Saturday, August 04, 2007

Responsible parties

I do not think I can fix my marriage. I'm willing to try, but it remains a problem that Mrs Zen is not. She thinks only I need to fix anything.

We have plenty of problems and issues, but we cannot move forward because we have a fundamental disagreement about what marriages are for. Mrs Zen believes they are primarily means of reserving sexual partners (whether or not you want to have sex with them: something that strikes me as particularly perverse about this point of view -- you insist that your partner should not have sex with anyone else, or even want to, but you feel no obligation to them so far as sex goes. Traditionally -- and this is still the case, for instance, in Islam, which very much sees marriage as a claim on a person's sexual life -- the partners were under an obligation to meet the other's sexual needs), whereas I see them as creating mutually supportive teams, traditionally for the purpose of raising children (a difficult, though not impossible, job for a single person) but of course extending through all of a person's affairs.

Consequently, Mrs Zen is unable to get past her view that I have ruined our marriage by contemplating infidelity (and pursuing it to some extent, although I haven't actually fucked anyone), while I feel that being hostile and aggressive towards your partner, not caring about their pursuits or needs, is not a good way forward.

In some ways, you could sum up our views simply. Hers is "you belong to me regardless" and mine is "we have mutual responsibilities". Marriage, to me, is about responsibility. You can argue that one of your responsibilities to your partner is to allow them sexual security and the reassurance that you are not fucking other people. I admit the argument, even if I have doubts about its strength. My doubts are based in an understanding that human sexuality is deep and complex, and expecting it to be satisfied within very narrow bounds simply sets yourself up for a fall. The negative outcomes of not getting what you want surely outweigh the positive outcomes that Mrs Zen believes her narrow view brings her. I'm convinced that her view, and those of people like her, can only be possible if they have not considered their sexuality sufficiently, and have allowed themselves to believe that not being fulfilled sexually is reasonable. You have to ask, if the whole aim of marriage is to reserve yourself a sexual partner, are you not being sold short if you are not fulfilled? Well, maybe she is. I have no idea about her sexual horizons because she is simply not interested in discussing them. Of course I've tried but I'm not pushy about it, and I'm considerably more squeamish in the flesh than I am online (an outcome of the phobia that I've mentioned here before; obviously, someone who finds it difficult to telephone friends to arrange a night out is going to find coercing an unwilling spouse into talking about sex a tough ask: and Mrs Zen is unwilling; she's pretty much unwilling to discuss anything except what a shithead I am).

I am not naturally responsible. I'm more of a "forget about it and it might go away" sort of person. But I take my responsibilities seriously, and try to live up to them. Mrs Zen does not. I don't think she was always this way. She used to be willing to engage herself, to be willing to care. But when she became pregnant with Zenella, she changed. Becoming pregnant, if you have someone to look after you who will shoulder some of the burdens that you have previously taken care of, involves shedding responsibility and centring your attention on yourself, as others' attention becomes focused on you. As bad as that was, it became much worse when she was pregnant with twins. And after they were born, her self-absorption became complete. I don't entirely blame her for it. It was astonishingly difficult for her to cope with them. The sleepless nights are doubly as bad, because twins are not synchronised; there are two children to get to sleep, two to feed (who do not necessarily want to eat the same things at the same time); two to care for. To hear her tell it though, you would think that she had singlehandedly managed the job, womanfully struggling against tremendous odds. The truth is, I took on most of her responsibilities as she collapsed under the burden of the twins. I kept house, made her life as easy as I could, and pretty much became Zenella's sole carer.

Of course, Mrs Zen has recovered some of her responsibilities, but she has cherrypicked them. She grew used to the role of mother as centre of family, preferring it to partner. Now she is not interested in our finances, only in whether she can have money to spend on herself, does not see why I should consider what I want important, often sees the children as impediments to doing what she wants, which of course they are (perversely, if I'm not interested in doing something with the kids, she goes ballistic, but we all have times when we wish they would just leave us alone), and will not take care of things unless I relentlessly bully her, which I am very uncomfortable doing. I find myself shoved into a role that I don't like: I am forced to be a paterfamilias, when I want to be a partner.

