I Hardly Knew Her (or The Wrong Woman)

The Wrong Woman
I married the wrong woman. I knew from the first day I had made a mistake. That mistake was compounded by all the misunderstandings, misspoken words, and periods of silence. I did not say anything to her about being mismatched, but I knew and waited in silence. It was inevitable that we had to break up. She was the wrong woman for me.
I hardly knew her. Even though we talked incessantly, even though we were each other’s constant companion, even though we cuddled, kissed, and loved, it is fair to say she was like a stranger. When we argued, her words flew fast and furious while I pounced on gaps or lulls, usually arguing irrationally, my words and thoughts chopped up by her well turned phrases. Doggedly I hung on to feelings, needing time to formulate and define them, but getting no time to process. Badgered and overpowered, thus would the battle rage until, wearily, I gave up my defenses, listened to her hurts and pains, found out her needs, made peace, and tried to still my resentments over things that had been said, things that could not be said.
I hardly knew her. For some reason power became an obsession. I fought for control whenever possible, perhaps because of my male ego, perhaps because of my need not to be dominated in any way, or maybe it was the knowledge that both of us were fiercely independent due to old wounds, due to years of making independent decisions. I strongly suspect that while those reasons were important, I had a stronger motive. Whenever arguments, situations, or feelings overwhelmed me, I wanted to say, “Stop! I need time to process,” because I needed to consider all the ramifications of an idea or agreement before I accepted it, before I put my official stamp on it, knowing full well I could be tenacious about clinging to ideas my mind had not justified. I only wanted to defend those ideas I truly believed in.
I hardly knew her. Thriving in a richness of activities, some stressful, some not, I could hardly give up the essence of me simply because she needed more of my time. I could not always take her with me to my work because she was a novice and got in the way. I could not entertain her all the time. In addition, she disliked stressful moments where several things were happening at the same time. I thrived while she complained. On the other hand, she delved deep into interpersonal relationships, her character being passion and fire. While I needed some of that, I could rarely deal with the intensity. When it was time to let go of a relationship, she became part of the problem. She still clung fiercely to her newly made friends rather than advance to other relationships. In the business world it is often better to make and use contacts, and stay out of deep relationships. In essence, it is better to be shallow.
I hardly knew her in yet another way. Although she had lived on her own for five years she was still lacking a certain level of maturity. She had not learned to be independent and a self starter. Although she was an avid, intelligent, well-versed reader, she found it easier to rely on others for anything that had to do with paperwork. She had not gotten her driver’s license, learned how to keep her checking account up to date and accurate, and she had no understanding of credit and debit cards. She worked hard for her money but had no hopes for advancement in the job market. I did not know how she had survived on her frugal income. Why did I see this as a lack of maturity? She would not, or could not, admit she was receiving anything from me, or anyone else. Her pride made her believe that she did not need anyone for anything, whether financially, emotionally, or physically.
It’s crazy! The woman I hardly knew but wanted and adored is out of my life. I expected too much and was too sensitive to criticism. I thought she was the wrong woman for me but now I think I did not give love a fair chance. My intensity must have driven her away. By the time I realized that I wanted to share more moments with her, her outlook had changed. She was going in another direction with her life which did not include me. I didn’t realize, nor did I let her know, that she was my life. She had faults, but nothing I couldn’t handle. My faults, which I could not see clearly, were insurmountable. I was driven by fairness and a need to be appreciated, touched, and loved. That was no reason for not showing or telling her that I loved and cared for her, that I appreciated what she did for me, or that I enjoyed having her in my life. Now, my marriage is over unless a miracle happens. All the ingredients necessary for a happy marriage need to be restored. Honesty, love, trust, consideration, fairness, tenderness, and forgiveness are part of that list. I hardly knew her. That is true. Even more so I hardly knew myself. I did not marry the wrong woman. I got married with the wrong attitude. Instead of expecting her to change, I needed to change. Now I am sadder, but much wiser. My heart is broken but I can blame no one but me. If this relationship can be saved, it will be worth all the effort I put into it. There are wounds to heal, trust to build, commitments to make. I am ready to listen and love. The woman I hardly knew has always been there. I am ready to know her, accept her for who she is. I hope I get a second chance.

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