Marriage Of One

June 12, 2011

The best things in life are free

Filed under: marriage,relationships — marriageofone @ 9:17 pm
Tags: , ,

She hasn’t said more than a handful of words to me for around 4 or 5 days. Why? I honestly don’t know for sure. But I can guess.

We haven’t had a row. She’s had an altercation with my mum and to be honest, Susan was in the right (again). I even said as much when she told me after I came back from work, although my parents haven’t taken Susan’s outburst (the exact detail is once again irrelevant) too well and she’s not really speaking to them either. But at some point after she told me about the problem,  she stopped talking to me.


So for the last few days apart from the kids playing, laughter and chatter (thank goodness for that!) the house has been generally deathly silent.
I think this might be a replay of the Gemma episode. I’m guessing that immediately after I learnt about the issue she wanted a enthusiastic and highly visible show of partisan support no doubt for her hurt feelings. I didn’t think she would take it this far to be honest – I thought she was generally justified in her reaction to the event itself; I thought my parents over-reacted and that in a couple of days it would blow over. And even if it took longer, I didn’t expect she would hold me culpable with my parents.

But like the last time, I think she wants me to hold her in my arms and comfort her and make her feel good about herself.

Should I do that? Why should I? So she stops behaving like a sulking child and speaks to me again?

As it turns out, this last week or so I’ve not been feeling too positive myself: In the best possible way I’ve succumbed to envy. I read about INRIS and his long anticipated divorce. I don’t want to belittle his achievement – it has been a long, hard road for him. But I felt envious and at the same time genuinely, as someone in shoes very similar to his, glad for him. Congratulations Inris!

So with my mind obsessed now with more thoughts about divorce than I had ever entertained before, I get these last few days courtesy of what seems like a puerile Susan. Needless to say I felt even less inclined to entertain her self-obssessions and feelings of inadequacy than usual.

So now to the topic of this post.

For the first time I think I have consciously made a shift from questions of how can I better understand Susan and how to save my marriage to how can I get out of this without tearing everyone and everything that is good in my life, apart.

When Susan and I first got married, Susan asked me what kind of life I wanted. I think she was expecting me to say something about having a large house, with fancy cars and a great career with heaps of money to spend. And she wouldn’t have been entirely wrong – I would certainly have liked (and would like) all that. But I wanted something quite different – which I think genuinely surprised her. I said I wanted a simple life. I had to explain. My reasons were the result of my past and my family life. But essentially I wanted a simple marriage, a simple home life, uncomplicated with family politics, a simple social life, simple finances etc. A life in short that I would happily live as an open book. If along the way we got a large house or a fancy car or two that would be a bonus – but I wasn’t going out to get them at the expense of what I saw as a “simple” life. In my 20s I firmly believed that the best things in life really are free.

Now I know it.

Over the years I can honestly say I have not achieved even one of these. Simple home life? With this marriage? With parents complicating the home dynamic? In order to support and keep 3 generations of the family from treading on each others toes (the episode above shows it can’t be avoided entirely) I have had to buy and maintain a far larger house than I would ideally have liked. In order to do that my finances are far from simple – I have to pay an accountant to help me keep on top of it all. And along the way the dream of a fulfilling social life just vanished. No friends at all really. Now I find that even attempts to start a social life a scuppered before they begin with Susan’s negativity. She will even shy away from making friends for herself. But the flipside is that I have managed: I support 3 generations on the back of my labour; just mine – and with money to spare. A fair bit of money to spare. So I have the large house. I could with only a slight stretch have the fancy cars and a few other status symbols (although then I wouldn’t have anything else to spare).

But I didn’t set out to get any of these. I never expected them to make me happy – and guess what they don’t and won’t. Everthing in my life is paid for now. And if it isn’t paid for it means I don’t get it. The only thing I have that is ‘free’ is my kids love and the laughter and games we play. The time I get with them every day.

And my greatest fear is that if I were ever to try and reclaim my life as it might have been – I’ll lose that one thing.

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