Hormones may have kicked all this off, but it’s not just the hormones. He is giggling and listening to Police Academy. I’m crying because I’m facing a divorce. There is something very, very wrong with this picture. I have never in my life expected anyone, man or woman, to comfort me when I’m crying. But I think I’m starting to feel like I should be able to expect something from him other than a paycheck and taking out the garbage. And if I’m being honest that is all I’m getting or have ever gotten. He seems to think that’s enough.
I can make all the excuses for him that I want. Hell, I’ve become a pro at it. It’s the Army for brainwashing him into being unfeeling, unthinking. He’s just not used to living with someone else. He just doesn’t realize. No one took the time to help him along. He’s just not good with emotions. And, I’ve got my own set of rationalizations to go along with them. I’m too demanding. He’s right when he says everything has got to be my way, and I should stop trying to get him to do things my way (I don’t know how I could to be honest…it’s like letting a baby put their finger in a light socket and not at least trying to explain to them why it’s not a good idea…it doesn’t seem to matter why I want something done a certain way…it doesn’t matter if there’s a good reason behind it…he still screams at me to shut up).
Although the constant crying of the last few days might make anyone wonder, I am not irrational. This has been the hardest and happiest few years of my life. The hard has just outweighed the happy A LOT. How long do you keep on trying when you’re the only one who is? He just says everything is fine and ignores me, and it doesn’t matter if I’m completely calm, talking to him without judgment or recrimination, and trying to work out a solution or if I’m crying and throwing things. Either way, he just has this blank stare and doesn’t make eye contact (he’s used to keeping his head down to keep out of trouble; it’s one of the things the Army taught him…see? still with the excuses). He has said more than once, “You’ll be fine once ___.” Usually, the blank is filled in with something about money. I have been completely impoverished much of my life and I’ve been well enough off to afford jewelry, faux fur coats, or anything else that I wanted. I’ve seen both sides and being without money has never scared me. I can walk outside and show you about 20 different species of plants just waiting to be chewed. What does scare me is that he thinks it’s about money or babies. It’s about us.
I know you’re probably thinking, “Isn’t she talking about every man alive?” or “Sounds like a normal marriage to me.” And I’d agree with you if there were anything at all that we came together on, and I do mean anything. I had more in common with his Grandfather who is nearly 90 and the complete right-wing conservative opposite of my libertarian-ness. He seems to only be interested in the things that amuse him and this does not include: current events, politics, movies that don’t involve car crashes, family, home life, the future, gardening, love, etc. (if it weren’t for Burn Notice and House, we’d have nothing at all to bond over). If Pas or I get in the way, he just knocks us aside. If Pas barks even once, he screams at him to shut up, and that’s what he’s done from the day several months ago that Pas learned what barking was (Pascal barks maybe three times in a day at strange noises…it’s not like he’s just howling constantly for no reason).
We don’t even come together in the sex department. I initiate most of the time whether it’s baby making time or not. In fact, he regularly turns me down, but when I complain he says that it’s because I didn’t say the right words. In my not unlimited experience, a sensual kiss while your hand brushes against his groin haphazardly and an invitation to take a “nap” is enough to send most men scrambling to find their zipper. Maybe that’s just me. It makes a good excuse for a while, but after three years, when your wife says “let’s take a nap” and has told you outright and repeatedly that “nap equals sex”, it doesn’t work as well. Maybe it’s me. You can only do this horrific dance macabre so long before you have to say to yourself that he either isn’t attracted to you or just plain doesn’t want you. No one can claim to be clueless 29 times in a row.
I’m really not kidding when I say that most people who get to know us eventually ask me, “Why did you marry him?” That question has taken me aback so many times. It often comes out of the blue. I could understand them waiting for me to say something like: “I’m so sick of him” or “If he keeps this up, I’m going to kill him.” But usually it comes after he has said something that is socially awkward. I thought I might have to restrain Ginger and Miz Lucky when they were here and he said something about his mother being right and me not feeding him enough. They stopped dead in their tracks; I thought they were going to clobber him. I barely noticed (I don’t cook for him much anymore…when I cook, he usually tries a bite and says it’s good but it doesn’t have meat…so he fries some slab of animal and sticks it on white bread and won’t even eat my food as a side dish…so why bother?…for the record, he’s also 20lbs. overweight according to the Army). I’m so used to him. At first, it slides right off your back, and sometimes you’re a little hurt by that question. But, eventually, you start to wonder if they know something you don’t.
I’ve tried for three years. I’ve worked at it. I’ve slogged my guts out and tried every psychological gambit I know including all the “home wisdom” I can find. I’ve tried to be flexible and compromise. I’ve begged him to go to counseling, to talk to anyone at all. I’ve cut off the tv and internet for days in an attempt to get his attention. It feels like I’ve been waiting three years in a dark, dank well with him peeking over the edge and throwing me candy once in while as I plead for a miracle to either push him in or pull me out. I just don’t know how long I can wait to see some semblance of a husband peeking back at me. I’m not asking for it to be perfect, just real.