Saturday, February 28, 2015

Trapped

Saturday morning, I slept in to about 6AM.  After rolling over and looking at the clock I turned over on my other side and saw my wife sleeping.  I should have been thrilled that I was a twenty-one year old with a wife and  that equated to regular sex whenever I wanted.  A normal guy in his first week of marriage probably would have nudged his new bride awake with an erection but instead I felt conflicted.

I put on some coffee and let her sleep in.  Six in the morning was late for me, but on her days off, that was way too early.  I would learn to enjoy that difference.

I quietly slipped out the front door of our apartment and headed down stairs to my car.  I needed to get away.  I drove around looking for one of those self-service car wash places and all I could think about as I explored our new neighborhood was how trapped I felt.

When I returned to the apartment an hour later, my wife was up and she had an extremely concerned look on her face.  "Where were you?"

Before I could even respond, I felt my stomach begin to turn and a nausea coming on.  Now I really felt trapped.  "I went to wash the car."  It really wasn't and shouldn't have been a big deal.  She was asleep, why would I wake her to get approval to leave? Was this how it would be forever?

For much of my marriage I have had to sneak away in order to have time alone.  Before the Internet, this was accomplished by running errands when my wife was in the midst of some task that would have been inconvenient for her to tag along.  It isn't an issue of not wanting to be with her, it is about just having time alone to myself.

Though this need for my own space started long before the Internet, once I found AOL, I found the desire for more time alone.  Yes, you immediately translate this to porn time, but in truth, the Internet is so full of information beyond the smorgasbord of smut, but just because it may be G rated, doesn't mean I want my wife looking over my shoulder as I read and research.  About the time we got the Internet in our house, my wife started staying up late and I started getting up early.  Coincidence?

I know that many people would read this and simply ask the question, why did we stay together?  It is a fair question.  The real truth is, my desire for time alone is probably not uncommon.  I think what happens is that most people in similar situations make use of their jobs to be that outlet?  I mean, how many of you sit at your desk at work and surf the Internet?  Look at porn? Chat with friends?  Essentially, your boss is paying you to get that shit out of your system while you are on the clock.  By the time you get home, all your outside activity is taken care of.  I don't know, maybe I am generalizing a little too much. But the reason why it isn't worth divorcing over is that, really it is an irritant.

Where I fear things may turn bad is when I retire and am home all the time.  Am I going to feel that urge to slither out of bed, quietly sneak out the door and take my truck to the car wash?  How will I justify waking up at the crack of dawn when I don't have a job to go to?

I suppose these are things that people just handle when they get to that point in their lives.  I see myself being volunteer of the year, hoping to help out at a shelter or some sort of thrift store a few days a week.  Who knows, perhaps there will be some sexy senior citizens who want to participate in sexy volunteer time hijinks.

I know I've written about this before in some for or fashion.  The fact that I can't seem to stop thinking about it might somehow be related to that ticking clock that says I'm getting closer to the inevitable confrontation when retirement actually comes.

11 comments:

Aunt Clara said...

What you're talking about isn't unusual. You should have time to yourself; no couple should constantly be together. You're allowed to have your own separate interests.

Cande said...

This is an interesting post. It's very much why I ended up moving into my own place after 16 years living with the bf. When he stopped working full time and was constantly home there was no more alone time.

I think that with retirement either you both adapt to the situation or you don't. I'm sure there are mechanisms and ways to cope... but they don't always work.

Seeking Connection said...

It's called a man cave. I am planning one for the house. Plus we have the lake house Which is the ultimate man cave. Also the house bout.

Otherwise I would be in prison for manslaughter.

Alan Bryant said...

I know exactly what you are talking about. When I got hurt and was off work for a year it about drove me crazy. I had trouble walking so it was hard to go anywhere. Once I finally got able to move around I could not wait to go to the store or any place by myself. Of course with the damn cell phones it is like not being able to get away. If I go some place my phone rings constantly wanting this that or the other. I often leave my phone at home so I can have some alone time.

BlkJack said...

I take a day off during the week just for that reason. I love my husband but I also need some time to myself. On vacation, I set that expectation and so far it's been fine.
BlkJack

~McKPR said...

Everyone needs time alone on their own terms. There's something vital to being able to hear yourself think, to read when you want to, to just be.

JFBreak said...

Thank you all for your supportive comments. I often wonder if I'm just too dramatic over what is a need that everyone has. In truth, more and more I am making it clear that I don't want to be attached at the hip. Time will tell.

In the mean time, the blogging community keeps me sane!

Seeking Connection said...

http://www.katsandogz.com/onmarriage.html

Mrs Fever said...

Sometimes the whole til-death-do-us-part thing feels more like a sewn-together-at-the-hip-til-we-kill-each-other thing. I'm a strong advocate for maintaining separate interests and separate friends, for sanity and balance. He has his; I have mine; we have ours. It's made it much easier for us each to maintain our senses of self that way.

Alone time is a Good Thing. I hope you can find a way to communicate your needs before the sneak factor becomes detrimental to your relationship.

Kevin said...

It's a scary line of thought, isn't it. As it happens, after 30 years of marriage (the last 7 having a secret affair with another married man) I saw the handwriting on the wall: Our last kid was going to college; I knew from my affair that I was fully myself, fully happiest, when I was with a man; and I could see the options for that diminishing when there were just the two of us in the house.

Rather than get outed by accident, after a year of deliberation, I told her. (My heart still races when I remember that day.) We cried together. And we divorced. And I moved to what I should have known since age 10 was where I really belonged.

I've been with a different man, a better man, for 10 years now. The process was horrible, but the end result was right. For me -- maybe not for you.

But that's the power of what you're talking about: even in the best marriage -- and ours was pretty damn good -- there are secrets. Maybe shame is the human condition, as Mark Twain implied. The fact is, if our marriages can't flex with the facts of who we really are (but would rather not talk about), they will break.

JFBreak said...

More great comments and thoughts - and I do appreciate them. Kevin, do you have a blog or an e-mail address? I'd love to know more about your story.

I've never really given a lot of consideration to how my sexuality could be cause for me to just move on. Yes, I crave the occasional wiener, but have never thought for more than a few moments about leaving my wife to pursue a relationship with a man. I have picked up a term that Dan Savage uses, bisexual / heteroamourous which equates to, I want to have sex with both sexes but am romantically attracted only to the opposite sex. I think it describes me well.

For me, there isn't an issue of coming out about sex - my wife knows and we happily enforce the don't ask, don't tell policy (though in truth, I've told more than she's asked). The big coming out for me would be forcing the issue of alone time.

Just as a side note - as we watched season 3 of House of Cards this weekend, the topic of separate beds came up (not a real spoiler in case you haven't seen it). My wife mentioned she could see that for us some day. Then she made a joke of it. But quietly, I thought to myself - Yes!