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men My Life Story Uncategorized Writings

I am a Good Wife

Conventional wisdom always encourages people to be vulnerable, open & honest. But I struggle with the reverse- the feeling that it isn’t okay to withhold & keep thoughts to myself.

Especially in marriage. James wants me to tell him everything & says it is damaging if I don’t. Which is great in theory, since I have the desire to share all my thoughts & feelings. But in reality it doesn’t work out so well. Frequently he will get angry about my thoughts or tell me why they are incorrect & then I am forced to go through an endless wrangling process trying to defend them. The process is confusing & doesn’t end until I have either accepted his replacement thoughts or am too tangled up to function anymore.

Now to someone else this might be no problem. They would just share what they wanted to share and keep the rest to themselves. But I have this compulsive feeling that my perceptions must be validated by another person before I can trust them. I can hardly be certain the sky is blue without first asking someone. And I also have this compulsive feeling that I must obey James. I can’t withhold information unless he gives me permission to do so, regardless of how much confusion & discomfort sharing may cause. Basically I don’t trust my own mind & have no will of my own.

I guess this traces back to when I was a teenager & my first husband was my spiritual guide & I needed to tell him absolutely everything so he could remove my ego, realign my thinking & enable me to achieve enlightenment. The process involved lots of screaming & public humiliation, including sexual, since these are the most tried & true methods of ego removal. Since then, I have never been able to regain that feeling of trusting my own mind and feeling that I am my own master. I don’t even know how to explain it to people who take having their own mind and will for granted.

I am trying very hard to put these boundaries back in place but it is a struggle. I don’t feel I have the right to make choices for myself without asking someone else’s permission and am scared of what will happen if I do.

My husband likes control. I don’t mean this as a bad thing and maybe it is even a quality I admire. But one rule of our relationship is that he is allowed to make decisions while I am not. He can decide what to do with money- and spend enormous sums- without consulting me. I cannot access money without consulting him and telling him what I wish to buy. The flip side is that he is much more financially generous with me than he is with himself. Generally he will get me whatever I want- even if it is frivolous or wasteful- while being stingy with himself. And this same pattern applies to all aspects of our relationships. If I want something & it is within his power to give it to me, he probably will. But I am not allowed to make decisions without consulting him, whereas he is allowed to make decisions without consulting me.

I am supposed to trust him. But he isn’t supposed to trust me. I am deemed incapable of making any significant decisions even if they impact no one but myself. As an example, I want to see a shrink & there is one nearby I can see for free. Not because I am looking for guidance, I just want the experience of talking to a human without feeling it is such a struggle to get my thoughts out and have them heard and accepted. I just want to experience something new- the feeling of noncombative communication.

But James is against this. So what are my choices? Try to change his mind? Trying to convince James of anything is impossible. The certain outcome is that I will end up adopting his perspectives because anything else becomes too unpleasant. I could go behind his back, but that would violate my compulsive need to be transparent with him. So the only real option is to tell myself it isn’t a good idea anyway.

The official justification for obeying him is that he is more grounded than me and makes better choices. (I should add here that I am sometimes allowed to make choices- it is just that he decides which choices I am or am not allowed to make.) But the truth is I am just scared of what will happen if I don’t obey him. I am afraid he will find a way of punishing me or else stop loving me which is a punishment itself. Any time I attempt to assert my will it turns into a horrible fight from which it can take me a long time to recover.

I feel like everyone reading this will think either A) Holy shit you are a dumbass or B) Wow, what a horrible wife writing something which could cast her husband in a bad light.

And I have no defense against being a dumbass. I am a fucking dumbass and I live this every day. But I am not a bad wife.

The other day I told James I was suffering from having no one to talk to, that I couldn’t be real with anyone or even on my blog. He said, “Why not? You can write whatever you want.” I said, ” Well I’m worried that you won’t like it.” He said “Just try it and find out- it will be fine. You’ll see. Trust me.”

So I am trying it. And trusting him. Just like he told me to do. I am a good wife.

Categories
Charleston, West Virginia men Writings

dry words, testicles, men & things which are hard to relate to

Recently I have been feeling it is pointless to say anything in dry words (words with no music) because you can never really say what you mean and if you DID say what you meant it would be inappropriate and everyone would hate you. Consider the lyrics of any song and imagine speaking them to a person. Your life would be over instantly. But somehow when words & music combine it becomes okay to say what you really feel.

