I had one girlfriend before I met my wife. Sometimes, she or I would be in an upset mood, or one of us was tired, or we just felt like we were having an all-around unpleasant day. At those times, before we moved in together and our relationship felt more like roommates sharing an apartment, she or I would just tell the other that we didn't want to hang out that day. I also didn't have many fights with my friends growing up, but the same was true for them: if either one of us needed our space, we wouldn't hang out. As a married man with a child, though, the freedom to leave, give one another space or just end the relationship is long gone.
My wife used to have a problem controlling her emotions. It was a common thing to either wake up to, or for me to be at home to greet, a moody wife. It might have been a million different reasons: she was tired, sick, stressed, upset about something someone said to her, weighed down with work, hot, cold, anxiously awaiting bad news, upset with some negligible mistake I made, fighting with her family over something trivial, or much more.
The reason she acted like this for three entire years, 2010 to 2012, was because I believed the lies of my mother, the media and general consensus in the west that a man must defer to his wife, because she's usually smarter and more in control than he is. What ended up happening when I did this, though, was my wife constantly "s*** testing" me time and again in a backhanded attempt to get me to man up.
For those not sure what this is, it's when a woman does something purposefully provocative to a man to see how he'll react, which is her way of judging what kind of man he is. If he acts nice, he's a loser with resources to be dominated, belittled and controlled. If he gets toothlessly angry, she weaponizes that rage because she knows how to push his buttons, and uses that leverage to extort resources from him. If he treats her tests with indifference and/or punishes her in some cold and uncomfortable way, he's a winner to be respected and deferred to.
When a man concedes to a s*** test, as I did over those two years, the behavior gets worse. If he loses his cool, as I did a few times, the behavior stops for a few days, then starts up again. Only when he treats his wife's tests with the cold, logical and precise cutting of a scalpel, or just flat out dismissive and rude responses, will a man find peace in his relationships with women. At least, he'll have it until the next time she decides to test him.
I had a similar problem with my ex-girlfriend constantly testing me in college, but we weren't married. I broke up with her after two years of dating when the sex dried up and she wouldn't stop testing me. But dating is not marriage, is it?
So what is it like to live in a married purgatory? There were several nasty fights from 2010 to 2012 with my wife that threatened to break my already warped spirit. In each one, I felt as a caged animal who couldn't fight back. Each of these fights sent me into enraged nostalgia for the life I had given up, grinding pessimism with the knowledge that I would never find a way to either stop or win the fights, or just resignation and apathy.
I never want my wife to know how much I hated (and hate) marriage with her, so I hid these feelings as best I could; I simply choked down and buried them into the pit of my stomach. I couldn't defend myself, because that made the fight worse. I couldn't leave her for a while, because that made her angrier. I couldn't divorce her outright, because that, too, would have hurt my son. I did politely tell her the truth of her being rude to me dozens of times, but she never changed her ways, and oftentimes, ended up blaming me or getting angrier.
My solution to that stress, which is the same solution to my boredom today, became to just tune everything out. Right now, I'm awake and aware as I'm typing this post. Whenever I have a happy wife, a good child and time off, or that time is being spent doing something I want to do (i.e. writing this blog or playing video games), I am a man of moderate regret and apathy, wishing he were still single.
I don't live as this man very often. Between a wife, work, chores, errands, remembering how things used to be and other such issues, I don't particularly like living my life. During those times, I blank out and let my body automatically handle whatever inescapable stress it is that's bothering me. The psychological term is "flow," the feeling where your body is doing something that your mind is not actively engaged in, and I'm sure everyone has felt this way before. Perhaps you had to walk five miles to get home because nobody could give you a ride, and before you knew it, you were back. Perhaps you were reading an incredibly boring book, and you didn't even notice that five minutes and five pages had slipped by until you "woke up." It's where the world gets dark, you tunnel vision, your mind wanders, your hands and body move by themselves, and by the time you finish your task, you only have a vague recollection of the specifics of what you have done.
I live like this for almost every moment of my life. My consciousness submerges whenever I'm faced with a boring or stressful task that I don't want to deal with, but doing it is the only choice. Almost everything that crops up in my married life causes me to zone out: doing dishes, doing laundry, cleaning up the floor and table, dealing with a moody wife, disciplining my son, every last hour that I work, errands, commuting, shopping, bank runs, standing in line, waiting around for my wife to get ready to go somewhere with me, watching her shop, and much more. During all these moments, my body automatically takes care of everything, time speeds up, and I don't remember much of what I did.
It wasn't until years of doing this had passed that I found out the actual, physical reason for this happening: one time while out at the hospital with my wife, son and mother-in-law, I was black-vision bored. After about thirty minutes of sitting around and zoning, I tried out a free heart rate and blood pressure monitor. My normal heart rate and blood pressure are 70 BPM, and 115/75. The results that day were 60 BPM, 110/55. Less blood being pumped means less blood going through the brain, which diminishes concentration and awareness, and fast forwards my perception of time.
For example, as soon as my hand touches the knob on my door on my way to work, I tunnel vision. Everything from the drive to work, to the teaching, to the midday break, to dinner, to the drive home is done automatically and with little to no input from me. I don't feel unhappy when traffic is bad. I don't feel amazing when my work is good. I don't feel full when I eat dinner. I don't feel anything at all; I simply do my best, then leave. Once I return, and I've finished my ascent up the stairs to my apartment, my awareness opens up, and I'm back again to shower.
If I come home to a washing machine full of laundry, a sink full of dishes and toys all over the floor, I tunnel vision again until the chores are all finished. Then, I wake up and use the computer or play with my son, then it's off to the oblivion of sleep. It's so automatic that I can't even will it to happen; something boring or aggravating comes up, and I tunnel vision. That's that.
I'm fairly certain that those men out there who "tune out" their wives and don't want to talk after work are in a similar boat to mine. They regret how their lives turned out because marriage is not a happy thing, and they just want some time to be alone with themselves, and away from the drama and routine.
I've done experiments at red lights to see how much faster time speeds up when zoning. When I manage to catch the number left on the light until it turns green, then zone out as I wait for it to turn, I sometimes "wake up" to see how much time is left. Comparing the time that actually passed on the traffic light to the time I felt pass is pretty consistent: when zoning, time speeds up around five times faster than normal.
I'm essentially fast forwarding my life. And how can you blame me? Comparing the greatness that was my life to the fleeting moments of happiness I experience now, I needed to find a way to make time go faster, and to protect my real self from the stagnant prison of marriage.
