Lazy Terrible Wife
I remember the day; no the moment; that my confidence in myself shriveled up and died like a worm on the sidewalk in summer. I had woken up that morning, cleaned up the house, worked my full-time job, and was now having yet another conversation with my husband about why we were divorcing.
Our conversations were normally cordial, no yelling, just steady coldness from him and the trembling shell of a person I had become trying to hold it together. Today though, mid-conversation, the comment was made.
You are a lazy, terrible wife.
In that moment, my brain shut down. I stared blankly at my husband while our relationship flew through my head.
The 50+ hour work weeks I had taken on to alleviate the financial stress of him being in a low-paying job for an internship and me starting my degree back up.
The tireless effort I had been making in grueling, uncomfortable, and sometimes traumatizing therapy, all with him in mind. The way I always made changes that I thought would help him, even before myself.
How I took on as many chores as I could, so that he could go to work, come home, do his school, and still have time to have free moments.
The way I encouraged his dreams constantly. He brought up med school? By the end of the day I had the top schools in a spreadsheet and was ready to do anything to help him get there.
In that moment, I realized I would never be enough. The depth of love I had for him, and the level of sacrifice I had made, would never be enough.
I thought I had hated myself over the two years prior because of my own short-comings. This was the moment that I realized I hated myself because while he never said it out-loud, his actions and the way he treated me screamed in my face daily.
I would never be good enough.
I would love to say this was the moment I gave up. The moment I stopped with the little reminders in my phone to not do the things that bothered him. The moment I stopped cleaning the sheets of the bed I no longer slept in. The moment I stopped letting his view of me dictate my own. The moment I stopped tiptoeing around my house feeling like I didn’t deserve to make any imprint on the lives of those that knew me.
It wasn’t. It took many months afterwards for me to regain my sense of self. Who I am in light of Christ, and that my worth is not dictated by others, even when that person is my spouse, the other half of my soul.
It is a year later. I no longer hate who I am. I do not allow others to treat me disrespectfully. My faith has grown, along with my confidence in being exactly who God created me to be.
I want to hug that girl in the kitchen a year ago. I want her to know that she is beautiful, she is kind, she is strong, she is smart, and she has so much value. I want her to know that when she finally takes a deep breath and releases a person she desperately tried to love, she will love herself again. She will be relieved of struggles that she was plagued with for years. She will find life again.
I also would want her to know that she will never be the same. That even with all of that knowledge, she still wishes it would have worked. That she wishes that he had loved her enough to put in effort. But that it is not her fault that he didn’t.