Monday, March 26, 2012

Overall, Things Are Good

Dinner with the in-laws went well enough. My mother-in-law and father-in-law showed up sober. My father-in-law and I didn't say much, just sat. MIL caught up with the kids, and my wife cooked. We ate dinner, talked a bit about how everyone is doing as we ate, and then in-laws left.

Earlier, my wife and told me her plan of taking her mother in another room and telling her that, from now on, if she takes one drink while we are around her, we will leave (usually, this will mean leaving their house). Anyone else can drink, but not my MIL. I told my wife that was not realistic, and since we know when she's going to get out of hand, we know when to leave. The problems have been when we've been in other locations where it isn't so easy to leave quickly without being rude to innocent people.

And then I learned a lesson I should have already learned:

Do not question. There's no point being anything but enthusiastically supportive of my wife's plans and decisions pertaining to her mother's drinking. Because I doubted the effectiveness and motivation of her plan, my wife got angry enough to once again liken my fornicating long before I knew she existed to her mother's drinking.

I have made this connection on this blog before. In my wife's mind, my not being a virgin when we married (very few men are, at that age), is all tied in to her father's adultery and her mother's drinking.

Warning: Gripe Session Ahead!

It is times like that I want to reply, "I'm glad I had some of those experiences, since I'll likely never get them in this marriage" or "Those women wanted to have sex with me, because they liked it, not because they had felt any obligation to" or "It's easy to stay a virgin when you have no sex drive." But I'm not that stupid.

It is also times like that I wonder why I did this to myself. Why did I think it was a good idea to become the sole financial support for a grown woman and children (I helped make those children with her, mind you)? Why did I, a person who was never bored or lonely and never had a shortage of things I wanted to do,  voluntarily obligate myself to the needs and wants and sensitivities of these people, being forced to let some of my dreams die, and my hobbies go neglected? I can't be a responsible husband and father and enjoy the media I want to enjoy, go to the places and events I want to, nor hang out with my friends more than once in a blue moon. I don't have the career freedom I would have otherwise. I'm not living where I want to live, spending my money as I want to spend it. My life is working to bring in income that will mostly go to the needs of others and then helping around the house and trying to keep the kids from being bored, unwashed, sedentary to the point of muscle atrophy, or killing themselves or each other.

I understand, now, why some men take up golf, or any other boring activity that is really an excuse to get out of the house without with the wife and kids.

To ask a selfish question, what am I getting in return? Laundry service? Check. Dinners most of the time? Check. Mercy-sex-that's-not-sin-because-I'm-married-to-her? Check. Is it worth it? I can pay for first two for a lot less than half my income. Heck, I could pay for all three, 'cept the last one would be a sin (and more exciting).

There are my kids, of course. I love 'em like crazy, even though the boy is a defiant PITA and I spend a good chunk of my time with him just trying to get him to do the basic things I need him to do, and stopping him from giving his sister grief.

I know I should always be grateful for the wonderful life I have. It really is a good life in many ways, and I know there are many people who would love it and wouldn't complain about it. I have wife who is good in many ways, a steady income, a house, my health, healthy and bright kids. I can go to church and reasonably expect that I will not be blown up by a terrorist or incarcerated by my government for doing do. But right now, I feel like my wife and I could have been casual friends and things would have been better that way.


My wife didn't even get her chance to talk with her mother alone, and she again lamented that her father has turned into his father, just sitting there quietly most of the time. Hey, but other than that, dinner went fine. So did the subsequent event for which my wife wanted to have the air cleared in the first place, although the event was held a 2-hour drive from where just about everyone attending lives. Ugh. With these gas prices? It was one of those events that didn't need to be held, and certainly did not need to be held where it was, but failing to attend would have caused all sorts of family drama.

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