Sometimes it's the things that go unspoken in a relationship that are the most important. Andrea Jarrell found that out not long after moving to Maine with her husband -- and she writes about it in her piece, read by Kim Dickens ("Fear the Walking Dead").
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Modern love, the podcast is supported by produced by the island, W B war, Boston. from the New York Times and W B You Boston. This is modern stories of love, loss and redemption. I'm your host Magna Chakrabarti. Sometimes it's the Things that go unsaid in a relationship that are the most important we're found that out not long after moving to Maine with her husband, she writes about it in her essay a measure of desire. It's read by Kim Dickens from fear the walking dead.
we moved from LOS Angeles to Maine, with four years of sobriety under our belts a two year daughter and another baby on the way, the sobriety was, my husband's he'd been offered a job in Camden and I was ready to leave mine. I hoped a simpler life would save us from further dangers that can creep into relationships serpents in the grass like infidelity boredom debt We arrived that fall at our blue Cape style House with the dormer windows. I'd always wished for as a child that first winter we skated on frozen Megan to cook Lake we were assured. There was no danger of falling through, despite how the ice pop like gunfire as the whole town, or so it seemed skating in circles.
At Christmas. We play single candles in each window instead of stringing colored lights. The way we have back in l, and I gave birth in an ice storm. My californian mother hurt that we had taken her grandchildren across the country moved to New York City to be the urbanite she'd, always dreamed of being. We began to make the six hour drive to see her on one such visit as she and I walked up Madison Avenue. I asked, What I want to know is how people go without sex. They eat a lot. She said with a smirk before stopping at Valentino to check out a pair of black suede pumps in the window. I might have said you don't. My parents had divorced earlier than most when I was just six, but by the time I hid puberty, my friends, parents were divorcing as well, yet their mothers and fathers soon found new partners
While my beautiful mother continued standing alone, but in truth I didn't know any more about her sex life than she knew about mine. Surely my handsome husband and I must have sex all the time. We had the babies to prove it. How She know that sobriety with all its wonders had also brought an end to a kind of closeness only sex can bring. After my husband quit drinking. We had retreated to our corners handling each other cautiously, It was like when a doctor in an old movie removes bandages from a patient's wounded eyes, and everyone waits with bated breath to learn if the hero will ever see again and LOS Angeles
With my marketing job and city suits, I thought I was whole waiting for him to get better, but in Maine my husband quickly became more of an ideal than I had imagined possible gone was the length kid I'd married the light hearted guy, who always wanted me in this place, was a quiet, broad shouldered, man with a strong jaw and blue eyes. A man woman turned to watch ass. He walked down the street. I realized. I was waiting for my increasingly handsome husband with his newly sober eyes to want me with same abandoned. He once had because that's what sex had always been for me. Measure of my desirability. If I was no longer desirable than it was only Matter of time before I would be left standing alone, like my mother,. And my new l, L being sweaters and loafers, I began
To feel around in the darkness of our relationship, one ring. If my husband was still there wondering what kind of job I would If he left me and knowing that, if he did, I would end up living with my mother, More frightened of that possibility, I became the more I begin. see them my replacements. I speak these women, the way my small son and I hunted through his eyes by books for a key silvery fish in a Christmas tree. Sometimes we stared and stared unable to see the hidden objects Other times neon arrow might as well have been pointing the way. Surely such an error Directed me to the woman in the supermarket, I can see her now even today,.
It was our third main winter, not the pretty part leading up to Christmas, but the dreary aftermath pushing my car passed a display of scraggly point said he is. I noticed her immediately. She was weighing snow peace watching the scales arrow flick near the pound mark as she tossed handfuls. She must have felt me watching her. I can't get my kids to eat them. I said to explain my staring: what's your secret, a little sugar and butter, I saw in my kitchen then standing at the stove and thick walls, socks sleeves pushed up ass. She saw tat the peace she reached to the cupboard for the sugar, knowing just where everything was before. I pushed my card away. I thanked her her.
Then, nostrils drew up along with her generous smile. That was a smile he could love. I forced myself to imagine her. As my children's mother, there, brown hair matching hers my impatience, insecurity in red hair gone from their lives, a fluke of nature corrected I never told anyone how I tortured myself, choosing second wife possibilities for my husband, how I marveled at the which is shimmering and women all around me. The closest I came was on a walk with my new friend Annie. She was older than me with teenage daughters, in marriage. I admired we had taken walking a three mile loop almost every day pass pine covered.
Hills and around the rocky edge of the ocean waves crashing nearby compelled non trivial topics of conversation. I told her that when my husband was away, I lay awake at night wondering how to escape the house. If someone broke in or fire broke out, I saw myself fashioning a rope from sheets my babies clinging to me as we climbed out the dormer windows. I told or how my daughter was at an age when she just wanted daddy how one night She didn't give me a little push away. Have my daughter's rejection. My friend said you shouldn't leave. You are the mother. She said mother like it started with a capital m. She said it the free me to be mother
not child, and when I told her about waiting for my husband's desire, she said what about your desire? Don't you deserve sex? I consider this as, if being asked to consider a new religion in the weeks that followed, I toyed with my own desire. I noticed the tight pecs and the chins.
Well and the bad boy at the grocery store. I inhaled my handsome optometrist minty breath in the dark and exam room. Scandalized myself on a friend's husband, lifted his arms, his shirt, rising as he did my eyes, travelling from the waistband of his jeans at the trail of dark hair to his navel, and then I claimed my yearning in the darkness of our room. I reached for my husband at first shyness lingered, but I did not hold back surprised. He kissed me was slight They opened lips his fingers scanned my body with even more eagerness than I remembered. I wrap my arms around him, showing I wanted him, even though I thought a younger, nicer wife was what he deserved.
