This year will be 15 years of marriage and 19 years together for my wife and me. That’s a long time. We did well over that time for the most part. From a purely functional standpoint we were competent. We achieved all the material goals we set out to do. With our growth and achievement though some other cracks started to form. They formed a long time ago, but mostly we just swept them under the rug. Life circumstances kept changing on us every few years which made it difficult to face many of these challenges or even to know if it was the life change or our relationship which was the problem.
In the end I feel very small and insignificant in my marriage. I do love my wife, and I know that she loves me, but she does not really know me. She knows many things about me, hair color, eye color, family history, etc… But she doesn’t know how I think. She doesn’t know why I like things or in many cases what I want for my life. She does not understand, she does not have curiosity to find out, and she does not want to know in many cases. Sort of a head in the sand mentality. She has formed a mental picture of who I am and how that suits her, and stuck with it. There is no room for growth in that picture, and she reminds me of it any time I change my mind. Something I should be allowed to do over 20 years.
However I fear that I am not really getting through on what these differences are. It’s difficult to write about as I have general concepts floating in my mind. Perhaps imagine this scenario which admittedly is a bit childish, but it popped into my head. You have two friends and you ask them to think of a number between 1 and 10. The first friend matches about 20% of the time. Double what you would expect from chance which is really great you think! The second friend however matched 90% of the time. It kind of blows your mind. It’s unexplainable. Nearly an ESP experience.
What I’m missing in the relationship with my wife is that connection. Someone who gets me and knows what I’m thinking. Someone I can talk to about anything. Of course there will be differences but can we talk through them and still support each other? Right now I do not have that relationship with my wife and she doesn’t want it. She likes avoiding topics. I don’t. I need someone to talk with and bounce ideas off of.
This isn’t all about sex. I did spend a lot of time writing about sex and bdsm in earlier posts. Those things are important but even without them my marriage is not in great shape. We cannot communicate about anything except practical day to day stuff. We cannot discuss things about life which are important to me. The way I envision my future does not line up with my wife’s vision. On top of all that our sex life is severely lacking for a romantic relationship.
We are very different people. Very different. Opposites attract type of different. Maybe that was a bad idea. Maybe there is a limit to how long the opposites can last.
Things haven’t been good since 2010, but I had a hard time recognizing what the problem was. I know a lot of people would say then why did you have kids? Yeah that’s a good question and I don’t have a good answer. I didn’t realize the problems I was struggling with were due to my marriage. I felt they were just me having anxiety or something. I should have gone to see a counselor. Having children was just the next step on our life journey and I really had no reason to suspect a marital problem.
In fact it didn’t really dawn on me that the marriage was the problem until about summer of 2015. Even then I didn’t really get it. I thought it was just a sex thing. Then Meredith entered the picture complicating everything.
There are so many shoulda’s in my head. So many times I wish I could’ve acted differently. Times where I could’ve taken what I know about me now but apply it back then. 2015 changed my entire way of thinking. I learned so much about myself over the next few years. It’s been a time of deep personal growth. Sort of like a molting invertebrates. I am not the person I was prior to 2015 nor can I go back. I feel very sad that this is all becoming apparent after we had children. I just couldn’t see it before.
One of my commenters may have said it best when she asked:
Or is it the fact [your wife] (sounds to me at least) is the cheerful, perky, blond, ‘cheerleader’ type that all of us dark-haired, more introverted types that spent too much time reading non-fiction, taking philosophy, poetry, comparative religion, cultural sociology and sitting around getting high, wondering what happens after death, coed skinny dipping at midnight and taking spring break trips (coed again) to Mexico to see the Mayan ruins (not Cancun) and ‘bonding’ in tents listening to jungle sounds at midnight? Because back then, a lot of us wished we could stop worrying about ‘do we have souls?’ or ‘what’s beyond the known solar system?’ and be perky and cute, get all the attention from guys like you – who back then probably only had eyes for the vivacious little blondes.
Yes, yes and yes. I mean some of these details are different for Sydney and Meredith but most are spot on. I was young and dumb and wholly fascinated by the vivacious blond. I married one. In fact Sydney and I have already talked about how if I had met her even five years prior I would have judged her quite harshly for her style and demeanor. But now I see it differently. There is a depth to someone who is absorbed in non-fiction to learn about the world but also is an English major and moonlights in psychology. The discussions go deep quickly and fill a void I’ve had for a long time. The chemistry from those conversations is intense and our sexual appetites are very similar. Not to mention the quietness that comes with an introvert.
These things I cannot have in my marriage. To an introvert like me these are the things that make up a life. Not deciding which TV show to watch each night. When I look at 15 years together and how long it would take to get the kids through school that would be another 17 years. It doesn’t add up. This is the time to decide, all in or get out.