Monday, December 29, 2008


We survived Christmas. The kids didn't get a lot this year, but they already have everything. It was kind of low key. I hope all of you out in blog land had a good Christmas.

I'm still thinking about what direction this blog should go. I think the theme of me vs. Sybil is finished. Sybil and I still have our blow-ups. I guess every couple does. The drama is at a lower pitch, however.

I'm thinking about sex. I do not want to make this into a sex blog, but I do want to explore Sybil's and my differences. You, gentle reader, get to be bored with tears over the next few posts. I'm not sure where this will lead.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

New Directions

I've been remiss in posting these last few months. I'd like to say that the drama betwixt Sybil and myself has abated. I can say it. It wouldn't be true. But, I can say it. To our credit, it has decreased. The tone and vitriol has decrease, somewhat. That's not the reason for my absence. Nope. I'll give some lame excuses: kids keeping me too busy (very true 3 kids with all of the activities); work has snowballed (things have slowed down quite a bit as far as income, so I've got find new ways of generating income); etc.

All true. The real reason is that I'm needing to find a way to be more positive. I'm not this negative person that seems to come across in my writings. At least I don't think I am. All this blog seems to portray is my struggle with maintaining my marital bliss.

I doubt that I will totally stop posting about all of the drama. I mean everyone looks at a car wreck. I am going to try and post on more general topics and more philosophical topics regarding relationships. I'm not sure where that will take me. I will say that my thoughts and feelings on that subject have changed quite a bit over the years.

This blog has served its purpose of giving me an outlet to "vent my spleen." It is time to putting words into action.

I hope everyone has a truly Merry Christmas and a truly Happy New Year. I'm not sure, if I'll be able to post again until '09.

- Aphron

Monday, November 10, 2008

Since the Election is Over I Miss Those Polls...

There are times I don't feel like writing a post about something that has happened because it's already been written. In my last post, someone commented on my lack of taking control of the situation. For the next two weeks, I'll be running this poll to gauge my reader's opinions. So remember in the immortal words of ACORN: Vote early and vote often.

Monday, October 20, 2008

On That Road to Hell

Sybil and I had another major blow-up this weekend. We had little tiffs all last week, but Saturday's was a doozy.

We had gotten one of those Pitney-Bowes mailing machines. Since we do quite a bit of mailings, we thought we could give it a try. Sybil spent a good amount of time on Friday setting it up. She had to call the PB people. However, she managed to get the thing up and running.

On Saturday, I was at the office finishing up on some tasks. I looked at the back of the machine, noticed a USB cable had one end connected to the PB, but the other end was unconnected. I unrolled it and was going to connect it to a computer. It was too short, so I couldn't connect it.

As I'm driving home, I call Sybil and ask her if we need to buy a longer cable. She gets extremely agitated. Suddenly, we're on. We spend the rest of the day fighting. If I am understanding her correctly, my action reveals how thoughtless I am. I should have remembered that she said the machine was working, I should not have tampered with someone's "project," and obviously I do not really care about anything she says or does. I find myself feeling completely blindsided. All I can say is, "I was trying to help; I didn't mean any harm." Pretty pathetic, but it is the truth. As the argument continues, I explain that I am who I am. I am not sure that I am able to make the changes she wants. If she can't live with that, then maybe she should make a change. Sybil takes of her ring, threw in my direction, and storms out of the room.

That is how things went Saturday, and they were no better Sunday. Sybil still did not wear her ring. I tried to have her put it on. She refused. She said my last comment tells her how I really feel. If I did not really feel that way, then I would not have even thought it much less said it. I try to explain that it came out during the heat of the moment. Sybil would not even entertain that possibility.

Essentially, we are reliving the same old argument over and over. Sybil needs me to worry over the little things. She wants to me to stress out about every little detail and worry about how that impacts the other person. I explain to her that I am not sure that is even possible. I explain to her that living like that does not sound very enjoyable. Explaining to Sybil that I want us to enjoy each other's company and build a refuge from the world. She asks how can we do that, when I won't work at our marriage. She wants me to worry about our marriage. I get the work at our marriage thing. I do feel that I am trying to do that, apparently not enough for Sybil. I'm not so sure about the worry about our marriage. Living with worry, walking on eggshells, being on constant guard is not a life, in my opinion. When I express that to Sybil, she says she is not asking me to do that; she is asking me to think about how every single, little action has large repercussions. I guess there is a difference, but I'm not sure what it is.

That is where we are. Over 36 hours of fighting has not resolved the issues. Sybil still does not wearing her ring. To think that it all started with good intentions.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Same Stuff Different Day

Did anyone see this article awhile back? Does anyone do that? What happens when one partner is trying to add a "little spice," and the other is perfectly happy with status quo? I'd really like to know, who these people are. I'm not sure they really exist.

There was a time, when I tried to add a little zest in things. The great thing about beating one's head against a wall is that it feels good, when one stops. Things are so much easier now that I have had to mold my desires more in line with Sybil's. I figured that there are so many other things we stress out about that adding one more pressure point isn't healthy. I guess one could say I gave up.

Isn't that the point of a happy, healthy marriage? One has give up one's desires and expectations in order to align themselves with their partner's. Some may call that compromise or selling out. I call it conflict resolution. I've resolved one area of conflict in Sybil's and my marriage. By doing so, we can move on to all the other petty fights we have. I am hoping to eventually remove any and all issues which may precipitate a fight. Since I have no control over Sybil and her reactions, this will prove to be very difficult.

