Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Another Post

I felt the need to that's what I'm doing. Just a quickie update.

Things with Sybil are ok. Not great but not awful either. I guess I have come to terms with my lot in life.

Marriage is definitely difficult. I won't lie and say I'm easy to live with either. However, I've learned things about Sybil over the last 18 years that I didn't know, when we were dating. Kind of a bait and switch, really.

Ultimately, it's about control. Sybil loves to be in control (ironically, she hates making decisions, though). Case in point: we were at the Post Office early one morning to mail some packages. There are a couple of cars in the parking lot. As I was about to back up to leave our parking space, Sybil starts fussing about my plan to back out of the space. Why not pull forward and loop around? That's so much easier. Well, not really, but Sybil hates putting the car in reverse. That discomfort was transferred to me. Therefore, she nags at me about not backing out of the space.

Back when I was enamored with Sybil, that would have seemed like an isolated incident. Now I know her oh so well. It ties in beautifully with my last post about control. The problem is that I truly don't understand the need to critique everything I do. It's tiring.

See, the thing is I hate being controlled. I hate being told what I can and cannot do. I bristle at authority. Therefore, the thing with Sybil's need for control in all aspects really creates a lot of tension for me. It causes me to act out in ways that may be self-destructive. For example, Sybil's need to control our sex life. She has the need to control how it is done. I've taken to controlling the when. I know it's passive-aggressive. However, I've spoken to her on more than one occasion. Sadly, her selfishness can't see beyond her needs and into mine. So I don't try as much. It's isn't exciting. I used to try different methods, positions, etc. only to be rebuffed. So what's the point?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Quick update

Yep...I'm still alive and well. Things are coasting along. I am writing for myself, as always. My readership has dwindled to nothing. That's ok, because this blog was in the real sense a web log. I am logging my relationship with Sybil. My lack of posting has nothing to do with some big time breakthrough in our marriage. Nope. I just got tired of writing the same stuff. I'm coming to the end of the road.

But...I've got a little time, and I wanted to blog what happened earlier today. I'm always amazed at the ability people have to rationalize stuff. We all do it. All of us. We never seem to realize that we are doing it, either. Just today Sybil did it. She was talking about this woman we know. She has 4 kids from 2 different fathers, debt up to her ears, can't pay her rent, car has died, and divorced (again). However, she managed to find a guy to not only give her a car free and clear, but also pay her rent for the year. I made the remark of a sexual quid pro quo (involving her performing oral sex on him). Her only remark: "If you had played your cards right, you would be getting a bj too." Nice. Sex as a weapon. Nothing like trying to manipulate someone into doing your bidding. I don't think she saw how she sunk herself to that woman's level. The only difference is that Sybil chooses to use negative reinforcement, instead of positive reinforcement. The other woman is getting a free car and her rent paid. Sybil is getting my ire and resentment. Who is smarter? One catches more flies with honey than with vinegar.

It's that kind of thing that has worn me down. Eighteen years of it. Nothing like being made to feel like a puppet on the end of the string. Naturally, if all I do is what she wants, she isn't happy with that either. Doing so means that I am not thinking for myself.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Seething Resentment

Sybil and I are coming up on 18 years of marriage. These days, that is an accomplishment. I am always wondering how other couples deal with past hurts both big and small. Do they forgive and forget, or do they use the hurt as a bludgeon? Do they use these mistakes as a way to win the argument, or are the mistakes brought up as a way to show a pattern of behavior? Or is this bludgeon a way to change the other's behavior?

I don't have the answer to those questions.

In this blog, I have written about Sybil's behavior. I have not posted even half of the stuff that goes on. "Mommy Dearest" comes to mind. Very similar behavior at times. At other times, she is nothing like that, hence the moniker of Sybil.

My question in this post is about the statute of limitations. I will be the first to say that I have made two huge errors in my marriage. They both were business decisions that were extraordinarily bad. One sprang from my pride, and one sprang from my not wanting to "upset the apple cart". I'm not talking about infidelity or anything that big. No, I am talking about two times that I failed to listen to Sybil and got bitten for it. I have admitted to my poor decisions. I wish I could go back in time and undo everything that has been done. I cannot. I can only move forward and try to learn from them.

So what is the statute of limitations? When am I off of probation? Whenever a disagreement comes about, Sybil uses these two issues to undermine my position. Her resentment and even anger towards me is palpable, yet despite my best efforts, she will not forgive me. She says she does, but why bring these issues up at every turn? That tells me that she does not forgive me.

Between these decisions and Sybil's demeanor towards me, my self-confidence is at an all time low. Sybil has always questioned everything I have done and sought ways to control my behavior (I don't say the right thing, don't act the right way, etc.). With new ammunition, she is able to step up the assault on me. If she resents me so much, why not just do us both a favor and leave? Stubbornness. Sybil is stubborn (in fairness, I am stubborn also). Leaving would admit defeat. That cannot happen.

