A Wife’s Response to “Fences”

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I went to see “Fences” the other day with my sister and our friend…

and this will not be a review of the movie.

((But I found  it POWERFUL regardless of the stage play style in which it was delivered))

This is more like a reaction… MY reaction to the film as a wife. There were so many parts of the movie that started up a female “Amen corner” of sorts in the theater. It was as if every single woman there could relate to the ridiculousness that was Denzel’s character. I just kept wondering how we all became a part of this sisterhood of women who have been involved with, or are involved with, men who think and behave the way Denzel’s character did in the film.

I just don’t understand how men ((and I will be real general when I speak of men, although I know allegedly “all men are not the same”)) honestly believe THEY are the only ones who sacrifice in marriage or in long-term relationships. They believe that THEY are giving up something for the sake of keeping the union together… like THEY put their dreams on hold to provide for their families and us women just take and take and take and benefit from their “sacrifice”.

As I write this, I am annoyed at myself for knowing exactly how Viola’s character felt in that moment. I hate that I can relate… not to the side baby … but to the ridiculousness of the entire conversation.

This guy actually stood there and said…

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Like… really, dude?

Well, boo freakin’ hoo.

I don’t sympathize with this mess at all. My sister said “Well, that is HIS truth”… but as far as I’m concerned there is no TRUTH in it. You’ve been standing in the same place for the entirety of our relationship but you aren’t in it ALONE.

I’ve been here when NOBODY else wanted to even look at you… when your family turned their backs on you… when your friends disappeared… when you failed to reach your potential and your entire world fell apart. I have been here by your side, comforting you, supporting you, and loving you through every flaw, every failure, every mishap, every single step of the way.

And you have the audacity to look me in my face and expect me to sympathize with YOU because you can’t “laugh from the gut” with me anymore… because shit is too real at home… because you can’t breathe under the same weight that has been suffocating me for years. You have the audacity to look outside of this home for some semblance of the happiness we could have here if you stopped making excuses and cancelled your pity party.

Nigguh. Please.

The ONLY reason other women find you attractive is because they don’t know the real you. They know the allusion. The hard-working man who provides for his family, loves his wife, and takes care of his children… they want the allusion of you. They don’t have the burden of carrying a proverbial load so heavy that they get chronic back pains in real life. They don’t have to deal with the science of making ends meet when your checks are short or nonexistent. They don’t have the responsibility of carrying you when you are weak… hell, they don’t even know how weak you really are.

But you want to complain about standing in some damn spot with me.

You wouldn’t even be standing if it weren’t for ME.

If I had not chosen to hold you up…to stand beside you… and behind you… holding your body weight like a dead carcass… you’d be laying down… inside of some casket… or some box in some back alley… or living with your mama… doing and being a whole lot of NOTHING.

You don’t get to have a foot inside of this home and one outside entertaining anyone outside of these doors because with every free moment you have you should be using it to thank God for ME.

I think the misconception men have is that all women are just waiting around for marriage and babies. Like that is all we ever want in life and so in giving us a ring and knocking us up you have fulfilled our heart’s desire. And while we are allegedly happy as hell and fulfilled… you are putting your dreams on hold and sacrificing everything to ensure that it all stays afloat. For us.

REALITY CHECK:

In marriage, we both sacrifice!

But I’d be willing to bet my life that I have sacrificed more…. that I have given ALL of myself to stand in this same spot with you…

…even when you didn’t deserve it.

…even though I haven’t “laughed from my gut” in so long.

…even though I could have walked away and cut my losses a long time ago.

…even though I could have easily laid up with some other man.

i CHOSE you

over everything else… and in spite of everything

…and while you are standing here with these ridiculous excuses about why you consistently CHOOSE not to be the man I deserve, realize that THAT is not easy for me to admit.

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