One example is retirement. I long to retire. I don't mean to stop working but to stop HAVING to work. I want to investigate other avenues of wealth accumulation other than a typical IRA/mutual fund (I was wanting to do this before all of the current unpleasantness). My career is very stressful. Dealing with people and trying to meet their expectations is very difficult. On a day-to-day basis it becomes a drag. Well, Sybil said to me this weekend that she doesn't foresee me ever retiring and the thought of being in that position is not something she really thinks about. She loves to work. However, she likes to do things, but she does not like to make hard decisions and take responsibility for those decisions. She may be working hard in our business, but she does not have to deal with people and their expectations, hire/fire, etc. She comes and goes on her schedule. I can see why she does not want to retire.

What's the answer? I don't have one. I just know that I try to keep plodding along. I keep reminding myself that in the scheme of things it doesn't really matter. We're all going to die anyway. Kind of a "consider the lilies in the field" thing.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I'm a Jerk

Firstly, I apologize for my lack of posting. I've been extremely busy putting out fires at work. Also, Sybil and I have been too focused on work to really get into it. That ended last night.

I've written in these pages bemoaning the "vanilla" sex we have. I try to look on the positive side of things. At least I'm having sex. I've come to the realization that Sybil and I will never have the same proclivities, shall we say? Like everything else in her life, Sybil wants sex to be ordered, and she wants sex to be on her terms only. After fifteen years of marriage, I decided that certain things will always be off limits and to keep trying only adds to my and Sybil's frustration. I gave up on trying and made myself focus only enjoying what I was able to do in those narrow confines.

Before I get into the matter of last night, let me say that I am not asking for anything crazy. I'm only asking for certain things of an oral variety. Both giving and receiving. I'm only asking for her to have a more active role in things. Basically, our sex life goes like this: I make my move (either kissing or touching or both), she lies back in expectation, I take off her clothes, I take of my clothes, and then we go at it. This is how it goes 85% of the time. To "spice" things up, she may go to her fall back position, if I let it be known that's how I want it. Essentially, Sybil might be classified as a "sub." Ironically, she wants to be in complete control of the situation. The dichotomy is really confusing.

Anyway, last night we were in bed getting ready to go to sleep. Sybil had her head on my stomach and was touching me while we watched TV. I was touching her too, but because of the angle she was a bit more intimate. I was really enjoying this. It is rare for her to do this. I was greedy for it. At one point she decided to become a bit more playful and tried to move her head to block my view of the TV. I playfully moved her head down. She jumped out of bed feigning indignation. After a minute or two, she got back in bed with her back to me. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper. I kind of became pissed off. When Sybil got back into bed, she had her foot on me. Apparently, this was my signal to begin. I should have known that she was only playing. During all of this, I knew Sybil wanted me to take over, yet why do I have to do all of the work all of the time? She started the session, but I have to finish it. I did not make move towards her. Since she didn't get the reaction she was hoping for, she became pissed off herself. A small argument ensued, and I am a jerk.

Now that I've had time to reflect on things, I see that I did probably act a little childishly. It would have been nice, if she would have just kissed me or whatever. I would have probably taken over from there. Her reaction of jumping out bed and acting like that put me off. When she did that, it killed the mood for me. I guess I had an idea of how things would go. When things didn't go that way, I got mad. Of course, I could say that about Sybil. She thought by acting "hard to get" I would become even more excited. In this case it backfired for her. I see that I may have acted selfishly, but Sybil does think she did anything wrong. This dichotomy is killing me. Either take control of the situation and do things the way one wants it done, or one should let the partner be control. Don't try to be a submissive control freak. It is kind of schizophrenic.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Things are actually going pretty good.  Sybil and I have started a diet and lost some weight.  We have really cut back on our carbs.  Not only have we lost weight, but also our attitude towards each other has improved.  I don't know if the food we were eating had anything to do with it, or we started feeling better.  Either way, it's nice.  Although sex is still rather vanilla, we're having more of it.  I can't speak for Sybil, but I guess my outlook has improved.  None of the dirty laundry has gone away.  We never solved our issues, so I'm guessing it was all a state of mind.  No big surprise.

We've been so busy with work.  School has started for our kids and our kids' activities have increased.  That leaves little time for things like blogging.  Son #1 has started the high school.  It seems weird that I have a child old enough to be in high school.  Daughter started middle school.  However, it's Son #2 that keeps us on the go.  He has started playing in a local competitive soccer league.  That will entail some slight travel.  There goes our weekends.

With this (hopefully not temporary) change, it's made be believe things were in a vicious cycle.  Sybil would resent me for stuff which caused her to treat me a certain way.  In turn, I would resent Sybil for stuff which caused me to treat her a certain way.  

That's about it for now.  I don't have a lot of personal drama at the moment.  That's a good thing.  I've never understood those that go out searching for drama.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mending Fences

Things have come to a head with Sybil. We had a major blow-up Thursday, and the after shocks are still occurring. There's nothing like being locked in a metal box for 3 hours to provide for some hi jinks.

As you know we had recently visited my parents. The main reason of the visit wasn't seeing my parents (we're not a tight knit family; that's for a later post). Instead, it was to visit one my best friends from high school. He had come home for a visit between duty stations and had just been promoted to sargent-major. In his field, he is a success. It was a great visit. On the way home, Sybil and I were talking about it, and she asked what he made. I had no idea, but I figured he did well. Later that week I ran into someone knowledgeable about such things and asked him.

