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Dear Breakup Girl,
Damn it. I can't believe I'm writing this.
I am currently married to a person I have been with for five years. We have
an almost two-year old son whom we both adore. My husband is not a jerk. He's
not abusive. He's not distant or cold or boring or loveless. He even gets my
jokes, for god's sake. My mother thinks he's Mr. All Time Wonderful ("the
son she never had", only she likes my brother a lot as well).
When we met he was an economics major and heading to do his masters in pure
math. I had messed about in high school and so had to do "time" in
college before I was even able to get into a University program. Things have
turned out rather well for me. I'm finishing up my degree (in English lit and
Religious Studies) this year -- I took time off to have our son -- and will
probably begin my masters next fall. I've also 'fallen in' with the literary
crowd round here and there is pressure to publish from other published people
(I write poetry so we aren't talking big bucks here). My husband now has a
fairly good job as an accountant and rather than taking a masters he's gone the
route of professional designations -- which is no bad thing in and of
One of the reasons that we began to date was that we both loved books and
saw ourselves as heading for obscene amounts of education. I must admit that I
loved this image of us growing old together arguing about novels and spending
our late afternoons drinking scotch in comfy chairs -- call me boring, but this
is wildly romantic stuff.
My husband never reads now. And thus we never talk about books, or art or
plays. I know that he does not plan to return to university. He does other
things -- valuable things I dare say, but things I don't really understand. Our
conversation drifts always to our adorable child. I'm worried that we really
only have him left to talk about.
I don't want to break up. I love this person very much. We've spent so much
important, life changing, time together and it's impossible to imagine being
without him (which is, of course, not true -- the fact that I'm writing this in
the first place means that I have at least considered the possibility). But
things keep changing (which is, of course, true for everyone) and though I
don't wish that we exist in some sort of time warp, I do want us to change in a
He barely notices this. He says that he's quite happy and that he intends in
no way to hinder my professional pursuits. I rather expect that's the case --
but I had hoped that he would celebrate them. Of course, I would be extremely
hard pressed to tell you what exactly he does with his working day.
I would like to know how I can get us back in some kind of harmony. I want
to be not only parents together, but adults and peers. Add to this that the
masters program I want to take is not offered anywhere near here. We would have
to move. Or I would have to settle for something else. I'm terrified of the big
confrontation that this might bring.
This was so rambling.
Are you kidding? Novels, scotch, comfy chairs, late
afternoons... that is wildly romantic. Like, and it's raining?! Oh!
And I'll bet you're a good poet, too.What a delicate,
poignant, description of a marriage that has been hollowed, but that -- yes, I
believe -- can be refilled with all sorts of books and words and poetry and
Belleruth thinks so too. "Having a new kid under
two can really distort a relationship -- and that's okay. But your husband may
have morphed into his picture of "daddy-provider." You may have
gotten scared sh**less about how trapped you feel. So you need to (re) build
things into yout that will keep these new stereotypes from setting into place
like stone. Give the adorable kid to someone and go do something interesting,
that's what I say. It's critical, in fact. A long weekend every now and then,
doing something together that is not kid-like and possibly intellectually
interesting: a workshop.A literary cruise. Whatever. Doesn't matter. You should
do this every three or four months. It will remind you of what else you have in
common. You will be terrified to do this and will think of reasons not to, in
which case you should write back to Breakup Girl and she will remind you of
those long, late afternoons that could very well lie ahead of
BR & BG
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