I've taken a break lately in posting excerpts from my book, Get Your Words Off Me, but I thought that it was time for a new one, and specifically this one, which explains how he got the master suite and I got the guest bedroom.
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KICKED OUT OF BED
Why have sex with a man you detest and who makes you hate yourself?
When we were working on our marriage by going to therapy, I felt that it would be an affront to the effort to turn him away when he wanted to have sex. I was, still, unfortunately, seeing submission as a positive attribute instead of what it was: an absolute relinquishment of the self. By cooperating I thought I was behaving fairly, which is ironic considering that his actions were fundamentally unfair and caused me to feel—to be—violated and used.
One night, a few weeks after we had begun our reconciliation process, he got into bed and reached out, touching me, when I was already asleep. That night I finally reacted instinctually—protecting myself, not my relationship. Out of the depths of my sleeping self, I shouted “NO!” He immediately withdrew his hand. I woke, stunned, feeling the “NO!” as it exited my mouth from my unconscious and hung between us.
Then, shockingly, he said sharply, “Get out.” The absurdity of his telling me to get out of our bed when he was the one attacking me, when he was the one who had repeatedly asked me to come back to bed, was enormous. But I realized, as I lay there in the dark with the “NO” still echoing between us, that I had no desire to fight to stay in that bed with him, it was the opposite of what I wanted. I was not going to explain or apologize, or soothe. What a relief to have finally spoken what I felt. So, I stood up, walked out of the room and returned to “my” couch (where I had been sleeping before the attempt at reconciliation).
I have not returned to that bed since; except for one night when he was out of town on a business trip a short time after I had left that room, when I still felt that it was, to some extent, still my room. It is now his bed and his room, I have ceded the space. I should have said, “No, you get out, you are the violator.” But, as with so much else in this marriage, I took what I was dealt and tried my best to survive. And so, in the middle of the night, in my oversized tee-shirt and cotton shorts, I walked out, leaving him naked, alone with whatever demons or remorse may eventually plague him.