Last Thursday we were on the road again to meet up with my parents to get our kids. Not thirty minutes into the ride, I tell Sybil what I had found out. Apparently, I had talked quite a bit about my friend and the military. Sybil asked me, if I ever thought about joining the military. I said that not really, but I do have those fleeting "what if" thoughts in my head. No big deal. In previous conversations I had told her that I almost joined the Army right out of high school. Anyway, Sybil freaked out. She started questioning my love for her, the kids, whether I was going to run off and join (which is impossible: I'm almost 40), etc. I tried reassuring her that my talking about it was my happiness for my friend and his success. She thought I was jealous of him, and I wished my life was different. I explained that I had my chance, I don't regret my decision, I love my life, I have no intention of making some radical change, etc. She didn't believe that was what my intentions were.

Apparently, she added the words "recently" to the question "do you ever think about joining?" I missed the recently part. When that was explained to me, I told her that I misheard her, and no, I do not wish I had joined the military. I admit to being guilty of not listening to every word she said. Obviously, I missed that one word. When taking that and my complaining of the stress of my job, she just knew I was unhappy, wanted to leave her and the kids, and join up. Nothing I said could change her mind. I tried to explain that EVERYONE complains about their job/career at some point. Nothing would assure her. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.

Now, Sybil feels unloved. She feels that I don't love her anymore. She thinks I am staying with her simply for the sake of the kids, or divorce is too expensive for us. She does not believe that I really care about her. The main reason isn't Thursday's blow-up but the aftermath. Whenever we have a blow-up, I'm supposed to broach the subject to her the next day. Since 99% of the time she is mad at me, she expects me to come up to her and bring up the subject. Never mind that we had an hours long argument the day before. If I truly loved her, I would be the one to confront her about it.

I have a problem with that for three reasons:

1. I DO have a problem with confrontation. I have this perverse desire for everyone to like me. I'm the Nice Guy. I don't waves or drama. I want a simple discussion with a simple resolution. After the discussion I want that to filed away into the Past.

2. I'm not the one that "owns" the problem. If I am mad at someone, I am supposed to confront that person. It sounds silly to me. If someone doesn't come to me with a problem, I'm not going to work on fixing the problem. I maybe looking at things wrong, but it almost sounds as if Sybil wants her pound flesh too.

3. With Sybil, there is no simple discussion. I've done the broaching the next day once or twice. It did not change the results of the argument. Re-hashing it does not lead to some greater understanding or an epiphany.

I do not want a divorce. I know all anyone reads here is Sybil's bad side. She is actually a wonderful person. Like anyone else, it's difficult to live with her. Sadly, I have to mend fences with her. I know what she wants; I'm not sure I can make the changes she wants/needs.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 Up

Sybil and I survived our trip to my folks. We had two spots of drama. One was medium sized and the other small. Neither involved me, directly. Really not a bad trip. For now, Sybil and I are in a good place. I know that won't last long, but I'll enjoy it while I can. This drama centered on my brother's kids. It's complicated. He married, had a kid, divorced, remarried, and now has a combined family. The new daughter seems to get preferential treatment. Sybil expected me to make a comment to my parents about the situation. Not sure how to approach that.

Yesterday, I did read some blog entries. One of the running themes is about sexual mores. One partner (usually the wife but not always) has limitations of what is allowed. Boundaries are set and rarely moved. Others posted about marital sadism: how people in a relationship know what the other wants but refuses to do it.

For my own part, Sybil and I have those problems. She knows what I want but rarely acquiesces. She has two excuses: it's disgusting or she'll be taken for granted. Let's dive into that, shall we?

The first response is disgust. This revolves around certain sex acts, namely oral sex performed on her. Sybil knows one of my biggest things (if not the biggest) is to perform on her. She knows that it is very exciting for me. I've told her how much I enjoy it. In those rare instances that she allows it, she will admit to enjoying it. She explains that she has problems with the hygienic aspect of it. Despite my best efforts to reassure that she has nothing to worry about, Sybil continues to believe that she has something to worry about. I think this would be an example of marital sadism. Sybil knows I like doing this to her; she likes having it done; but she cannot get past the irrational aspect of it. Obviously, if the tables were reversed, I think she would be put out.

The next issue that comes up between is Sybil perform oral sex on me. I am a typical guy in this department. I enjoy receiving oral sex. I'm not sure which I enjoy more. Occasionally, Sybil will perform on me. I enjoy it; she indicates that she enjoys it; yet she rarely does it. When asked, her excuse is I'll come to expect it. I'm sure she believes that. I'm not sure why. Sybil hasn't done it enough for me to take it for granted. If I were receiving her services more than once a quarter, I might be able to make a more accurate judgment. Although this example qualifies as marital sadism, I think it goes more towards control. Sybil wants to have a of control of me.

Sex with Sybil is fairly boring. I make my move; she lays on her back; and that's that. Before anyone says anything about communication, I've been there and done that. These are Sybil's boundaries and nothing I say or do will move them. She has a dichotomy: she wants someone to take control, yet will not allow them to be in control. Cake and eat it too.

Sadly, I think this a common problem in marriages. In my case, I've chosen to quit fighting the current. Dialing down my libido helps some. Mainly I've vastly decreased my expectations. Unlike many people, I can have sex just about anytime. I guess that's something to be thankful for.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Out of Town

Sybil and I will be going to visit my parents this weekend. It always leads to fun and frivolity. Usually a visit like this is good for at least two maybe three posts. I'll be back soon...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Without Further Ado...

I finally have some time to work on my "vacation" post.

Every year at the end of June, the family embarks on its big trip. We visit Sybil's family in a big city in a large state. It is a big to do. Sybil and the kids go for one week, and I join them for another week. Being alone for a week would be heaven, if not for the fact that Sybil and I have cell phones. Anyway, being at Sybil's house means there has to be a certain decorum.

