It is not my responsibility to consistently air us out. Nor is it my responsibility to publicly crucify myself. However, it is my responsibility to come to my husband whole. To be forthcoming about what I lack. To allow him to see me for exactly who I am and choose whether he still wants to help me grow into the potential that’s also present.
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It has been a long time coming on undoing all the damage and unlearning all of our toxic tendencies. I know that we still have light years to go, because (if I'm being frank, and when aren't I being frank?) there is a part of me that measures our success against the length of time we've spent without cheating on each other. That sounds terrible, but it's our truth.
I didn’t care to change my name. Black America places value on becoming a wife and receiving your husband’s last name, but I only connected with that sentiment in theory. Yes, I wanted to get married. Yes, I wanted a family. Yes, I wanted the implied honor of another man giving me his name. However, the daddy’s girl in me (not to mention the carefree black girl inspired feminist), recognized it as an alternative. Not a mandate.
So, you want to know how Chris and I got over? I'll tell you.
We spit venom, temporarily. We wagged fingers, temporarily. We cried (a lot), temporarily. We called it quits, temporarily. We sought vengeance, temporarily.
Then we recalled the permanence of what we agreed to (before ever making it down the aisle), and we stood in our choices.
Chris and I aren’t walking into “marital bliss” unscathed. We have not always been faithful to each other. We’ve hurt each other deeply. We’ve made poor choices, regretted them, and still found ourselves demonstrating the same behaviors. We didn’t get it right the first, second, or third time. That’s not the way our story unfolded. When opportunities to start over and come clean presented themselves, we often dug deeper ditches. We had to have our trump cards pulled. Things had to blow up in our face and come full circle before healing made its way to the table.