Thursday, February 12, 2015

Calm Waters For Now

Things have been "good" the last few weeks or so with my wife. Prior to that, I was heading in to a few days off, and she picked a fight with me and I figured she was setting up her excuse to avoid affection and to sit in bed all day until I returned to working. But inexplicably, she woke up the next day and wanted a hug. Nothing had really changed in our discussion. She had not accepted any of my answers to her questions, and yet here she was, wanting a hug.

So, what typically happens, I oblige and then I’m happy the active, open hostility has subsided, but in the back of my mind, I know it is only a matter of time until she has another round of being actively, openly hostile towards me, quite possibly without any discernible trigger. Like I said, since that last round things have been "good". I use quotation marks because it is a relative description. If you would have described my life now to me when I was deciding whether or not to ask my wife to marry me, I would have ran the other way.

Given the ages of our kids, my wife could definitely work at least part-time, but she "can't" because of her physical condition. The thing is, she can drive and use computers for hours on end, so yes, she can work. Ah, but being a full-time Wife and Mom means she'll have time and energy for me and the kids and to make a pleasant home. At least... that's what people like Dr. Laura and other advocates for SAHMs say all of time. However, that's not how things are actually playing out. My wife is doing laundry more again, which is good, and she does some of the shopping, which is good. But the house is a mess, she rarely cooks (on the bright side, I know she's not secretly drugging me and she can't consistently drug my kids behind my back), and the sex is pretty much just mercy sex once every two or three weeks. She did change her medications so that she can now achieve orgasm again, but so far, the frequency of sex hasn't increased as a result. I do gently try to initiate, but there's usually some way that gets shot down: "It would be better tomorrow..." and then usually it doesn't happen the next day: "I’m not feeling well"; or she picks a fight, or she's gets on the rag.  It's pretty easy to deflect when you limit the opportunity to once per week, knowing that at least one week every month will have a period and refusing to do anything while on your period.

In my wayward youth, I enjoyed actually sleeping with the women with whom I was fornicating. We'd cuddle and spoon. I can't recall if I've ever done that with my wife. She usually comes in to go to sleep long after I do and I get up long before she does, and even if we go to bed at the same time, cuddling is out because of her physical condition and her preferences regarding body heat. We have a king sized bed and we keep to our own edges, and the dog sleeps between us, usually pressed up against me and growling loudly whenever I stir.

Most attempts I make to take my wife out for a date are shot down.

Maybe once a season, I get to hang out with some friends.

As with many other men who have found that marriage itself has been and overall detriment to them, I do find much joy in my children. As difficult as they can be, I enjoy their excitement to see me, playing with them, teaching them, and giving them hugs and kisses, and watching them grow. I feel horrible that they have a mother who can't or won't fully mother them (to the point my daughter tries to take on a motherly role quite often), a mother they worry about, and a mother who may have passed along some negative traits I was unaware of that might manifest as the kids age. On the other hand, they wouldn't have existed if I wasn't married to their mother.

I realize my life is better than the lives of billions of other people in the world. It just isn't something I would have chosen if I had known a few more facts. Hopefully, my wife's condition will not significantly deteriorate from where it is now. Hopefully, I won't come down with heart disease. Hopefully, none of us will get maimed or killed in an accident. Hopefully, these will be all be true long enough for my kids will grow into well-adjusted, independent adults.

Then, the next thing to which I look forward to is retirement. Maybe I'll get to that before I die.

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