Mrs Zen has been seeing a counsellor. God knows what they talk about, because it doesn't seem to have done her a lot of good. She says she is working through issues she has with her family (which doesn't surprise me, because they were horrible to her as a child, and still are mostly detractors from her, and my, life: it's no secret that one of my biggest worries about splitting up is that they will become more influential in my children's lives) and whether she can continue being married. She wants us to have counselling but I refuse. I have two reasons. First, it's my view that her expressing her upset about me is not helpful, and that is what she wants to do; she wants a third party to witness her anger. Providing her with a formal venue for blaming everything wrong with her life on me is not positive in my view, mainly because it's not fixable. I'm not going to stop being me (nor will she stop being her), and fixing our marriage is a question of dealing with that, not endlessly upsetting herself over my not being the ideal chav (or whatever the fuck she wants me to turn into -- and as an aside, if you feel yourself succumbing to the urge to "change" your partner, can I let you know that if you are already a good person, willing to do a lot for the people round you, decent on the whole, it is fucking annoying to have someone constantly harp on your flaws and claim that they are in fact the totality of your being). If she had the least intention of being constructive, I'd be more willing to think about it, but I know her too well, not least because she is totally unwilling to be constructive outside counselling. Second, in my experience, and I do have only a little, so feel free to supply me with anecdotes about your own experience, which you are willing to extrapolate to mine, because of course I must just be mistaken about my own, counsellors take a gynocentric view as their first position. In other words, they assume the man is wrong and go from there. Now, I daresay men are more often in the wrong from the point of view of a counsellor, but that's neither here nor there. The point is that I do not privilege their point of view. Why should I? Most counsellors are barely trained, and apply a set of ideas to situations that do not fit them because they are not subtle enough or flexible enough in their thinking to be able to work in any other way. Which leads them to be prescriptive, when correctly describing and diagnosing the relationship problem would be more helpful.

Or I assume it would. Because I feel I see it quite clearly, and could fix it quite easily, so far as I'm concerned. But Mrs Zen's idea of a solution simply doesn't address the problem. It's all very well for her to suggest that I should promise to be faithful, promise not to email other women, promise to do this, that and the other, and other things that she wants, but that would only make me more unhappy, more isolated, less supported, less indulged (and a key element of a good partnership is that you have someone who does not mind indulging your whims). It's a solution for her, not for the problem.

Maybe my solution is too, a solution for me more than for the problem itself, but at least I offer her something. All she is suggesting is that I should get back into the cage that she believes marriage ought to be. But I will always be peering through the bars! A gorilla cannot become a mouse, even if he will squeak for you when you demand it. Of course, there are other things Mrs Zen thinks I should change, but her theme is the same: you must become a mouse, and you have sole responsibility for being a gorilla; nothing I do makes you feel like pounding your chest.

Of course, I paint a blacker picture here than it merits. Mostly this is because the underlying faults never seem far enough away to forget them, even if things are not relentlessly grim. But there are better and worse times. If there weren't, why would I even feel there was any point to trying to remedy it? But I do think that Mrs Zen's approach is to assume that you could just fix things without even looking at the underlying flaws, so that the good times are simply extended, while mine is to assume that if you never fix the underlying problems, they never will be.

32 Comments:

At 3:42 pm, Blogger blurbees said...

my father, nitwit that he is, once said that i should go see a psychiatrist (because of my financial philosophy, FFS).

i replied: "but i can't even afford a psychiatrist."

he said that he'd be more than happy to pay for all of the sessions to which i then said:

"ok, fine. great. i'll go see a psychiatrist, but only if you'll come along -- and if it's determined that i'm not the one who is fucking nuts, you have to give me $10,000 for my latest project."

he quickly dropped the subject.

he didn't want to get anywhere NEAR a psychiatrist, and certainly not with me around to counter his fucking bullshit deceptions.

you might want to think about that.

however, reading your latest entry here, you mostly sound like the reasonable one in the relationship.

seriously.

i mean that.

 
At 4:17 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

Well yes, but one is always going to look prettier in a selfportrait than a photograph.

 
At 4:39 pm, Blogger bickerfest blurbees said...

zen:

Well yes, but one is always going to look prettier in a selfportrait than a photograph.

 
At 7:36 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

boots sez:

Zen, you are full of contradictions and I'm not sure if you can see them in yourself; if you cannot it would be unsurprising, for most of us find it easier to see others than ourselves.

Yesterday you were preaching at the retardness of my view that women have more power over their lives than they wish to admit, today you're whining that "counsellors take a gynocentric view as their first position. In other words, they assume the man is wrong and go from there", an assumption that is essentially the same as what you presented with regard to the idea that "the way women are pushed down and abused by societies and cultures across the world is broken, and desperately needs fixing" so what is the deal, are women generically victims of men, or not? If they are, stop abusing Mrs Zen you abusive mysogynistic bastard; if they aren't, how the fuck has Mrs Zen attained such an iron grip on your withered testicles?

