Driving in the car the other night my husband finally lost it on me. He told me he was exhausted with trying to figure out if I was in a good mood or a bad mood, that he wasn’t sure I actually liked him, and he just didn’t know what I wanted. I felt bad for him, I felt bad for me. But most of all, I felt bad for us because he was right. He didn’t know and I didn’t know either. The thing is, I realized in that moment I wasn’t who I used to be. I wasn’t the gal he married five years ago.
When we met 7 years ago my biggest concern in life was what class I was going to take the gym. My biggest responsibility was paying my rent. I was an independent, 28-year old, career woman. I was in shape, eating healthy, going out with my friends, traveling the world, and care-free. I’m not that person any more. There are days I wish I was, but I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever be that woman again. I don’t know if it’s possible to be that woman again. I’m not sure I want to be that woman again.
Since that beautiful autumn day in October when we exchanged our vows in front of our closest family and friends, we’ve bought two houses, had two children, switched jobs to better suit our family, moved away from the city and taken on commutes. I’ve experienced depression, suicidal thoughts, and death…my life, our life, isn’t the same. I’m not the same. I’ve changed. Physically and emotionally, I have changed. I try to be fun. I try to be care-free. I try to smile. I try…I try. But as hard as I try, I can’t be everything all the time. There is just too much at stake. There is too much attention from other little people demanded of me. There is too much expectation I’ve set on myself. Too much I need to teach and show these girls to make sure they grow up to be better than me and you. Too much work, too much stuff, too much responsibility, too many demands. There is just too much. Too much of everything. And I don’t know, I REALLY don’t know how to make it stop.
Husband I’m trying to balance it all. I’m trying to figure out how to make it all work. It’s not easy ya know? I know you know. Because I know you are trying to do the same. I know you feel the pull of me, and our children, and your work, and your friends, and your hobbies. I know you don’t understand why I’m so hard on myself and hard on everyone else. I know there are days you look around and think “who is this woman and what is going on here?” I know you think that because I think the same thing.
There are days I look in the mirror and barely recognize myself. There’s gray hair and a smooshy stomach. There are wrinkles and creases that appear overnight. There’s self-doubt in my eyes, and unbearable pain in my heart. There’s darkness where light used to shine. There’s sadness where joy used to exude. But then there are days I smile and laugh when I look in the mirror. I created and carried two children! I wasn’t supposed to be able to do that! I have lines from where I’ve laughed and smiled so hard and so often over the years, they are becoming permanent. There’s happiness where there used to be sadness, as I learned to navigate the waters of death and grief. There is determination in my eyes where there used to be doubt in my abilities as a mother, wife, business owner, daughter, sister, and friend. There’s hope, so much hope swirling around me.
Husband, I know, I KNOW loving me is hard. I know living with me is hard. But bear with me. I may not be the gal you met, fell in love with, and married. But she is there. She’s just a little different. She might be bogged down with life, but I know she shows herself every now and then. She’s there, she just isn’t the same. She’s changed. She’s transformed. She’s actually a lot cooler than that chick was. She can laugh at her mishaps, and cry at her defeats. She can admit defeat proudly, and share it with others. She can look into her children’s eyes and feel more love than she thought possible. She speaks to a man in the sky with such fierce commitment and blind faith, and He hears her and shows her the way. She’s crazy (no really, she is certifiable), but she knows when to tell you and when to center herself. She’s broken, but healing. She loves you so much it hurts, it actually hurts to think of a life without you. She is there, she has just evolved and morphed into a Phoenix. She is constantly seeking the Truth, and the way.
So husband, if you happen to met a gal that reminds you so much of who your wife used to be, don’t lost hope on me just yet. Remember that girl won’t be skinny and care free forever. She may be fun now, but she’ll change. The years will change her. The children will change her. The job will change her. Just like it’s changed you. We are different, but better. Older, but wiser. More flawed, but stunning. I love you, I want you, I need you. And thank you. Thank you for loving me even when I’m unlovable. Thank you for gifting me these two incredible humans. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for wanting only the best for me. Thank you for showing me what true love it. Thank you, it doesn’t go unnoticed.
Hugs and Loves,
Your New and Improved, Yet Perfectly Flawed Wife