My life remains something I examine all the time, from my attempts to lose weight, exercise, and write, to my corporate life and the memories of who I was and what I wanted, compared to who I am and what I want. I think about my wife as an aspect of these things but while writing the other day and considering a character, I realized how much I take my wife for granted.
I'm a strange sort of rebel. She likes me neat and tidy, and I rebel against that; I had twenty years of being neat and tidy in the military. She calls our house, "her house", like I'm another piece of furniture, irking me because I'm the one that has worked for the last forty years. Our words and our situation makes me think I'm dismissed as a provider, with little rights. It's all about image, isn't it?
That's exactly what it is. My wife is coping with how she was raised and lived since then, and what she sees in other people's homes, and I need to be more aware of these things. I'm a source of pride for her but also embarrassment, and I make things more difficult than necessary. I'm passive aggressive with her too often, and let my self-image and frustrations affect my behavior and our relationship.
I am not easy to live with. I live a lot in my head as I write, and that increases my moodiness. She's pretty patient and supportive of me, and as been for so long that her support and patience is a piece of the scenery that I too often overlook.
In my defense, I'm often tired, writing, working, getting up for early calls, staying up for late calls, reading, exercising, trying to socialize, and taking care of the cats. The treadmill routine is wearing thin, and this isn't what I expected of my life. I thought I would have a novel published by now; I thought my writing career would be more established.
Yes, I'm a dreamer, an optimist, a romantic, and pretty intense and complex, often immature, and emotionally stunted. I war with myself and my aspirations as often as I war with my work and the world, and she's trapped in the battlefield.
She deserves better. I'll add it to my list for evolving, improving, and succeeding: be a better -- more pleasant -- husband.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com