"I do not think I can fix my marriage."

Fine. Some things are not fixable, not worth fixing. When an old car breaks down for the last time you have it hauled away. Fuck fixing it, concentrate on surviving it.

If people never married until both parties actually knew who they are and what they want, the race would probably reach its well-deserved end within two generations.

You talk about how horrible Mrs Zen's parents were to her. Your own seem to have inflicted upon you a worldview that makes you a helpless victim. So be it, long live helplessness, suffer your marriage of hell forever, for the sake of the children. I'm sure the wonderful pair you and Mrs Zen make will complete the job of raising them without inflicting any harm upon them at all; if not, of course shrinks will be able to repair their maladjusted heads for a pittance.

 
At 7:53 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

Women can be on the whole victims, taken in the round, without its being correct that a counsellor should take the view that they are the vicim in every particular case. No contradiction there. Just a bit more thought needed on your part.

I'm a little bemused that you are so unclear that "fixing it" does not mean "making it perfect" but "making it work sufficiently to continue with it".

 
At 8:24 pm, Blogger Anonymiss said...

Fucking your kids up is pretty much something we do the minute they're pulled from the womb. i know there's damage limitation and all that but who among us can say that one kind of [the kind we're discussing here - i mean obviously if you knock them about and lock them in cupboards for the best part of the day, chances are they aren't going epitomise the well-rounded adult] damage will be more significant than another until they are grown? And even then (if that parent is anything like my mother), you could be old and jaded enough to have convinced yourself that your kids' failings are absolutely fuck all to do with you because what you did was the right thing at that time. So we grown-ups limit damage to ourselves too - otherwise we'd drown in the guilt. So if you stay or if you go, they will be damaged in some way and you will suffer guilt.

See the counsellor. Test your theory. Be open to the possibility that you're wrong about the process - if nothing else it will make incredibly interesting blog reading.

 
At 8:27 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

boots sez:

Watch for his eyes to flicker toward momma 20 years hence when you ask Naughtyman why he has chosen a homosexual lifestyle.

Yes, it is definitely myself who is unchinking and unclear.

The problem with spineless arrogant intellectuals is that they can't decide what to work on first so they don't bother; anything will do as long as you get on with it.

 
At 8:33 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

anonymiss, I won't be seeing the counsellor. I'd rather have my eyes poked out with a stick. I do take your point but you do not know Mrs Zen as well as I do. If you did, you'd know that the outcome is more or less preordained.

boots, I do not believe gays "choose" their lifestyle, and if Naughtyman grows to be gay, I do not have a problem with that and would not be asking why he chose it.

I'm not spineless, boots. A spineless guy would have run away. It's the easy thing to do.

 
At 9:26 pm, Blogger blurbees said...

anonymiss, I won't be seeing the counsellor. I'd rather have my eyes poked out with a stick.

what an interesting metaphor to choose.

the subconscious works in mysterious ways.

I do take your point but you do not know Mrs Zen as well as I do. If you did, you'd know that the outcome is more or less preordained.

and yet another.

whoa.

 
At 10:12 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

boots sez:

I'm not spineless, boots. A spineless guy would have run away. It's the easy thing to do.

You claim not to be spineless yet you cannot get your arms around the fact that your wife holds your balls in a fist of steel and do something about it besides whine. If you think fracturing a marriage involving children is the easy thing, you aren't thinking at all.

In your relationship with your wife Zen, you are the needy party. You can stop needing by simply doing it, and eventually the balance will swing. Or, you can continue to cry about your helplessness to improve the situation and watch your prophecy fulfill itself.

Try simply failing to give a shit what Mrs Zen wants or needs, not needing her in any way, and see if she does not eventually become the needy party and vastly more amenable to the concept of relationship repair.

Change seldom comes overnight, some constancy of will is necessary in order to exercise the power you have over your life. Nobody is going to make it all better for you, Mrs Zen certainly seems disinclined toward helping, you're in it yourself and the first step to a relationship of mutual freedom is to ignore the handcuffs you've allowed her to place upon you and watch them fall away with time.

