Just when you think things are solidly moving in the right direction, you get hit with something so big it drags you back to the feelings post Dday. Only this time, it’s a different situation. But for some reason, that is how it felt to me.
Let me explain.
Last summer, right after school let out, we went away for a short vacation. The hotel had lots of pools and water areas. And on our very first day there, I distinctly remember looking over at my husband and seeing his wedding ring missing. My heart sank. And I had this horrendous empty feeling inside. But I rationalized that perhaps he didn’t want to wear it at the pool. Or maybe he left it at home by mistake. Either way, I decided that I had to put on a happy face because we had our kids with us. Plus, school just let out. The trip was meant to bind our family together, not tear us apart. So I pushed it out of my mind and really focused on my kids, and basically tried to make the trip all about them.
For the most part, the trip was a success. We drank by the pool, fucked in the ginormous bathroom complete with mirrors galore once the kiddos crashed. I tried my best for the sake of everyone, but I do recall us fighting at one point. We were in the car and I just turned back to the resort and got out. Told him to take the kids to dinner. I didn’t want to eat with him and certainly couldn’t stand sitting across from him at dinner. I honestly don’t remember exactly what set me off. But something did, that much I remember. Maybe subconsciously it was because of his missing wedding ring, I honestly don’t know. But we never talked about it.
All of this laid dormant till about a month ago. It was as if my brain froze those memories and squirreled them away, hidden even from me. How could that be? I don’t know. But that’s what happened.
Perhaps I had too many distractions: thinking of CEO, trying to be a better mother to my children/more engaged, volunteering regularly at the kids schools again, the house and the endless work on it…running…injuries…doctor appointments. Take your pick. Something is always distracting me.
Now fast forward to a month ago. It’s our wedding anniversary. I planned a very special evening out, to a very iconic hotel in Beverly Hills. The dinner venue was carefully selected, another swanky kind of place. Basically, I was trying to create a romantic evening for us.
Only it didn’t quite turn out that way…
As I stared at my menu, I innocently glanced up, only to see no wedding ring on my husbands finger-again. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I finally called him out for it. And we fought. And we argued. When our waiter finally brought our check, he gave me a pitying look as if to say, “You are such a beautiful woman. You could do better than this guy.” All I could do was roll my eyes in defeat. Or was it disgust?
He then dropped a bomb on me. “I haven’t worn it in over a year now. I decided to take it off shortly after you confessed.”
“Oh really? And when were you planning on discussing this with me? I thought we were trying to build a new marriage? I thought our agreement was 100% complete honesty? So all this time, when I am pouring out my heart to you regarding CEO and every damn minuscule feeling, emotion, longing I have honestly felt, running into him/his wife–EVERYTHING that happens, I run to you. To try to rebuild us, our connection, our “new marriage”. And yet, you decided to just up and remove it? No discussion? Not so much as one word?”
“Yeah well you told me way back then that you weren’t sure if you wanted to be married to me anymore…”
“Yes, I did. I told you a lot of things. Because I was being vulnerable, honest and completely forthright in how I felt towards you, us, the life we had built thus far. We have been a work in progress for a long time. But every morning since saying that, I was still there. Still trying. Still trying to make this marriage work, right?”
As he sat there dressed in his nice Hugo Boss suit, I felt as if I was going to vomit. I couldn’t look at his face any longer. The tension was palatable, while the silence between us grew. Then I reached for my purse and said, “You have to be kidding me. A year? You mean we went on that fantastic vacation to that fantastic island and you weren’t wearing it? And I didn’t even notice that? Talk about the most idyllic memories of rebuilding our marriage thus far. And it never occurred to you to put your wedding ring back on–before we left? Really? I thought things were pretty awesome between us…but I guess not. Maybe it was all just in my mind.”
He mumbled and fumbled, over his words, none of which I caught. I grabbed my purse and opened my phone and started scrolling through all my photos. Sure enough, each and every photo where I could see his hands, he was ringless.
Fuck. My head was spinning. And honestly, I think the wine was going to my head at this point. A migraine was forming and I was fuming on the inside. Anger was boiling. I felt as if I was going to erupt, like that volcano outside The Mirage.
Friends, I’ve looked at these photos maybe a hundred times. Dissected each and every one. I’ve laughed and smiled equally that many times while looking at all these pictures. Showing them to friends or family. Sharing them on Facebook. But each and every time, I was so intently focused on our kids, his smile, our beautiful family or the artistic quality of the shots. Never once staring at the megapixels of his ring finger.
I thought we were trying to make an amazing marriage. I guess it was only me really trying.
Our anniversary ended with me saying, “You have no clue, just how much damage you have caused to our marriage.”
That was weeks ago.
We haven’t had sex.
Not that I want him touching me.
Quite frankly, at this point in my life, if I die without ever having sex again, I’ll be fine with that arrangement.
…and so it goes, back to having a beta roommate, passive-aggressive kind of husband.