die a little.

People tell me that I’m so lucky I get to be a SAHM, to be married to a man who is so gentle (see: passive aggressive).

I
smile and say nothing. I want to tell them how hard it is to give up
everything, to be unappreciated every single day. To always have to be
the adult, to always be the one that is responsible. To never get a sick
day, to get no understanding and with a one car family – have no life
at all.

I’ve even found myself (on the really bad days) wishing I
was good looking enough to have an affair. It would be the one time
someone looked at me as other than a maid, laundry person, cook, mother,
accountant, nag. Pathetic I know….

But tonight, I wish I could
be as Sue was. Forgive my husband and move on. I could have, if he had
changed. If he had grown up. If he had tried. But he just kept going as
if nothing changed. So I did. I changed…..