Happy Anniversary To My Dead Marriage

Today would have been 15 years married to the man I have been separated from for over two and a half. That guy I had kids with. The man who was my best friend and my partner, my lover and co-conspirator, the dude I never in my wildest imagination considered I would divorce. Happy anniversary to me. Yay. Somebody pass the agave-sweetened shitcake.

I didn’t walk down the aisle, I sashayed. I floated on slightly too tight Stuart Weitzman satin heels. I glided up that aisle as only a twenty-six-year-old Jewish Australian Princess marrying her North American Prince can. My soon to be husband cried, while I was dry-eyed. Why would I cry when this was the happiest moment of my life? I had no doubt, zero unease and a complete absence of skepticism. I was at the very least naive. (Also, possibly dissociating.)

My expectation of marriage was influenced by my parents’ ironclad Soviet union. I swallowed the monogamy myth like delicious heart-shaped candy. Candy that gets progressively sweeter the longer you are married- the depth of intimacy increases, and you start to relax. He’s got this, your husband, he’s got all of it. He’s going to be the daddy you never had. He’s going to be there for you and not withhold. (Yes I married someone older, whatsa matter, too literal?)

And then. Over time. The candy gets too sweet. Cavities form. Maybe Diabetes. Somehow the princess dress you wore that day ends up freeze-dried in a box up a hill in a storage space near the castle where you used to live. It’s all that remains of something that was once alive and fluffy and exposed to the air. And sometimes I think about the dress in a box (hope no one has thrown it away) and I cry in my car (because this is Los Angeles and we are always in our cars) and I talk to the mommy and the daddy in my head. I say “I tried. I had full confidence in the dress/the myth/the idea. Believe me with all that I had, I tried.”

On a day like today, amongst the maelstrom of shit in even the most self-expressed life, it would be easy to question one’s choices. To wonder if this whole “living authentically” business is really what’s advertised. If all this “Stella Got Her Groove Back” stuff is actually, you know, worth it. Or if perhaps one should have just freeze-dried oneself in the box with the satin slippers (now after kids at least two sizes too small) like a relic, at least pretty to look at if not actually, you know, breathing.

It’s not advisable though. Today, while swimming in a morass of memories/regrets/feelings-that-cannot-be-named, it’s best not to question anything.

I remember one year of my life between the ages of 20 and 21, when I had a live-in boyfriend. I did almost nothing that whole year but smoke weed, watch The X-Files, and eat Thai food. And what I gained from that (besides a healthy “Coconut-Rice-15”) was one maxim. What remains of that blurry chapter is that today I can go all X-Files on this shit, believing “The Truth Is Out There.” And even more importantly than that (enveloped in life-giving oxygen) The Truth Is Somewhere In Here…

Kind of creepy, if you think about it.
Kind of creepy, if you think about it.

8 comments

  1. Brilliant. Thank you for chronicling your life’s journey. I reflect, and relate. Your perspective helps put my life in perspective. Love.

  2. Dear Susanna! Well! Marriage can work and does for manny, the main ingredient is: make sure you never feel depending on your partner financially, have many interest you can share/ also make sure you have a super sex life. Don’t be a jealous person, as other women always will try to get him away from you, especially girlfriends. Be diplomatic if that is happening/ distance yourself from them. Done give on temptations, one always thinks, the grass I greener on the other side/it never is. We are now nearly 50 years married and still feel romantic / not always / but yes we do have fun together, we of course have disagreements, because if you agree on everything , they like to use you as a doormat….but having said that: you totally have to put up a wall/ don’t let negativity get into your life, you will be happy again…that chapter in your life is over, the new one will begin …think of your beautiful children you both created, that is your reward…and if he was a checkass…so be it, you are so much better then let him win for you being miserable….
    Love Traude

  3. […] to share. Even as I continue to mourn the dead marriage (it’s more of a sniffly remains of mourning than a full hair-pull-out-throw-yourself-on-the-grave-fest) hope squirts eternal. Also, the impetus […]

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