Greek Mythology belongs, obviously, to the Greeks.
In the beginning, their marriage had been a happy one.
Contrary to what mortal myths would have you believe, Aphrodite and Hephaestus had been in love, madly in love. Their union had not been forced, in fact they had eloped. Aphrodite was attracted to the smith, who treated her with dignity and respect, while at the same time acknowledging her intelligence, unlike many of the other gods and goddesses. Hephaestus, while attracted to Aphrodite's beauty, was more attracted to the fact that she was the one god or goddess that did not look down on him with pity or disdain.
And for the first few years of their marriage, they remained happy and faithful to each other.
And when Aphrodite informed Hephaestus that she was pregnant, the smith could not have been happier. While Aphrodite prepared a nursery in their Olympian home, Hephaestus went to his workshop. There he gathered his most precious metals and stones, along with the softest cloths. With them, he built a crib more magnificent and comfortable than Zeus' own throne.
The month's of Aphrodite's pregnancy were the happiest of their lives.
But sadly, their happiness was doomed to end.
For what was to be their happiest day yet, turned into a day of sorrow when their daughter was born still from Aphrodite's womb.
Consumed with grief, Hephaestus retreated to his workshop, working days on end before sleeping in the same shop. Aphrodite, tried to reach out to her husband, but her grief was also strong. And as Hephaestus began to spend more and more time in his forge, Aphrodite sunk deeper into depression.
It was during this time that Ares, who had long sought Aphrodite's body, approached Aphrodite once more, hoping to draw her away from her husband. Aphrodite, feeling alone and depressed, eager to feel anything, feel to temptation.
That night with Ares had been passionate and allowed the grieving goddess relief from her pain. And afterward, she had felt so guilty for cheating on her beloved husband, that she vowed to never do it again. But as time passed, and Hephaestus drifted further away from her, Aphrodite found herself more and more in Ares, and other gods beds.
And when Hephaestus returned home, remorseful over how he had been treating his wife, with newly made jewelry meant as an apology, only to discover her, in the bed he had made for them both, with Ares, he was enraged.
In anger, words were said that should not have, from both parties. And when they separated, Aphrodite to Ares home and Hephaestus to his forge, their grief had ended.
In it's place was rage and hatred towards the other. For Aphrodite it was over Hephaestus abandoning of her when she needed him most, and for Hephaestus it it was over Aphrodite's betrayal of his love and trust.
The two, over the centuries grew even more hateful and angry at the other. But two things remained constant.
For the simple reason that, even in their hatred, they still loved the other, neither had ever petitioned for divorce.
And the nursery they built for their daughter that never got to live remained untouched and unchanged.
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