My friend Sharon was the type of woman that many of us strive to be. She seemed to have it all, a kind of natural beauty that was almost indescribable. It just came to her, and the men in her life were chasing her around like she was some sex symbol with class. She made me so jealous I could hardly stand her, but at the same time, she and I were good friends back to elementary school. I always thought that maybe she liked me because of that whole surround yourself with unflattering people to make yourself more appealing kind of things, I don’t know.
I always offered her support, and she was always a good friend to me, so whatever, I’d just let it slide. Even though I’d never be the caliber of woman she was, I could hope that some of her inner charm and outer beauty could rub off on me, you know, guilt by association or something like that, right? Ugg, nevertheless, I always tried, and no matter how hard it was to watch her get everything handed to her, elaborate trips with tall, dark, handsome men, every gift you could imagine, treated like a literal queen, Promotions at her work and a great job, I let it go because she and I were so emotionally attached, she’s always asking me for advice, and she was my rock too. When I was going through my divorce, she was there with a bottle of wine and nothing but reassuring words to help me ease my pain. I loved her like a sister, and she would always tell me she felt the same.
I remember this day like it just happened over five years ago today. It was the beginning of a new year, I was living in Spokane, Washington, and although it was cold and uninviting outside, there was something about the feeling that the freshness of winter gives you. There was a fresh blanketing of snow on the ground; it was beautiful yet dangerous, the blanketing of snow that would take days to be taken care of. It was early morning when I got a call from my husband saying that he’d been snowed in and would have to cover a shift for his boss, that couldn’t make it in because of the snow. My husband was such a diamond in the rough, Sharon introduced us in high school, and you could say he was my high school sweetheart. David was my rock; he was there for me in every way. He was a great provider too. The only issues were that he worked a lot being an air traffic controller; he was working all the time. It didn’t help either that it’s one of the most stressful occupations out there; however, overall, he handled the stress well. Although I had learned early on that he wouldn’t always be around with his career, I knew it was the best thing for us, and we made the sacrifices because of the money. Because of his job, I didn’t need to work as much and raise our son in his early years. Then once he was off to school, I was able to work part-time as a substitute teacher at the local school. It was great because it was within walking distance, and I had extra time to keep the house in order while preparing meals for my son and husband.
Even though I had to sacrifice with David, I was still committed to making it work between us, but lately, it had been extra hard. David and I had been having intimacy issues, it’s hard to go here, but I’ll do my best. After his long work hours, he would be too tired for “us time,” and it was starting to bother me because I crave that connection. I tried everything to get him “in the mood,” but it would always be that he was “too tired” or he would promise me that we’d have time soon. It was always an empty promise, and it was starting to become an ordeal in my mind. You see, I’ve never had that problem before, we’d always never had issues in the past, and I felt deep inside like we were slowly drifting apart. It was getting very emotionally taxing to me, and worst of all, Sharon was always busy and could not listen as she had for so many years before. It was like I was losing my best friend and the love of my life David at the same time. I spent a lot of time working out my issues with my therapist. She said that it’s normal for a relationship of so many years like mine and David’s to “fizzle out” a bit and to just concentrate on making things more interesting and fresh for our intimate times, it was good advice and all, but it wasn’t seeming to work as well as I had hoped.
I was feeling better though because just the night before David and I had a real heart-to-heart and we both had a chance to really pour out what I think we both had bottled up, I promised him I’d try harder to work on things that he was bothered with and in turn he promised that he’d take more time away from work so we could reconnect, for the sake of our marriage and moving forward as a family. You could say I was really happy with that outcome and instead of arguing, we came to a really good compromise, or so I thought we did, and I just felt renewed. There was hope for us after all, and if we would both just work on this together we could get through it, no problem. We’d been through some rough patches before, but it was never like we were losing interest in each other, sure we’d argue just like any other healthy couple but we’d always make up afterwards and in the end it just seemed to make us stronger as husband and wife.
I actually felt stronger than ever before that day, I’d finally taken some responsibility for us and David was there to do the same, so I felt as if nothing could shake my empowered feeling and I thought that since school was out today because of the snow, I could just walk over to the gym and get an early start. I had struggled with emotional eating; it had offered me comfort for my emotional shortcomings. You name it I would eat it to cope and wow did it feel good at the time, until I looked at myself in the mirror or god forbid weighing myself on my bathroom scale. You know how they say “you are what you eat” well, I’d eat burgers supersized fries then go on to the Chinese food, then have like 3 helpings of desert, basically anything I could get my hands on. My therapist said that it was likely because of my emotional state, but my problem was that it felt so good while I ate all those horrible foods but the guilt and bloated feelings afterwards just made me so depressed. This was one issue that David claimed was turning him off, and so I was going to do everything in my power to make sure it would not be something that came between us anymore.
Part two coming soon!