Notes from The Ethical Slut
Canít say exactly what I was reading when this occurred to me, but I donít feel like itís ok for me to express my negative emotions. Itís ok for me to express happiness or contentment, but I feel like anything else puts an unnecessary burden on C, or that she doesnít want to hear it. C has a lot of emotional problems, some organic, others learned. A lot of my life is spent caring for her in both a nurse sense and in a protector sense. Both of these come into play on the issue of emotions. Not only does it create a literal mental problem for C when I express anything that is not a positive emotion, but in doing so, I am failing to protect her from outside forces, in this case myself. Admittedly, Iím a generally happy person, but on those few occasions when I was not, I received almost no support from C. When I became upset about this, I was told each time that she had her own problems and I was adding to them. That last is also a constant theme during our arguments. No matter what topic we are discussing or who started the argument, I am always made to feel bad for arguing or being angry. The impression that I get from this is that my emotions are not good, right or acceptable. Because C has the mental problems she does, I am expected to be the strong center, the unmoving dock to which she can moor her ship. The trouble is that Iím not unmoving. My emotions swerve around far more than might be expected from my exterior appearance. Still waters run deep and all that bullshit. In my unmoving-ness I am expected to change what I expect from C based on her whims, and if I have a problem with a decision she has made, I am told to ďdeal with itĒ far more often than the issue is discussed. Iím contemplating whether to show this document to C, and my biggest reason for not doing so is Iím afraid she will tell me that Iím asking too much from her, or that Iím just mad at her again and ďWhy are you always finding fault with every little thing?Ē But I donít feel as if I have any emotional support in my marriage. My daughter was in the hospital this past Christmas. It was her first time there since birth and it was Christmas and I couldnít be with her and I was scared. It was the only time since C and I have been together that I was really fucked up and I really needed her. I was less upset when my sister died. Iíll not go into the details, but suffice it to say that C spent most of the day focused on her other relationships. Even after I told her how much I needed her and that I wanted her to focus on me, she made it clear through her actions that she cared less about me than she did about her gentlemen. This was about two weeks ago, and she has apologized. But, like most of her apologies, it came only after much argument and attempts to defend herself. She maintains that she apologized and should be forgiven, even though clearly Iím not over the issue. Also maintained is the idea that she will never do it again, but this situation is unlikely to come up again. Iíve really only needed her the once, and she spent most of the time my daughter was in the hospital trying to re-schedule her dates. I don't know how to bring this issue up without it becoming a fight, but I don't feel fulfilled by my marriage.