For some background, Sybil is from a large Asian city. She came to the states when she was seven. When we visit her folks, I have to act slightly differently. This usually leads to Sybil's wrath and an ensuing "discussion." Sybil is keenly aware of what people say and do, especially yours truly. This is intensified with her family. She is afraid of embarrassment and causing her folks to feel that journeying to visit is hassle. Of course, it is a hassle. However, I don't mind.

This past trip I did two things that really pissed Sybil off. I accept responsibility for my actions. The things I did would have irritated me too. They were unthinking acts.

The first act occurred at a large mall. All five of us, one of her brothers, and our niece (8) and nephew (4) were with us. We spent several hours there. It was time to eat, and we were trying to decide what to eat. There is a Cheesecake Factory there. The kids and I love cheesecake, and we don't have one here. I thought that would be a nice place to go. Sybil decided that would be too much for the kids. Apparently, she and her brother decided to just eat in the food court. Whatever. I was disappointed but whatever. I asked Sybil what she wanted. At first, she said pizza. I knew that was wrong. Sybil doesn't like pizza. I asked again, and she said she doesn't care. I asked a third time, and she told me to "just walk around and see what's available and call me." She was going to sit with the younger kids whilst I got the food. It was starting to become a hassle, because no one wanted to go to the same place. Finally, I told my kids to go to this chicken franchise. I procured the food and brought it back to the table. I totally forgot to walk around and call Sybil. Needless to say, she was not happy. I asked what she wanted. She didn't know. I offered to walk around, and she said forget it. Son #2 didn't finish his food, so she ate that. I got an earful. At first I stated that all she had to do was look around. That I didn't need to "walk around and call her." Naturally, this means that I only care about myself. After all, I had food.

The other big blow-up occurred later that week. The kids and I waited for Sybil and her sister to return for shopping, so we could all go out for dinner. When she arrived, the first thing she did was loudly say, "Hurry up and get your shoes and socks on, so we can go." I replied, "Alright, alright. Chill out." This crawled all over Sybil. She told me to lighten up. She was only joking. I replied that I was too. I explained that the harshness of her tone, when she walked into the house, caught me off guard. I wasn't trying to be rude or cause a scene. See, it wasn't what I said or how I said it; it was only about causing a scene. This would make her parents feel uncomfortable and ask us not to come back, because it's too big of a hassle. Um...ok. Maybe what I said was a little rude, but I doubt her parents would think we were fighting because we were there. Sybil and I just fight.

Sadly, these two incidents cast a pall over the visit. Sybil harbored resentment towards me. There was no great vacation sex. But, there never is with Sybil (see post about Las Vegas). Other than seeing an MLB game, it was kind of calm. Sybil went shopping a lot with her sister, which kept her out of my hair.

You're probably wishing I posted another video.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Just a Little Something to Tide You Over...

Just a little something to extend my misogynistic leanings. I heard this song and chuckled. I don't really think it is about Sybil...much. I hope to accomplish two things: my first video embedding and putting off my visit-to-the-in-laws post.


Monday, July 07, 2008

I'm Back!

Just survived a week long trip to the in-laws. I've been out of pocket for a little while. I'll be brief. I had fun.

Sybil's attitude remains the same. I'll be the first to admit that I didn't help things much. I'll post about in a couple of days. See, it's not all Sybil's fault.

Also, thanks to Therese for filling in on Friday. Since I had to catch a plane, she was graciously filled in. The "Great Blogger Swap" really came at the perfect time.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Great Blogger Swap 2008: Therese in Heaven

When I signed up for the Great Blogger Swap of 2008, I thought it would be easy enough to participate in. I write posts all the time, after all. But then I thought that maybe writing about potty training, sex at parties, and vomit wouldn't be quite seemly on someone else's blog, so figured I should probably shape up a bit. Not an easy thing to do since I'm currently pre-occupied by my dissertation on prairie dog mating rituals.

So as I sit here eating a bowl of oatmeal, trying to ignore my annoying pet marsupial, Maxine, what I keep thinking about is just how unbelievably difficult it is to be a good Christian. Scratch that. A good person. Now, I know that the definition of a good person is widely up for debate, however I can't help but wonder if anyone lives up to their own definition. Somebody wise and holy (I can't for the life of me remember who) said something along the lines of: the proof that we didn't just make God up is in the fact that we assign to Him attributes like "All-powerful," "Supreme Judge," and "Knower of all things deep and private in our hearts, including those embarrassing thoughts about Eva Mendez." Why would we make up a God like that? Why would we invent a "Father Figure" who gives out a seemingly endless supply of "tough love" when we could have a grand-father figure, who gives us ice cream for breakfast and lets us stay up late, just because we ask that it be so? No, the God of the Judeo-Christian world is too terribly awesome for our infantile imaginations to dream up. We happen to like our ice cream.

I think that the reason we have so many notions about how we should be, how others should treat us, how we should act, when we know very well that neither ourselves nor anyone else will actually end up behaving that way, is because someone else, far better than any of us, wrote it somewhere inside our hearts that there is something more. Something better. We have a noble purpose in someone else's plan. This intuitive sense gets quite inconvenient when we very badly want to do something very attractive and selfish (like sleep with the pool boy or, what the heck, Eva Mendez), but its still there. That's why a person who fudges on his time card still feels wronged when the plumber tries to squeeze out more money than agreed on for additional "parts" and "labor." We know justice even when we don't live it.

So what is a person to do when we all have these internal standards that no matter what, we (and no one else in history) just can't seem to live up to? I think the writers Zmirak and Matychowiak* summed it up best when they said, "Believe it all, do what you can, admit that you're basically a bastard, and turn to the font of infinite Mercy** as humbly and as often as you can. If there's one thing that's incompatible with Christianity, it's pride, or what today would call 'healthy self-esteem' and a 'clear conscience.'" And on that note, I shall close my post and prepare to ask God for forgiveness. I need it too. I am just a bastard, after all.

