Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Letting The Days Go By / Let The Water Hold Me Down

I'm going to write a bit about my marriage, but only a bit because it obviously involves someone else.

My wife suggested couples therapy.  I agreed to go because I noticed I was sad.  A lot.  I didn't like being sad, and I couldn't even remember when I was happy.  I mean consistently happy, not momentarily happy.
It seemed that the therapy agreed with my wife ~ she seemed happier.

I got sadder.

A few years ago, I felt I was burning out at work.  I was working pretty much continuously for over 30 years and I had an idea.  When we delivered the latest software iteration, I requested a six months unpaid sabbatical.

I didn't use my time off as well as I should have, but it was helpful and I felt better when I returned to work.

I know solutions are not one-size-fits-all, but I suggested to the therapist (and my wife) that I need a sabbatical.  Six months seemed like a good length of time ~ any shorter and it would be tough to move in/out.  But I thought I could cut it short if that's what was needed.

I know that it might be fatal to the marriage, but it was a risk I had to take.  I needed to shake things up and this was the only idea I had.

I felt this would help set my life back on track.

During the couples therapy time, I left my job and started on the job I'm working at now.

I had mentioned to my manager that I might not need parking because I may move out for a bit and I might find someplace close enough to walk/bus to the office.

Not long after I started, my manager said he was leaving the company, but first he was taking six weeks off to househunt in Colorado.  He asked if I'd like to housesit.  I said yes.

The therapist thought it might be a good thing.  I had started seeing another therapist individually (just an EAP thing ~ five sessions) and she thought it was a good idea and might help the marriage and would definitely help me.

I needed it.

The experiment was mixed, because I had to escape from the house on one occasion, and the six weeks became five.  But I did a lot of thinking, a lot of writing, and I came to a conclusion.

It was better.  I wasn't as sad.

Meg was around more, I had fewer worries and more time, and I wasn't as sad.

Yes There Are Jewels


  1. Meg -

    This "condition" we have is something that we can't ignore - it is like an itch that has to be scratched. Being Meg, instead of your male identity is an essential part of your being, the way being Marian is part of mine.

    I've learned not to fight this "condition" but to allow it to work for me. Right now, I'm reading a book called "The New Girl" by Mike Reynolds - he decided to live as a woman for 6 weeks, and did laser on the face, as well as voice training, in addition to buying a complete wardrobe and sets of prosthetics AND a temporary change of legal id, so that he could live "under cover".... His conclusion after his experiment - women are allowed to express a wider range of emotions AND experience them more intensely. To me, it might be that degree of intensity we crave - something we will always be denied when presenting as male.

    Am I sure of this? No. But it is a path for a thought experiment....


  2. The idea of a sabbatical is a good one and it could have a positive effect. A good friend of mine has been in a rather poor marriage. In 2004 he bought a condo that he held for two years as he took his sabbatical. After two years he sold his condo and moved back home. The good news is that he made $100K on the condo flip. The bad news is that he is now separating since it just is not working out.

    In my case we have a small second residence where my wife spends a lot of her time in the summer. I am with her about 4 nights a week and spend three nights a week up where I work where our main house is located. It is nice to be able to indulge the simple pleasures without concern for what others may think.

    There is some validity that distance makes the heart grow fonder. Like everything else, however, it is not one size fits all and everyone has their own issues to face.



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