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