convenient couples

At some point in a tepid marriage I think you look at each other and simply say “eh, fuck it”. It’s not like you are horrible together, you just aren’t good. You weigh that against the crap of upheaval that happens as the result of a divorce and you basically do the math on a marriage dissolution. More often than not, it’s just more cost effective to stay married and continue living the separate lives you have already created for yourself.

Convenience can be a very harsh word when used in relationship to a union between people that should have been about passion and long term commitment; accepting neutrality as opposed to emotional connectedness. When you do not want to destroy the individuals inside a family because of financial and emotional pressures that come when you divide spaces, you have to accept the awareness that comes with that choice. Giving up your expectations of an emotionally and physically rewarding, shared life with a partner, can actually bring you a measure of freedom. You can not miss what you do not pine for.

Maybe you can re-negotiate the terms of the stale marriage. Maybe you can eventually find common ground again and find your way back to each other. Maybe you build resentment and negative feelings towards each other, ending up divorced anyway. The point is, you don’t really know what will happen once you make the decision to live inside an emotional divorce while staying legally married to each other. That information tends to stay as private as people’s sex lives; with some people being more open than others.

If money were not a consideration, all things being equal, the main reason people choose to remain married when they do not want to be with their partner anymore, is simply because they fear how their children will be impacted. I am not talking about emotional or physically abusive relationships nor am I including anything to do with addictions of any form. I am talking about the ennui of being with person where you share a sibling type of relationship. Friends and co-parents that function well together in life management but far removed from anything of a sexual nature.

Is it fair to disrupt children’s lives because you are bored?

Doesn’t it just make more sense to live separate lives and accept that your partner is not going to ever be what you need? Isn’t it better to learn to grow in your own way and make choices for your life, as if you were actually a single parent? Become the person you want to be and start dividing your time, as if in reality you were divorced. Every second week end, take a mini vacation or do not include any family time activities. Spend it being alone or with people you want to get to know better.

Create a life for yourself outside of the family unit and if that eventually leads to a physical affair with someone, then so be it. Your spouse absolved you of any moral compulsions to remain monogamous when they failed to remain in a physical relationship with you. Their choices lead to yours. It’s not like you are going to apprise them of an affair anyway. It’s in your best interest to simply enjoy it for what it is, while maintaining the parental role you determined would be best for your family.

By this point in a marriage, I am sure the betrayed souse wants to pretend just as badly that their partner is faithful. They want to keep living in the “don’t ask don’t tell” world they have created for themselves because it is simply more convenient for them to do so. That way they can maintain their non sexual contact with their spouse, which they would not be able to do if forced back into the dating world, as most people have an expectation of physical connectivity when choosing new partners.

Whiny people annoy me. People who go on and on and on about a situation and absolutely refuse to accept what’s in front of their face. I can barely stomach them and before long I am desperate to have an Asperger’s moment myself and say exactly what’s on my mind. Tell them they are too stupid for words. But people like that do not listen anyway, so it’s a complete waste of time. I look at their partners instead, knowing they have carte blanche to do whatever they want, as their spouse is their biggest ally in keeping the truth out of reach. They do not want to see it or hear about it, they certainly do not even believe it when shown proof of what’s occurring.  They are the ultimate in miming the Royal lackey who would staunchly proclaim the Emperor’s new clothes to be the finest ever made.

Reality check, people. Some things once broken are beyond repair. They can never be used for their original purpose. In those events, you do not have to completely get rid of it. In the guise of reducing, reusing and recycling, how about we re-purpose an old relationship that’s broken, into something different and accept it for what it is, instead of what it was or should have been. We let go of the past and accept we have to look for something that will work but not at the expense of completely getting rid of what you once had.

The useless spouse is still good for something; co-parent, house manager, bread winner, dinner maker, bathroom cleaner, lawn mower, pay-check. You need someone to water the plants when you take your solo trips or to look after the kids on your solo week ends. And it sure beats having to divide your assets when they are just as content to pretend everything is wonderful because they refuse to talk about any of your marital issues. Let them happily pretend you are content with sharing space and nothing more. This will let you find other people who can fill in the blanks of your own life. It will give you time to make decisions about your future, after the kids are gone.

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19 Responses to convenient couples

  1. jayne says:

    I think this is true. It has it’s limits too but it can last as long as you can. : )

    • kdaddy23 says:

      One of the things that drove me apeshit about my ex was the fact that she’d whine and moan about things she didn’t like – and that could be anything – but when I’d see that the things she wanted to change could be changed if she did something, I’d say to her, “Well, what are you gonna do about it? You do have the power to make it happen, you know.”

      Which would only bring more whining and complaining and, after a while, you just get tired of listening to someone constantly bitch about something even though they’re obviously unwilling to effect change. You get tired of it… then you just stop listening; why continue to waste your time and breath giving advice, hints to effect change, or telling them exactly what they have to do to effect change when they’re obviously not going to listen?

      Then when I’d get fed up and point this out to her, I get to be the bad guy for pointing out to her that the reason why shit ain’t the way she wants it to be is because she refuses to do the simple things that would give her what she wants. There was only so much I could do but if I could do it, it would get done because that was my job, my duty and responsibility… but I knew I couldn’t do it all by myself and that without her help, whatever issue she was bitching about would never be resolved.