Oh, and thank you, Aphron, for your hospitality.

*No, I didn't make them up, but I bet you can't say their names quickly five times.

**For you Catholics, that's time in the box.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Being Outed

In my last post, which the issue was never resolved, Silent Male presented an interesting comment. He highlighted the ramifications, if I were outed. What if Sybil found the blog and read the posts and comments? What ramifications would that bring on?

Well, dear reader, I'm sure you already know what would happen. Given Sybil's temperament, I'm sure not good things would happen. She has already run divorce up the flag pole to see what would happen. The first couple of times, I was shocked into submission. Since I'm a slow learner, I finally figured out that was a form of emotional manipulation at best. Actually, one night she commented, "I guess we should call the lawyers." To which I replied, "Tomorrow would be fine." Naturally, she became upset and accused me of giving up on our marriage. The irony was totally lost on her. Anyway, I'm sure she would begin the procedures of divorce. For me divorce is, simply, not an option. I've listed the reasons somewhere on this blog, but the there are three basic reasons: my three children.

I am left with trying to conceal my blogging. I know that to be completely open and honest with Sybil would bring on Armageddon. I use Mozilla's Firefox because it automatically deletes my browsing history. No one that I know personally knows about my blog. I am as careful as I can be. I do not talk about my work or any other personal events to try to remain anonymous. It is sad in a way.

When I started this blog, it was a to vent the frustrations of my marriage without really causing any long term problems. I had hoped to receive some validation, and I have. Although this blog does not show the whole story of Sybil, I do try to remain objective about she how treats me at times. I am human, and I am sure some bias does creep in. There are some posts that written during a relatively emotional moment.

Although this blog was started as a way of finding vindication, I believe it may be documenting my life with Sybil. I pray it doesn't, but it may have to be used in the event of divorce. Denial is a powerful thing, but I am being to see that I am living with an emotionally abusive person.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I'm a Little Tired

Yesterday was quite eventful, especially the fireworks at the end.

Since I had the day off, Sybil, Son#1 (14), Son #2 (9), and I went to the office and did some work until Sybil and Son #1's orthodontist appointment. Lunch was put off until after 1:30 due to the appointment. We'd already had a full day of fun with Sybil.

We're sitting at lunch, when the topic of David Bowie comes up. Son #1 plays Guitar Hero (or was it Rock Band?), and a factoid came up saying that once David Bowie was hit in the eye with a lollipop at a concert. I said that must explain why one of his pupils being bigger than the other. Sybil begins questioning about it. Finally, I say that it was assumption and not a fact. To which she snaps, "I guess it wasn't the TRUTH!" Practically spitting out the last word. I ask her why she snapped at me. Naturally, she says she didn't. This time I had witnesses. Son #1 got my back and told her that she did. Immediately, Sybil became defensive and denied it. I explained that she had indeed snapped at me. After the third denial, I simply said, "Whatever," and stopped talking. I figure what's the point? She'll never admit to the possibility that she has a sharp tongue.

Flash forward to last night. Just about the time we're going to bed, Sybil starts in. Didn't I know she was mad? No. If one is mad, I shouldn't have to figure it out. She is mad because I stopped talking. I explained my reasoning. She starts yelling at me. By this time she is completely unhinged. She is yelling so much that she is actually spitting on me. The gist is my stopping the conversation during lunch. I try to explain that I didn't want to talk anymore, because she was in denial about the possibility about her demeanor. Sybil continues to deny ever snapping at me. Of course, this isn't a calm, adult conversation. She is continually yelling at me. Finally, she yells, "Why don't you sleep on the couch!?" I, of course, say no. Sybil continues her tirade. Finally, I decided that the couch is preferable to this abuse, so I go sleep on the couch. I cede the field to her.

I'm a little tired. The couch is just a little shorter than me. It was worth not listening to her.


More discussion with Sybil yields why she was upset. It would appear that she was giving all kinds of signals all day yesterday, and I was supposed to note the signals, go to her, and ascertain the problem. Since I did not approach her and ask what was the matter, she became angry and felt ignored. We had about 30 minutes of alone time, and that was right before going to bed. Also, we never completed our conversation about David Bowie. As to the issue of her demeanor towards me, Sybil is in complete denial that she did anything wrong.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Aniversary After-Action Report

Well, the big 15 came and went. I know everyone wants all of the play-by-play of the night's festivities. Let me tell you, it was a night I'll never forget. We were up until the wee hours of the morning. I'm totally exhausted as I write this post.

We got started a bit late. We dropped the kids off at home and set out for a local sushi restaurant. Just the two of us. That by itself is a real treat. We sat there just enjoying ourselves. Of course, a large part of the time Sybil was on her cell phone trying to coordinate Daughter and one of her friends trip to camp today. I knew this night would be something special. After the restaurant, we went back to my office and did paperwork until 12:30 am. That's it. That's the anniversary. Granted this was stuff that had to be done, but it could have been done yesterday. However, Sybil was out of the office pretty much the whole day running the kids to their over-scheduled activities. Anyway, by the time we got home I was so tired I went to bed.

On related note, I've discovered why my libido is low.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Milestone

Fifteen years ago today, Sybil and I got married. It was a bit of a rushed ceremony at the justice o' the peace in the southern city we were living. Rushed because Sybil was about 3 months pregnant. What a shocker! We were in grad school, no income, dated hot and heavy (I do mean heavy) for about 6 months. It took me a long time to grow into fatherhood. Suddenly being thrust into that role was disconcerting.

