photo like-home.jpg   photo like-about.jpg   photo like-contact.jpg

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Drama, Drama, Drama

Have you ever witnessed a marital affair?  There's a reason day time Soap's always involve an affair - the drama is so obvious, so easy to predict, it's suspenseful! Supposedly, "About 60 percent of men and 40 percent of women will have an affair at some point in some marriage "Monogamy Myth", says Therapist Peggy Vaugn.'s pretty common. But still, dramatic. It makes for a good story, so here's my story:

Growing up we had another family that was sort of like our godparents. We went to Jamaica, Maui, Lake Powell, every camping trip with them and their kids.  They're in most of my birthday photos from the age of 5 on. Our parents were really close and they were a safe relationship. My junior year of high school I was sitting in english class when a friend of mine told me she had been at a Rockies game and saw the mom making out with a guy who wasn't her husband. I remember being shocked but I think I had always known she hadn't been happy in her marriage. They had 3 kids so I think I felt sorry for them in my head.  Hard to remember now. That weekend at church someone else came to my parents and told them they had been at a Rockies game and witnessed the same thing. I overheard the conversation but it was sort of odd how we didn't really talk about it.  Anyway, things sort of progressed the way they do from there. To complicate things, this couple both worked for my parent's construction company - her as a bookkeeper and him as a project manager. I used to help file some days after school and one day I was in there and she came and tried to talk to me in my dad's office and said a lot of things but mostly this:  "Every family vacation we were on with your family I remember looking at your parents holding hands feeling jealous of your mom wishing it was me."  What I think she was trying to say was - "Hey young sheltered girl, feel compassion for me because I have been in a miserable marriage and when we were in fabulous places like Maui where I should have felt happy I coveted your parents marriage and happiness." but...what I heard was "I'm really weird, I married the first guy who asked and I would have had an affair with your dad or just about anyone who would rescue me from my bad marriage." That same week my parents let her go - not because she had an affair, not because she said that weird comment to me, but because a messy divorce is bad for business when played out a few desks away from each other. It was the last we ever spoke. Shame has an interesting power to make us hide from relationships we once loved.

Last month my dad had a liver transplant. Out of nowhere this woman reached out on facebook. I hadn't spoken to her in 16 years. She wrote, "Praying, love your family." Then while at the hospital she had asked someone to tell us she was praying and thinking of us. The whole miracle of the transplant had felt so pure, holy, and amazing that her name sort of hung in the air like an annoying stench.  Felt like satan had placed it there to try and steal a little bit of joy. Love my family? Deciding to care after 16 years of avoiding us?  I don't know, it didn't set right. I wrote her back and said I wasn't going to pretend like everything was "ok" and brush it all under the rug - there were hurt feelings and no we weren't "cool." It all just felt too little too late, like she got a guilty conscience because my dad was sick and because he had always been so good to her she felt she owed a courtesy prayer. All I really wanted to say was please go take your thoughts and prayers and shove em' where the sun don't shine! Does this make me bitter?  Sure sounds like it, doesn't it? 

Her facebook message reply turned into a straight Mean Girls saga - I was Regina George texting screengrabs to my cousin of her ridiculous defensive replies both of us laughing at the delusion. I had just miscarried a baby that week and all the hormones and anger came displaced like hot lava rage all over that miserable woman. I finally cut it off and told Jesus I was sorry for being an evil bitch and read this in my quiet time:
Enemy Strategy 9 - Heart
He (satan) uses every opportunity to keep old wounds fresh in mind, knowing that anger and hurt and bitterness and unforgiveness will continue to roll the damage forward. (Heb. 12:15)

I seriously don't even remember caring about that affair for years - why did I suddenly care now? The whole thing was ridiculous. I fell for it - I passed along more shame, unforgiveness, and anger rolling the damage forward. Yuck, I feel dirty just talking about it now. In retrospect, I should have just replied and said, "Thank you for your prayers." and then allowed myself to pray and feel compassion for a woman who had a bad marriage and made some tough choices.

BUT! also have to wonder why people expect their sin to not effect other people. Affairs are like bombs leaving shrapnel on everyone.  For me, I guess it just felt honest to be able to say - "no, actually you don't love us or you wouldn't have dumped us in your shame and running away." Anyone who knows me knows I always speak my mind especially when it comes to defending my family.  It often gets me into trouble, but there's some justice in feeling like you don't always have to be nice - the truth hurts. I gotta be honest in saying it felt so good to unload on her what I didn't know to say 16 years ago. It was the mean truth - I'm sure there was a nicer way to say it but I sure didn't say it nice. I feel mildly guilty, but still processing.

 photo like-sig.jpg

No comments:

Post a Comment