Tuesday, July 31, 2012

This is Exactly Why I Didn't Want This


I haven't had time to blog, in no small part because my wife has undergone a couple of surgeries and I'm helping her recover from them, because I love her and because it is my obligation as a spouse.

I beg your forgiveness if I sound like a jerk and unromatic as I vent here. I refuse to vent to her because I don't want to do anything that I know will hurt her feelings.

She didn't get in an accident. She didn't catch or develop anything new. She didn't get assaulted. No, these surgeries are related to her it's-a-disability-or-isn't-depending-on-what-helps condition, the full nature of which was kept hidden from me before we married, and she may or may not have been in denial about it herself.

This is why my advice to someone who thinks they want to get married and thinks they have found to right person to marry is to insist on visiting all of their mental, dental, and other medical health professionals with them and getting a full history, current diagnoses, and guesses about the future. Make sure you know all of the medications and treatments they use, and what the side effects are. Make sure you know the costs of all of these things.

When I was looking for a wife (and fully prepared to never find one, and I would have still enjoyed my life), one of my essential conditions was someone who was healthy and fully able to be a wife and mother, with everthing those roles entail. I didn't want our marriage, our kids, or me limited by physical limitations, nor with the financial/time/energy limitations that come along with treating ongoing health or disability problems. Money, time, and energy are limited enough without a disability or ongoing disease. (None of this is to say disabled or ill people can't live full, happy lives. Of course they can.)

Of course there are things that happen, such as injuries and diseases, that can happen to anyone. And people get older. I was mentally prepared to accept those possibilities if they came along after the fact (and the certaintly of getting older). But that's not what happened here. I did not do my homework, and it seems to me like it was deliberate that I was not told there was homework. I married someone who was working full time and seemed to be physically capable of doing everyting necessary, and there was no defeatism, no depression about it, no complaints about it. She not only had an "I can" attitude, she had it without saying it, never hinting that she was putting an unusual amount of effort into everyuthing and there was the possibility she might get tired and decide she can't, or can no longer. Although she always wanted to be a mother, I don't think she fully understood what the demands were going to be. Who really does?

I understand that she didn't choose her condition (for the most part - I think her attitude does play somewhat of a role in her overall capabilities), but with every large medical bill we pay, every day that has to be set aside for appointments, and every time to begs me to stop working and come home early I remember how this is EXACTLY what I didn't want when looking for a wife, and I knew because long before I knew my wife existed I had a friend who had all sorts of problems, most of them self-induced, and I noticed what a hassle it made out of life. You can limit your involvement with a friend. It is different with a spouse. It irritates me as it is, and it doesn't help when members of my family-of-origin tell me she's not capable of taking care of our kids. They want us to live closer, so they can help more. Well, that's ship has sailed and it isn't going to come back.

Hopefully, these surgeries will improve her quality of life, and I mean that even if it doesn't change anything for me or the kids. It remains to be seen what the effects, if any, will be. She's a brave woman for opting to undergo them.

I can't say most of this to her. I can't even point out to her when it is her attitude that is the problem, because that is a burning hot-button going back to her childhood. Overall, my life is great. I do love her. I do love our kids. I do enjoy life with her overall. And I wouldn't split up the family even if I found a written plan (perhaps in a journal) concocted before we met spelling out how she was going to deliberately sucker in some unwitting guy to pay her bills and look after her. If for no other reason, I wouldn't do that to my kids. So all I can do about it is vent here, and support her as she looks for way to make things better, or at least keep them from getting worse.

2 comments:

  1. I sometimes wonder, Ken, if you actually believe all the positive stuff you write, or whether you're just putting a brave face on things. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. You're far more charitable than I am. I can't think of a single area of my life that has been improved by being married.

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  2. Sometimes I wonder too. But I do know I am frequently, genuinely glad I married her, largely due to her positive traits and actions.

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