I guess we are beating the odds. I don't think many would have lasted that long with the world arrayed against us. I guess that is something to celebrate. Being married has been very difficult for both of us. Looking back, I regret not putting off sex and concentrating more on building a foundation. However, I don't think that would have done any good. Sybil never acting the way she does now. She never seemed so controlling, so easily angered. During that time, we never really had an argument. That should have been a red flag.

Although there many things about my marriage that make me unhappy, I appreciate the miracle. We have to learn to accept those around us as they are and not how we want them to be. It is very difficult. We find ourselves saying, "If only she did this or didn't do that..." It is human nature to want more, but it is also dangerous.

At the end of the day, I love Sybil. I won't lie and say there weren't times I wish we weren't married, but I do not believe I could picture myself with another.

We'll see about the next 15 years.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What's Marriage's Purpose?

I keep having that question roll around in my head? What IS marriage's purpose? Is it so two people can pull together? Is it for producing offspring? Why does a man and a wife live together...forever?

If marriage is for the "simple" creation of offspring, then can marriage be dissolved after said offspring are grown? I know many marriages that do that. When the kids are either in mid-teens or adults, the marriage breaks apart. With many years invested in it, everyone on the outside are left scratching their heads and wondering. Many times these marriages are twenty years old or older. So much time, effort, blood, sweat and tears are poured into that doomed marriage. Do couples that have grown children stay together simply for none other than that reason?

It is interesting to see marriage dynamics from the outside and inside. It seems that one person, in my case Sybil, changes after becoming married. That person goes from being this laid back carefree person to this control freak that gets totally bent out of shape over every little thing. Is that the goal of marriage: control? Trying to mold another person to fit our conception of perfection? Seems to me that is the sure recipe for failure. No one likes to be controlled.

Is marriage some destination? Plodding forward to some imaginary Nirvana? During the whole journey being overly worried about how the toilet paper is placed on the rack? Isn't patience and acceptance supposed to be in their somewhere? I thought marriage was a journey two people took together. For me the journey should be fun and exciting. Going ballistic because of a wrong turn takes the fun out of the journey. Worrying about following the directions and making mistakes tends to make one miss the scenery along the route.

Help me out here. I'd really like to know.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Taking a Break...

from marriage blogging. Since it is that wacky election season, I've chosen my candidate:

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

A Whole Month?!?!

Well, I've been a terrible host here. I've neglected my readers and not kept them up to date with all of my goings on. To be brief, I'm working about 16 hours a day, Sybil and I fight like cats and dogs, and my kids' activities are adding the miles to the cars. Since I have about 30 minutes of free time, I find that I have to push my blogging to the side.

I'm still alive...barely.

Otherwise, everything is just peachy.

Hopefully, I'll be posting more. Hopefully, my workload and personal activities will die down soon. Hopefully, my libido will return.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Follow-up Post...Finally

It's interesting to see the dominant/passive roles in play. Each relationship has them. I think it boils down to how much drama, fighting, assertiveness, or whatever one is willing to put up with. I don't like drama. I don't like the emotional play of arguments. Therefore, I find myself avoiding the whole thing. I find myself giving in to end the fight. Doesn't matter, if I am wrong. I just want it to be over. After almost 15 years of marriage, suddenly becoming assertive might have unintended consequences. While I am not afraid of those consequences per se, I do want to try to maintain some status quo until the kids leave home.

An example of this came about last night. We had just bought "Rock Band" for PS2. By the way, it is truly a fun game. Anyway, it needs at least 3 USB connections, but PS2 only has 2. Real smart, huh? I grab my USB hub from my laptop and plug in the connections. Son #1 (14 years old) did most of the connecting and setting up. He had some help from Daughter (11 years old) and Son#2 (9 years old). All 5 of us played it that night. Last night, Sybil had 3 girls spend the night with Daughter. They wanted to play the game. Sybil called be because she didn't know how to get it up and running. She figured it out, and they played. I am leaving work and picking up pizza for the sleepover. As I am coming home, Sybil calls me quite irate. It seems these rambunctious girls somehow yanked on the chords and destroyed the hub. Now, the funny things is this: it was my fault. I'm the one that plugged in the hub the night before. It doesn't matter that I wasn't even home when it got destroyed. It doesn't matter that Sybil thought the arrangement of the chords might be a problem and something should be done about it. It only matters because I was the one handling the hub. So I came home to Sybil yelling at me. I could have had a knock-down-drag-out-fight with Sybil about whose fault it is, but I caved. Why? I did not want a huge conflagration during the sleep over. The end result was I went out to Staples and bought another hub. Just now I think I understand why Sybil was so angry: she wanted to play the game and couldn't. After installing a new hub, she could not stop playing.

This is the typical scenario in my house. Sybil concentrates on finding fault, instead of chalking it up to stuff happens and fixing it. Something happened; someone's head must roll. Since I do tend to avoid the icky emotional stuff, I struggle to confront issues. Sybil has no qualms about this, so she tends to win.

More coming...

Monday, March 10, 2008

The 300: A Gay Ol Time

I know I owe you all a post. It is coming. Right now work and family stuff is kicking me in the #$@.

I finally saw 300. The story about the Spartan 300 holding off the Persians (the most powerful people of the day). I didn't realize everyone was a homosexual in those days. With the exception of the traitor Spartan, nearly all of the men were buff and liked to embrace in their loin cloths. Other than that the movie blew.
Pun intended.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

You Limp-Wristed Son of a Fetid Donkey's Bottom!

My apologies to Monty Python.

What is the state of masculinity in the Western world today? Is society becoming more and more feminized?

