The ghosting of a marriage

There are things they forget to tell you about being married.

They advise you not to go to bed angry, to be kind, attentive, grateful, to say seven nice things every day. They may tell you to keep communications open and honest; to retain some romantic mystery. They say, put your marriage first, or your children first, or your partner or yourself first. They never talk about who gets left behind.

They do not talk about the day that will come when you are afraid to open the wedding album. They do not mention the accumulation of ghosts. Not only the grandparents, aunts, uncles, your mother, his father. Even those as yet unborn stare tearless from the frozen faces of their parents.

You have forgotten the names of some, along the way, while you were busy putting your children, your spouse, yourself, your marriage first. They follow you with their eyes anyway, spectral-silent, demanding to be remembered.

They never told you this day would come; and so now their haunting feels something like a betrayal.

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