The night of our first wedding anniversary ended with me at the nearby Emergency Room with a dislocated shoulder. I so confidently told them that I had slipped getting out of the shower that I almost believed myself. Truthfully, it went a little something like this:
Me: Did you forget our anniversary?
Him: Oh. When was that?
Me: It’s now. Today.
Him: Ok. Happy anniversary.
Me: I’m going to take a bath.
Him, twenty minutes later: Are you pouting? What’s wrong with you? Why are you pouting and giving me the silent treatment?
Me: I’m just taking a bath, trying to relax.
Him: Get out.
When I refused to get out, he grabbed my right arm and tried to yank me out. I actually felt my shoulder pop out of its joint, when I screamed in pain he threw me to the floor and used the most stereotypical Lifetime movie battered woman terrible man line I’ve ever heard.
Him: See what you make me do when you behave like this?!
While dating we had always prided ourselves on being unique, special, we weren’t like other couples, we took each other seriously, we were respectful of one another’s privacy, what we lacked in passion we made up for in practical companionship. He had never once given me any indication that he would treat a wife this way – I’d not have married him if I’d expected this.
While I was in the waiting room at the Emergency Room, alone, I couldn’t decide what to do next. My parents had spent so much money on our wedding one year prior, I couldn’t throw all of that money, hope, and joy away because of one unfortunate event – one miscalculation of strength – one moment of weakness. And I hadn’t told anybody in my life about how he’d been treating me all year because I didn’t want sad sympathy eyes. I didn’t want to admit a mistake. I wanted to work on it, fix it, force happiness.
I learned that night and over the next year that it’s easier, and far less painful, to pop a shoulder back into place than it is to pop love back into a relationship.