Marriage Doubt and Shame

 

Dear Sas

Over the next few years, we would settle into married life, a new home, new jobs and a new home.

There were times when I was torn between the life we were creating and the demons that rested inside.

I liked being married, I liked the life we were creating together but there were times when those doubts and demons would haunt me, causing frustration and anger which affected the relationship we shared.

We had friends and a good life, I wanted us to be happy, I wanted to be the husband you deserved but the demons lurked inside.

There was one night in particular, where the shame will never leave me.

We had settled into our new home, it was early in our marriage and arguments arose occasionally as two people learned to accept each other.

I wish I could have understood the demons undercutting the happiness, we should have been sharing.

I have learnt too late, you cannot live a lie; but at the time I did not understand the lie I was living, it would burn inside, seemingly without reason.

An argument erupted over something trivial and took a turn far out of proportion to the initial cause, anger overcame rationality, and I slapped you.

I honestly don’t know who was most shocked at this turn of events, but the shame of this night has never left me.

There is no excuse for what I did, I went for a drive immediately after wracked with guilt and the words of my father from many years ago, echoing in my ears.

“Son you must never hit a woman”

Shame at what I had done, shame at the demons lurking inside burned at my guts. I was a lost little boy again.

I was to learn many years later, that you had called your father after this shameful episode, during the time I was out, dealing with my shame.

I was to learn that Ossie to his eternal credit, told you, in his simple, sensible, inimitable way;

“Everyone is entitled to one mistake, but if he ever does it again, don’t wait one second to call me and I will come and get you immediately”

I did not know this at the time and it would be many years in the future before I was told; but not for the first time, did my respect for the common decency and wisdom of your father grow exponentially.

We grew through this Sas, my gratitude for your grace and dignity will never expunge my guilt but your forgiveness will never be forgotten.

The demons would not leave me and eventually I would face them, but the times and memories we have shared from this time onwards are precious.

It hurts like hell to write this letter but I am glad I did

With love and admiration

 

Bruce

 

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