Although Sybil feels that everything wrong in her life is because of me, she will have to be the one to get over it. I cannot make her. She will have to be the one to either "fish or cut bait". Either way the resentment will end.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I'm Not the Only One

I read this post at The Good Men Project. It fits a lot of what I see/feel. I was such a laid back kind of guy. Sybil knows how to punch my buttons.

It's amazing how she complains about my lack of confidence, yet does everything in her power to make sure I'm torn down. A good example of a "death by a thousand papercuts": called to bring her lunch (it was lunch time, and she was at the office on Saturday). I had gotten up at 5AM to work at a charity event from 6AM to 12 PM. I called her to ask what she wanted, I bought her lunch, I brought the lunch to her, and she complained that I didn't get her fries (the same Sybil that complains about her weight). She didn't appreciate my efforts in caring about what she wants. I really don't care about this incident, because this is typical Sybil. I use it to illustrate how nearly 18 years of this and worse wears the other person down.

I have two choices: quit trying or quit caring. Since it's obvious that Sybil is a complete bitch and always has been, I don't think this is a problem that can be fixed.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I'm an Ol' Meanie

"You're so MEAN!!," yelled Sybil.

I had just turned off the TV and turned towards her as I prepared to go to sleep. It was late (~11:30 pm), and I had to get up early. Sybil had gone to bed around 7:30 due to a bad headache (combination of staying up too late the night before and stress at the office). When I came to bed around 10:00, she was sound asleep. I watched a little TV before going to sleep.

At one point Sybil awoke and asked, "What time is it?"

"Around 11:30," I answered.

"AM or PM?"


At this point, I thought Sybil was asleep: she asked an obviously stupid question (it was pitch black in our bedroom) and had gone silent. Imagine my surprise, when she yelled, "You're so MEAN!!"

WTF?!?!? I literally jumped out of bed. I was almost asleep, and her exclamation was so surprising I reacted by nearly jumping out of my skin.

Since I turned off the TV and turned towards in preparation to go to sleep without asking about her headache, I just do not care. I only care about myself. I defended myself that she seemed about to go to sleep judging by her reaction and her inability ascertain whether or not it is PM or AM. Nope. I. Just. Do. Not. Care.

After that tiff, she might be on to something. I just about do not care. If it were not for the kids, I would be out of here. The kids are the only thing that is keeping me here. Sybil has created a home life that is just unbearable. It's not that I don't care about Sybil's well-being. I just don't care about the abuse.

I must maintain for the kids' sake. I am just an Average Married Chump.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Was: The Walkabout Continues

This is what I intended to write about

I have been away reading various blogs on what women want. I am familiar with the mainstream version: women want a nice guy that will listen to them and treat them special. This makes for a "Princess on a Pedestal". I have noticed a running theme in today's culture that says women are, somehow, superior to men. I see it in TV shows, movies, on the news, etc.

Now, the blogs I am reading are ones that run counter to what is in pop-culture. These blogs deal with doing exactly the opposite of what a woman tells you they want. Ideas are boiled down to "Alpha" behavior verses "Beta" behavior. Our culture says women want a Beta provider to take care of them, yet what men see are Alpha males getting the women.

Beta males are the providers. These men get up early and go to bed late. They work hard and die young. They see themselves as the provider for the family. They try to do what they're wives/girlfriends ask at all times. Obviously, the vast majority of men are in this category. Think of them as the steady, wage earner. Kind of dull but consistent and steady.

Alpha males are the "bad boys". They are only out for themselves and whatever they can get from others. They tend to treat women as objects and have a misogynistic streak. He would never treat a woman as the most important thing in his life. As a matter of fact, he expects the woman to treat him as the most important thing. He is not interested in a family life.

The idea that women are attracted to the Bad Boy is nothing new. I wish I had a nickel for every woman that said she wished she could find a nice guy, yet this same woman kept going after the Bad Boy. These women never seemed to be self-aware enough to realize they are responsible for the Bad Boy. Men are simple creatures. However, men are not stupid. If men start seeing that what women really want is a Bad Boy to move them, then that is what they will become.
Well, I'm not really in the mood. Yes, I've been traipsing around the "manosphere" with its men's rights. Too many times it seems too jaded. No, instead I'll talk about my favorite subject: Sybil and our Co-Dependent Marriage.

I'm really tired of being married right now. It is too hard. It is too hard being told that being decisive means I don't listen to her opinions. It's too hard being told that I'm not decisive enough. It's too hard having the feeling of Charlie Brown trying to kick that football only to have it pulled away. It's too hard having strict boundaries in the bedroom.

