So if you’re new to this blog, my husband and I are trying to fill up our metaphoric gas tank by discussing online what is working and what isn’t in our relationship. My husband–who as of yet remains nameless–stated in his first post that we got married 10 years ago here. Well we’ve actually been married 11 years–please tell me this was a typo Dearest Husband! Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised since he couldn’t accurately remember our son’s age the other day. So I’ve decided not to take this personally. But I do have a beef and if you haven’t guessed from the tittle, it’s all about growing older. DH has some sort of stigma against growing older. Maybe it’s all about him and the fact that his body is starting to creak. It started several years ago with a comment about brand new crows feet I hadn’t even noticed I was getting. Now I get that I’m not getting any younger and I should stay active now while my body is still limber and pain free. But there seems to be a constant commentary about how awful it is to grow older. So I thought I would for the record make a list of reasons to actually look forward to aging.
- If youth is a state of mind then the older you get and the longer you work on your shit the more youthful you become
- It’s beautiful to watch bodies change and grow
- Friendships and relationship deepen
- So many amazing milestones for us to share with the kids
- There might be a sports car in your future
- We’ll have more time to stand up for what we believe in and do something important for society
- Eventually the dog will die and we can go on more vacations
- All the tiny reasons to say thank you will turn into a giant wellspring of gratitude
Perhaps it is me. That may be my mantra, as I examine this marriage and my own life. I at least can always be sure that I am involved in my emotions, actions and decisions yet sometimes it is so obvious that someone “else” is too blame. This is how I feel about the “over-apology”.
An over-apology is when someone, perhaps my wife, apologies every time she thinks there might be a disagreement. It compounds when she guesses that I might be about to disagree and heads off the possible disagreeing statement with a preemptive apology. Hence, assuming I am going to disagree, perhaps she see it as criticism, I hear, “oh sorry I know I shouldn’t”. Then how is it possible for me to take a stand? Instead I have to back pedal, if, of course, I was going to disagree with her.
I notice this most in public. I must admit I am a bit of a price maniac. I am all about the bargain and hate to pay “too much” for something. This is facilitated by having a number brain, and often plays itself out in the supermarket. I know, just off the top of my head, that organic peanut butter where we live comes in a few different categories, there is the O brand from Safeway which actually has cane sugar and palm oil in it, a good price for it would be $4, $3 would be grew occasionally 2 for 1 makes it about $2.70t… something more natural like Adams or fresh ground would be about $5.50 for 16 ounces so anything under $4.50 is great thus when I ask how much the peanut butter was and my wife has no idea, I will occasionally say something like, “Was it a good deal.” Of course she does not know. I then may wonder about other items, like the 5 color, specialty noodles, which I know there is a stale bag of in the back of the cupboard, which was bought 6 months ago and never used. Of course she will then apologize, “I am sorry I don’t know” and then I let it drop but my lovely wife is now feeling guilty and she thinks I am angry and the apologies keep coming. I am saying nothing so she thinks I am mad and the apologies escalate. I begin to think that those around us must assume I am an abusive husband because my wife is frantically apologizing to me. Thus, I hiss, “stop it” and she continues to apologize for apologizing. Like I said it is possibly my fault.
I was surprised to see that my wife had a psudonyme so readily at hand. Why have I never met this Elisabeth? I guess that honesty does require a bit of anonimity so what should I use? I am torn between something simple like Sam which besides being short is also a bit gender innocuous (we can explore why that appeals to me later) or should I go with something odd, macho and cool, Naric? This indecision is one of my major flaws. I often flounder in my head about making decisions, I am reluctant to devote myself to a single path. I know some of you are now thinking, “Ah I get it now”. That would be the easy answer, a guy unwilling to commit. Yet that is not the whole story. Actually I commit to stuff all the time. Besides the fact that I actually got married 10 years ago, I have also gone back to school, moved up in my field, bought a house, etc. I do spend quite a bit of time thinking and planning but this seems to keep me from merely being impulsive.
The fact is I actually do calculate the distance I can travel after the empty signal comes up. I look at our site name as a metaphor for the state of our marriage. We are still moving forward. We know if we keep going with out a change we will end up stranded. We are in the car together, with kids I might add. And we are not sure what is going to happen next. I must say I am not afraid but I am a bit annoyed that I cannot calculate what comes next.
My husband and I are starting this blog anonymously so that we can have an open conversation about the things in our relationship that are keeping us from connecting. I admit that I’m not perfect and had an emotional affair 4 years ago with a psycho ex boyfriend. I admit that I lost myself in motherhood and became depressed. I haven’t been a peach to live with. Although I scream far less frequently and actually do laundry now. Four years ago I couldn’t go to the grocery store without catching it about buying all the wrong things. We’ve come a long way. While my husband should never trust me to bring home the right type of ribs to grill–I can now shop without stress. We’ve found a rhythm with our family routine. We have 2 amazing kids together–which is reason #1 to figure out a way to make this marriage work. So…why the tittle Driving On Empty? Well I tend to get anxiety about things that my husband has no concern of. For example I make it a point to always fill up the car way before I get to the empty red line. I have a fear of running out of gas. I imagine the car stalling out somewhere remote and having to walk god knows how long until I find a gas station. So I always think ahead and fill up. My husband on the other hand has no such fear and will drive past the red line without any regard for the consequences–I should point out in all fairness that he’s never run out of gas…yet. Maybe this is one of his several super powers–the ability to calculate the exact amount of miles before the car runs out of gas. Well I have no such powers. My super powers are in the area of finding lost objects. We are a perfect match from this perspective because my husband misplaces everything. So here starts our public journey through the raw truth of marriage. Have fun reading. Comments are welcome.