9.2.10

Dead end.

Revolutionary Road

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates is about a couple in the 1950s who are let down by the American Dream. They yearn for something better, and they come up with a plan to move to Paris. Their plan puts a band-aid (American for plaster) on their stagnant marriage. The movie with Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio is superb and depressing.


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Adam and I have been talking about “separation”. Rather, I’m talking about separating, and Adam is upset. He doesn't want to separate. He wants to work on our marriage, go to therapy, etc. I don't want to work on it. I hope I'm not deluding myself, but I feel like I have outgrown our marriage, and it’s holding me back. I have dreams that are bigger than yearnings. Sometimes I wonder if my feelings are “normal”. (We have been together for about eight years.) I have been trying to persuade myself my feelings are just a “seven-year itch”, and my marriage is not a dead end.

Over the last year, my friends have talked about “therapy”. This is what you say when someone confesses she is having “issues”. Aren’t you two going to go to therapy? Most people don’t want to hear about problems with my marriage. They make sympathetic noises, and try to make their escape as quickly as possible. Awkward! One friend (sorry, Amy) gave me that horrible Laura Schlessenger book, The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands. Schlessenger is a by-product of the socially conservative 1950s. It's criminal to peddle such horrible advice to vulnerable women.

I am all for therapy. Therapy is great. I love talking about myself, even if I need to pay you to listen. (Are you sure you don’t want some junk from my house?) But I don’t want to go to therapy with Adam. (Mind you, I will go, if he asks me to.) I don’t want to work on our marriage. Some friends say, Maybe you should just go to therapy yourself then? Or, You could go with him to therapy, to get him started. Or, What are you afraid of?

I'm not afraid of my feelings. I know how I went from being in love to wanting to go my own way. I take responsibility for all the things I did and didn’t do. And I will tell you all about it, if you catch me in the right mood. You want to know what I’m really afraid of? I’m afraid that if I go to therapy, I will persuade myself to give my marriage another chance, and I'm tired of giving men more chances.

I love Adam, and I’m happy he is the father of my child. (He is not abusive!) I was happy with him for four or five years. But I just don’t want to live with him, or be married to him any more. He was what I needed for a time, and now maybe he’s not. Let’s not even talk about the different countries stuff right now, mmkay?

--
Coming soon: In which I try to stop procrastinating and find a new place to live.

18 comments:

Neil said...

No advice here. Just be good to yourself, and listen to yourself. And listen to him to, but first to yourself.

Ozma said...

Interesting. I must say I do understand some but always question such things in myself because of the ebbs and tides and peculiarities of relationships and the self. I want to have a reason, a definite reason. But the necessity of that depends on what you want in life, overall, in the long run, and so forth.

You are making me realize that it is sort of unfortunate that married people can't just take year-long vacations--go to France or India or something. Return a year later, pick up where you left off.

Maybe it's the long haul that does us in. The prospect of the long haul.

As for me, I could do this celibately. The escaped-to person or the person I'd be running away w/ for the year would be myself. I seek aloneness.

Aliceson said...

After watching my grandparents marriage (they will celebrate 60 years this April) along with many failed marriages, I say go with your gut. You know you best and even if you don't live together and don't stay married, you'll always share a bond as parents.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora Juli,
Wow, I am stunned by your honesty and reflective words. Kia kaha.
Robb

injaynesworld said...

I have never been married so I'm not one to give advice, but since when has that ever stopped me. I think people are reluctant to leave relationships because of a sense of failure. But your marriage didn't fail. It succeeded for quite a long time and now it's completed. That's all. Unfortunately, two people are seldom ready to move on at the same time. I wish you well in whatever decision you make.

Sweet Jane said...

oh honey. that is big.

sending you love and the light of your own truth and the courage to do what you need to do.

if you come back to these parts (usuva) that would be neat.

V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios said...

Clearly, you're not waffling here, wondering what's what. I think therapy is for people who can't make a choice, who are somehow stuck, or who are baffled by their motivations, circumstances, reactions, or who are motivated to stay together and think having a third-party involved will help them restore their relationship. Doesn't sound like you.

I'm sorry you're going through this and wish you well as you go forward.

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

You have to do what you think is right. Best of luck.

Jack said...

FWIW, I know a lot of people who are having the same conversation/thoughts.

It is a rough spot, but I am a fan of taking chances on life.

Elizabeth said...

I amazed at your strength to share something so difficult. And your strength to ask yourself difficult questions and to acknowledge that the right answers are not always the easy answers. my only advice is what you already know: Dr. Laura is a whack-job.

Amy B. said...

Oh God. This is so hard. I have no advice. But I know how you feel. You are not alone.

In the meantime, find someone to beat with that Dr. Laura book.

Carlo said...

What an interesting post. That movie influenced my decision to move to NZ with my partner and I think about it often.My partner saw it first in the States and came home immediately and said, "We have to go to NZ." Oddly enough, I didn't watch until we rented in NZ from EzyVideo.

On the issue of therapy, my only advice is that if he wants it, then it may help him with closure. Stay true to yourself and honor his need for a therapeutic resolution at the same time. It's not easy, but it's possible.

TechnoBabe said...

Ooooh, my first visit to your blog. Sorry to hear you are in the middle of a dilemma. Sounds like you are pretty sure what you do not want. You are now figuring out what it is you do want. I wish you happiness and health.

lildb said...

you've got brave stamped in interesting places on your body, haven't you.

well, you oughtta.

JJ Keith said...

Let us know how it all goes, eh?

I read a quote a long time ago about ambulances being the end of community. Once rescuing was relegated to professionals only, people stopped helping one another when they weren't on the clock. I respect therapy. I believe in therapy, but I kind of think it did to friendships what ambulances did to assistance. It's a big part of why I blog -- my friends don't want to hear it.

Gwen said...

i know a lot of people, too, who are in this very spot. i just can't figure out why. maybe til death do you part has become too long to be practical (because really, hi! that' a long ass time), and we're going to evolve into a new relationship configuration--where serial monogamy is the new normal.

Whatever happens, I wish you peace.

taitery said...

What a sad and difficult situation to be in. No one but you can make the decision for you regarding how to proceed in your life. The only thing I would say is this: Commitment is not a feeling, it is a choice. If all married people made the choice to go their separate ways when the feeling of being in love went away for a while, there would be no married people left. Having said that, I've seen many people stay together when they shouldn't have, for one reason or another.

So, friend, my thoughts and prayers are with you as you transition through this time of your life. Whatever you decide, stay true to the idea that your son will be ok as long as you guys love him, which you obviously do. :)

Lola Sharp said...

I really appreciate your honesty in this post.

All the best to you and your little family, wherever the future takes you.