      You get to the point where you do your best to ignore this behavior, striving to keep things moving along as best as possible because someone has to do it. I never stopped loving her but, damn, if she wasn’t going to be part of the solution, I very much wanted her to stop being part of the problem.

      • rougedmount says:

        Ladies and Gentlemen? We have a BINGO!

        “you just get tired of listening to someone constantly bitch about something even though they’re obviously unwilling to effect change.”

        ..and then I am sure they are surprised when you decide to break up, as this is all news to them!

      • kdaddy23 says:

        No, the biggest surprise is finding out why there’s an air of indifference going on and even bigger is the surprise felt when the relationship doesn’t end because of this; maybe it’s just me but the person who’s still dedicated to the relationship just keeps finding ways to keep things going and work around the dumb shit until, of course, they just run out of ways to do this… then the relationship could end.

        But the indifference? That’s a killer because what you’re telling them – and you don’t care how they take it – is that if they don’t care, why should you care? So, no, I got to the point where I didn’t give a fuck about her ‘issues’ because I couldn’t fix them, but she could, and she wouldn’t.

        Not my problem…

      • rougedmount says:

        i admire your ability to walk away..there is strength in that

      • kdaddy23 says:

        At some point you have to; to stay in such an unstable environment isn’t healthy for anyone so after 32 years of marriage, I had to go and, yeah, I when I told her why I was going, she was surprised; I guess she didn’t believe me when I told her that if she didn’t get her shit together once and for all, I’d be through.

        It’s one thing to be in a relationship where you’re fighting against your partner – this can be dealt with even though it’s a pain in the ass. But to be in a relationship that’s going down the tubes because a partner, for some damned reason, isn’t willing to do what they have to do? Intolerable. It can be understood if there are issues which have no resolution; they’re rare but they can crop up, those things beyond anyone’s ability to control.

        But if you can change it, why not? I really didn’t want to leave because she had been in my life since I was 15… but it had to be done and out of self-preservation because no matter how much you love someone, rule #1 is always in effect: Look out for your own ass first.

  2. Mel says:

    I’m living this right now. Yesterday, our therapist “broke up” with us. He basically told us nothing will change unless both parties are willing to look at themselves and be honest about what’s going on. He gave us the title of a book on how to work towards a better marriage together.
    I’ve done a lot of soul searching on what I should/need to do for myself. Your post todays sums up my thoughts perfectly.

    • rougedmount says:

      …and who is to say divorce is the only option when things aren’t working, anyway? it’s simply not true. once we understand the reality of our marriage, then we can start to make the choices about how we can live with it/change it so it’s workable for our situation. the single thing that ‘has’ to stop? is our resentment over it not being what we need or expected it to be.

      • Mel says:

        “the single thing that ‘has’ to stop? is our resentment over it not being what we need or expected it to be.”

        That is absolutely the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I try to stop the resentment from overshadowing my days, but mostly it feels like I take one step forward, two steps back. My family and friends who know about my situation, try to lovingly remind me that it could be worse and I should be thankful for what I do have.
        My focus often ends up shifting to my fantasy of finding the man of my dreams and experiencing all I’ve dreamt of in a relationship… and THEN leaving this miserable excuse of a marriage behind.

      • rougedmount says:

        i gently want to pass on the advice to not try and secure an exit strategy relationship. You are right: 2 forward 1 back is normal and a slow progression but its progression, other people do not have to live your life and its easy to make comments on thankfulness. the actual need yo have? is to find peace and stability inside of yourself and THEN you can leave the marriage emotionally.

      • jayne says:

        I did exactly what you say here but then I reached another level of discernment. For me at least, It was like the excavation of Pompeii. Anyway, once I could accept that we were individuals as we are and as we will be. That’s when it became a decision of what I could truly live with. The resentment or anger or hurt hides other things lying below. After that stage of WTF, came “What are you going to do about it Jayne. How much longer could I live in this fake habitat I have accepted and helped create?” I could have stayed married and survived while slowly shriveling within. Each stage took its own time – years. You can’t be hard on yourself – says I, who was. You’ll know when it’s time to change, no? I’ll leave now… I might be coming back with tequila after thinking of that stuff again.

      • rougedmount says:

        we all have our own level..our own breaking is as varied as people are.

      • jayne says:

        yes – very true. I found I had my levels of expectation on myself as I struggled to understand and I was forced to learn to have forgiveness for myself, which then gave me strength to go a little further. I think it all works out. xo, J

  3. Damn you hit the nail on the head with this one, it is like you have been spying on me!

  4. Wow! Enlightening! Reblogging now! Thank you for the post!

  5. Reblogged this on Relationship Rambles and commented:
    Wow! Just simply WOW!!!

  6. ItMatterstoGrey says:

    Fear of the unknown holds almost everyone back, that is why we say people are brave and strong when they walk away. Everyone has the capacity for change but they don’t. Even though they are unfulfilled they stay because it is familiar and it offers a safe place to land. People would rather have 50 of something (even if deficient) than 100% of nothing. For many 50% is enough even if they are unhappy.

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