I have been trying to formulate what I want to say to the therapist later today.
I know he wants me to recognise that my marriage to Ewan is flawed. He thinks I should seriously consider our relationship and I can see why he thinks that. I can’t believe how hard that has been to do though. If I acknowledge my marriage is a failure then what am I left with? And besides, I don’t think it is a failure. I think there have been problems. I think I may be the problem. I think he has made mistakes that have affected me deeply but I still don’t want the marriage to end.
So. Does that mean I didn't find Mr Right?
After Lee (the big love of my life), I didn’t believe Mr Right existed. I wasn’t interested in falling in love again but I did want a partner to share my life with.
I was attracted to Ewan’s kind face and his personality but more to the fact that he seemed clearly smitten with me and wanted to marry me and he had everything I knew a good husband should have.
It didn’t matter that “something” wasn’t there. I liked him and he wasn’t Lee and he couldn’t break my heart and that was all that mattered. I knew by then that happy ever after doesn’t exist. Being satisfied and not unhappy was the best you could hope for.
Friendship, shared ideas and being able to laugh with each other was more important than that heady, slightly out of control feeling of being IN love as that doesn’t last forever anyway and then you’re left with resentment and the bitterness of broken, unrealised dreams. Better to do without it in the first place if you are going to commit to a lifelong relationship. Anyway, he loved me so it wasn’t as if it was absent from the partnership and in turn I treated him with great respect and tried to always make him feel special.
By marrying someone everyone approved of I felt like I was a good, dutiful daughter with the added bonus of having found a partner I actually liked while I was still relatively young. This was no act of desperation but an acceptance that it was probably the best offer I was likely to get. I had a big, expensive, lavish wedding that made my dad proud and my mum cry. Since then, it has been a conventional marriage.
He may not have been Mr Perfect but he has never been Mr Wrong.
We may not talk as much as we used to but at least our silences are companionable, not sullen. We may not share as many jokes as before but I still get a thrill of pleasure when he laughs at one of my anecdotes and I love that funny look on his face when I giggle at something he says. We may not entertain as much as we used to but when we do we’re still as good as we always were and the fact that friends are still with us late into the night means they enjoy our company and like being with us.
He has given me two beautiful children who I adore. My son is so like him and such a decent young man that it is no wonder all the girls love him. And my daughter has his gentleness which takes the sharp edges off her similarity to me.
The bottom line is, I was lucky to find someone who asked and maybe that’s why I said yes. He may not love me like he used to and maybe when he talks to me my thoughts and attention are sometimes elsewhere but whatever might be missing, I want to grow old with him. I don’t like the thought of being without him. And I think he feels the same.
He’s as right for me as I could ever be lucky enough to find. If I hadn’t said yes to him, I probably would be like many of my friends now - single, in their forties and desperate for a husband and family. I would have lurched from one disastrous relationship to another.
So I settled. But I think I settled well. I don’t think I could have found anyone better suited to me, someone who would put up with me the way he does.
Whatever it is that is making me so fundamentally unhappy, I don’t think it’s my marriage.
Or is it?? Oh! I’m not capable of thinking straight. The therapist will be fed up with me - I don’t know the answer.
This is so hard !
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