I remember when we first went to the church to discuss our wedding with the reverend and the topic came up as to whether we would like to write our own vows. You were open to the idea but despite my joy of writing and periodically creative streak, I preferred to use the traditional vows that have been spoken at thousands upon thousands of church weddings over the years. For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer….Had I known at that point however that the “worse” and the “poorer” bit were going to follow so close after the ceremony, I wouldn’t have changed my mind about the wedding or the vows but I might at least have at least given you a bit of a heads up first.
It was a bit of a shock to come home after the honeymoon to a redundancy but as they say, every cloud has a silver lining – now you definitely earn more than me. Having one salary is not really considered a plus however when you have to look for a new place to live. Which unfortunately was the case the following week when the real estate office confirmed that the owner had sold the roof over our heads. Thank God the week after that when I mysteriously blacked out and threw up, I wasn’t actually pregnant. Unemployed, homeless and up the duff was one trifecta that I was happy to avoid. I think I would prefer that we plan our family if we can…This has been an opportunity for us however to demonstrate that we don’t fall apart at the first sign of adversity and that we can be there for each other through thick and thin.
Despite my initial feeling that I should not be responsible for providing your lunch every day, especially when you don’t always eat it and like a boomerang it comes back home a little soggier and smellier than it went out, I have taken over this task every morning while you get ready for work. Whilst I am playing the kept woman, I have also taken on a larger share of the housewifely duties such as washing and cooking etc and new to our routine, the taxi duties to and from the train station. On one memorable occasion (for me – you spent most of the trip home in the car passed out) I also did a run into the city because you were too inebriated to make your own way closer to home with any degree of efficiency.
When I first picked you up, you implored me to tell you everything you said the next day and when the next day came you couldn’t shut me up fast enough because you didn’t want to hear it. What you want and what you get though are seldom the same thing. Or with one thing, often comes another…For your part during this trying time, you have been a champion at refining my answers to selection criteria, possibly making me come across as far more intelligent and suitable for particular positions than I actually am. You broke out the bullshit bingo catch phrases that belied the lack of any real substance in some areas and all this on top of your own work day, training for a job that was in itself new to you. You also tried to be my cheer squad.
Now I know that this sounds wonderful and supportive and in a way it was – until it started to burn you out. I think it was harder for me to see you beat your head against a wall trying be positive and helpful than it was to fill out application after application to receive no reply whatsoever. Inevitably, you would get irritated with me or the fact that you couldn’t make me be like you wanted me to be would piss you off and you’d be short with me which in turn made me pissy with you and the situation would just perpetuate itself. I have lost count of the times we end up having a tiff because you can’t just make things better.
I guess in the beginning of a marriage, some men might think they are a sort of superman. Theres no problem too big that it can’t be flicked off like a piece of lint. I would say this to you however my husband: I don’t want you to fix my problems and I don’t want you to solve them either. But if you could just be there with me then that would make things a whole lot easier to get through.
Your loving wife