I ask these questions because I really want to know. In generations past, did men allow their wives/girlfriends to hit them over the head with their emotions? Were women allowed to express themselves through the dramatic? Did husbands/boyfriends put up with women's shenanigans? Do men today have the cojones to stand up to their wives/girlfriends, or do they take the path of least resistance? Are men afraid of the hysteria that many women seem to be able to drum up at will? If men were to stand firm, would women realize that hysterical rantings will not advance their argument?

Most men use their father as a role model. How the father reacted towards the mother may determine how the son will react towards his wife. In my case, father tended to be passive to my mother, who was domineering and a lot like Sybil. I cannot tell you how many times Sybil has remarked how annoying my mother is, and I cannot tell you how many times I have had to bite my tongue and keep from telling her how similar they are. If all a boy sees is a father that bows his head to his domineering mother, then that boy may grow to be a man that will bow his head to a domineering woman. The cycle will be repeated.

What about the man that was raised by his mother? What male role models does he have? How will he cope with a woman's hysterical rantings? I suspect that he will be even more misogynistic. He may come to view all women with a jaundiced eye. Since my parents remain married to this day, I do not have any experience in this situation. My guess is that either he will shirk from his husbandly/fatherly responsibilities, and/or he will have a dim view of women in general.

Sadly, we see it even in powerful, supposedly, confident women. Remember Hilary Clinton's little break down? If a man had an emotional breakdown, everyone would rightly be questioning his leadership abilities. Like many women, she used her emotions as a tool. And it worked like a charm. Like so many husbands/boyfriends that are faced with a similar situation, the voters rewarded her with more votes. Instead of rolling their eyes at a woman's hysterics, they voted for her. Again, like so many husbands/boyfriends facing a similar situation, her tears were rewarded with a kind of a head bowed, glum, "yes, dear." If she is one of the most powerful women in the country, is this what we have to look forward to?

I don't have any answers. Like everyone else, I am tainted by my own life's experiences. My life has been filled with women that use their hysterics to create drama and keep everyone off balance. I mean, come on, how many men create an hour-long fight on how to fold undershirts?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What's Wrong with Me?

Well, I've been putting off this post. The intent of this blog was to "vent my spleen." I was not feeling that I had anywhere else to go to vent the frustrations of my marriage. I have shown the spotlight on some of Sybil's failings and our marriage's failings. In this post I'll try to shine on my failings. This is difficult because it will force me to look into those dark nooks and crannies that we all have.

Let's get started.
  1. Procrastination. I really would rather not do it today. This is a pretty bad thing because it causes friction in my marriage. Sybil wants to get it done right now. I tend to be more laid back about things. I can give a lot of excuses (worked all day, I'm tired, it can wait, etc.), but the cold hard truth is I just don't want to do it. This leads to my next issue.
  2. Avoidance. If you haven't guessed it by now, I am an avoider. I am not one to make a fuss about something that is bothering me. I dread the inevitable drama that seems to accompany confrontation. This drama must be avoided at all costs. The biggest down side is that things tend to come out when least convenient. One time I was listening to a comedian describe this. He tells about packing away these irritations. "Pack, pack, pack!" was his mantra. He admitted that this created times of sudden unpackage. A sudden trigger that makes all of that packed stuff come out. I know this is an area I am the weakest.
  3. "Open mouth; insert foot." I am famous for saying exactly the wrong thing at exactly the wrong time. Since I enjoy making people laugh as a way to fill that void, I will saying just about anything to get that laugh. I've learned that the more outrageous the better. Naturally, Sybil lives in mortal fear of saying or doing the wrong thing. This makes for some lively discussions.
  4. Insecurity. I think just about all of us are insecure at least about something. I am, definitely, no exception. See #3. I try to make people like by making them laugh, for instance. Other things that reveal my insecurity are coming below.
  5. Trouble with criticism. This definitely goes back to my insecurity. Since one of Sybil's best attributes is critiquing me, that also makes for some lively discussion. I find it very hard to divorce myself from the criticism and focus on the whether or not there is an issue that needs to be addressed. Also, I find it very hard to take criticism from Sybil for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I care about her opinion of me. If she is criticizing me, then I feel that I am not living up to her expectations. This emotional response triggers my insecurity and causes me to become defensive. Secondly, many men yearn to be perceived as a "knight in shining armor." If my "fair maiden" finds fault, then how can I live up to that ideal. Again, insecurity comes into play.
  6. Focus. I used to think I had a form of ADD. However, I now believe I have tremendous focus. Unfortunately, it rarely coincides with whatever Sybil is focused on. Many times it takes a great deal of effort to keep my mind from wandering elsewhere. I find myself tuning others out. Since this is one of Sybil's pet peeves (to be tuned out), it causes a great deal of consternation. Although focus has its advantages, it is truly a double edged sword.
I think those are big ones. The two biggest faults are avoidance and insecurity. They seem to be twin sisters of most of my problems. I have a daily struggle with them. Sometimes I actually win.

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Hate Post

My first intention was write a post about my failings. I'll spare you, gentle reader, from being able to poke at me. Instead, I want to write about something Digger said in one his posts. He posted about the author, Schnarch, and his writing about relationships. One of the things mentioned was how spouses can start to hate each other. This hate is not, necessarily, a bad thing. Many tend to believe that the opposite of love is not hate but apathy. If hate exists, then maybe something positive can arise. Working on changing negative feelings to positive, that kind of thing.

That thought struck home with me. It has rattled around inside that empty space that my hat rests upon. I have pondered that idea a lot. I came to the conclusion that I may hate Sybil. There I wrote it. I hate writing it. Oops, I wrote it again.

