Saturday, November 24, 2007

Unhappy

She is unhappy.

I think I understand.

When she came back I made demands on what she must do if she were to stay.

She had left, I thought for good. After a night of comforting my children morning found me checking on each of them.

Isaac was upset. He wanted to talk to her.

He had asked to talk to her eleven years ago when she had run off the first time. His crying for her had brought her back. Afterwards, her resentment showed in her interactions with him for a long time.

I didn’t want that to happen again, but he was desperate to talk to her. I sent her a text message. If she called it was because she felt like talking, not because I had put him on the phone. She called. The boys answered, came and told me she was coming over in a few hours.

She came. The boys cried, her heart melted, she said she would stay. I cautioned the boys we had things to work out first.

I had demands on what she must do if she were to stay.

I told her that there could be no more deceit, no more loopholes, no more half measures.

I told her she must break off all contact with the other man.

I told her she must remove the temptations which invite her to stray. She agreed to give up her disposable cell phone and seek another job.

I told her she must work on our marriage, not as a stop gap to buy time but with the goal of building a marriage that would last another 26 years. She agreed.

Yesterday she kept busy. She cooked a Thanksgiving Day meal, just for the four of us (well, Rocky got a little too).

Today she wasn’t so busy. She fell into a depression. Over the course of the day I watched it turn into resentment.

She is unhappy. She feels guilt. She feels the desire to eat more of forbidden fruit. She feels she is a slut. She feels unbeautiful.

“How ya doing?” I asked.

“All right for someone is spending her life serving other people who can’t help themselves.”

That sounds bad, but it isn’t really. She has a huge heart, an enormous, self-sacrificing sense of responsibility to take care of others. That is why she is here.

The years of taking care of our special needs children, of nursing her mother’s mental health to the point where she can now live in her own apartment, even to seeing to my needs, has often been at the expense of her own desires.

She has recently had a taste of freedom, stealing moments of pleasure and having someone focus entirely on her. I have demanded she walk away from that open door in order for her to satisfy her need to complete the obligations she took on in adopting our children.

Some of the things I have written here are harsh. I am pointing out flaws in my wife that are very unflattering. So, to be fair, I need to point out that I have not been overly kind in this situation. I am being demanding, drawing firm lines, boundaries. Even though those demarcations are for the purpose of restoring my marriage, it is important to recall a few things. I wanted our marriage to survive, and I am getting what I want (or at least it appears so). I am getting concessions from another person through her sense of obligation and responsibility. In a sense I am taking advantage of good and noble traits in her to gain what I could not from her freely. In other words, I am taking another person’s freedom to get something I want. Perhaps I am not as kind as I would like to believe.

While I have been typing this post she has been bustling about, fixing a supper for the boys and I. She is cheerful now. Is it real? Does she feel a little happiness in serving us a meal? Is she making the best of it? Has she simply moved out of her love lorn funk?

She and I just stepped outside, played with the dog in the yard under a clear but cold Oregon night sky ruled by a full moon. Silly dog loves to play with that binky of his that squeaks as he bites it.

She does seem sincerely more cheerful. As I type this post she is responding to an Email from a church friend, a no nonsense woman who tries to be loving while telling it like it is (thank you CN).

Humans are fickle creatures. Perhaps women even more so. Hmmmm... probably get some flak for that statement. I suppose from my perspective women are ruled by emotions more than men, so they seem to be more mercurial.

I have tried to be a steady person, holding true to what I believe, even in trying times.

But I know men can be pretty fickle too. My father is a good example. I believe he has given up on marriage. Five of them was enough. Now he keeps various girlfriends in various parts of the world and doesn’t worry too much about steadiness.

And I know of other men who are as unsteady as the heart of my wife.

I suppose I was more on target with the first statement: “Humans are fickle creatures.”

And the Lord God, creator of all things, of galactic super clusters gonging 42 octaves below middle C every few thousand years and of the lady bugs I release in my garden each year, loves us despite the fickleness of human hearts. The Lord God, maker of ancient mountains and fleeting rainbows, loves us though we are cast our love to every changing breeze.

I have been frustrated over the infidelities of a single human heart. How much greater must be the patience of such a being as The Creator who watches His creations made in His likeness chase after phantom pleasures?

I suppose I am glad with what he has given me and am willing to continue in obedience to the tasks He set me to. I can be happy in that.

7 comments:

MMM said...

You get no flak from anything you say here.

You are existing in a place where Truth must be honed from the painful depths. I believe that it may change its face, and as a woman, I can tell you I believe that the reason women appear emotional and fickle is because although deep truths do not change, our experience of them, our attempts to connect all the feeling dots at once, knowing that we want them all to match and finding them all hopelessly convoluted, can be frustrating.

I know for myself I have not yet completely learned the focus I probably need to keep myself sane while my heartstrings are yanked in a huge vicious circle, skein, tied haphazardly in some places, with knots and tangles in others and stretched almost to breaking.

It is hard, very hard, for me, to pick up the broken machine and focus only on the parts that still work. The broken bothers me. Why did it happen in the first place, I wonder, as I examine each piece and am convinced it won't go back together in the same shape it was. It has to be different. That can be painful, thinking it was right and okay and then finding out in its wreckage that it wasn't quite so.

I'm happy somehow that something still remains of that foundation you two built. There's got to be a cornerstone. Maybe it was just time to look down there where it was tangled and dark and readjust the edges of the rock.

Jesus said once that the winds and storm still came when the house was built upon the rock. It didn't move, but that didn't mean it didn't get wet, didn't leak, didn't possibly fill up with water and dirt and debris. It just didn't fall.

Maybe that can be enough for now.

In the DOTR, I stand and watch. And pray.

ame said...

"I, your God, am a jealous God. You will have no other gods before Me." - God.

You know, no motive is completely objective, nor should it be. You are appealing to her femininity to encourage her to make healthy choices ... isn't that what all male/female relationship books and psychologists tell us to do? Why? Because it works. God did the same ... He always related/relates to us where we are, within who we are, to reach our hearts.

There is a war out there for the hearts of man/woman; the battle is fierce. You have a front row seat to its raging in your own home.

Don't give up for a moment; not one.

Amrita said...

Dear Will, If Brenda really wants to "come back" with her heart, soul, mind & body it will take time.She seems very bitter. But at least she is honest about her feelings. She doesn 't pretend.You know what she is thinking.

I don 't think you are taking advantage of her nobler side or making undue demands on her. Marriage is serious business, you know that more than i do, as I am single.

My heart breaks for the boys.

Everybody has to very very patient.
Oh Will this is so hard. I feel such heaviness in my heart for all of you.I 've been thru some hard times myself.May the Holy Spirit comfort you. i need comforting too.

Anonymous said...

Will,
Brenda said she loved to play games with you and the boys - spend more time playing around. You guys need a little break...
Turn the computer off tonight, watch a silly movie with the kids, ignore us for one night (just one : )

Judas Hate said...

"O God, thy sea is so great, and my boat is so small."

-Unknown

Pray to God, row for shore.

-Russian Proverb


Arms outstretched, palms up, head back.
I embrace the raindrops on my face.
Life is not all sun and warmth and would be drab if it were.
There will be clouds, cold and precipitation.
Darkness will fall before the sun.
This is not a bad thing, just different from what we may want.
Sometimes, what we want is not what’s best.
Sometimes, what we need is not what we want.

-Justin Loxley

Pia said...

still praying for you and brenda...

Vicki said...

Came by to catch up and let you know that I've not forgotten about you and Brenda. Still praying.