My Ideal Wife

Who is this stranger that sleeps in my bed every night? She is kind and caring. She puts our marriage first. She comes to me for help solving problems. She is (possibly) open and honest. She is concerned with my feelings and health. She never yells at me, instead will politely disagree. She is thankful and respectful. She likes physical contact. She is receptive to my sexual advances and responds in kind. She likes to spend time with me. She tells me she loves me.

With a woman like that, it’s easy to love her and respond in kind. The mutual respect and kindness is cyclical. She makes me feel loved and so I make her feel loved in return and so she continues to make me feel loved.

She is my ideal wife. My best friend, my lover, my equal, my partner, my co-parent.

She wasn’t this way for a long time.

For a long time I had to chase and be rejected. I could not communicate with her. She yelled at me. My input was something to be dismissed. Everything was “fine” and was just a part of aging, according to her. She’d tell me she just isn’t an affectionate or sexual person, that she’s just cranky all the time at everyone, so I shouldn’t take it personally.

It felt so badly wrong much of the time, but I stuck it out. I tried to be there and keep my distance at the same time. I tried to accept her “personality” but also had to push back when I was getting walked all over. I tried to work with what I was given but I was not happy. I hoped it would get better and she would get through those bad phases, but instead they peaked.

She was not my ideal wife. But I believed in sticking with it in bad times. Sometimes I didn’t believe I could, that I should leave her. Other times, I was so hopeful. We’d recapture the magic for a moment and I knew it would get better. But it seemed with each great moment, she fell deeper into the darkness afterward.

Now she is my ideal wife but there’s a big, bloody wound on our marriage. We’ve bandaged it up as best we can. We continue to treat it, in hopes that it heals well and doesn’t get infected. We care for it, hoping that one day it will be a tiny, faded scar, unnoticed unless someone’s looking for it.

I hope we can overcome it. I hope I can forgive her and I hope she can forgive herself.

I hope this is not just temporary.

Happy Friday, my friends. I wish you all peace and happiness.

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