I think I could put up with a lot of Sybil's BS, if the bedroom stuff was ok. Type A, control freaks never shut that aspect of their personality off. It defines who they are. That aspect makes for a difficult living arrangement. They feel the need to ALWAYS be in control no matter the situation. Not only must they be in control but others around them must accept their control. If others do not, then they are selfish people. Sadly, these controlling people never see themselves as the actual narcissus. They never see that their mentality leaves no room for other's opinions or feelings.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Ideal Parent

Amy Chua wrote this article in the Wall Street Journal about the supremacy of a Chinese upbringing. In it she describes her parenting style, and it being an anathema to Western thought. She compares and contrasts Chinese moms to Western moms. Since Sybil is Chinese (immigrated from Hong Kong when she was 7), I'll chime in, also.

Ms. Chua has a point about the positives of how Chinese moms parent. They are much more strict and take less B.S. than their Western counterparts. Sybil is a perfectionist, which goes along with the Chinese stereotype. She expects her children to as perfect as possible. Of her siblings, she is the least successful: oldest brother is a physician, second oldest is an aeronautical engineer, third oldest is an electrical engineer, older sister is a pharmacist, and younger brother is a pharmacist. Sybil by contrast was a stay-at-home-mom until our youngest was old enough to go to school. Now she helps me in my business. I have seen first hand how a Chinese mom can be. In a word, they are tyrants.

That does not mean that Chinese moms do not love their children. They express their desire to have the best for their children by trying to mold them into being the best. Chinese women have a control freakishness about them that is surprising. The stereotypical Chinese woman is subservient to her husband. That may be true in movies. I have never seen it. Not her mother nor her sister. This need to control extends to their children. Couple that need to status (having "face"), and that is can be a bad mixture.

This mixture makes Chinese people great employees. You want a software written without bugs? Get a Chinese person to do it. You want a doctor to operate on you? Get a Chinese person to do it. You get the drift. Sadly, this form of upbringing makes for poor entrepreneurs. The perfectionist, play-it-safe upbringing makes for a terrible skill set for striking out on one's own. The fear of failure and, therefore, loss of face is too great. A Chinese upbringing makes for too much emphasis to be placed on getting the right credentials and not developing a skill set.

What skills are needed? In my opinion, the ones listed below:
1. Self-esteem. To start a business or move up in the corporate ladder one needs self-esteem. Being a worker bee trapped in a cubicle, while safe, is a soul-sucking existence.
2. Networking. Controlling the types of people one's children come in contact with, leaves that person in a poor position to be able to relate to others. Many Chinese people have a hard time relating to non-Chinese people.
3. Broad knowledge. Thinking that one has the right credentials guarantees life long income and comfort is wrong headed. As the economy changes, getting more credentials only means one becomes more and more specialized. The more specialized one becomes the less able to adapt to change. Also, credentialism has little to do with intelligence or knowledge.

What happens to these Chinese kids in the real world? They've gone to be best universities and have seemingly successful careers, yet they are "socially autistic". They become disillusioned with their life's path, which leads to bitterness.

I think life has to be a balancing act. Only focusing on getting "A's" in school, being the best in piano, etc. with nothing else to make one a well-rounded person makes for a sad, shallow existence. Life is a challenge. Being so caught up being the best, creates more stress and challenges.

Monday, January 10, 2011

I'm Not Dead

Sorry for the dearth of posts. It seems that as a blog ages, the posts become less frequent.

Things with Sybil and me are pretty good right now. It comes down to acceptance. She is starting to accept my faults, instead of trying to change them. I'm starting to accept the fact that this is as good as it gets. With the exception of her over the top, exaggerated histrionics, she's a pretty decent wife. Naturally, I wish the sex was better. I guess vanilla ice cream is better than no ice cream.

After over 17 years of marriage, it boils down to love. What is love, though? It isn't that tingly feeling that one gets. It is much calmer. Although I wish the lust portion of our marriage was better, I think we are more in love now than we have been in a long time. We still have a our blow-ups, but she is more calmer. I think Sybil decided to make peace with me. I think I have decided to make peace with her. That is the key to it.

People spend so much of their time being resentful that it becomes like a virus. When a virus infects a cell, it takes over the machinery of the cell. The cell starts producing more viruses that are spread to more cells and so on. Stopping the process of resentment infection can be very difficult. Forgiving someone for a slight (either real or perceived) is very key. Oh sure we can say, "I forgive you," but until that is in one's heart, it's meaningless. Many people have resentment towards their spouse and can't let it go. This leads to divorce which is very destructive on so many levels. That destruction can be staved off by forgiveness. Sounds so simple, yet it is so hard.

That's why I haven't been posting much. Sybil and I have come to a consensus. This blog was about my struggles with Sybil. Since we haven't been struggling as much, I don't have as much to post about. I will be posting, periodically. The focus will, probably, change to other topics. Topics that I have been thinking about as far as marriage in general, rather than focusing on my marriage only.

Thanks for reading this pitiful wretch's blog. Life is a struggle. We must always endeavor to persevere.