Emma pushed aside the images she’d discovered two months after her discovery. But she struggled to conquer her fears. She noticed a weird rash on her abdomen and legs during her shower. Strangely, it didn’t itch, but it looked scaly and angry.
“Great. One more thing for Tony to dislike about me,” she fumed. “At least I’m doing better about showering regularly, and that’s an improvement.”
Life had settled into an uneasy routine as long as Emma kept her fears and emotions to herself.
She feared more discoveries but felt compelled to check Tony’s pockets and computer almost daily. Lately, she’d even started checking his phone while he showered.
Emma hated feeling this way but didn’t know what else to do. She had to know. Their last conversation about the distance she felt between them hadn’t gone well. Tony turned the issue back on her again. Was he right? Did she always exaggerate issues? He told her all men viewed this stuff. It was normal and nothing to get upset about. Why did she feel this deep betrayal and disgust if that was true?
The days of flirting, laughter, and easy camaraderie seemed like a different life. Yet, Emma remembered how much fun they’d always had together. And she missed that.
But she couldn’t deal with Tony’s anger when she tried to discuss her discoveries. He’d blow up, and she’d shut down.
Did all men look at this stuff? Was it normal?
Did she need to forget about it and move on?
But what if the kids found this stuff? Emma shuddered at the thought.
Maybe she should watch those videos with him. Would it draw them closer together? At least there wouldn’t be any hiding. She’d even suggested it to him, but he seemed to resent her for that too.
What options did she have these days? Emma couldn’t fathom living the rest of her life with this tension and disconnect. She felt worthless and ashamed. Her marriage was failing because she wasn’t good enough to keep her husband’s attention.
There, she’d finally admitted it. The thing she feared. She. Was. A. Colossal. Failure.
Growing up, Emma loved life. The life of the party, her laughter, and her positive outlook attracted many friends. Her life was a grand adventure. During her university days, she majored in communications and journalism, hoping to be a major news anchor.
Tony and Emma bumped into each other at the end of her junior year. Literally. Emma’d been walking backward out of the Commons, laughing with friends, when Tony ran through the door. Stunned, she looked into his velvety brown eyes while Tony apologized and ran to the cafeteria.
Heading into the Communications building the next day, Tony ran up to her again, apologizing for knocking her over. “Could I buy you a coffee, ice cream, or something to make up for it,” he stammered.
Eventually, they discovered mutual interests and friends. He loved her fun-loving adventurousness, and she loved his kind heart and brilliant mind.
Where had that Emma gone?
Emma experienced Tony’s anger and defensiveness a few months into their marriage. Stunned, she brushed it off and took the blame.
Emma learned to acquiesce to Tony’s whims and choices to keep the peace. When she did, life ran smoothly.
Slowly, she dropped her desire to be a news anchor. Eventually, she spent less time with her friends. They had few couple friends because of the long hours Tony worked. He’d come home tired and not want to leave the house. Emma learned to set aside her desire for adventure because Tony felt threatened by it. Though she loved to travel, he preferred staycations–cheaper and less hassle.
Emma stared at her reflection. She noticed fine lines around her mouth and forehead. She smiled, but it looked more like a grimace and didn’t reach her eyes.
Who was the person in the mirror?
One of the few friends Emma still had asked her about her dreams. Emma couldn’t remember the last time she’d had or even thought about a dream. Could she find herself again?
When you look in the mirror, do you recognize that person? Or, like Emma, do you need to re-discover who you are? If so, let’s talk. You are unique, and the world needs you to be your best you.