names have been omitted and changed in this post
I sat across from her at the table for two and set out two small plates with a variety of bread, jams and packets of butter. Two glasses of water and utensils graced the small table and the bustle of others around us made the small room warm and cozy. She sat across from me with her blonde hair in a ponytail wearing a hoodie. I wore skinny black jeans, a button down top and a scarf around my neck for warmth.
"Thanks Jen for getting us the bread and stuff." She said and passed me a stack of napkins she'd fetched for us.
"You're welcome!" I replied cheerily and began spreading a pat of butter onto a small slice of sourdough bread. We loved La Madeline and it was the perfect choice for this winter day to have brunch and catch up. She had ordered a quiche of ham and cheese with a side of strawberries and whipped cream. I had ordered a bacon and tomato omelet with cheese and a croissant.
"How are things?" She asked me as she dabbed strawberry jelly onto her bread.
"Good!" I said. "I'm loving my job. It's going really well and I get to be creative which helps." I told her.
"You design the menus and posters, right?" She confirmed.
"Yes… for the wedding receptions, special events. I love it. And I'm helping greet at the events so that's fun. "I glanced at her with a grin "You know I'm not big on dresses but the evening wear is beautiful to see." I admitted.
"I'm so glad to hear that!" She smiled "I love that you are doing something you enjoy. This is really right up your alley." She affirmed. "And… events are a great way to meet people! You might meet somebody!" She exclaimed with a twinkle in her eye.
I smiled and laughed "Oh, I don't know about that! Let's not get carried away! Besides, I'm taking a break from all that right now… just doing my thing." I told her.
She waved her hand like no explanation needed and spoke "Oh, I get it, enjoy your time! You're free!" She laughed… "Speaking of being free… how are things with your ex?" She asked.
"This week I was informed we have mediation coming up in a few months." I remarked and took a bite of my omelet. "Not to mention my laptop has been warning me my startup disk is almost full. I couldn't post a blog this past week. So I started searching on it for stuff of his that I can delete because he used to use it some. I've deleted thousands of his work related files and in those were pornography he had mixed in. I'm beyond sick of him… four years later and I'm still discovering how slimy he really was. It's been lovely." I informed her.
She sat listening and finally spoke "Oh my... well, that IS lovely. I'm so sorry, Jen. I wish I could make it all go away for you."
"Thank you… I wish too… "I told her. "My daughter texted me a photo of the new living room furniture they bought… his new wife Georgina is redecorating our old home." I smirked. "She has a pillow on the couch that says 'family'. I just kept staring at it like Really???? Family??? She left her kid behind in the UK. She married him and gained access to the US and now acts like she has a family with my children. I don't think so. It's delusional." I told my friend.
"Maybe Trump will tighten everything up so much she won't be able to gain access back in the US after she goes back to visit." She remarked.
I chuckled "Maybe!" and then asked "How are things with you?"
She cut into her quiche and took a bite. "I'm good, the kids are good... everyone is well at the moment so that's a win!" She laughed but then added "He still won't stop playing that video game and help me out. I want to scream but I don't have it in me anymore." She said with irritation and a tired tone referring to her husband.
"He's still stuck to that thing?" I asked her.
"Yes… it's all the time. It's all he wants to do. We don't spend any time together. And in the past when I've asked him to please put it away for awhile and help me out he acts all put out. He lives there too but for some reason he doesn't act like it." She observed as she dipped her strawberry into her small cup of whipped cream.
"Ugh, I'm so sorry... I hate that. Why does he think he's off the hook." I observed.
We are protective of our friends and cringe when we hear of how they are being treated. It rubs us the wrong way and we want to fix it yet can't. He needed to stop playing the game, grow up and get invested in his family. The root is laziness and selfishness. I hear it all the time from wives. Some husbands think if they earn a paycheck they've done all their supposed to do. But if he's not emotionally invested, as a partner what do you do? Women want an active partner. It could appear that these particular men want the benefits of marriage but no effort put in. The same could be said for women who are checked out. Likewise, what were their husbands to do?
So often in marriage if only one person believes there's a problem it equates to no problems.
She nodded "Oh, I completely agree. He works and thinks all his free time is his time. He's not single. It's ridiculous… but what do I do?" She asked.
I had not a clue. "I have no idea… "I told her. "Unplug the game and toss it out the window?" I quipped with my usual go to sass. I didn't see that going over well.
She laughed then sighed "Yeah… so I am fed up. I have tried to talk to him and he doesn't want to be bothered. So I just bite my tongue and go in the other room." She said.