Who knew that was all it took to be happy again later, I would learn. He'd always relied on the balm of alcohol to faces desires my wanting him with such abandon change that I had gender up courage for the both of us. the next morning at the Y, my swim goggles hanging around my neck. I chose out of habit the woman dressing next to me, as I busied myself, with folding clothes tucking them into my locker. I made myself jealous wondering how my husband would find. body if his hands would have more desire for her. But then I stuffed my long hair into my swim cap. My thoughts secret inside my head with my husband's touch of the night before still humming
On my skin, I turned from that woman in the locker room. The same way my husband did once turned from drink. I can't tell you the precise moment. I began to believe that my mother's life would not be mine after all or exactly when I stopped looking for my replacement to reveal her. and take away all I ever wanted, but I know it was in Maine before we became city people again. Before we moved on to our next adventure? I know it was where we stated on a frozen lake without falling through and dived into its liquid depths. When the leafy summer arrived, I know it was there and I finally realized my husband. My babies in those dormer windows were truly mine.
That's Kim Dickens, reading, Andrea Gerald's piece, a measure of desire will catch up with Andrea after the break. I love spelling my boyfriend and I often play spelling bee together by together I mean sitting next to each other playing into and not cheating. Sometimes when I open up spelling bee- and I see that you have completed a few words on your own, I feel a little betrayed. Give may have happened again, since I have one
and who I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words. Then I was getting nervous. I sent it to my parents or something me and my dad. We likes this funny together and I wish Heather out it. J C K, P, o jack jackpot panic yeah, nice I'm same as earth's sky, the digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try spelling bee and all our games at N Y Times dot com, Slash games, Andrea,
Gerald grew up the daughter of an alcoholic and had a lot of alcoholism in her family. She says she thought she'd left that behind when she got married. When I met my husband, he just seemed like this amazing person dream come true. I had no idea, he was NACA Holic. He was as secret drinker and it was five days before our first wedding anniversary and he said you know I really need to go to air and I was in shock and actually very resentful for a few months until I started getting here. For myself. You know addiction and alcoholism, impacts everybody in the family and
so I needed help for dealing with not only his alcoholism but the alcohol, as my had grown up with, and it's actually I mean it sounds crazy to say, but it's actually been an amazing gift in our marriage. Andrea says that now she and her husband have the tools to get through difficult times and she's also moved passed, some of her own. personal challenges like her habit of seeing second wives for her husband everywhere. I knew all the things that were going on inside me. The insecurities that I had whether that was about my relationship or about. Being a new mother about living, new place without my support network, without the job that I had left behind, in LOS Angeles then I'm looking at other women and thinking wow she's really got it all together.
Andrea's husband, never imagined what she'd been thinking until he read her modern love piece I mean he was just that's crazy. Why would you do that and plus you know, he's He's telling me that I'm attractive and talented and a good mother and all the things that I was worried about. You know part of the reason that I was doing this is I really saw how he had grown and sprightly and what a great father he is. You know, and I was striving to live up that now Andrea says that her marriage is very different than what it was so long ago in Maine
we were newly married it. You know within the first decade of our marriage and now we've been married for twenty five years and also our children were small and they're, both grown in and out of the house. At this point- and I'm with been really fun actually is that our marriage has just an our relationship- has just continue to grow, and we, of course, were sad was full when our children went off to college, but we are excited about this new phase of our lives together and yeah and we're just having really more fun than ever. Andrea Gerald she and her husband live in Washington DC and she's. The
you have a memoir called, I'm the one who got away there's more after the break. I love spelling my boyfriend and I often play spelling bee together by together I mean sitting next to each other playing individual and not cheating. Sometimes when I open up spelling bee- and I see that you have completed a few words on your own, I feel a little betrayed. They may have happened again. I have one and who I will send screenshots from spelling bee of inappropriate words. Then I was getting nervous. I sent it to my parents or something me and my dad. We likes this funny together and I wish Heather out it J C K, P, o Jack
Jackpot panic, yeah, nice, I'm same as earth's sky. The digital puzzles editor for the New York Times. You can try, spelling bee and all our games at N Y Times dot com slash games, Daniel Jones is the editor of the modern love column for the New York Times. I think what through in Andrea's essay is how our past contributes to desire, and what we lacked in our childhood. You know if our parents divorced, and we grew up with an absent father, how that affects what we then seek out in a partner and not on a conscious level on a deeply buried level like this. Is we we need to replace that person that we lost? I just thought it was sort of a wonderfully meditative essay on all of those complexities and just didn't shy away from any of them.
and here's Kim Dickens. I've resonates with how vulnerable it is to love and to stay open. Then it does feel- personal in them our ability of it, I think, was so beautiful thanks again to Kim for reading this week's piece. You can see her in fear the walking dead next week search around I thought it must not have really been love. How could the doctor love me when I didn't understand him and if I could not understand him were know him completely. How could I love him back modern love, is the production of the New York Times and W B you are Boston, NPR station, its produced, directed and edited by Jessica, Albert Caitlin, O Keefe
John Perotti and Ann Marie Sivertson sound design by Paul Vegas. The idea for the modern love podcast was conceived by LISA Tobin Iris Adler, as our executive producer. Daniel Jones is the editor of modern love for the New York Times and adviser to the show music for the podcast courtesy of a p m. A magnet Chakrabarti see you next week the.
Transcript generated on 2022-04-16.