2/13/17. Red Riding Hood (you know, my wife) and I house-sat for someone and I introduced her to good old Indica. We sat on a couch and watched movies all night, devouring Doritos. Heck yeah. We didn’t talk much and since the house has no internet we were more in tune with writing in our journals and relaxing.

2/14/17. Valentine’s. I don’t remember what I had planned for us, but I do remember having a good day, driving through the backroads and sharing each other’s company. After a while we returned home. She showered while I dinked around, probably writing or reading about something “boring” like behavioral economics, religion, or philosophy. Little Red came and sat on the bed with me. Honestly I was kinda ready to get it on, I mean, she had nothing on the calendar, we had been getting along better than normal, and she couldn’t say “I haven’t showered” like usual. No, instead she calmly looks me in the eye and says “I can’t do this anymore, I’m done. Neither of us are happy, and we are both sacrificing for nothing. We would be happier apart. We won’t divest each other of anything at this point in life, so if we don’t get a divorce now we will suffer through a pathetic life together, bound by kids or money or houses or family.”

At that point I had heard it all. She has told me since…hmmm…maybe the second week of marriage that she regrets it. During our fights she would unleash a little and inform me of just how horrible she thinks I am, and how all of her unhappiness is because of me. Her words would go way beyond sanity and reason, and no matter how sweet, romantic, loving, or thoughtful I was it would never put me in the green. So, this seemed like another little spurt of vinegar, except that she was calm with no fight in her eyes. She meant it.

Little Red Riding Hood told me she had been talking to a guy at work and she promised that nothing happened between them. She “just had feelings for him.” This basically sealed the deal for me.

When we got married, I stood in front of everyone I knew, and a lot that I didn’t, and I promised to stay with her unless she abandoned me, cheated on me, or if she demonstrably left Christianity. I wasn’t sure who to talk to, so I went to a Pastor of the church we hadn’t been to in months. “You’ll never look back and wish that you hadn’t fought so hard for your marriage.”

And so, I stand by my commitment even though she has emotionally cheated on me, emotionally abused me, and has decried Christianity. I’m not sure I line up with anything in the Bible beyond the morals and the belief in a greater metaphysical power, so her denouncement hasn’t shaken me up. Her abuse is something I’ve always weathered, assuming that it was normal for someone to threaten suicide unless I leave her. Is it normal for a wife to exert power over her husband by ridiculing him after he bends over backwards to make her happy? Is it normal for Red to accuse me of abusing her when I suggest that we should maintain a shallow and distant relationship with her truly abusive father in order to receive the money she needs to go back to school? I would, and I have gone to him in the past to save her from having to deal with the piece of shit that he is.

As we have left it after having a few deep conversations and lots of yelling: I won’t leave even though I want to. If I walk away, I would never make a commitment like this again without doubting my own integrity. She won’t leave even though she has made it so very clear for a long time that she would be happier apart. I told her I will be here if she wants to recommit and make things right. So, the ball is in her court, and I’m in limbo somewhere between blazing anger and crushing sadness. I don’t know what the fuck to feel, so I don’t feel. I don’t know what will happen, so I don’t know how to act. I don’t know if I will have a wife at the end of every day, so I can’t lean into this any more than I am.

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