But still, before, this wasn't enough. Sometimes, when my wife was going full bore and really laying into me during one of our fights, being me or zoning out just made things worse. I tried dealing with fights by defending myself and/or zoning out in the first few years of marriage, but anything I did never worked. Either the fight dragged on, my wife got angrier, or the fight would end and just start up a few hours or days later. Eventually, I had to come up with a new way to negate these fights, because nothing else was working. To be exact, I'll now revisit the big fights that my wife and I had, and the horrendous, s*** test failing technique I developed to deal with them.
Our first huge fight was during Christmas of 2009 when I took my wife and son back to the USA to meet my family. On a trip to an amusement park with everyone, my son was being a real pill. He didn't want to stay in his carriage, so people had to take turns carrying the little guy around. My wife didn't say anything while she was holding him, and I wanted to spend time with my littlest sister (we were very close growing up and I hadn't seen her in a year), so I left my wife with our son for an hour or two. I figured she would ask for help if she needed it.
Later, when we were going home, she seemed distant and cold. When I jokingly asked her if she was angry, she exploded at me in front of my family and shouted, "Of course I'm not angry! WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO BE?!". Apparently she had to carry our son the whole time alone, and she almost dropped him at one point. While she stormed away, I looked over at my sister. I told her point blank, "Don't get married. Don't ever get married." I was so shocked and upset, that I didn't care if my wife heard me or not. My sister thankfully replied, "I don't want to."
Fast forwarding past the silent treatment at dinner to the inevitable fight in the hotel room, I was awake and swinging. Highlights of the fight include:
- Telling me that I let her down.
- Telling me that I should know how she feels without her saying it.
- Telling me that I didn't help her enough.
- Telling her that I didn't leave her with a problem on purpose.
- Telling her that she needs to talk to me more often, instead of clamming up then exploding later.
- Telling her that I was tired of her mood swings.
- Telling her that she could have assumed I was either spending time with my little sister or purposefully treating her like garbage, and she obviously believed the latter because she exploded, and I expected more from my wife.
The fight lasted for an hour. For every good argument I provided, she had either some pithy comeback or just changed the subject. Nothing got accomplished until the fight just petered out, she took a shower, and we mutually apologized.
I never hated my life more than on that day. An unmarried man would have just dumped his out of control girlfriend on the spot and found someone better; I was stuck, and terribly missing my old days before I married my wife.
For the second fight, I tried to zone out. My son slipped and fell down one day, and I thought it was because my wife had mopped the floor (I told her four times to stop doing it when our son's awake because he always slips, but she never once listened to me). Because of that, I continued to lie on the couch, daydreaming of the life I used to have, because I figured it was her mess to clean up.
But he actually slipped on a piece of paper or something, not mop water. Naturally, my couch reclining was the very definition of jerk at that point, because it wasn't her fault. I got the silent treatment for a good twenty minutes, until I finally had enough and took a walk around town for an hour. During that time, I fantasized about planning divorce proceedings the second our son went to college: telling her off in the airport as he left, leaving her stunned and confused as I dropped my wedding ring on the floor of our apartment, and other such escapist daydreaming.
When I returned home, I had calmed down. Unfortunately, the silent treatment was all that welcomed me back, so I woke up from zoning out and I had it out with her. Highlights of the fight include:
- Telling her that I need her to express herself instead of bottling everything up.
- Telling her that I shouldn't have left, but I needed time to cool off.
- Telling me that she wasn't to blame, and I should have helped her.
- Telling me that I don't help her around the house enough.
- Telling me that I play too many video games.
The fight went on for thirty minutes or so. Again, an unmarried man would have just apologized as I did when I came home, but if she pressed her advantage, he could have just broken off the relationship.
So defending myself didn't work in America, and zoning out, then defending myself, didn't work in our house. So what about defending myself first, then zoning out?
Fight three happened in early 2011. I went to pick up my mother from the airport for a visit she made here, but I went one day early because I was confused about the international date line's role on her schedule. It didn't help that the dates were strangely written on the paper from the airport, that this was my first time dealing with the date line, and that the same flight arrived at the same time on Saturday and Sunday. When it turned out that I had brought my son to pick up my mom for no reason that day, and that she came the next day, I called my wife to let her know of my mistake. I spoke normally, because I thought things were ok.
Then she made a comment that next time, she would check to make sure I was correct before I left.
This got me real angry. For the previous two or three months, my wife had taken on an even more motherly role towards me, and I was chafing under her numerous and daily suggestions, requests, comments, reminders and orders like I was her son:
"It's cold! He needs his jacket!"
"If you're riding your bike together, you should put his helmet on."
"Please?" (Said after she tosses a diaper at me. Usually, I didn't even get the "Please").
"He needs his shoes."
"You washed the bottles wrong."
"You should use a spoon when you drink soup."
"Can you hang the laundry outside?"
"Can you take out the trash?"
"Can you turn on the fan?"
"Can you change his diaper?"
"Can you make milk?"
"Can you put this in the trash for me?"
"Can you close the window?"
"Can you turn the TV down?"
"Can you go downstairs to pick up a package?"
"Can you go to my mom's house and get lunch?"
I told her several times during those months to please stop talking to me like I was her son or servant. She always promised to stop, but continued to do it again. And again. And again. So finally, when that comment came over the phone, I yelled at her, then hung up.
Married men, if this is happening to you, your wife has absolutely no respect for you. Order her to stop, but do not lose your cool as I did. If she continues on as my wife did, just treat her with absolute indifference and refuse all further orders, even the reasonable ones. Barring that, find a way to punish her by cutting off her money supply or putting her on a sex blackout (even wives who don't sleep with their husbands, like mine, will become extremely nervous when their main weapon in the relationship is defused by the one she's trying to dominate). You will only get this behavior for as long as you take it.
So after telling my wife off, I called her back to explain myself (bad move), and we had a nice, long fight over the phone. Highlights include:
- Telling her that I was tired of her ordering me around.
- Telling her that she hadn't said one word of friendship to me in the past month, only orders.
- Telling her that she was starting to feel like my mother.
- Telling her that if she needed my help, I'd be glad to give it, but if she could do things around the house on her own, she should just do them and stop bothering me about it, because that's what I always did for her.
- Telling me that she would do what I asked.
Turns out that was a lie, because this fight was a two parter. Just two days later, I noticed she was acting cold while we were in bed, so I asked the magic words that get any woman's hackles raised: "Are you angry?" Nope, she lied... but the question made her even moreso. And so, the chores fight continued. Highlights include:
I said nothing. I zoned out, and I'll explain why shortly.
- Telling me that she didn't understand why I was upset because she asked me for help.
