Short stories,

Like a lamb to the slaughter

May 24, 2016 Ezer Kenegdo 0 Comments

“He is a big joker! So he wants me to be all lovely dovey but when it’s time for him to give me emotional support he will be missing in action! He can’t have it both ways, only emotionally present with happy me, but missing in action when I’m down. Just thinking about it makes me so mad! I really needed him, but he really just couldn’t be bothered. I mean, if I can’t expect this of him, then who can I expect it from?”

I could hear the pain in her voice and I knew her question was meant to be rhetorical, but I had an answer for her, so I pulled her into a warm hug to calm her down which I hoped would make her more receptive to the lecture I was about to give, one I’d received not too long ago myself.

Yasmin had been married for only a few months, but had come to an emotional impasse that threatened to destroy her marriage. One I was trying to get to the bottom of. Her husband had recently started complaining that she was suddenly emotionally distant. It didn’t take me long to figure out what the problem was, she was dying to open up to someone- anyone, just not him. At least not anymore.

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An old friend of hers recently lost his son, and it hid her hard. Even though they hadn’t been in touch for a while, she’d never heard him sound so broken. She tried as much as possible to be there for him and his family, but it was emotionally draining. She’d reached out to her husband for comfort, but hadn’t gotten the response she felt she needed. It wasn't the first time, or the second, and frankly, she was tired, so she switched off.

Pulling away, “What I’m about to say may not be what you want to hear right now, but I’d like you to give it some thought. Can you do that?”

Taking her slow nod as a sign of cooperation, I began my story.

Before Charles and I got married, I'd had lofty dreams of what my marriage would be like. He would be my indestructible emotional rock! God forbid I was ever sad, he would never let a single tear drop from my eyes but would always be there with a warm hug and listening ear. The wedding day came and went, and reality quickly set in. Needless to say, I was an emotional wreck. Mind you, i’m not what one would call the emotional type. For years I’d done a good job- an excellent job actually, of hiding my feelings well, so a part of me was looking forward to sharing them with someone I felt I could trust and allow myself to be vulnerable with. It was a really difficult time for me at work but it was like Charles was completely oblivious to my needs and incapable of providing the emotional comfort I needed. When I needed a hug, he gave me a pat on the back. When I needed him to just listen, he gave me 10 ways to resolve the issue. So I started to slowly shut down. It wasn’t intentional. I just didn’t know what to do with this new me. I hated been vulnerable with someone who I didn’t feel was supportive, so I began to revert to the old me. But the more feelings I held in, the more I began to resent him. What was the point being married to someone if they can’t meet my emotional needs? But I hated who I was becoming. Something had to change, and change they did.

Ben was all that Charles wasn’t. Attentive and affectionate. So it was easy to.....

 To be continued

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