The Boston Globe - 31.08.2019

(Joyce) #1

AUGUST 31, 2019 3


Hello, I’m 21 and
married. I have
known my hus-
band for almost
married for almost two. He is
in the Navy, currently heading
out to deployment. Our mar-
riage was great in the begin-
gether, though, things have
been going downhill. One time
he offered to do the laundry
out of the blue right after he
got home from work. After the
wash, I went down to the ma-
chines and it was already done
and dried. That’s when I found
another women’s underwear in
our clothes. My husband’s ex-
cuse was, “I had to take some-
one else’s clothes out to put
ours in,” which was kind of
hard to believe since it was late
at night and not a lot of people
were doing laundry at the time.
But ... I got over the situation.
A short while back, I went
out with my friends for a girls
night. He ended up coming to
join us at the club with his
friends and got messed up pret-
ty bad. He ended up making a
move on my friend. I called
him out on this as well, and his
excuse was that he was under
the influence and didn’t know
what he was doing.
I started putting walls up
without even realizing it. The
love I had for him isn’t the
same type of love anymore. Sex
doesn’t even feel the same. I
find myself slowly drifting
away. We have talked about it
and all and we have been try-
ing to rekindle our love, but on
my side, the thought of him

making a move on my friend
never leaves my head. I just
don’t know what I should do
anymore. The more I try to for-
give and forget, the more I
would just rather leave him
and stay friends instead. I look
at him and nothing happens —
no nervousness, no spark, no
I feel like the best thing is to
separate and stay as friends but
he always responds with
threats that he will hurt him-
self. He has always been so suf-
focating and territorial when it
comes to me. I am not really
the clingy type, but I let him
behave that way because that
makes him happy. But now I
barely want to hold his hand. I
feel bad. Please, if you can, pro-
vide me with some guidance.


There’s a lot hap-
pening in this letter.
Feelings of betrayal.
The stress that comes with dis-
tance and deployment. And
let’s not forget this always-pres-
ent threat that you can’t leave
him because he’ll respond hor-
ribly if you do. It’s a lot to han-
dle at once, and you need some
You can start by looking in-
to therapy for yourself, and
then ask him to visit a counsel-
or as a couple. This is so impor-
tant. Therapy won’t necessarily
lead to easy answers, but at the
very least, it will give you the
space to process and plan.
You’ll also (hopefully) get some
professional thoughts about
how to handle a partner who
says he’ll harm himself if you

walk away. You need real guid-
ance for that. (I won’t pretend
we have answers for you here.)
I do know that the Navy of-
fers counseling services, but
you might want to find your
own therapist outside of that
community. It might allow you
to feel like the services are just
for you, no matter what you de-
cide to do about your marriage.
People do get over cheating.
They do overcome foreign un-
derwear in laundry and big
mistakes. But you need to talk
more about the life the two of
you want in the years to come
— and whether you can get it
from each other. Sometimes
couples spend so much time
thinking about how to make
peace with their past that they
forget about the future. It helps
to look ahead.
Also know that friendship
isn’t guaranteed. You want him
in your life, but if you leave, he
might need to be on his own
without the confusion of you in
the picture. You’ll have to be
willing to say goodbye.


If he won’t go for counseling
with you, go alone.

We hear a lot about him,
what about you? Do you work,
go to school, have family, etc. I
think you should work on
building a support system that
supports who you are not who
you pretend to be to make your
husband happy.

No “staying friends.” That
never works. I know, I know,
you two are DIFFERENT, but
you’re really not.

Drunkenness as an excuse
for bad behavior is not accept-
able. If he hits you because he
is drunk, is that OK? No. If you
find him in bed with another
woman because he was drunk,
is that OK? No. This is a slip-
pery slope that will ruin both
his and your life.

red flag there is.

Get out. Make plans to
move while he’s gone. He’s con-
trolling and abusive. He’s also
cheating on you and probably a

Why do you feel that you
must remain friends if you di-
vorce this guy? This man has
betrayed you more than once.
Friends don’t do that!!

“He has always been so suf-
focating and territorial when it
comes to me.” This is the oppo-
site of love and trust. This is
enough on its own to leave

Column and comments are
edited and reprinted from Send
letters to

By Chris Triunfo
When Mia Cross (@miax-
art) graduated from Boston
University in 2014, she thought
she wanted to be a window dis-
play designer. She had the
knowledge and she had the
passion — all that was left was
giving it a shot. Once the
Framingham native snagged
what she thought would be her
dream job at a storefront in the
Fenway, she realized it just
wasn’t for her. Six months in,
she made a bold choice and
dropped everything to pursue
her art. Now, she has her own
studio in the city and is regular-
ly working for a variety of cli-
ents, making art that she loves.
The Globe chatted with Cross

about her upcoming exhibit,
love of portraiture, and palette
knife skills.

Q.Your work explores various
aspects of the human face.
What draws you to the face as a
A.I’ve been taking art classes
my whole life, but it was in
high school that I became in-
terested in portraiture. Draw-
ing a face, painting a portrait, it
just feels so much more pur-
poseful than painting a land-
scape. To me, the natural world
is as beautiful as it can be. It
stantly change. That’s the beau-
ty of a natural landscape. But
with faces, portraits are an in-
credible way to experiment

with your craft and draw from
reality. I became fascinated
with minute details of the face,
like the structure and fragmen-
tation of the skin and the kind
of texture I can apply to make it

Q.That’s actually my next ques-
tion. One of the most eye-catch-
ing aspects of your paintings
involves color fragmentation,
reminiscent of a collage. How
does this fit into your artistic
A.In college, I started dissect-

ing the human face. It was in
one of my first painting classes
that I really got to play around
with that. I used a palette knife,
and I learned to place the paint
on the canvas and let it do its
thing. It was fascinating and it
was a very definitive method of
painting. From there I just
started using the knife much
more. I also like to say it’s my
lazy girl approach, because I
don’t have to wash that many
brushes. But I also have a
sculptural side to my brain, so
this method of application

comes very naturally to me.
Once I got into it I started look-
ing to artists like Euan Uglow
for inspiration, and I realized
that the face is a perfect subject
to apply this method to.

Q.One of your most recent
posts involved some mixed me-
dia, and of course, the human
face. Walk me through the cre-
ation of “Adore Me Adorn-
A.So this piece is for an upcom-
ing show at the Danforth Muse-
um. It will be in a group invita-
tional exhibit titled “Dressed,”
and it runs from Aug. 31 until
Dec. 30. Because a lot of my
work deals with skin patterns
and textures, I sat down to
make a bit of a corny painting. I

started off thinking about what
makeup does to the skin. Spe-
cifically, what the simple act of
a kiss does to somebody’s cheek
or forehead. The mark of lip-
stick becomes an adornment
on the flesh. So I got my fiancé
to sit down for a while, I re-
corded myself kissing him re-
peatedly to get a raw emotion
from his face, and then used
that to make the painting. It
was unusual because I usually
don’t convey direct expres-
sions, but in this one, he was
smiling and that was what felt
real, so I had to push myself in-
to a new territory, but it turned
out well.

Chris Triunfo can be reached at


Another woman’s underwear in our laundry


Mia Cross

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