Monday, December 11, 2006

"I think it's about Forgiveness"

I've been listening to the Don Henley / Eagles song "Heart of the Matter (Forgiveness)" on repeat all night. Why? Because, as much as I want to sit down tonight and write a fun or sexy post with semi-naked pictures no less, I can't let go of the last post that I wrote. The pissed-off rant. That one.

I was going to let it go. I was. Mrs. SCM ticked me off, so what. I'm sure I do the same to her. Let's not make it a battle of the sexes. Let it go.

Until this morning when, as I was sitting in a customer's lobby waiting for a sales call, and I was privy to the girl talk from one cubicle to the surrounding ones:

"Let me tell you what MY STUPID HUSBAND did this weekend." Yada, yada, yada. An insipid story about how said husband committed some major violation of the holiday shopping secret code, followed by general agreement from the tittering ladies that said male was indeed a "dork" and a "nerd".

Really, ladies. You know we can hear you, right?

Okay, now I'm pissed off again. And I want to speak up for us guys.

One thing I've learned in the year that I've been writing this particular semicelibate blog is that there are a lot of strained marriages out there. I've tapped into a whole vein of toxic semi-celibateness. In fact, a distressing number of the lady bloggers linked on my sidebar are currently calling it quits and are moving out on their own. Their most common complaint about hubby, aside from being a jerk and an asshole, is that he is "absent" and doesn't pay any attention to them anymore.

I can't judge anyone else's decisions, nor would I want to. What do I know? I can only evaluate my situation, as the Semi-Celibate Man, and point out that there is a guy's side of the story. It should be obvious that I'm in that strained marriage, and that Mrs. SCM could write the same type of blog complaining that I'm "absent".

It's true. I'm absent. By choice. The plain fact is that I avoid my wife.

Why? Because she's not young enough or pretty enough or thin enough? Of course not. She's a beautiful lady and she's the only one I want to be with. But I avoid her - and I do it because she's become a complete psychic drain on me. For the reasons that I put in my last post, and then some. More examples:

- she does the "people pleaser" thing that Evanescent spelled out in her excellent post on her blog. Except, I call it a martyr complex. She takes on way too much for everyone, that no one asked her to. Then she feels bad because she feels like she didn't accomplish it all. Then she takes it out on me.

Here's an example. I've asked her many times now not to do my laundry. She has enough on her plate and I am fully capable of doing my own. So, what happens? I came downstairs the other day to find her stressed out and overwhelmed and crying, and what was she doing? My laundry. Cut that shit out!

- she worries excessively. Morbidly. And I get a running litany of every calamity that's about to befall us. Never mind that we've survived 25 years so far without succumbing to disaster. Never mind that. They're all out there waiting to get us and I have to hear about them all. Every day, in great detail. I can't even begin to comprehend worrying about as many things as she does. I would never survive it.

- she details me to death. As soon as we get in a car to go somewhere, the first thing I'm going to get is a list of bills we haven't paid yet (message sent: you're a bad provider) or of the next 25 doctor's appointments to treat all of the impending medical disasters, or of all the jobs that are not done around the house - usually all of those things in a row.

Is she right to worry about all of those things and detail me to death? No, she's not. I handle things, it's what husbands do. The bills get paid. The house gets fixed. The calamities are held at bay.

I know I'm piling on here, but the sum total is: it's too much.

It's a psychic drain on me more than I can handle. She's killing me with negativity, so I avoid her. Which generates more negativity and more avoidance. It's truly a viscious cycle.

So, I'm spending my life right now avoiding my wife. Through work, in hotels on the road. Down in the basement when I'm home. Tagging, to watch the kids while she goes out. Turning on the radio as soon as we get in the car. Avoiding the psychic drain. Present, but absent.

Which brings me back to the song, which includes the lyrics:

Ive been tryin to get down
To the heart of the matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think its about forgiveness

So, what I'm thinking tonight is that the song has it right. For a marriage to thrive, or even survive there has to be daily forgiveness.

She has her foibles - I have as many or more of mine.

I want to forgive her imperfections and stop avoiding her. I want to ask her to forgive mine.

But, that would require talking. Which doesn't happen very much anymore.

She's better at forgiveness than I am. At starting each day new, trying. She is.

And, it's either forgiveness, or giving up, or staying absent and semicelibate.

I'll have to think about this more tomorrow.

Update (Tuesday, lunchtime): Man, I've gotta quit writing these posts at night when I'm bummed out and aggravated. I was venting a little again, and probably unduly harsh on Mrs. SCM. My only point was this ladies: you push us away, and then complain that we're absent. That's it, my only point. Good comments so far, by the way. SCM
posted by Semi-Celibate Man @ 11:58 PM | 0 comments


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