I Question My Motives

There is a part of me that wonders about my own motivations; I have learned to question everyone else’s, but why are mine closed off to my own scrutiny? Why am I motivated NOT to commit to my relationship right now? What is causing me to give up, not talking, not being romantic, not giving any effort towards fixing things with Red Riding Hood?

I hate our relationship and the damage it has caused to us, and to our friends. I feel like I have failed in many areas of life, putting my marriage first. Some of my dearest friends haven’t heard from me in a while because my energy and time was being spent on chasing my wife. Now, I would say that every relationship should involve lots of chasing each other, but right now I can only see 100 better ways to spend my time.

For years my wife has encouraged me and been there for me like a best friend. She has gone above and beyond for me, damaging her own relationships and life for the sale of our marriage. Yet after years of giving, it appears that I have given more than enough. She knows who I am, who I want to be, and how I treat her. As a result, I feel no need to bend over backwards one more time.

If I were to devote every waking moment to fighting hard for Red, this would do two things: prove that I am willing to forsake everything else in my life to earn a life with her, and show her that I am capable of romance and charm. Haven’t I already proved what I would give up for our marriage? Doesn’t she already know that I can do tricks (eg: surprise dinners, fun getaways, honey-do lists, subtle gifts, etc)?

If she wants to leave, nothing I do right now can change her mind. If she wants to stay, then she should be prepared for a long climb towards a better relationship built on better ourselves. Red was the one to get emotionally involved with another guy. Red came forward and asked for a divorce. Red has heard my commitment, and has answered with “I’m 60/40 leaning towards leaving you.” So what do I do? My motivations for existing in this state of limbo aren’t wrong, and my heart only wants to wait on Red to find the strength to decide. Is she going to end this, or is she going to pick up the pieces and find love for me again?

As a reader, you might be thinking “This guy doesn’t want to see his marriage saved!” I do, I desperately do. Without Red Riding Hood firing on all cylinders, what’s the point? She has attacked, I have parried and riposted, and now it is her turn to move.

Status Update on My Marriage

Red Riding Hood is away tonight, driving out of town to get some good food that we don’t have around here. A couple of girl friends went with her, which is really good. I’m glad she’s taking time to do her own thing. But we still don’t have the ever-pressing answer: Does she want to stay married, or does she want to leave? This may be crossing some private line, which is funny because I’ve hidden nearly nothing from this little blog so far. The following is what we have been saying to each other, word for word. Hello openness.

>>>>I’ve been trying to make it work.

I appreciate you trying to make it work. I just don’t think it is what you really want. If you were set on staying you would be doing everything in your power to make it happen. Until I see something like that I will continue to operate under the assumption that you are more prepared to leave than you are to stay.

I don’t know what to do.

Go prove to me that you’re worth fighting for, that I’m not going to loose you in a few months because you didn’t deal with your shit. Then I will be a total sellout for you, and be prepared for me to slowly but surely work on my shit. Or come get your things and we will make the arrangements for divorce. It’s just a decision. I think you’ve already made it, which is why I’m distant.

How can I prove it to you?

Be faithful to me. Stop shrugging the whole “I have feelings for another guy” thing off. Stop blaming me for all your unhappiness and fix what you need to for a happy life. Meet me where I’m at and stop waiting for me to be the one to get on your level. Bend over backwards for me like you know I have for you. Stop viewing sex as this taboo thing and use it as a type of communication. Listen to me when I tell you things you don’t want to hear since I would be worthless as a friend if I told you what you want to hear. Find a woman who can mentor you, counsel you, and provide some outside-reason into your life. Encourage me in a real way, no flattery and BS. Spend time with me in MY element, like I’ve tried to be in yours. Stop feeding off of everyone’s opinion of you and learn to do things that make you happy even if they’re stupid or different than other people. Get past your daddy issues enough to realize that you project them onto me. I am not the cunt hole that your dad is, and I deserve at least 7 shit loads of respect for being who I am. You wanna make this work? You wanna see if I’ll come through? Show me you’re willing to change. Be in the moment. If you and I are enjoying something, then who the fuck cares that we’re going through shit? Enjoy me, respect me, treat me like you treat your most loved possession, and for the love of all that is holy make up your mind. Should you stay or should you go? (look up the clash song) I can’t help you there. But realize that I am not the source of your problems (only some). If you leave I will be sad, lonely, and miserable until it wears off. If you leave I will do everything I can to protect you from your own sadness, loneliness, and misery. I’ll take the blame, I’ll defend your reputation. I would owe you that. I’ll be here when you decide.<<<<

That’s where we left it. She is too busy right now to talk about this, but I know the whole thing is crashing around in her head, just like mine.

