This is a realization, not a lament. I will no longer permit myself self-pity.

I am alone in this marriage.

This has been a difficult week or so. Once again tension sparked up at home. It began with my wife‘s monthly friend. It was persistent and it got me on edge. Work piled up with that and I once again was scolded for having personal interests (this time Toastmasters) that keeps me out of the house. Frustrated I backed off immediately two of my clubs. Yet that ticked me off. So it was no wonder that I was still grouchy even though Gert’s friend left.

Thursday things were still bubbling. I was fine at work, so I knew it was only a home thing. Possibly because I was closer to home at the gym, I was still on edge. It didn’t help that my trainer was being ornery. I resisted and worked out well . . . until the silly stuff. With that, I became silly and was attacked. Literally.

It took me two days and more distance to understand why I was so frustrated with Gert’s reaction. Merely, I was hurt and wanted to be comforted. An adult man cannot cry when he is beaten up unless he is in his wife’s arms. Those arms never reached out to me.

Rather, Gert was only concerned, or so it seems, with what effect this event has on her own workout. Would she be permitted to continue at that gym? Am I pressing charges against the trainer? What did I do to spark the attack?

Never was I asked, “Are you all right?”

Never was I asked, “How can I help?”

Never was I hugged.

Initially, when the comfort did not arrive, I did what men are conditioned to do; I got tough. I can’t show weakness. I had to stand up. Apparently, I didn’t want anything to do with meeting my wife’s needs at that point, so I was grouchy.

Once I was able to escape the scene (to a Toastmasters conference of all things), I was able to reflect upon what had happened. I understand this now. That is satisfying.

Understanding is satisfying. Being alone is not.

But that is how this marriage works. I’m not bitter. It is just how things have worked out.

I explained when I arrived home that I wanted to talk. Gert only wanted to hear about whether I would press charges. Hearing that I wouldn’t, she removed herself and hasn’t broached the subject again. She was comforted. She received what she needed. She is now at peace.

You’re welcome.

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