Monday, April 02, 2007

Souring

Chatted with my old buddy A after four months this morning. He is a new dad and his eight month old daughter has him wrapped around her finger. Most of our conversation was around children - his and mine. He had a confession to make though - maybe that's why he called. His wife of two years is wonderful in every way and he is grateful for having her in his life. He has not disappointed her as a husband either.

Yet, there is sense of emptiness in their marriage and it seems to have grown since their child was born. They have been married just over two years. The spark by its very nature is meant to be short lived, thereafter there is only more of doing right by each other and that they both have and likely always will.

"I don't find myself longing for her company. In the early days, I would rush home from work because I wanted to be with her. I'd call her for no reason at all. I think I am a fairly normal man doing everything it takes to make a marriage happy and she appreciates everything I do.Yet I sense that she craves a quality of companionship that I am not able to provide. Maybe the institution of marriage does not support the dream of companionship that people have when they get into it. It is almost as if after a while the company once so longed for turns loathsome"

Women are known suffer from post partum blues often testing the strength of the marriage and their husband's ability to tolerate. A's post-fatherhood change is harder to understand. I have known him long enough to know he is fundamentally decent and would never to anything to disrespect the woman he is married to. But to see an old friend at once a delighted parent and drifting from a still new marriage was hard to comprehend. One day his little girl will grow up and go away to live her own life - the coolness from the absence of spark would by then become permafrost. I was not sure if A expected too little from his life or was way more pragmatic than most people who expect life long companionship to result from marriage.

2 comments:

Musings.. said...

Thanks for that post. I hhink accepting that there may be an issue (for lack of a better word) is important. Not many people are even brave enough to do that. Talking and matching expectations with actions is the next step I guess..

SG said...

For many couples, it is a good idea to wait for a few years before having children. 2 years is hardly enough time to develop a sense of "yourself" separate from a sense of "us".
Jumping straight from the headiness of new love into the chaos of child-rearing, means you miss out on the important years, the ones of mature love and a better sense of self.