Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Self-Inflicted Wounds Can Be the Most Painful

On our very first date, the woman who later became my wife asked me for my thoughts on how children should be raised. I told her that strangers would not be raising my children.

If that sounds like strange first date banter, that's because our fist date happened a few months after I was introduced to her and after we'd since communicated some important things about ourselves to each other, including that we were looking for an eventual spouse.

After I told her that strangers would be raising my children, I told her I was flexible about how that would be accomplished. I was open to being the one to stay with the kids, for example. She quickly said she'd be the one to stay with the kids. As it turns out, her three main goals in life were to work in the profession she did, to marry, and to be a mother, and by be a mother she wanted to mother, not hire other people to babysit/raise her kids five days a week.

The other day there was a call to Dr. Laura from a woman who wanted to put her four year-old into a weekday program at their church that took preschoolers several hours a day three days per week. Dr. Laura quickly identified it as daycare, insisted that children do not like such programs, and pointed out that nobody cares about a child as much as that child's mother.

I agree, at least with the last phrase. However, I do think some children may actually prefer these programs over being with mom if being with mom means being stuck at home, without friends at that.

The problem is, when Dr. Laura is making these comments, she's thinking of only one child being involved (she only had one) and she's envisioning a mother taking their one child on bicycle rides and walks, to the park, etc. That also what I thought I was getting - a wife who'd be that kind of mother to our children. After all, she had a full-time job working with children and knew about child development and the needs of children, and she wanted to be a stay-with-kids mother.

Our daughter is in grade school. My wife is homeschooling her. We also have a son. My wife wants to stick our son into pretty much the same program the caller described, only for two days a week instead of three. She says it is just too difficult to teach our daughter when our son delights in interfering, especially when it is to torment his sister (at which he excels). And she says it is just for this school year, since he'll have his own schoolwork to do next year.

I can hear Dr. Laura's first solution in my head: do the schoolwork at a park where the boy can play nearby.

But my wife doesn't feel she can do that safely - not with two children.

Then how about letting grandma take the boy twice a week?

My wife's mother is a drunk and forbidden by my wife (with my full support) to look after our children. My own mother lives an hour away and has other responsibilities.

Why not move closer to my mother?

This is the house my wife wanted.

Why not move closer to her now?

Our excellent credit has been tarnished due to decisions by my wife. We're not moving anywhere.

Why not stick the daughter in school?

Public schools suck in our neighborhood and our state has turned public schools into madhouses in general.

Why not stick the daughter in private school?

I don't have the money. In part because of all the money I pay to fund the unusable public schools.

Why not become a stay-with-kids dad and have the wife go to work?

She is done working. She's not going to go back full-time, and we can't disrupt my work situation because we need the insurance due to my wife's medical situations.

Why did you pick her to be the mother of your children if she is incapable?

She seemed capable. She had no children yet, so how could I be sure? There's much she and her family did not reveal to me until after we were married and had children.

Why did you have two children instead of one?

My wife insisted that she didn't want our daughter being an only child, and I had no idea that having two children instead of one would be such a problem for her.

Tell her to bite the bullet and be a mother to her son.

Well, yeah, except she has the trump card.

I expressed my opinion, even though it resulted in exactly what I figured it would - she's feeling hurt and upset, and nothing's going to change for the better. Everyone in my family has always urged us to stick the kids into "pre-school". It is clear they think she's a crappy mother, or at least unable to be a good mother. Yet my sisters also urge me to discuss my concerns with my wife - whether with this or anything else. But it is pointless. The only thing it changes is that it diminishes her happiness/satisfaction, and I take no pleasure in that. Why make both of us less happy?

As unromantic or selfish or otherwise wrong that it seems or may be, I married because I wanted (one of us) to raise my own children in the best circumstances and because I like sex and I wanted an enthusiastic lovemaking partner who would enjoy how I loved her and would enjoy loving me, and I wanted to live by what I'm convinced is the the truth: sex is for marriage. How many Christian men are in the same boat? Don't give me "You're supposed to marry someone because you can't live without them." Please. Most marriages in the Bible and in history were not about that. And clearly, considering how well I was doing and how long I had lived on my own, I could live just fine without any woman as my wife.

Both of those reasons I married are dead. The kids will grow up, and if they turn out badly, they'll be society's problem, not mine. I don't count on the situation with the sex getting any better. Ever. It's not important to her, and what I want isn't as important to her as her own preferences, and again, talking about it will not change that, it will only make her feel bad.

Here's where things get a little more adult. You are warned.

Recently, for example, she was unable to orgasm and requested moving on to intercourse. To me, this means she's not enjoying our lovemaking, which turns me off. Also, I had received virtually no foreplay, and I knew the moment my penis touched her vagina, the session would end with intercourse and soon be over. Once it's been in her, that's it. She's not going near it. So I lost my erection. Her response? She thinks I need to exercise more. Well, I could definitely do with more exercise, but that has nothing to do with losing my erection. In fact, just recently I was able to get an erection again not long after having an orgasm, and she knows that. She was there. The reality is that her lack of enjoyment and enthusiasm, my exhaustion, the lack of foreplay, and all of the restrictions she has placed on our lovemaking killed it.

I'm fully aware that I inflicted this situation on myself. What makes it even worse is that I inflicted a bad situation on my children. If I knew some of the things then that I know now, I would not have married her. And no, this isn't like how we don't want to know the future because we don't want to know we're going to get in an accident, or something like that. Nothing has really changed. Nobody has done anything to us that has changed our situation. It is just that I know my wife better now and, perhaps, she knows herself better now, and many of the things I now know I should have found out before making vows, signing a legal contract and before bringing children into the situation.

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