- Telling me that for the past three years, when she asked if I was fine and I told her yes, she didn't believe me.
Alarm bells went off immediately. She knew something was up. What was I going to do? I swear, I was ready to unload everything I had pent up on her:
"You getting pregnant ruined my life. I was happy before we got married, but I hated every second of the last three years. You don't lift me up; you drag me down. I was amazing before we got married, and now I'm a loser. And the reward for my enormous sacrifice and work is you fighting me with me, ordering me around and just generally making my life suck. When our son hits 18, I want a divorce. You happy? Now leave me the hell alone."
The breath was in my lungs, my vocal cords tightened, my mouth opened... and out came:
"I'm just unhappy that I'm not making enough money for you and our son. I'm failing as a husband and father."
I should have said what I wanted. I should have put the fear of God into her, knowing that I'm in a place that doesn't routinely violate men in divorce or family court. But instead, I immediately tunnel visioned. She went on a lengthy diatribe about my lie and how it shouldn't affect my mood. And to my surprise, while she lectured me, I didn't feel anything. I wasn't angry about the life I left behind, I wasn't upset about another in a long string of arguments and fights, I wasn't even relieved that I kept my secret.
I ended up creating this awful technique by accident, thinking it was for the protection of my family through the defusing of fights. And since I thought that the only way to shorten, and ultimately end, a fight with my wife was to concede and do whatever she wanted, I thought this was the perfect way to do it. When my wife got upset, I put on a smile, bowed my head in subservience, lied about how wrong I was, then gave her a fake apology while I told her what I would do to make up for it. I thought it was the perfect act for a fight: not only was the fight over quickly, but I wasn't even really apologizing. I didn't even care what the problem was; the important thing was that I thought family harmony was maintained, and my wife and son were protected.
I put this technique through a trial run a bit later. My wife was upset (again) because she had to take care of our son all morning while I went to work at a job I hated for eleven hours a day. I asked her why she was upset, and she got huffy. I scolded her for her lack of emotional control, then just threw up my hands and left to go to work. A few hours into work, I was ready to "apologize." I dialed home, and this is how the conversation went:
Me: Listen, I'm sorry I got mad at you this morning. I know how hard you're working and that it's tough for you.
Wife: Yeah, that was weird.
Me: I know! It won't happen again. I know I slip up like this sometimes, but I'm working hard to make sure it doesn't happen again.
Wife: Ok. I think this fight was really nonsense.
Me: You said it. I'm sorry.
Wife: I forgive you!
Me: Thanks! I'll do better next time. Talk to you later! Love you!
But of course, despite the length of this small spat, another would start up soon enough.
My wife was recently diagnosed with anemia, and because of this problem, her temper was very short in April, 2011. At that time, she had to give my son medicine, but he didn't want to take it. She looked at me, and I was playing Metal Gear Solid 2, which was in the middle of one of its infamous twenty minute cutscenes, and I didn't have the ability to pause in the middle of them. Still, I asked her if she needed some help feeding him the medicine, but she shook her hand at me and said no. Good for me, because I could finish the cutscene, pause, then come over to help anyway. The cutscene finished, and I paused the game to go help.
The silent treatment... I zoned out. Soon, it was baby's bath time, and the whole way, my wife was yelling "Be quiet!" "Shut up!" and other things to our son while he was throwing a tantrum. I put a smile on my face to try to defuse the situation and said my son's name gently to let him know he shouldn't be shouting, only to have my wife tell me that I should let him release his anger.
She yelled some more. I tunnel visioned. She went silent and sat in a chair. Finally, I woke up, and I realized I had to defend my son, because she was out of control. So I dressed my boy up and prepared to go outside, and the fight began.
Wife: Where are you going?
Me: I'm taking him out somewhere safe. Away from you.
Wife: I'm not going to hit him!
Me: What you're doing is just as bad. You're out of control, and there's no reason for you to scream at him like this.
Wife: Oh, like you don't yell at him all the time, either?
Me: I only yell at him when he does something like hitting people or throwing things or playing with scissors. Don't try to compare what you've done this morning to what I do as his father.
Wife: So why didn't you help me at all today?
Me: What, you mean after you told me you didn't need my help?
Wife: How about all the other things you never do? You never do the dishes, or look after our son!
Me: What's wrong with you? You say not to help you with his medicine, then yell at me for not helping. You tell me you love doing the dishes and that you can do them, then yell at me for not doing them. You scream at our son to shut up, then berate me for trying to get him to be quiet. I mean, what do you want from me? Do you even love me?
Wife: ... (This was some of the most stunning silence I've ever experienced, though truth be told, I really don't care either way.)
Me: Because I think it's really weird that you told me you loved me when we were at the doctor's office, then three hours later you're biting my head off and yelling at our son for no good reason.
Wife: Even so, do you see how he comes to me first for things, before you? Don't you think that's strange?
Me: That's a low blow!! I can't believe you just said that! Of course he comes to you first: you're his mom! Kids always go to mom first! Are you trying to hurt me by saying our son loves you more than me?!
Wife: I'm sorry I said that, but I only yelled at him because he was being so bad.
Me: What you're doing is the same thing my mother did to me: yelling at me for trivial things, getting upset all the time. It messed up me and my siblings.
Me: You want that for our...
Wife: Don't start talking to...
(I pointed my finger directly at her)
Me: Hey! I'M talking here! Do not interrupt me!
Me: Do you want that for our son? To grow up in a house where his mother is yelling all the time and putting him down? Do you want our son to be depressed, too?
Wife: Look, I don't know what happened to you with your mom, just please don't try to compare me to her, ok?
Me: No problem. I'm sorry. Look, I admire that you try to shoulder all the burden onto yourself and do everything like Supermom, but what I don't admire is you exploding on everyone later because of that. I understand, though. My long hour job is only for another four months, then I'll be back to take care of everything again, no problem. And you know what? I'll even do all the chores around the house, immediately and without question. You only need to take care of our son in the morning for a few more months, then I'll be the Superman of the house.
Wife: (sighs) ...Ok, thank you.
Then, it was off to tunnel visioning through laundry, dishes and toy cleanup. When my son tried to get the two of us together again by playing with a toy digger, I briefly woke up and faked being chipper and optimistic with my wife to seal the fight. And a few hours later, she was back to normal.
I honestly didn't care when my wife tried to provoke a fight with me anymore. And even if she did manage to get one started, I'd been through the routine so many times that I just didn't care what she was on about. It's like watching the same godawful movie a hundred times over: eventually, I just got desensitized to it. If she yelled at me for something, I just fake apologized and she left me alone. If that didn't work, and she just kept laying into me, I didn't have anything invested in the fight anyway, so I didn't care who won.
