Pictures Never Lie: A Love Story Pt. 04-2

He led me gently through the story and I told him EVERYTHING. At the end I broke down. He was justifiably angry. I was hoping he would hit me, or make me do degrading things; anything to punish me. But instead he proved how much he really loves me by simply taking himself away to think. In every respect his strength and rationality at that moment hurt me worse.

I was crying uncontrollably while he was upstairs packing. There was a part of me that was feeling very sorry for myself. I had been about as totally victimized as anybody could be and that wasn’t fair. But then some of the things that Tom had said began to sink in.

First and foremost my fear and passivity through the entire situation had made it easy for Mr. Murphy to abuse me. Instead of being strong and taking affirmative steps to clear the situation up with Tom, I had turned in my weakness to Murphy, and he had happily led me to the very worst conclusion possible. That was, to my eternal regret, MY fault.

As I began to think about it, I could see that it was my unresolved issues as a woman that had made me vulnerable.

First of all I am arrogant. Women who look like me are used to getting a free pass from men. And so I was far too confident that the men in my life would always do the right thing by me simply because of my exceptional looks.

Secondly, I have no experience with genuinely evil people. I work in the gentle world of children and I have always had Tom to insulate me from the world’s unpleasantness. My only role was to be appropriately grateful to my knight in shining armor, after he had dispatched the dragon.

As a result I didn’t have nearly enough of the necessary personal strength, wisdom and courage to protect myself when I had to fight my own battle. And it was that very dependency on a man to sort out my problems that was the root of my downfall, since it was my instinct to turn to a man for help that made me so quickly dependent on Murphy. He knew that and he played it.

Finally, I just assumed I would be happy because happiness is something that all pretty girls deserve. I thought because I was a nice person, who had dedicated her life to children that nobody would EVER go out of their way to hurt me. Of course the gazelle is another lovely innocent animal, and it is the lion’s customary prey.

The conclusion was painfully obvious. I was 41 year old and I really hadn’t grown up. But I was going to grow up now and I was going to dedicate what I had learned about myself to trying to make a new and better marriage with the man who was the love of my life.

That resolution strengthened my spine, dried my eyes and wiped my nose. I stood up absolutely unwavering and marched to the hallway. Tom was just bumping his big roller bag down the stairs. I walked silently out with him, trying to look steadfast and resolute. He actually seemed puzzled.

When we got to his car I had to tell him what I planned to do. I turned him to face me by seizing both arms and told him that I knew I had to make changes, whether he decided to divorce me or not. Then I told him that the minute he wanted to talk about it I would be ready to deal with him openly, honestly and as an equal.

I told him that there would be no whining or any more apologies. I told him that I couldn’t express how sorry I was and that there was no constructive point in my restating my grief and sorrow at the pain my actions had caused him.

I told him that I knew I was at fault and that I was going to ruthlessly identify the problem and fix it. Then I asked him whether he still loved me.

I knew that was not the same questions as “Will we ever be together again”.

But I needed his love to give me the strength to repair myself. He looked at me sincerely and told me that he would ALWAYS love me. I knew then, that I had all of the armor I would need to take on my own demons.

I would have kissed him goodbye but I knew that he didn’t want that kind of closeness from me. So I simply stood and watched him leave. As he did I was trying to project my newfound dedication to my inner crusade. I would be a stronger and wiser person no matter what happened in our marriage.

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