When I walked down the aisle on May 2, 1987, to share, “I do’s” with the man I had met seven months earlier, I anticipated that we would be spending a long life together.
We had met when I was twenty-eight and he was thirty-six, introduced by a mutual friend during the intermission of a lecture by spiritual leader Ram Dass. I would call our marriage “paradoxical,” with its share of love and its own major dysfunctions that I shudder to think I allowed for the time we were together.
He grew up in a family with an alcoholic-rageaholic father and a mother with depression and anxiety. His parents were divorced and not amicable. He was expected to take sides.
The dynamic in my marriage fell into the category of chosen allegiances. If I wasn’t “siding” with my husband against anyone who disagreed with him, I was not being loyal. I felt as if I was always being tested and found wanting. I thought I could heal the emotional wounds that he carried, but I realized that it needed to be an inside job. His pain spilled over into our home.