When she inevitably did win, it was just more of the same powerless, useless, pathetic boring me continuing on, living the life I don't want. If I won, what did it matter? It wasn't like any fight I won was going to give me back freedom, time, money, sex, dreams, or anything else I gave up when I married. And she just ended up starting up the same fight every few days until she won, anyway.
Soon, as time went by in my married life, I realized how wrong I was to develop this technique for stopping fights. Thanks to some extensive research into the nature of a woman's reptilian mind, I found that she was performing s*** test after s*** test on me to gauge my worthiness as her provider, and I was failing them one after the other by responding to her idiocy with anything but logic bombs and never letting her change the subject when she was wrong, but most importantly, apathy. My previous technique was a terrible way to handle the fights, and only made things worse. Her drama gets only apathy, withdrawal or stern, emotionally uninvolved lectures now, and it stops her cold every time.
But that's not all. These were the major fights of our marriage, yes, but there were so many more times where my wife or her mom started nonsense between us before I put a stop to their s*** tests, and since I've started this blog, I know exactly when and how the bigger ones happened. Here are the journal entries I made:
May 8th, 2011
My mother-in-law came over to watch my son.
She barked at me for not giving him his medicine, when nobody told me what time he was supposed to take it.
She barked at me for not noticing the note from my wife that explained this, which was pinned to a diaper hanging from a bag facing the wall.
She barked at me for wanting to take my mildly sick son out to an air-conditioned store.
May 12th, 2011
I said hello to my wife, but she didn't respond, so I zoned out and prepared myself for a fight about something. I engaged with her an hour later, and she said that she was upset that someone called her fat the previous night, so I spent about thirty minutes or an hour comforting and advising her.
June 26th, 2011
I took my son on a trip into the mountains and invited her, but she said no. After my son and I came back, my wife was in a bad mood about her mother and sister, so I spent the next hour pulling information out of her and comforting her.
July 6th, 2011
My wife called me, saying that she might get fired because some customer was falsely accusing her of being rude. I tried to console and comfort her, but she wasn't even listening. After complaining about my new friends being late to meet me, she flippantly told me to have fun, then hung up on me. I wasn't surprised in the slightest by how little I cared.
August 23rd, 2011
My wife woke up and barked at me for something or another. I honestly don't remember what it was about.
September 11th, 2011
My mother-in-law and my wife had two fights on a family trip with our son.
Mother-in-law: *Annoying comment*
Mother-in-law: *Normal voice talking*
Wife: *Quiet reciprocation*
September 12th, 2011
My wife was suddenly in a bad mood and started shouting and seething. I tried to calm her down, but it didn't work, so I ignored her.
September 27th, 2011
On the way in, I got a text message from my wife saying she needed to start smoking again because unless she did, she would be a "crazy b****." All I could think was, "Oh, for God's sake. Here we go again."
I prepared myself to apologize for whatever trivial mistake it was that I had made, then went inside and engaged with her. It turned out she was actually super upset about the same exact problem she's been harping about over and over and over and over and over again: supporting her mother without getting some kind of acknowledgement for it. For the tenth or twentieth time, I had to remind her that she should do good things because it's her honor to do so, and not because she wants something out of it.
I work and sacrifice much harder and more than she does, especially regarding my money. Financially, I'm supporting her mother with twice the amount of money she is. And I don't just get things like my dreams and money taken from me, I get punished for my sacrifice with fights, more debt, and heavier workloads. And I never complain to her about it.
Like she was reading my mind, she then told me that she felt guilty for placing so many monetary debts and emotional problems on me, and for taking away my ability to travel and live life because she got pregnant. She actually apologized for ruining my life. Of course, I still don't believe she or my son ruined my life, and I didn't let slip that she was actually partially right in that I hate my marriage ("But you getting pregnant gave me you and our son!").
I forced her to get out of bed and jump up and down to get her blood flowing and kick out her depression. After a bit more talking, she took a nap.
October 9th, 2011
My wife was in an extremely bad mood, partially because someone bought clothes for her that are way too small, and she took it personally. I had to deal with her moodiness for the next hour or two.
October 30th, 2011
I related a story to my wife of my ex-roommate's mother from my college days, and how she was hot and I would have dated her. I was just joking, but my wife took it personally, got silent, then told me I was very cold to her recently. I told her the five or ten things I've done for or with her in just the past two weeks, then apologized anyway, just to keep this tiff from turning into something worse.
December 4th, 2011
On the way back home, I saw one of my co-workers walking out of the apartment complex with his smiling, thin, cute girlfriend, no doubt on their way out for a happy date on a weekend night. In contrast, I was on my way up to my apartment, where my wife, who has been in a bad mood all weekend, and chores, awaited.
December 14th, 2011
My wife was in a bad mood because someone at work was having an affair with a married man and possibly got pregnant by him, despite the fact that my wife warned her not to for three years. I spent over an hour listening to her complain and offering her advice on not letting other people's decisions affect her mood. Ironically, the source of many of my wife's problems is her not listening to my advice, either.
December 18th, 2011
As I mentioned before, my wife and I have a debt scale. If one of us is working too hard, the other picks up the slack, she gets angry, or something else happens to rebalance the scale. After working for two days straight from 3:30 on Friday afternoon to 2:30 Sunday afternoon, then having more work Sunday night, it was my turn to be helped out as my wife gave me the first day in four months (yesterday) that I didn't have to do chores.
And, of course, I got paid back tonight. After our son didn't listen to the two of us telling him to stop running around the house, we all went to bed. At that point, I was treated to a rousing twenty minutes of her lecturing him angrily, repeating the same points over and over again. When she was finished, I asked if she was doing ok, and with all the subtlety of a roaring jet plane, she attempted to provoke a fight with "Did I do something wrong?!"
Beyond wise to her tricks, I just calmly answered, "I didn't say that," then rolled over to go to sleep.
I remember a time when I only had to do chores once or twice a week, and the kind of work I did this weekend (and every other weekend for the last four months, for that matter) was rewarded with lavish praise and gratitude. And I'm again reminded of how marriage has ruined my life.
January 11th, 2012
During a discussion today about buying some beans off the internet and how much it would cost, I told my wife that I spend between $100 and $200 a month on our son's trips. She whirled on me in shock, and proclaimed that it was too much.