When she asks for something, become an idiot who needs her to take care of that herself. The more useless you become the more she will be inclined to recognize the things you formerly did for the relationship and the more willing she will be to participate.

When a man of integrity has committed himself to monogamy, the pussies of the past count for nothing except in masturbatory fantasy; you cannot have a relationship between two equals when one of them is submissive to the other. You talk about the rights of women but fucksake it's you who's given away his rights.

 
At 2:08 am, Blogger Sal said...

counsellors take a gynocentric view as their first position

Is Mrs Zen's counsellor male or female?

I remember talking with someone who went with his then-wife to see the therapist she was seeing. Couples therapy she wanted, so he agreed to see the therapist and see how it went.

She stopped going to see that therapist after that session when the therapist summed up the session by telling =her= that she was the most controlling, vindictive, nasty person he'd ever seen in his practice and turned to the then-husband and told him he seemed like a nice guy, why was he putting up with that sort of thing?

You might be doing Mrs Zen a favor by showing up and providing a more realistic view of who you are, rather than the skewed view I'm sure the counsellor is getting.

 
At 11:14 am, Blogger Anonymiss said...

If you think fracturing a marriage involving children is the easy thing, you aren't thinking at all

Boots, if he is as spineless as you say he is, then it's a very easy thing indeed. if he isn't, then he's hanging around because he feels, rightly or wrongly, that it's the right thing to do. Since you clearly presented the moral distinction I, rightly or wrongly, assume you've had first hand experience... but bolted, in a fatherly way.

Well good for you for taking that leap, but fuck off assuming everyone else, particularly Zen - who cannot even bring himself to lie to his wife just to keep the peace - should be so morally bankrupt.

And if you're not speaking from experience, do me a favour and shut the fuck up.

 
At 12:11 pm, Blogger blurbees said...

one cannot possibly ignore Zen's love for his children in all of this.

having been thru a (mostly unwanted) divorce myself (unwanted mostly because of the kids), i'd hate to see anyone else have to go thru that hell and its inevitable effects on the kids.

in my case, she was the one who wanted out, and i was finally fed up enough with her pettiness to let her go -- though her serving of the divorce papers was just an attempt to manipulate me into becoming somebody that i wasn't and couldn't possibly be -- there's no doubt whatsoever that we would still be married if i was willing to become a mindless, soulless, conformist.

anyway, divorce is usually a very bad thing to happen to a family with small children, so if it can possibly be avoided, IMO, it probably should be.

if it can't be, if your own sense of happiness cannot somehow survive a continued relationship with someone who does not relate to you the way you need them to, if you've made the wrong mate choice, and you're unable to somehow get the happiness and peace of mind that you want somewhere else while managing to stay together as a family, well...

i'd suggest being very very careful about how you go about splitting up -- but you're more than smart enough to realize that (should you unfortunately decide to throw in the towel).

it's the things you can't control that you likely worry about most.

sure, kids are very resilent, and they can adapt to almost anything, and if you deeply love them everything will probably be alright for the most part, but life is a very messy fricken' thing which is highly unpredictable.

even under the best of circumstances.

doubly so when there's other people whom you feel will butt their ignorant noses in and influence things for the worst.

my heart goes out to you, Zen.

in our consumer-structured modern world far too many people just pack up and go out the door at the first sign of inconvenience.

or the second.

but no more than the third.

it's not like the old days.

for the kids, there's pluses and minuses to both worlds, i suppose, but it's a pretty tricky thing to deal with when you're the caring sort.

 
At 1:55 pm, Blogger Arleen said...

for the kids, there's pluses and minuses to both worlds, i suppose,

One big minus. Mrs. Z is Australian. They are in Australia. Zen wouldn't take the kids away from their mother any more than he wants to be apart from them, but for him to be happy he needs to go home, to England. Unfortunately, we haven't invented the transporter yet.

No matter which way you slice it, Zen loses if he divorces. Either he stays in Australia to be near his kids and remains miserable (although he might end up finding someone who could make things a bit more bearable), or he goes home and rarely sees his kids.

 
At 2:47 pm, Blogger blurbees said...

well, yeah, it's hard enough when you're only a few miles away, or even when you get to see them every day.

divorce is shitty.

life's a bitch.

OTOH, if you can manage to view it just so, somehow, someway, everything always works out for the best -- or so you try to convince yourself, anyway.

you just gotta keep your sense of humor.

and your love.

and faith.

and your sense of humor -- did i mention that one yet?

