death of a thousand cuts

I've been dealing lately with who I've been in my marriage. I've been married 6 1/2 years, and I've made many promises to Justin along the way. But I have this automatic way of being that is as predictable as flipping the light switch and having the light come on. I could fill a Russian novel with all the ideals and expectations I have for what a good marriage should look like and how a good husband should behave. If he so much as thinks about stepping outside of those expectations, he becomes the bad guy. The villian. The enemy. And that is the relationship he has gotten to wake up to every day for all these years. I remember our pre-marital counselor sharing with us about a form of torture called something like the "death of a thousand cuts", where it is more painful to die from a thousand small, shallow wounds than a single fatal blow. That must be how it's felt to my husband to be made the villain moment after moment after moment.

When I get clear about what I want from my marriage, I see that all I want is . . . it sounds cheezy, but, everlasting love. I want to be able to look into each others' eyes when we're fifty and seventy and one hundred and have love be present. I've been willing to sacrifice that just so I could defend and protect my arbitrary expectations and selfish ideals. What I see in this moment of clarity is, if my dream of love for a lifetime came true, it could look an infinite number of ways. The expectations (that I think are the formula to get me there) are completely irrelevant and actually damaging when I wield them as a weapon. I can give them up and actually get to know the man that I married. (Go figure.) The only formula has nothing to do with doing or not doing anything; the keys to the kingdom are just to be
everlasting love with my husband. Moment after moment after moment.

The automatic response isn't just going to disappear, but now that I can see it I can be responsible for it. Hopefully I will look back, reread this and remember what I saw in a lucid moment.