Naturally, I held my tongue about how it's a drop in the bucket compared to how much she, her mother and our son take from my paycheck every month. Naturally, I didn't say anything about how she wastes twice as much every month on lunches, shoes, purses and other nonsense. Naturally, I kept quiet about how I used to make fifteen times the amount of take-home pay that I do now. Naturally, I didn't remind her for the fourth or fifth time that we should move her mother in with us to a bigger apartment so we can save some money, just so she could ignore my request or outright refuse.
Sacrifice. Subservience. Emasculation. Obedience. Endless, thankless, profitless work. Marriage is rife with these things.
January 19th, 2012
My wife came home, and she was in a bad mood because she's sick. She wasn't responding to any of the support I tried to give her, emotional, physical, verbal or otherwise, and met everything with stink eyes, complaints or silence, so I ignored her.
March 1st, 2012
My wife woke up and was in a bad mood. She asked why I washed my big blanket in our little washing machine, then let it hang up all night with a fan on it to dry it off. I told her it was because she said it was ok (and besides, I did the same at my apartment for a year, and it was fine there).
Eyes wide and head shaking violently, she snapped, "No, no, no! I said you could wash the outside sheet, not the comforter inside!!"
I stared at her, expressionless and uncaring.
"Mommy, where are you going?" my son cried from the bedroom.
"I'm going to the bathroom!!" she shouted. "Can I go to the bathroom?!"
She stormed inside, and I watched the closed door for a few seconds. Then, I just popped my earbud headphone back in, and played some more Wizards & Warriors.
These little tantrums happen all the time in my marriage, dozens of times or more a year. But after the realization I came to in my last vacation about how I don't care about my wife's problems anymore, I can now look forward to apathy, rather than being upset, when my wife inevitably explodes about something. Marriage's numerous and unfixable problems, the fighting and my wife losing control, all just reinforce that marriage is nothing but pathetic, repetitive, inescapable nonsense that just isn't worth the trouble.
In any case, what's she going to do? Divorce me and give me my life back? I won't start the proceedings, and if she does, it's not my fault that she puts that on our son. If it comes to that, I'll be happy again, and I'll be ready to show my son, by example, how a man should really live.
March 8th, 2012
My wife was in a bad mood because her sister was starting up trouble in the family again. She followed me outside, then complained and swore for about twenty minutes while I smoked and stared at the building across from us, trying to remember the time before I got married. When she was done, I gave her the same advice I have given her about this exact same problem at least six times already the last time was a month ago: tell her sister to move out of her mom's house and spend more time outside with friends.
She's not going to listen to me. She's not going to give her sister this advice. And if she does, her sister won't change. This situation won't change. My life won't change. This cycle:
Step 1 - Dump problems on me.
Step 2 - I give exact instructions on how to fix everything in three months, tops.
Step 3 - Nobody does anything.
Step 4 - Everyone except my son and me gets angry.
Step 5 - Someone explodes.
Step 6 - Return to Step 1.
March 19th, 2012
My wife was in a bad mood, and when I asked her what was going on, she was vague on every single point. All I could get out of her were things like "I've had enough," "I'm tired of the world" and "I want to stop at one child." The latter comment was spoken with the caveat "I'll probably feel differently next week," so I didn't get at all excited about it.
Just like the previous dozen times this exact same discussion has come up, I knew she was either hiding a problem from me or fighting depression.
Just like the previous dozen times this exact same discussion has come up, I asked her to bring her specific problems to the surface to fix or sever them, or if she had no specific problems, to exert heavier control over her idle thoughts of unhappiness to control herself and her emotions, and I promised she would be permanently better in just a few months either way.
Just like the previous dozen times this exact same discussion has come up, she nodded in understanding and said she would do what I suggested.
Just like the previous half a dozen times this exact same discussion has come up, I doubted that this would be the last time this discussion would come up.
I took the opportunity to try and convince her to adopt our second kid, while she was already thinking of stopping at one. She said she'd think about it, which is code for "I'm going to consider your idea only as far as I need to combat and refuse it for the next time it comes up." I don't really care either way. I've been through these situations before in my marriage, and it's not the last time I'll see any of the shutdowns, rejections and ignoring of my wishes.
April 5th, 2012
I had a long discussion with my wife about her sister, who is stirring up trouble again. I repeated the same general advice that I've given to her over ten times before, and repeated the same specific advice that I've given her once before.
April 11th, 2012
I took my son on a long trip. Before I left, my wife groggily shouted from the bedroom a laundry list of orders and whining. She nagged me to change his diaper, which I already did, told me not to take him to the beach because it was "dangerous," and more stuff I can't remember but already took care of. I contained my irritation as best I could.
My son and I went to the breakfast shop near the ducks to eat, then we drove around the countryside and a couple of farms. Then we went out to the mountains to go to a scenic park overlooking a very big bridge, where he won a keychain at a crane game. Finally, we headed home.
My wife and son went out to his grandma's house, and she was pretty irritable. She slept until 2:00, took another hour long nap later, nagged and ordered me around all day, and it still wasn't enough to even out her mood. Marriage made her into this.
April 15th, 2012
My wife was in a bad mood and shouted at our son because he tried to touch something he shouldn't have, then stewed on the couch for thirty minutes.
My wife was in a good mood and we watched DVDs together.
My wife was in a bad mood and shouted at our son for something I don't remember, then stewed on the couch for thirty minutes.
My wife was in a good mood and cooked burritos for dinner.
My wife was in a bad mood and shouted at our son for running into her, then stewed on the couch for thirty minutes.
May 6th, 2012
11:00 - My wife tells me that she is a much happier, and more in control person. I lie and agree.
2:00 - My wife comes home, yelling at our son. He asked her to buy some pudding that he didn't want to eat, and dropped something outside on accident. She starts staring daggers at him and barking at him that he was being very bad, then storms off to go to the bathroom and seethes for a half hour.
3:00 - My wife is in a good mood and we watch DVDs for a while.
7:00 - My wife yells at our son, shouting up a storm, because our son is running a bit in the house and not letting her clean his feet. She seethes for another half hour.
All day - I remember the time before I got married.
May 13th, 2012
As a reward for completing his potty training, I took my son out with my wife on a big trip. We went to the beach to play around in the water and ride a little roller coaster, then we went to the mall to play at the arcade and buy my son a new toy car, then we went to a tea shop in the mountains and relaxed on the empty second floor.
My wife was on her period, so she spent half the day bellyaching and half the day having fun. Aside from the hour I waited for her to get ready, and assorted complaining about the weather and parking, she was doing mostly fine up until we were on our way to the tea shop, when I asked if her head felt better. She snapped, "Stop asking me. I can't answer with a headache."
At the next red light, I wanted my wife to rest (and stop ruining the trip), so I looked over at her on her bike and said, "Just go home. Turn right here and go back."
