Monday, October 31, 2016

Dazed and Confused Part I

There is a side-story to go along with the owl pictures in my previous post.  It's long and kind of complicated...probably a snoozer for anyone but me, but I'm going to record it here anyway.  It's going to take a few posts to get it all out, so skip over these if you have no taste for my personal struggles.  

Who am I talking to, anyway?   ::sigh::

Anyone who reads this blog knows of my ongoing relationship issues with the husband.  The last decade of our union has been a rocky one, indeed.  And though we marked our 40th wedding anniversary earlier this month, I was ambivalent about the commemoration of it.  It seemed like a laudable milestone, and yet, with the way things have been going, I wasn't entirely sure what to celebrate.  As it turned out, the subdued festivities we had planned were mostly rained out or called due to illness.  Almost as if the Universe was telling me, "When you figure out what you have, there will be a time to celebrate it."

One of the things I have been having a really hard time with has been the husband's recent tendency toward revealing that so many of the things we have done together over the years, things I thought we both enjoyed, he just...doesn't.  Never did, evidently.    

Since we have lived in Oregon--thirty-two years of the forty we've been married--the beach has been a place of special respite for us.  We have gone to the ocean time after time to relax, to rejuvenate, to recharge our batteries.  Or, as it turns out, that is what I have done.  I forget exactly how the conversation came about, but one way or another I was waxing rhapsodic about just walking on the beach and connecting to the power of wind and sky and surf, and he shrugged his shoulders and said something like, "It's no more exciting than Lake Michigan.  Once you've seen one big body of water where you can't see land on the other side, you've pretty much seen them all."  I couldn't have been more dumbfounded if he had stripped naked and gone cavorting off into the freezing waves. 

What did he mean, he didn't love the ocean?  How could he possibly have just said that once you've seen it, you've seen it?  Have I been dragging him to the beach all these years and he's just been faking enjoying it?  Who would do that?  Why would you do that?  His off-hand confession hit me like an attack of emotional vertigo.  Everything went sideways and I couldn't get my balance.  I had no idea who he was, who I was, or what the fuck we had been doing for the past four decades.  I've been working hard to resurrect what was left of my marriage after the cafe debacle, but our present relationship seems to have stalled at collegial companionship--better than being at each other's throats all the time, but certainly not all I'd hoped for.  Suddenly, it's obvious that there's no possibility of getting back what we used to have, because I have no idea what that was; or, indeed, if it ever was.

What do you do with that information, after so many years together?  It's not worth ending the marriage over, but it changes everything.  Especially now, looking at fast approaching retirement:  Soon enough, we'll be struggling to manage more day in, day out physical proximity, for better or worse, than we have enjoyed as a couple for the entire previous span of our marriage.  What are we going to do?

How do I not stop and stare at this unexpected obstacle in the road, peer into the murkiness ahead, throw up my hands and say "What am I supposed to do now?" How do I discard everything I thought I knew about this person I've shared a home with for forty years, and start over with a clean slate and an open heart?  How do I not hate myself for being so blind and selfish that I never had a clue he was not enjoying the same things I did?

I confess, I had no idea what to do.  I still don't.  But while I was spinning my wheels in response to that first revelation, its sister slid up out of the depths. 

1 comment:

  1. Lisa, is he depressed? It's quite possible that he loved every minute of those experiences as much as you did, but if he's currently depressed, it's probably hard for him to think of anything he enjoys.