My wife is not some Boogieman that wrecks my life at every turn. She is actually a very intuitive woman, full of wisdom beyond her years. She always lights up a room, always draws a crowd, and never seems to be capable of any evil. Red cares about people in a way that I’ve never seen. Her love for anyone and her inherent trust brings people together. Her outlook on life may be “surface level,” but after the experts of neuroscience and philosophy form their opinions we come full circle to the kind of woman Red Riding Hood is. I have no doubt that she could become anything, do anything, and create anything. She has the drive, buried far below her surface, to do magnificent things in this world. She has always been the handful of colored balloons, ready to drift off into the atmosphere. I have always been the “level headed, forward thinker” who ties those balloons to his wrist in hopes that one day he can fly with them.

A Simple Take on Marriage

I suppose that if you’ve read anything I’ve written here, you’ll assume I have nothing in me but a negative tilt. My expressions here are the freest outpourings from my heart, truth be told. Yes, my life right now has a lot of turns in the road. I’m excited, a little bit worried, and sometimes upset by those turns. Never think that I am sat in some dark room, waiting for the tears to stop. Every day I do something that makes me smile, and that’s all I have to run on right now. It won’t always be this way.

I’ve been severely depressed at about a six month cycle. Maybe once or twice a year I get to the point of self deprivation and that tell-tale sludge of life. Getting up in the morning, getting dressed, going outside, or doing almost anything else becomes just as hard as climbing a mountain on roller skates. Depression is no joke, and I can only imagine the struggle of those who deal with it on a more regular basis. We owe it to ourselves to make the best of every moment. All there is is right now. I have to remind myself that life isn’t going to be the same tomorrow, and that I shouldn’t be expecting anything but the best.

All of that said, I would like to lend a bit of credence to the idea of marriage, or long term relationships in general. Marriage, as I see it, is the easiest way to describe a whole-hearted commitment to one person. When I said my vows I was not going through the motions. That moment, in front of 200 people, was like being branded. I can’t remove it and I hope I never will.

Why do people get married? As a Christian at the time of my marriage, it was understood that the example of marriage was set by God and his bride, the church. Honestly, within the context of Christianity, I wondered why more people don’t get married. It is clear why they fall short and end those relationships, but Christians honor marriage deeply. One of the many takeaways from  biblical marriage is to love someone through the pain and the damages. Sacrificing for your spouse is one of the most honorable things I think we see in marriage. Outside the church, why do people have a ceremony and commit themselves to each other in such a public way?

In our culture it is normal. This suggests that one who doesn’t marry is for some reason suffering from a deficit. “Is she like a total bitch at home? Does he have some weird quirk like sleeping with the lights on or is he abusive?” If you see a 40 year old dude who hasn’t been married, our culture thinks of him as some kind of misfit. After all, we have a biological need to reproduce, right? This stigma is frankly annoying.

For me, in the most reduced terms, a marriage is a legal agreement and an emotional step towards a long-term projection of teamwork. Husband and wife working together towards a common goal. I like analogies, and one that I’ve found helpful (if a little simplistic) is that of a vehicle. If you went to sign the title on a vehicle you would wait until you’re prepared to take care of it. You would learn about your future car, take it out on a couple dates, run it past your friends, and seriously consider the commitment you are about to make. Once you have legally joined yourself to this car, you expect for it to serve your purposes. Now, of course a relationship should be about giving to your partner in order to make them better. With a car you just use it for your own betterment.

So why would anyone get married? Beyond fiscal reasons and other logistical attributes I consider marriage to be a way of carrying you across the troubled times. I am much, MUCH, less likely to “peace out” of a marriage because I made a very formal agreement. I have the accountability of a church full of family and friends. They would ask “Why did you divorce?” I wouldn’t get away with saying that we were just in different places in life. Once you are married, your reasons for leaving have to be damn good to pass muster. If Red Riding Hood and I were dating, we would have parted ways long ago.

This is such a shallow dive, but it puts me in the mind to ask: Why am I still married? I sense a Pros and Cons list in the air.

If I imagine a life apart from my wife I see a lot of really cool stuff. If I similarly imagine us together all I see is an insane amount of time spent on making our developing lives jive. She likes A, I like B. I knew we would change over time, but I never expected to have a wife that so thoroughly despises me and the life I live. If we met for the first time today, we wouldn’t be friends, much less lovers. We have more issues than a Nat Geo, as they say. So, should I stick around to see if we can’t personally grow to work together…or should I move on, round the corner, and embrace growth independently from Red? What do you think?