She shook her head and followed my son and I anyway, and even though I rode off without her, she still tailed us. To her credit, she calmed down at the tea shop and started to speak to me like a human being.
Later, our son threw up all over the floor. I got pretty mad at him because I've told him several times to go to the bathroom to yak, and when I saw that he was about ten seconds away from barfing, I tried to get him to the bathroom, but he pulled away and threw up on the ground anyway. My wife and I cleaned up the huge mess, and of course, this did nothing to help my wife's on and off sour mood, either.
I'm starting to wonder why she gets like this every single Sunday. Is it because she has a day off, and in her world, that's a bad thing? Or is it because I spend more time with her today than any other day, so I just notice her moods more often?
June 10th, 2012
My mother-in-law came over to bark at my wife and I for not answering our phones, snarling that it was totally unacceptable for parents of a young child, for about twenty minutes. Then she went home.
June 20th, 2012
My wife got a phone call from her mother, complaining about me and my job for about twenty minutes. Then, we had a discussion for an hour about all the ways her mother butts into our lives. She was rather calm; this drama was entirely on her mother. Just for kicks, I asked why her mother thought I wasn't being a good man. My wife, not agreeing with any of the reasons, explained:
- I don't do any work in the house.
I'll let this blog serve as a refutation on that point.
- I can't be trusted to find my own work, and my wife needs to have the first and last word on everything I do.
I've travelled to half a dozen countries in my life, lived in two of them abroad for several months at least, and I was doing fine before I got married. My mother-in-law hasn't lived outside of this city, and my wife only left her hometown, not the country, for about a year.
In four and a half years, I haven't missed a single $1000 to $1300 monthly payment to my wife. Two years after I got married, I had to pay off my mother-in-law's $7000 bank debt that she avoided paying by moving without telling the bank.
Projection. Nothing more.
- The job I have now is taking up too much of my time for commuting.
It pays more than my last job, has more hours, and I like the work better. In any case, it's not her business.
June 24th, 2012
My wife, son and I all went out to the mountain tea shop. My wife was angry again on the way there, and especially when we got there. She gave everyone the silent treatment, slammed her bag and books onto the table, tossed things at our son when he asked for them instead of handing them to him, and seethed, all for no good reason. After a while, she calmed down, and we all drank tea and watched trains go by.
July 9th, 2012
During lunch, I told my son we could all go to the arcade today. He got a little impatient and didn't finish the last three bites of his lunch. As I went out for a smoke, I heard my wife say that I should have waited until the end of lunch until I told him. I also heard her tell our son that she didn't want to go with us.
After my smoke, I came back in and told my son to eat the last of his meal, but he seemed full. Because we hadn't gone out on a big trip for a while, I told him we could take a big drive to the beach, the mountains or somewhere else. My wife spoke up and said it was too hot outside. I said I could put on sunscreen, and turn back if he felt bad (even though this has never happened before). She said her mom would yell at her.
I calmly gave up and told my son we would go to just the arcade, and he asked if we could go to two. I checked with my wife and she said it was ok, so I started to get us ready to go out. She got silent and stopped talking to me and our son. She only spoke once: when our son asked if she was angry, she said he never listens to her, so "Do whatever you want."
On the way out, my son and I said goodbye, and she didn't answer.
My son and I played at one arcade at one mall, got a drink at a convenience store, played at another arcade, then we went home.
The door to our bedroom was locked when we got home. My son got worried. Eventually, as I was smoking outside, my wife opened the door for our son, but not before telling him to tell me to make milk, so I did. When she came out a few minutes later, she gave everyone the silent treatment again. I let her stew for a few minutes, and after she mumbled that she loved our son when he asked her, I engaged with her.
"You doing ok?"
"Is there anything I can do to help?"
Silence. And not a word for the next two hours.
I watched internet movies with my son, then my wife said she had to take him to his grandma's house. I told him to get dressed, and he asked me to go, too. My wife immediately got impatient and said she would take him, then he started to cry. I got off the computer and helped him dress because my wife was still giving him the silent treatment, even as he asked if she was angry, and what was wrong.
We went outside together, and my wife walked ahead of us. When she was ready to go and our son and I caught up to her, I told her I would take him over to his grandma's house. Silence again. I dropped my son off, then came home.
Later, I called my wife to smooth things out. It was every bit the same drama we've had every time stuff like this comes up. I zoned out the entire time, and maintained my cool throughout the call.
"I'm mad at you. You wanted to take our son away from me this morning."
"He asked you if you wanted to go, and you said no."
(Silence, jump to a new point)
"It's too hot for him to be outside."
"The heat won't hurt him; I've been out in weather worse than this as a boy. Besides, the wind was blowing, and we went straight to an air conditioned mall, stopped off at an air conditioned convenience store, then went to another air conditioned mall."
(Silence, ignore my points, rephrase)
"Can't you take him out when the weather is better?"
"The weather always seems to be too hot, too cold, too rainy, too windy or something. There's never a time where you seem to be ok for me to take him out."
(Silence, ignore my points, rephrase)
"Can't you wait until 4:00 to go out?"
"I work all day, every day, except for Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. This is one of the few times I have a chance for a trip."
(Silence, jump to a new point)
On and on and on and on.
July 14th, 2012
My mother-in-law started an argument with my wife over the phone about the coming baby. The saying "s*** rolls downhill" pretty much sums up the key points:
My sister-in-law, a self-injuring, depressed, lazy woman, controls my mother-in-law through her threats and attempts of suicide. She's going to quit a cush job she has right now because it's too "difficult" for her, so she needs more money while she moves back in with her mom for the fourth or fifth time.
My mother-in-law gets mad because that will start eating into the free money my wife and I give her every month, and comes down on my wife for having another baby.
My wife gets upset at me, and leans extra hard on me to give her more than the 98% of my money I already give her.
And I take it, because if I don't, everyone comes after me like a pack of wolves, and my son grows up around all of this.
From the top of the world, to the bottom of an outhouse. Marriage has ruined me.
July 17th, 2012
I described this fight in detail, and it was a big one.
July 30th, 2012
A pair of dialogues between my wife and I:
"Our son and I just went to the bank, and I got your payment for next month. We can go to my bank together later," I told my wife.
"So?" my wife replied snottily, eyes narrowed.
"So I can put it in my account, then transfer it to yours."
"Why don't you just give me the money and I'll put it directly in my account?!" she demanded loudly, and for no good reason. "Why do you have to put it in yours first?"
"...Good idea," I answered apathetically.