I knew that when a wife stopped trying to address something with her husband was when he truly needed to be worried. When a wife throws her hands up and stops "nagging", "complaining", "discussing", "explaining", etc… whatever you want to call it…. when she no longer tries to be heard… he's on borrowed time because the clock is ticking and it won't be long before he might be handed divorce papers.
A woman who is still fighting for her marriage, for her relationship, for love will say: "I need x,y,z from you" or "Get off the couch and come help me" or "Can you please not watch the game today?" or "When you do this or that it really disappoints me, frustrates me, irritates me, etc". But when she no longer says anything? Yikes. That's a woman who is becoming detached… who is worn down… who is not heard and who is beyond exhausted and tired of asking for what she needs or wants only to be ignored. Her scream is now one of silence. It speaks volumes but he's not hearing the seriousness of it. Inside she's dying. She's merely existing… not living. She's becoming a shell of who she once was and is just going through the motions in her marriage. He doesn't think she's fun anymore. He just wants her to shut up and leave him alone. Finally she does. He's not "in love with her" anymore. He doesn't realize he has to choose to love. The renewed feelings of him "being in love" will appear again… it just takes time with purposeful love. Meanwhile she doesn't think he's an adult anymore and she's too tired to carry both packs on her back.
If your wife is no longer interacting with you and saying what she wants and needs it's time to seriously start working on your marriage if you truly value it… hopefully it's not too late but your time is very limited. Pick up her favorite dinner, light some candles, (this is not the time to initiate sex, hello!) and have a real and transparent conversation about how you can both make your marriage better.
(this can apply to wives as well)
Generally speaking, a lazy person; man or woman wants the easy way in life… they don't want to have to go to any effort other than what is absolutely minimally required and that includes anything and everything from effort in their marriages, to keeping a clean house, parenting and even their relationship with God. The lazy man or woman can be perfectly content sitting in a Lazy Boy chair and watching program after program, napping, eating to their hearts content and being a general slob. If someone is reminiscent of the sloth in the kids movie Zootopia that's not attractive. They have detachment and disinterest in others in their life and want the focus to be on what they desire… putting their needs first, which leads to this two fold problem… selfishness. They want what they want and that may be anything from the newest movie out on dvd, video game, iPhone, gadget, etc. They want to spend inordinate amounts of time doing whatever they wish… whether it's watching football games on the weekend while their wife does everything for the home and children or going to the movies, watching nascar, playing golf, watching star wars marathons, etc. These men have roots of selfishness in their hearts that stuntedly beat "me, me, me" while their wives become increasingly more and more unhappy perhaps silently withdrawing and resentful. Or perhaps the tables are turned and the husband is the one checked in on the home and kids… while the wife is out shopping, partying, meeting friends etc while everything falls on his shoulders. Regardless, whatever the situation, if God is not made number one priority followed by each person being genuinely invested in each other they will never reap fruit but instead… sadly, decay and destruction.
When we suppress our inner desires, our frustrations and needs from our partner whether male or female we are creating bigger problems in our relationship. We know that keeping silent about what matters to us is not the answer. When we continue to bite our tongue we further lose our emotional connection. But what about when we do speak up and we are not acknowledged? What if what we attempt to share is dismissed and shut down? When we are emotionally abandoned by our partner it feels like rejection because it is… anyone who has been rejected knows that pain.
Pornography is a type of rejection. No matter what new modern ways of thinking are trying to be promoted in todays world… porn is not condoned by God nor needed to keep a man interested, piqued, etc… it chips away… over time like an illegal drug you must take in more to get a better effect… or any effect. Eventually that soft porn becomes hard core and expands into more than anyone perhaps initially planned to explore. Porn also sets unrealistic physical expectations on women as well and is all rooted in satan's snare of deceitful fantasy not grounded in God's word of real beauty and truth. When husband's choose porn over their fleshly perfectly imperfect wife or the escape of a video game over a real and present connection joined with conversation it creates distance, division and eventually resentment. The amount of effort we put into anything often correlates to the final outcome. If someone is investing their time into porn, video games, etc, then their life or more namely their marriage will surely reflect it as well.
We make choices everyday. When we chose something over our spouse we are saying on some level to them: "This is more important to me than you. This is more important to me than us." They may not hear their partner's silent scream of frustration but rest assured it's there. It's the silent scream on borrowed time. It's when she (or he) stops speaking up to be worried... if your goal is a divorce congratulate yourself on wearing her down to that point. She no longer has the energy to speak up. She no longer has the fire in the pit of her stomach to get worked up. She no longer has the desire to fight for you as a couple. The question is do you? If she's thrown her hands up the ball is in your court... someone has to be strong for the both of you at least for now. Stand up and show up for her. Otherwise just let her know now you don't plan to. So she doesn't spend anymore time suffering in silence.