Still there is a practical limit to how many songs I am able to write so this forces me to use dry words to fill in the gap. In order to record a song, I must ask my husband has to disassemble the microphone from his computer & attach it to a different device so I can use it. Then, I have to get him to move the song from this device & put it into his computer. Then I must ask him to let me sit at his computer for a few minutes to do the sound. So basically I must make three requests of James & separate him three times from his computer in order to record one song. Each request must be carefully timed to avoid conflict. His schedule is quite odd and windows of opportunity are infrequent. Sometimes it takes days or even weeks for me to get up the nerve to ask him. If I could just write songs & post them directly it would be much easier & I would hardly need dry words at all.

There is just something about musicless words that always ends up feeling pretentious. They are so lofty & detached. I always end up getting this weird Butler feeling, as though I am impersonating Oprah. The meaning of what you are trying to say gets warped by the dryness of words and you end up seeming like an asshole.

Plus, so many social rules apply to dry words that do not apply to music. You can write a song called “Please Help Me!” and that is totally cool, but to say it in words would make you a pariah. You can express feelings, needs & desires in music when expressing them in words would make you seem like a narcissist. You just have to be very careful how you use dry words. You must never reveal to much & always follow the rules. There is really no point.

*****

Perhaps though it is the case that dry words belong to the world of men. I have really been trying to understand men these past few years, but I’m not sure I have made much progress except to realize that there is something very, very strange about them. I don’t think anyone really accounts for how differently their brains work & this is the cause of much conflict. Here is the small amount of info I have gleaned so far…

  1. They are more attuned to survival than women. Their testicles seem to be two extra brains which feed them info related to survival. It is possible that their testicles may be two separate beings altogether who feed information to their host in exchange for warmth, food and shelter.
  2. They are more attuned to status, rank, respect, & prestige than women, although they will not admit this. Hence why they believe women seek out men of high status, something which, in my opinion, is fairly uncommon for women for whom love is the ultimate attainment of life and not a means to an end.
  3. They are also very attached to their dicks & sexuality… somehow this ties into their sense of self & power at a core level.
  4. They think in blocks, which makes it easy for them to work with certain types of info but more challenging to work with others. They don’t seem, for example, to have the same access to feelings and inner states that women do.
  5. They are less trusting. Women are more geared towards dependency & caretaking while men seem geared towards independence & battle. If you ask a woman how she is feeling, she is likely to see your interest as a welcome sign of concern. A man may view this same question as a potential trap and try to choose his words carefully.

    The end result of this is that if you treat a man the way you yourself would like to be treated, he may see you as a foreign invader. In general it seems that maybe women like to be probed, while men do not.

    ***

When I was a kid my friends were mostly female. We would do creative things together. Then at some point men began to seem more interesting. But still there is a constant friction which feels like an unbridgeable gulf. Your actions are viewed through a lens of suspicion. Gestures intended to heal are batted down defensively. Words are translated through some mysterious lens leaving you with no idea of what you are supposed to have said. The culture tells you again and again that talking things out is the solution even when talk itself seems to cause all the problems.

What is the answer? If a man reads this, will he believe I have insulted men? I hope not, but based on my experience, this seems likely. Perhaps when dealing with men you must stick to facts and figures or be prepared to pay the ultimate price.

***

What if men interpret words in a more solid manner- as pronouncements on the official nature of objective reality- whereas females interpret words more as fluid & subjective expressions of feeling states?

For example, “Men are dumb” could mean “I am trying to establish a permanent belief in the group mind that men are intellectually inferior. Submit to my view, insects!” Or it could mean, “I am upset because I just had a bad experience. I wish someone cared.” Females tend speak & interpret language more through the second lens but I’m not sure men always get that. The language women use to bond, express emotion & seek caring seems to trip off wires in men which relate to power, domination & control.

Luckily, songs are automatically interpreted through this female lens- as expressions of mutable subjective states. Thus we give them a wide berth. Sometimes I wish men would give this same berth to women. To see them as songs rather than barbarian hordes. Then men wouldn’t want to be with elevator women anymore than they want to listen to elevator music.