Of course, the reason I didn't want to give her the money directly is because the last time I did that, she dropped $800 on the ground outside of our apartment building, and didn't notice it was gone until a half hour later. Luckily she picked it up where she dropped it later. She made me promise not to remind her of that time, joking or not. She's more than happy to remind me of my faults, of course, even in many cases where she only thinks I'm in the wrong.
The three of us went to another bank to deposit my wife's payment, then we played at the arcade. Before we even went in, my wife separated from our son and I to go try on some shoes. She hadn't had the money for more than ten minutes, and already she was planning on spending it. You can take a wild guess as to whether I got any word of thanks for the payment.
August 2nd, 2012
After watching a show about the topic, I made a joke to my wife that I was married to hide the fact that I was gay. She teased me to confirm soon, so she could have time to lose weight while she found a new boyfriend. I felt uncomfortable, like she had just confirmed my suspicions that the only reason she's fat is because she has no incentive to get thin (her husband gives her what she wants regardless, but a boyfriend needs her to lose weight before he'll stick around).
I changed my thoughts and assured myself it was just a joke, and nothing more. I went outside to smoke, and my wife followed me. She said her sister was cutting herself and trying to commit suicide again, but she and her mother didn't care anymore because she never stops, and the hospitals never hold her. Then she told me about her heart beating too fast and her back hurting, and that her doctor couldn't tell what her medical problem was.
I took one look at her square-shaped face, the loose skin flapping under her arms, her spare tire and her thighs that are bigger around than basketballs, and knew immediately why. But of course, I didn't say anything...
...until she started talking about being depressed, being stressed, thinking about death, don't want to live anymore, going to stop my medicine and if I die who cares blah blah blah March 19th all over again. After a bit, she went inside and sat in the Angry Chair. I repeated the same advice I've already given her over and over and over again:
"Why are you sad?"
"Too much has happened in one month. I always think about how bad a person I am."
"But that's not based on anything. If there's a reason, fix the problem. If there isn't, stop thinking bad thoughts. You feel terrible about yourself and your life, but emotions are caused completely by thoughts. So what are you thinking?"
"My grandma, my sister, our baby, too much."
"You can't be sad about your grandma. You went to her funeral, and you're religious, so you know she's still around. You were given a gift to know she's not gone forever. Do you think she wants you to sit around feeling sorry for yourself?"
"And you already told me you don't care about your sister."
"I don't. I'm still sad about our baby."
"This can't be about Peanut either. We had two choices: you and the baby die, or the baby dies. We couldn't do anything else."
"I know already!"
"Well, I'll tell you what I'm doing. I changed Peanut's college fund bank account into a charity account. Every month, I'm going to put a little over $100 in there, and by the time our son goes to college, I can raise about $20,000. That's enough to save at least one child's life, but more likely, several hundred. If you give me just $20 or $30 a month, you can join me in that. We can make it back to Peanut."
"Whatever, it's not our problem. Those parents in those countries have too many kids, and that's why they're poor. I shouldn't have to help them."
"It's not the kids' fault."
"And your problem about your heart, just keep taking your medicine."
"I can only take it three times a day, and it only lasts for three or four hours!"
"So take it every five hours."
"I don't want to be on this stuff for the rest of my life! It won't fix the problem, I know it won't!"
"What would you rather be? A loser because you tried for twenty years and failed every time? Or a loser because you gave up in the first place?"
"You probably have health problems because of your weight. So why don't you start mixing some fruit and vegetable drinks and drink them four or five times a day, and eat nothing else? You can take my multivitamin supplements; there's hundreds left."
"Come on, I've given you the perfect advice you need to get better. Control your thoughts to control your emotions, help me give to charity for Peanut, and lose weight with the method that worked for me. All you need to do is follow what I said, and you'll be better in about two or three months."
"Look, I heard this about ten years ago, and even though it pissed me off then, I need to tell you too, because it helped me a lot: nobody's coming to save you. I can't put my hands in your head and force to you think positively. I can't force feed you the right food. It's up to you to save yourself. But I'm giving you the exact instructions you need to do it."
"...Ok, I'll do everything you said."
She finally relented, and repeated all of my instructions back to me to confirm them. After she took a nap, she seemed to be much happier, and we talked for a while about more fun things. The man I was four years ago would have felt hopeful. "Finally, she's going to turn her life around and my life will go from the feeling of dog crap to just the smell of it!"
Today, I'm a bit more jaded. Five months ago, I gave her the same advice, and she ignored me then, too. I'm sure this will all repeat itself in another four to five months.
August 12th, 2012
My wife snapped at our son several times for asking her the same question a few times. He started crying and hid in the fort I made for him, so I gently pulled him out and hugged him to comfort him. Like I said, she's like this every Sunday.
August 15th, 2012
I woke up to my mother-in-law coming to my house sooner than expected, and she caught my wife smoking. Do I even need to say that I told my wife twice this year that she shouldn't smoke after 2:00 because her mother would catch her and throw a fit? She ignored my advice the first time, saying it would never happen, and the second time she told me, "That's fine."
So I groggily got up and listened as my mother-in-law went through with the same emotionally manipulative shouting and crocodile tears that define her relationships with everyone around her. My wife yelled back at her, speaking with difficult local words with her mom, perhaps so I couldn't understand them.
But I understood it all: you're sick and how could you be so irresponsible to smoke, stop scaring my son, he's going to be a cigarette addict because of you, I'll never forgive you for lying, blah blah blah.
Sometimes my sister-in-law stirs up trouble, then the diarrhea squirts down from her and onto her mom, then to my wife, then finally to me, where I sit silently and scrub it off. Sometimes the crap comes from my mother-in-law. Sometimes it comes directly from my wife.
But no matter the source, I'm the final step, the final person, who gets dumped on. And being the only adult in this family, I don't snowball the drek to my son and yell at him for no reason; I just take it like a dog. I wonder how long it will take for my wife to seethe about this before she starts another pointless fight with me. 10 days is the average length of time between drama, so I'm guessing I'll get yelled at about something by the end of next week.
August 24th, 2012
My wife cornered me outside and starting yelling and swearing about her sister self-injuring again, then continued the one-sided, shouting conversation inside.
Her sister refuses to take responsibility for her life, but doesn't really try to kill herself either: fencesitter.
Her mother refuses to call the doctor to get her some help because she wants to avoid a scandal, but won't stop telling me or my wife about the problem while telling us not to get involved: fencesitter.
My wife doesn't do anything with her family to solve the problem, and instead puts the problem on my doorstep, then ignores what I have to say about the issue: fencesitter.
I give ignored advice, and sit there, powerless to change my condition: married.
