I married my best friend and (I thought) soulmate…4 years ago. Now I feel like we’re basically strangers who happen to live in the same house. Well, not strangers – more like cousins who often can’t stand each other. He hates the way I leave makeup on the bathroom counter and I hate the way he does a lot of things. I am constantly biting my tongue. Should I leave?
Trapped in Marriage
Dear Trapped in Marriage,
I thought perhaps you would ask me how you might burrow through walls or to prevent your captor from realizing you had undone your handcuffs in order to write to me. At the very least, there might have been a room full of the severed heads of your spouse’s previous mates.
However I will attempt an answer to your question. When you chose marriage likely it was in a moment of overwhelming love and passion. All these annoyances you mention were overshadowed by desire. That is why, when the shadow moves and these things are revealed, it seems a different landscape.
Perhaps this new landscape is so foreign that you must leave. But I would counsel you to spend some time in it. It seems flat and mundane right now compared to the excitement of the first dances, the first beddings, the first rings exchanged. But like the desert that seems bereft of life, a little attention to the details may reveal much that grows beneath the surface. It is not so clear as the rainforest, for often things bloom briefly and only at night. But bloom they well might.
Also, when I say attention I do not mean to sit and list the flaws. I mean that you must take this passion you once felt and which is now buried within you, and attempt to seduce your spouse again. Rather than feeling desire you will attempt to court the other’s.
I suggest some bloodletting and perhaps a trip to someplace significant – perhaps time in London tracing the steps of Jack the Ripper, or if you do not mind to spend hours with 20 poseurs for every genuinely dark soul, something like this cruise.
In the end only you may decide whether you are able to remain there. I must admit to a bias, in that I think one’s word, once given, obligates one to stay a long time in the desert, to have many conversations and many attempts to seduce. Perhaps forever, at least for me.
I will not sentence you to the same fate but I do ask you to consider the impact on your character. How you end things is as important as how you begin them.
This does not mean you cannot enjoy yourself while you explore. You might trap your partner with handcuffs and torture him a while (in which case he may choose to end the marriage first and you will not have to choose). Or you might find other interests to pursue other than enumerating the flaws of your spouse – perhaps creating that locked room of psychopathic trophies. If the latter, send pictures.