So here goes practice number 5. I do not have a perfect marriage. Sometimes we argue, mostly bickering and usually very quickly moved on from. But I don’t see my life without my husband and when I think about it, I swear, sometimes it brings me to tears. But again, it’s not perfect. Nothing is. I hope that when people see us, they see a happy family, with flaws of course, but not people trying to project an unattainable level of happiness. Some people though, have lives that look perfect and it is far from that. What are they feeling? What are they really feeling?
I am a housewife. I am just a housewife.
The first sentence speaks of a proud woman who holds her head high as she cares for her home and her husband. The second is how I feel about myself. I was once a proud woman, with a job, not just a job, but a career. A buzzing social life. A supremely positive outlook on life. Now I am just a cleaner, a cook, a trophy.
What do I do all day? I’m not even one of the normal types of housewives with kids to look after. I am a disappointing version of the socialites that you see on the TV going shopping, sashaying around at parties, flipping tables.
What do I do all day? It doesn’t take long to do the dishes, laundry, sweep the floors and dust some shelves. Dinner is usually a pre-made deal that gets thrown into the oven. Another thing to make me feel inadequate. My husband who doesn’t want me to work feels, for some unfathomable reason, that cooking is beneath me and has chef catered meals stacked high in our fridge. He’s now talking about hiring a maid. So what will be left for me to do other than to rattle a gold-plated porcelain teacup on the bars of my beautifully designed cage?
Let there be no doubt, just because I have 15,000 square feet to tread, I have no freedom. I feel your sympathy for me decreasing. I shouldn’t complain. I have everything I thought I wanted. No stress, a husband, a beautiful home but in all of that I’ve lost myself and now my title of housewife means nothing because I do nothing. I am nothing. I was waiting for someone to notice my unhappiness. Waiting for someone to realise that I was floating through my life like driftwood in a river heading for a waterfall. Nobody has so far.
I am not present. I am an unnecessary addition to my own life. God, that is beyond depressing. But now is the time to do something different. I have life skills. I haven’t worked for 6 years but I used to. I know how to buy stuff, I know how to organise, I know how to clean, I know how to smile and walk beside a man as his companion being completely ignored while he grips my arm too tightly. I suppose those skills aren’t going to lead to gainful employment but I am more than qualified to be a downtrodden trophy wife.
There I said it. I know who I am, what I am. It just is what it is. The problem is, I can’t see a way out. He won’t let me divorce him, being single at this point in his life would destroy his climb to the top of the vapid corporate mountain. He won’t let us separate discreetly and I wasn’t even suggesting separate homes, I’d just be happy to be out of his bed. A long time ago I loved this man with all my heart and now I see his hands coming towards me and I feel like I am about to be caught in the grip of a killer. I want to recoil from him. Surely he can’t know how I feel. He doesn’t care about how I feel. Sometimes I think he doesn’t feel anything.
He gets angry a lot. He’s easily irritated by everything, by me. I don’t mean to bring down his mood. I never want to upset him but I do. I have no idea why he married me, it’s been a long time since I thought he even liked me. We used to talk and now the only communication is his glaring stare. Unless we’re around other people and then he is the most charming and likeable person to be found. When we’re alone his anger terrifies me.
He’s never hurt me, not physically, but there is something behind his eyes that always makes me think twice about everything I say and do. Is this me admitting that I’m scared of my husband? I guess I am. It’s ok when I’m talking to myself. What harm is there in that? He can’t hear me inside of my own head. This is the only place I am safe. But still not completely safe. All I want to be is touched by someone who does not make me feel like shivering prey in front of a horde of predators.
I said “I do” on my wedding day and it was at that moment, obviously too late, that I knew I had made a mistake. But the fear was crippling me so much that I was glued to the spot rather than being the runaway bride I needed to be. I had told my friends how I felt and rather than supporting my need to get out I was told I was being silly, it was just cold feet, everyone feels this way. Everyone feels this way? Really? Everyone looks at their intended and thinks that if they go through with their wedding they are consigning themselves to a life of unhappiness. And those friends that didn’t support me leaving are all gone now. For various reasons, some of them were s**t friends, some have moved away but the majority have been pushed. By me. By him.
Even my family are becoming fading memories, people I used to know. I was always popular, some would say life of the party, some would say arrogant and I was fine with that. Now, people may think it, but I don’t. I fake it. I dance but I don’t feel it. I drink but it just makes the situation more bearable, not more fun. I talk but I’m not caring about your life, I’m hoping you see my subtle clues and hear my almost silent cry for help.
At least I have the car, the house, the man I always thought I wanted. At least I have that.
Writing practice number 5 done!
xx woeful writes xx
Comments welcome below. Pity comments and critiques allowed, just don’t troll me!
Adapted from a blog post originally published on Woeful To FroFull on 05.03.17