I often step back and look at what I write here and imagine myself as some disinterested third party. What would I think If I was reading this nonsense and only having the understanding of my situation with what has been presented?
On one hand, I yammer on about the various complaints I have about my wife. On the other hand, I yammer on about the various people I want to do naughty things with. I suppose for the most part, I'd look like a real piece of shit if I was evaluating myself from this perspective.
I've had folks e-mail me privately and just wonder, why don't I end the marriage. Why stay? If things are so awful, way perpetuate it. Pull the scab away and move on. I can understand this thought pattern and in all honesty, I've given this same advice to others. I don't want to sound like I have accepted that my fate in life is to be miserable. I'm not miserable by any stretch of the imagination. And unfortunately, using this blog to vent as I often do, you the reader rarely are afforded a look at the normal, enjoyable and satisfying times in my life.
Okay, I don't want to try to oversell it. I just don't want to give off the impression that I leave for work early everyday, then stay as late as I can to spend less time at home with my wife, or that once I get home it is all pain and misery. That paints a really unfair picture of our home.
I will concede that in the grand scheme of things, she probably has just as much to
complain about me. How many wives out there are thrilled to know their husband engages in the occasional fling with other guys? I didn't disclose that ahead of our marriage because it wasn't something I could articulate when I was 20. Is that her fault?
And what of the other little interests I've written about here? If you are a woman who would sign up for all that, I'd love to hear from you. I'm not looking for a new wife, but I mostly want to know that there are women about there who would knowingly jump into a relationship with a "monagamish" bi guy. I'm sure those perfect women are out there on the Internet somewhere.
I've often felt that I am very selfish. And my wife has called me selfish. I'm selfish if I ever want to do something I want to do on my wife's time. Her time is described as any time that I am not at work. I think we can easily dismiss her claims, but as for my own admission, yes, there are times when I simply want/need a moment to myself.
I've occasionally looked at my list of potential hobbies or volunteer opportunities. Hell, just time I'd like to sit back and read a book or heaven forbid, read the Internet for an hour. I imagine what my life would be like if I could freely choose to engage in such things without being made to feel guilty for being selfish or disinterested in being with my wife. Attached. At. The. Hip.
On Sunday my wife went out to visit a friend of hers who was going through a bad time. She was only gone for a few hours but I made the most of it. I posted a blog, I looked at Tumblr, and I cleaned out my drawers to get rid of old clothes I don't wear anymore. I watched a little TV and had a beer or two.
When she got home we sat down to watch our Sunday night shows. Ten minutes in, she got up and grabbed a load of things from the dryer and complained that I could have folded the laundry while she was out visiting her friend. Instead, I selfishly left it for her to do.
Our attached at the hip time together is really us pretending to watch TV shows together while we stare at our phones individually. I offset my staring at the phone by occasionally pointing out a reference from Internet Movie Database. Oh, that actor was in such & such. That actress is married to so & so. She will interrupt a critical moment of dialogue in a show to read me the comment someone made on a Facebook post. Usually a comment that I read several hours earlier and even liked. Why do we feel the need to pretend?
Did I mention that she doesn't work outside the house? Her daily routine includes taking her mom to lunch, shopping, and yes, cleaning the house, doing laundry and making dinner. I'm not complaining that she doesn't generate a second income for us (we are comfortable) nor do I mind that she is the primary money spender in our household. Yes, I could have folded the laundry (had I thought about it), but am I selfish that I wasted a few hours of time to myself? Yes, yes I am.
I feel my life slipping away - all the productive, entertaining things I could be doing - and I'm pretending to watch a show that I could not care less about, just so my wife won't think that I am selfishly ignoring her.
My words fail me. I can't describe the lengths of her defending herself when nobody is challenging her. It is really something to see especially if you happen to be someone visiting, unaware of her demeanor. I once had one of my daughter's friends pull me aside and tell me that my wife was psychotic. I told her that only a professional could make such an assessment, but I tended to agree.
Discussing the matter is out of the question. Dan Savage would say, "Use your words." Our conversations have come down to her saying things and me nodding my head in agreement. There is simply no use to offering even the slightest opposing view. Agreeing is often met with a vigorous defense of her point of view. The woman cannot take "yes" for an answer and a "no" simply isn't worth the effort.
We all know people who always deflect criticism by immediately pointing out the accuser's own faults. Earlier in our marriage, her go to rebuttal to anything even remotely considered to be a complaint was that I drank. If she asked me if I wanted a salad with my dinner and I said, No, thanks, her rebuttal was that I drink too much beer and I needed more salad.
In spite of all this, she is also one of the most friendly and outgoing people you could ever meet - if you were a stranger. I've often referred to her as "The Spokesman". Honestly, she should be paid a salary by the Texas Department of Tourism, by the local grocery chain, by the people at Sam's Club, and a host of other places. She inserts herself into conversations but not in a rude way. She sees people in need, with a question on the tips of their tongue and she pounces in as if she was your smart aunt who knows it all. I don't mean that sarcastically at all.
We have never, and I do mean never made it through a store without her assisting someone in some way. We were walking by a diaper display in Sam's the other day and an older man was looking somewhat quizzically at some Pampers. My wife spent the next ten minutes explaining how some new brand of Huggies was a much better value, how the wetness indicators worked and so on. I just stood back occasionally looking at my watch and making those exasperated sighs that I tend to make in situations like this. The appreciative old guy was convinced she was a representative of the diaper company and was ready to write a letter of thanks to her boss.
Another time, we were at our grocery store and she explained to a confused family how to use Rid-X, that product used in septic systems. These people genuinely and profusely thanked her, yet I couldn't help but thinking that she was basically a big buttinski.
These not so random acts of kindness don't come without praise. Her own. In fact, she will re-tell the story over and over until the next thing that she can praise herself for happens. We all know where we were on 9-11 but in her case, even though we were nowhere near the twin towers, the Pentagon or that field in Pennsylvania, she might as well have been Todd Beamer shouting "Let's roll!" Seriously, she can heap praise upon herself for hours simply because she suggested something.
I am committed to my wife for a number of reasons. As I've written before, we have a pretty good thing in the way that a small business has a pretty good thing. There are no huge fights in the house, though put into perspective, you never have a huge fight when one of the contestants is avoiding a fight at all costs. We have an enjoyable home where we welcome grandkids, our kids and their friends, and frankly, big picture-wise, there is no guarantee that either of us would be any happier in the long term if we weren't together.
Me: I'm going to cut down that tree.
Her: You should use the chainsaw.
Me: (under my breath) Ya think?
Me: Cuts down tree with chainsaw, cuts wood into logs, stacks logs.
Her: It was a good thing I said you should use the chainsaw. Calls her mom to tell the story of how she suggested I use the chainsaw to cut down the tree. Calls her sister and
embellishes on her critical role in getting the tree cut down with the chainsaw.
I'm not trying to just go on and on in complaints but it is so frustrating. I'm no winner, and I'm no prize for women to wish they could have as a husband or lover. I try to be nice, try to be interesting and try to be a great listener, not offering too much advice. But I swear, if there is such a thing as heaven, I feel confident that all of the sins I have committed will somehow be erased and called even when they see that I've stayed married for as long as I have.
A guy walked into my office this morning to let me know that he and his wife were getting divorced. They've been together twenty-something years, have kids and such and of course I offered my sympathy. But honestly, I thought to myself, "you lucky bastard."
Sure, some day I'll grow a pair, use my words and engage in a confrontation that explains my need for my own time and space. But until then, I continue to write here, look at porn when I can, e-mail my online confidants and occasionally, engage in naughty behavior.