They say that every seven years your body is completely new. Every patch of skin, every hair, your blood, every last cell in your body has renewed itself and you enter this seventh year a whole new person. As Mark and I approach our seventh year of marriage, this little bit of trivia has been popping up in my mind more and more. I often wonder if it’s the reason for the seven year itch.
More importantly to my own life, I wonder if it’s the reason I am so restless and unsatisfied. As though I am on the edge of a new birth and am itching in my old skin; too tight in some spots and too baggy in others. Once, in the middle of a fight, Mark told me that I wasn’t the woman he married. He was right of course, but in the heat of the moment I took it to mean that if, on our wedding day he could have projected himself into the future he wouldn’t have ever said “I do.” It was at that moment that I understood a fundamental truth of our marriage: we had always been desperately out of balance.
We still are. He is the “good” part of our equation. I’m the one that has always struggled with the right thing to do, fulfilling my commitments and behaving properly. I am hopelessly hedonistic. Conversely, he has always been the one to suck it up and do what’s needed, while I slept in and ate chocolate. Sounds as though I’ve had the better end of the deal, but in reality it’s deeply exhausting to be the lesser person. It’s hard to live with someone who holds the moral high ground and knows it. And right now, we’re at an impasse. He expects me to be someone different and I expect him to see me as an equal, despite my faults. I don’t know how to be another person, but I’ve been wondering if I will become one on May 7th when I no longer have a single cell that stood in front of Mark seven years ago and said “I thee wed.” I wonder if I will finally stop apologizing for who I am and stop feeling guilty for not being more than I am. I wonder if at that moment I’ll be able to put aside who I was when we married and get comfortable in this new body.
It all seems so unlikely. Deeply ingrained patterns and beliefs cannot be changed in a single moment. I cannot heal this rift in my marriage in one single moment. I cannot heal it alone and feel deeply fortunate that no matter how much we butt heads, we ultimately want to be together. We ultimately love each other. I just don’t know how to live with this imbalance anymore.
I need something to change, I just don’t know what.