Friday, September 26, 2014

How my anxiety found me a perfect husband

When I was a 4 year old, someone told me that you needed to get married to get into heaven. This did not sit well with me, even though I was still 14 years away from being a legal adult. I faced, what I think in retrospect, was my first large bout of anxiety. My therapist tells me that the basis of anxiety is fixating on something that is beyond what we need to currently be concerning ourselves with. The fact that 4 year old me spent hours crying about the prospect of marrying and being a mommy sounds like a textbook case for such a thing.

My mom would hold me as a cried and promise me that I didn't have to get married and I didn't have to be a mom. Instead, I could stay at home forever, and be her little girl.

This apprehension towards marriage is something that stuck with me my entire life. While others around me seemed eager to bind themselves to someone else for the rest of forever, I couldn't think of anything except how utterly terrible that would be.
This meant that when Peter came into my life and I started to love him, I felt incredibly repulsed by myself and the thoughts that I began to have that indicated that marriage could be anything besides a horrendous mess. I was certain that he would leave to go on a mission, and I would recover from my temporary insanity and move on with my life.

Unfortunately, I found this was a more difficult thing to happen than I expected. One night I called my mother distraught over my situation, hoping for some solace. I tried to express to her how badly I was transitioning to Peter being gone. Before I could get very far in my explaining, Mommifer asked excitedly,

"Oh, are you still in love with Peter??"
"What? No..." I said, before quickly bursting into hot and hysterical tears.
"Oh, Melece, I know you're so sad right now, but I could just turn cartwheels! I worried and worried that I would have to watch my youngest daughter live without love!"

And thus my mother became Peter's #1 wingman.

Even though I was coming to accept the fact that I loved Peter, I could never go for very long without thinking about all the terrible aspects of marriage. In fact I would only have small lapses of reason in which I thought marriage could be sufferable, these moments overrode by a massive fear and distaste by the institution.

Fears I had towards marriage:

1. I would get sick of my husband.

This was a serious fear founded in the reality of my past experiences. I had never had a close friend who I spent time with on a regular basis for much longer than a year span or so. There were several people in my life who had always been present in the background, and who I had known for many years, but any close knit relationships I had sought in the past, both romantic and otherwise, usually burned bright and passionately for a season and then ended in awkward avoidances and "we should definitely hang out"s, which as everyone knows is almost legally a phrase that translates to, "I recognize that we at one point knew each other, and I want to be polite, but I have no intentions of ever spending time alone with you ever." The polite response being "yes, we really should," which in itself means, "I am glad you also acknowledge that we will never interact by choice ever again."

2. My husband would get sick of me.

These two items seem simplistic and repetitive, but they fully encompass a world of marital problems. I saw spouses bringing lunches for each other at work, and in my head I thought, "UGH, it's like you're legally obligated to feed someone other than yourself!" a problem that fits nicely under list item #1. Other times I would consider, "men only want you for your body," which caters to the second category, under the assumption that I will someday grow wrinkled, lined, and flabby, preferably not by next week.

All the ugly things that I knew could come from close companionship alarmed me; I worried that when Peter came home we would quickly find that a love letter affair is much easier to uphold than a close up and personal one. Thus, we had a long engagement. In that time we fought some of our biggest fights, which led us both to realize that we can handle the biggest of the fights.

There is a phrase I once heard that warns "you need to love a person at their ugliest before you can truly love them at their most perfect." I knew I was ready to become a wife when marriage no longer seemed heinous. I found someone who was able to be my exception to my rules, not someone I was willing to bend my rules for.

Someday (probably next week) I'll write you a post telling stories exclusively about how my mother helped me realize that I could (and should) marry Peter. She had so many wise words to comfort me during that odd 2-3 year courtship/friendship, and she loved Peter deeply before they even met. She once told friends that she didn't worry about me marrying someone who was a stranger to her, because, "Peter makes Melece happy, so I know he is worth while."

No comments:

Post a Comment