Sunday, 29 December 2013


There are occasionally moments of such clarity in your life, it is like you have shoved on a wonderful new pair of glasses - and everything that was blurred, or grey, comes crashing into blinding focus. You think, how could I have missed this before? How did I not see? The unlucky find such mystical specs when the moment has passed and things that were said cannot be unsaid, things done cannot be undone.

Husband and I had an epic row on Boxing Day - and in it, he threatened to leave me.

In that moment, I loved him with such certainty and such vigour that it was as if I had donned such glasses. He wasn't serious - thank god. Just angry, and frustrated and tired. Maybe tired of me. I tend to bring that feeling out in most people.

Christmas is one big pot of enormous expectation just waiting to blow. Frayed nerves and even more frayed tempers all lead to dark roads filled with resentment. Water it all with too much alcohol and not enough alone time and voila! Pot boils. Emotions spill out.

I looked at him and saw something different. Every day I see his face, a blur as he rushes to work, stares at his phone, throws his head on the pillow. I see him and yet I don't really take him in. I forget to appreciate all he does for me. How he puts me above all in his life. We forget don't we, to appreciate what we take for granted.. What we expect to be there every day. We never imagine a time when it/he/she won't be...

Until they aren't.

I shouldn't be writing this as Husband has made me swear not to discuss him on my blog. It is my life to splurge he admits, but not his. Because he is everything I am not. I am wildly social, desperate to talk (endlessly) to everyone, he is quiet, prefers to be alone. While I hold court, he likes one to ones - always looking out for the awkward person who is alone. I bound around, gathering new people, he prefers a close old few from Uni. I am addicted to facebook, he hates all forms of social media. He is black and white and I am 'the screaming grey liberal.' On holiday, I'll read some claptrap and he'll indulge in some Naomi Klein or Nietzsche, or some light reading on socialism. I can burn toast, he is brilliant cook - spending a day making stock, or sourcing cheese... I am an emotional nightmare, he is calm, rational, always taking a step back - seeing the bigger picture. I stress, he chills. He is the first to leave a party, whereas I am the last. I dance on tables, he left me dancing on our wedding song as he simply 'doesn't EVER dance.' We are day and night, chalk and cheese. Total opposites.

The only thing he matches me on - is our temper.

On a holiday in 2003 with friends in France, my buddy asked me if we were sure we should be together - so combustible was/is our relationship. We are not the couple to make you feel like a gooseberry - we'll banter and bite back until you wonder if we are really meant to be. But another friend spotted him kissing my forehead, when he thought no one was looking. Husband isn't one for grand gestures and attention seeking declarations. He keeps it quiet.

He is my best friend. The one person who loves me throughout everything - no matter how much I have ever tried to push him away, take him for granted, challenge his devotion. He accepts me, for all my faults, for all my insecurities, for all my mistakes. For 12 1/5 years he has done so.

On Boxing Day, I put on the glasses. I saw him again as the boy on my stoop, back in the thick of summer - August 2001. With the eyebrow piercing and the soft brown eyes, the handsome smile, the black black hair. Waiting for me to come home, champagne bottle clutched in hand. I saw all that I loved and needed. I said sorry.

What was done was undone, what was said was forgotten.

I am one of the lucky ones.


brittanymum said...

mine actually walked out last summer ... thank god both of us put the glasses on before we signed divorce papers. I ditto everything you just wrote and read it with tears rolling down my cheeks

Kris Green said...

And this is why you should write x

courtney said...

I think the extrovert/introvert pairing can be a hard match sometimes - I'm an extrovert and my husband is much more introverted as well, and while I am refreshed through socializing, he is the opposite. Recently he has watched a friend's marriage fall apart because he -the friend - is an extrovert and his wife is not and it has made my husband incredibly understanding about my needs in this realm. so glad you two worked things out somewhat easily and are appreciating each other more - a great way to start off the new year!

DCL said...

Wonderful! So glad you had this moment of clarity. I'm sure 2014 will be an amazing year for you!
Happy New Year!

LovePiano said...

Very happy to read this today! Keep remembering the love despite the everyday grind and 2014 will be a wonderful year for you both. (Loving neighbour!)

kds said...

That was so beautiful. I love everything you write, but that really spoke to me. Thank you.