Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Today I cleaned out many old emails. It was both frightening and enlightening to see how far I've come from the insecure, emotionally dependent creature I had been. This is not to say that I have attained some sort of perfection, but as Daniel Kahneman has wisely said, "You know you have made a theoretical advance when you can no longer reconstruct why you failed for so long to see the obvious."

From my current perspective, it is clear to see how unnatural my relationship with my husband had been. We were not straightforward and honest with each other, but rather played passive/aggressive word games as our odd form of email communication. Neither of us came right out and said how we felt. I know I didn't for fear of offending him and then having to deal with the consequences, which usually took the form of a long rant concerning my past and present failures and inadequacies. I'm sure he had his reasons, as well. Suffice it to say, passive/aggressive behavior was the hallmark of our relationship.

It is frightening to think how my life would have continued had we not moved apart, for which change I feel I can take no credit. Even after he was gone, I still thought of my marriage with ambivalence. On the one hand, I clung to my dreamworld of companionship and happiness, and I was loathe to let that go. On the other hand, I felt anger and betrayal at how I had been used. I provided him with a cover, the outward appearance of "normalcy" of a good ole sage married couple. "Sure we've had our ups and downs, but so has everyone else." I was an indispensable part of his public image, yet all the while even the smallest physical contact with me was repugnant to him. It was such a farce. (Arm over shoulder? Only for photos.) Now I wonder how I could have clung to such a pretend relationship for so many years.

I am very glad that I no longer spend my days living in the delusions - both cult and marriage - that I clung to for most of my life, and I hope I have developed a healthy awareness of, and respect for, how easily one can sincerely believe utterly false things.

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