Nine days later, just one day short of the average amount of time between my wife's or mother-in-law's drama, and as I predicted on August 15th when the last bit of drama happened, here we are again.
August 29th, 2012
I went out to have my double smoke before work, daydreaming about my old life. I was outside for seven or so minutes, and when I left my family, my wife was on the couch and napping quietly, my son was happily playing with his cars, and I was gearing up for a day at work.
Halfway through the second cigarette, I heard the screeching of a child. I turned my head to the sides, trying to see if it came from inside or out of the house, when a second screech confirmed that my son was extremely upset about something. I lay the cigarette down and went inside to see what was going on, and I saw my wife sitting in the Angry Chair, red-faced, her mother standing next to her with her hands on her hips, and my son pounding the couch in frustration and screaming.
He continued on for a few seconds until he noticed that I was standing in the doorway to the little balcony outside and looking at him, then he immediately choked back his cries and shouts, and fell silent. He locked his eyes onto me, worried about what I was going to do.
Before I came in, my son was mad that we had to take his little fort down so my mother-in-law had a place to sit, and he started screaming at his mom, who slapped his hand or butt in punishment. He retaliated and hit her arm, then they both flipped out. I sent him to his room for a few minutes, finished my smoke, then came back in to lecture him.
I feel like the only competent authority figure in this house, as evidenced by my son's behavior when I walked into the room and he saw me. He loves me because I take him out all the time and play with him every day, and he doesn't respect his mom because she spends almost the entirety of her free time using the computer or napping. My mother-in-law can't walk into anybody's house without bringing a whirlwind of drama and rage with her, and my wife can't prevent or handle a tantrum, even as I've explained how to raise kids right at least three times to her. She just doesn't listen.
This is all a microcosm of how my life changed after I got married: I went from taking care of everything about myself and my life and living happily, to having every problem of lazy, irresponsible, selfish ingrates being dumped on me to solve. Things were fine before I got married, as they were fine before I went out for a smoke, then they went to pot right after.
I can't wait for all of this to be over.
September 28th, 2012
My mother-in-law yelled at my son for pretending to eat something, and he started crying. I took him away from her and went downstairs to buy him some snacks, and told him he was a good boy. Then we went home.
October 7th, 2012
I heard pounding on the front door, and opened it to find my mother-in-law, barking mad. She was angry because I didn't pick up her phone calls while my wife was napping.
I didn't pick up the phone because I'm completely sick of playing messenger boy every time my wife is sleeping. I knew it was probably her mother, and she was probably going to ask my wife to do something, and my wife would just tell me to do it. It's the same "s*** rolls downhill" situation that defines my, and I would guess most, marriages every day.
As my mother-in-law sputtered and seethed that she was angry (no doubt because she had to walk two whole blocks to come over, when she could have just ordered someone else to do it), she drew back a bit to pick something up, and I closed the door on her.
She came in again, muttering and seething, and I ignored her. She left shortly after.
November 24th, 2012
My wife argued with my mother-in-law on the phone for about twenty minutes, then my mother-in-law came over to yell at everyone about my sister-in-law trying to kill herself again. I took my son into the bedroom to play with him while the other two children had their screaming fight.
November 25th, 2012
I discussed this huge fight in another post.
January 25th, 2013
My mother-in-law called and asked me to tell my wife to call her later. I said ok, but fell asleep before I could do it. I woke up later to my mother-in-law standing over me.
"Hey! Do you even understand the local language? I asked..."
"I fell asleep."
"...you to tell your wife to call me, and you didn't..."
"I fell asleep."
"...even do it. It was something really important, but..."
"I fell asleep."
"...you didn't even tell her. How many times..."
With increasing volume, I responded. "I fell asleep. I fell asleep. I fell asleep. I FELL ASLEEP!" I finally shouted.
She stared down at me with the kind of look you would give to a pile of dog crap that you had just stepped in. I stared back, eyes alight with rage, until she turned away. My son started laughing his little butt off, repeating what I said to her over and over. My mother-in-law got mad at him while I was smoking outside and yelled at him, and I burst back in, demanding to know what was going on. My wife stopped me and said she would handle it.
I comforted my son, then went out to go to work. Before I left, I caught a glimpse of my wife, panties just above her knees and shirt above her belly as she changed clothes. "Woman of Willendorf" briefly flashed into my mind, and I had to turn away before I unconsciously scowled in disgust.
My wife called me at work and acted supportive for a few seconds as she tried to figure out what happened. I told her, and she said I should just ignore her mother. I told her I was wrong to give her that advice, and that ignoring her just gave her mother license to do it more (ironically, this is something I learned from the way my wife acted these past four years). My wife tried to make it sound like I should have done something different, but I directly told her to threaten her mom with cutting her support payments if she acted up again, and that I wasn't going to bow to that woman's abuse anymore.
My mother-in-law doesn't support our family in any way outside of babysitting, and if we didn't have to support her, my wife wouldn't need to work and spend nearly her entire paycheck on that loudmouthed ingrate. I'll never again be the chump or punching bag for anybody in this family. Ever.
And it needn't be said, but I'll make this perfectly clear once more: marriage ruined my life.
With all these journal entries done, we return to the subject of marriage, the pressure cooker prison filled with sacrifice, work, monotony, routine and just general dissatisfaction, punctuated by brief moments of soul crushing fights and the occasional happy moment. How wonderful everything could have been if I had never gotten my wife pregnant. The choices I would have had, the love I could have experienced, the world I could have explored.
But that's all gone now. I've even lost sense of who I am, because in order to continue going down this sham road for the sake of my wife and son, I can't even be myself. My true personality, the one I locked away when my wife got pregnant, hasn't been awake since I got the news. I swear though, when my son is off to college, I will never again tunnel vision or pretend to be someone I'm not. I will only need to be me, not the man everyone wants me to be.
I'll end this post with the dialogues that would have ended any of these fights with any girlfriend, had marriage and a child not prevented me from them in the first place:
Girlfriend: Trivial problem! Explosive reaction! Damning accusations!
Me: Stop yelling at me. I'm sorry I did that and it won't happen again, but this is a bit much.
Girlfriend: I'm sorry, too. Friends?
Me: More than that, cutie!
Girlfriend: Trivial problem! Explosive reaction! Damning accusations!
Me: Stop yelling at me. I'm sorry I did that and it won't happen again, but this is a bit much.
Girlfriend: Shrieking rage! Unnecessary insults! Impotent threats!
Me: That's enough. Get out of my house.
(Later, on the phone)
Me: Hey, girl who's been pining for my affections for the past three months! What are you doing tonight?