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.