We don't like to think we hate the one we are supposed to love. We are not supposed to hate them. However, what other word can be used, when I dread having to spend time with them? I dread knowing that so much time and energy will spent on petty bickering and fighting. That is how I feel right now. Whenever Sybil and I spend any time together, it invariably leads to her constantly pointing out all of my failings or some little slip will trigger not annoyance but rage (yesterday I forgot to check for any text message from her). Kind of coaching from the easy chair. Never been in the game. It's kind of hard to take that. I have pointed out that giving instructions from the sidelines is not the same things as actually doing it. Mentioned on more than one occasion. Doesn't seem to help.

The possibility of hating my spouse goes against what I believed to be the natural order of things. That is the real conundrum. I'm not saying that I believe in fairy tales with everyone living happily ever after. I do believe that one should love one's spouse, period. Sadly, for the past few years, I have started to dislike Sybil. Maybe even hate. Although it isn't fair to her since I haven't spoken of it to her, I am afraid that opening that Pandora's Box will lead to a lot more pain than any happiness. Somehow I have lost that deep emotional connection to Sybil.

Communication may be important, but it doesn't always work. I am wanting Sybil to make some pretty fundamental changes in her personality. I would resent someone asking that of me (actually, I do resent Sybil). I have tried to be patient with others, because I feel that I am a deeply flawed individual. Yet, I feel that I do not get the same treatment from my wife. Communicating the problem will not solve it. I have talked to her, with her, and at her at length. She will not bend.

I realize that she has issues with me, and I am not the easiest person in the world to live with. I was planning to do a post about my failings. This post had to come out. I'm not sure if any good will come of it. May be some things should be left in the dark closet.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I Just Gotta Tell Ya

The one single piece of advise I would give a woman about to be married is this: don't be a nag.

I know sometimes women feel that they are not being listened to or taken seriously. Do you really think nagging one's husband is really the answer? Trying to be helpful is a good thing, but taken to the extreme it becomes like so much other background noise. Something to be tuned out. Also, men already have one mother. If we wanted to listen to someone telling us how we were screwing everything up, we would have stayed home and lived with our mother. Let me give you a case in point.

It's Sunday morning and I have to get everyone up and moving, if we are to go to church. That includes Sybil. Actually, she is the worst one. Now, yesterday was cold. No doubt about it. I told the kids to make sure they dress appropriately. To put on a coat. Sybil, naturally, is the last one down and ready to go. I've already made sure the kids are ready. There is no way we'll get there on time. As per usual, we are going to be 30 minutes late. As we get into the car, Sybil looks at Daughter and sees the kind of coat she picked out. It is not a very well insulated one, but it is a coat. Meanwhile, Sybil has on two light coats. Son #2 has on a hoody (Son #1 wasn't with us). I don't have a coat on, but I am wearing a turtleneck sweater. Fortunately, I am rarely ever cold.

As we are driving to church, Sybil starts in about me not making sure the kids are properly dressed for the temperature. She notes that I am not properly dressed and am a poor role model for the kids. For the 15 minute drive, this is all I hear. Since I am trying to stir up as little controversy as possible, I merely explain that I did instruct the kids to wear a coat. I did tell the kids it is going to be cold. I kind of feel like the kids are old enough to know what to wear. Of course, this is wrong. Not only did I not enforce the coat wearing, but also I am not wearing a coat either.

As we are walking into the church, Sybil is still going on about it. Finally, I say "Whatever" and go to Sunday School. She goes to the nursery to help out there. During Sunday School, I start replaying the conversation and realize her intentions are noble. Afterwards, I go to her and apologize for my behavior. The kicker is, later that evening, she accuses me of trying to start a fight.

So women, please do not nag your husband. Although your intentions may be noble and it may feel like the thing to do, nothing good will really come of it. Either he will tune you out completely, simply pay lip service to you, or he will react with anger.

Monday, January 14, 2008

A Kind of Peace

Thank you all that commented on my last post.

Sybil and I haven't killed each other...yet.

Life is percolating along. We seem to have retreated into our respective corners for now. She hasn't really lost it in awhile (nearly 2 weeks). Right now, it seems the key is to acknowledge that I am wrong (even I think I'm right), quickly apologize, state why I think I was wrong (even if I think I was right), and everything is hunky-dory.

Somehow, I don't think this is a recipe for a healthy marriage. What constitutes a health marriage? I have no idea. Married people seem unhappy. Single people seem unhappy. Therefore, people seem unhappy. The idea that another is cause of our unhappiness is just as laughable as the idea that another is the cause of our happiness. We have bought into the fairy tale idea that we'll "live happily ever after." The best we can hope for is to live. Hopefully together.

This realization, which really was kind of V8 moment of slapping my forehead, has helped me laugh off Sybil's tirades. I know I cannot really take them seriously. Now, before anyone gets on to me about not taking Sybil seriously, I must point out that taking her seriously is what produces our nastiest arguments. Case in point: see post below. That is a good example. If I simply nodded my head and acted like I was listening, we probably would not have had the replay of Black Hawk Down with me being the guys in the HumV's.

Is this really a healthy attitude? I cannot say. Digger can comment on that better than me. He tends to study psychology and has a better grasp for it. It probably isn't. Remember the goal: to live (hopefully, together). If this is the goal of marriage (besides raising kids in a stable, loving environment), then simply letting go of her tirades will go a long way to keeping the peace. I cannot expect Sybil to change how she keeps the peace; I must only worry about doing my part. It is the height of conceit to expect someone to change simply because one wishes it (some may want to reread that). I must only concern myself with taking my reaction out of the equation. Expressing emotion will only add fuel to the fire.