 
At 7:31 pm, Anonymous father luke said...

May I ask which of her qualities
initially brought you to fall in love
with her?

 
At 7:58 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

Two things above all others, Father. First, she was one of the nicest people I had ever met: a Candide; unaffected, sweet. Second, she had no side, nothing to prove, no desire to better me.

Also, I thought she would be a great mother. I daresay you could be critical of that thinking. It's a bit unreconstructed. But it was important to me not to consider a long-term thing with someone who would not be good in that role, because not having kids was not even conceivable for me.

 
At 9:14 pm, Blogger Dr Zen said...

boots, I won't permit that.

 
At 12:45 am, Blogger Anonymiss said...

boots, I won't permit that

fuck, musta been vicious.

Boots, I'd had a vodka too many last night and was a gobshite - I know nothing about you at all and I had no reason to aim personal (or not) stuff at you other than in defence of a mate. A mate who needs defending about as much as I do, to be fair, but you wrote what i thought were some harsh words, unnecessarily harsh too - unless you're really Mrs Zen and had just seen this post.

If you're from the "only harsh words will make him listen" school of thought, i can tell you from years of occasionally bitter, yet fleetingly so, experience that you're sadly mistaken - but I can empathise with the sentiment. If it's not and you have a genuine dislike for the guy, what changed?

Anyway, I'm sorry about being personal (or not) and I hope that fella whose comments I have followed and enjoyed a great deal in the past hasn't gone for good.

 
At 4:03 am, Anonymous Father Luke said...

You'd love my cousin, Zen.

When I was homeless in Fresno, S
offered me a couch to sleep on. I
respectfully declined, but I smiled
at her kindness. I was to do this
thing called life with no help.
Thank you.

Then I was attacked as I slept. A
gang of eight beat me with shovel
handles, and bottles. I told the
cops right away, and they laughed.

The plight of an old, homeless man
in the land of plenty. What was I
to do? Sleeping out of doors was
proving fatal. I was not suicidal.
I had no means upon which to draw.

"S," I said into the phone.
It was three thirty in the morning.
"I've been beaten up..."

"I'll fix up Gassy," she said.

The children, She has four, had
named an orphan travel camper,
broken, and sitting in their
driveway 'Gassy'.

I arrived, and S had laid out fresh
sheets, and a pillow with lavender
in the pillow case. She cried when
she saw me.

I spent the next few months being
"Uncle Father Luke". I had never
been an Uncle before then.

S and C raise their children in a
loving environment. C is an
engineer, he works at home.
S home schools the children.
Supper time has everyone
eating something different. One of
the children is vegetarian. She is
about seven. J refuses meat of any
kind. Then at bed time, the youngest,
maybe five, sleeps in bed between
S and C.

I don't know about their sex life.
It's between them. I can only guess
it is either so satisfying mutually
that they have no need to discuss
it, or so bad it's beyond public
acknowledgment.

S tends to the children among a
flock of birds, mice, rats,
dogs,hamsters, fish...

My few months with them showed me
an alternative to the way I grew
up, Zen. There was joy, and happiness, and freedom.

S is a wonderful mother.


I read no where you and Mrs Zen are
not in love. It was implicit, but
not explicit.

Are you two in love?

 
At 9:52 am, Blogger Miz UV said...

Zen, I hope you stay and work it out because I believe it's better for everyone that way (with rare exceptions). We had several points of almost-splitting, including one last year, but didn't and are glad now. Some people aren't great when little kids are around -- I was one of them, possibly somewhat like the Mrs Zen you describe. I got better as they got older; maybe she will too. As far as the shrinks: you will be smarter than all of them and not respect them, I think. That's how it's always been for me anyway. I wouldn't say it's a total waste of time/energy though. The last one we went to was such an idiot we both had a good laugh at her expense after each session and it brought us closer. She was not gynocentric in our case -- she clearly couldn't stand me. [g]

 
At 1:35 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think you actually know what the role of a councillor is! its not to advise or to judge its to facilitate an environment (often by simply asking relevant questions)in which you feel able often compelled to actually talk about your felling about each other and what you both want and need. One of your main moans is she will not talk about the things that need to be resolved, it appears that if she wants you two both see a councillor she may be ready to talk about these issues. Go to the councillor if you don't feel comfortable with one find another. Its a straw and if you want your lot to improve, then you should grasp at anything, you have 3 kids invested in your relationship, you have to explore every avenue.

 
At 9:24 am, Blogger Dr Zen said...

Of course I know what counsellors are supposed to be for, Gunt. I have absolutely no problem talking about things. The problem is with Mrs Zen. She *only* wants to bitch about the past, not to be constructive, and she can do that without my being there.

She wants me to see the counsellor to help the counsellor understand her. You really don't understand how Mrs Zen is. She is not interested in mutual talk. She is interested in the counsellor's sorting *her* out, not our relationship as such.

 
At 10:00 am, Blogger Arleen said...

She is interested in the counsellor's sorting *her* out, not our relationship as such.

Sorting her out wouldn't help the relationship?

 
At 10:05 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok so when your marriage breaks up and she tells your kids "i didn't want it to happen, but daddy wouldn't come to counciling" and they become bitter and blame you for every thing you'll be happy with that. Mo doubt they will blame you but at least she won't be able to use it on you. Councilling? you are just a coward, you truly don't know what's going to happen until you go. I have to wonder what you are so scared of. You appear to be running out of options! perhaps you like it, the way it is, in a self flagellating sort of way, is the pain making you more productive as angst is often a powerful creative stimulus. You say she won't change and you are not going to, so you are at an impasse you need mediation. Just where do you think the way forward is going to come from?

 
At 10:06 am, Blogger Dr Zen said...

You are utterly clueless, Gunt. Don't let that stop you shooting your mouth off though.

 
At 10:18 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hit a nerve perhaps? two intransigent people in a relationship who can bearly stand to be in each others company, held together by your fear of what will become of your children and financial circumstance. You claim it is basically all her fault, you are superior to her, she's a chav! yet you are not prepared to take any real steps forward, you have to make the first move. Why don't you just leave. Nothings going to change is it.

 
At 10:28 am, Blogger Dr Zen said...

Of course, you never have actually let being clueless stop you.

 
At 10:47 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its often said that the most clever and intelligent people lack common sense, you pretty much prove that point. Your fucked and if you continue with your stubbornness you will continue to lead a miserable life, its beginning to looks like that's all you deserve. The way You're wasting your life is a disgrace.

Just how much skunk do you get through, you fucking waster.

 
At 8:26 am, Blogger Teacake said...

Some people aren't great when little kids are around -- I was one of them, possibly somewhat like the Mrs Zen you describe.

FWIW, I second this. I was unfuckingrecognizable for the first year after my daughter was born. And not in a good way. I realize your kids are older, but there's also more of them, and as you yourself note, twins are hard.

We're not getting both sides of the story, of course, but I'll assume yours is mostly accurate. I've criticized you before in other posts, but from this one it's hard to see the problem as anything other than Mrs. Z holdling your marriage hostage. The inability to get past even a whiff of infidelity is very, very hard to understand, I think, for someone outside the belief that it's an utter betrayal, but I tend to take a pretty hard line on this myself so I understand how her bitterness and resentment is taking time to shed. Nonetheless, she either needs to decide to stop punishing you so you can rebuild together, or, frankly, admit she can't or won't, and end it for everyone's sake.

Maybe I'm wrong about this, but you strike me as a guy who's pretty hard to please. I'm guessing that for you to love a woman enough to marry her, she'd have to be one extraordinary freaking person. She's still in there. Be patient and maybe she'll come back.

 
At 8:30 am, Blogger Teacake said...

FWIW, I second this. I was unfuckingrecognizable for the first year after my daughter was born. And not in a good way. I realize your kids are older, but there's also more of them, and as you yourself note, twins are hard.

Gawd, I sincerely hope that didn't come off as me blaming your children. You know that, right? I only meant that it's just really hard, when you get hit with such a wallop of a change to everything you've done and been, not to become just really near-sighted and selfish about it. I don't know why I feel this is different for fathers, maybe because in many cases they still have some bits of their old lives left while the mother's changes literally top to bottom in every possible way. It's easy to resent, not the child, but the father for this.

 
At 5:22 pm, Blogger Father Luke said...

No. It is different for fathers.
Fatherhood is a fairly new phenomena
as far as institutions go.

Look at it, will ya?

Dad goes out to work.
Mom goes out to work.

Mom brings money home.
Dad brings money home.

Mom is in charge of the kids, dad
reads a paper in front of the
television, and takes shit for
anything, and everything that's
wrong.

Kids grow up hating dad for just
for being dad.

The fucker can't win.

Or am I being too 2nd World War?

 

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