Thursday, December 08, 2011

Living Within Means

In her article Planet Singlehood, Amiee Ginsburg writes "Now I realise there was a price to be paid for being a couple that I could not pay, even though I had had my heart set on it. Now I’m living within my means." A long time inhabitant of Planet Singlehood, I can completely relate to her sentiments. It does take a lot of mental space and energy to come into and sustain a relationship. I had foolishly assumed the same amount of investment would not be necessary in marriage and I am learning I was wrong. While I was unable to extend myself as far as was required to just be in a relationship, I feel more ready, willing and able to do so in marriage simply because my spouse has gone the distance by making a lifetime commitment to me and J - as such, he deserves it. Yet, the effort that goes into the process does make me feel like I am "living beyond my (emotional) means".
Of her single state and its impact on her kids, Ginsburg says "I was not able to show them how to cross adulthood in a healthy relationship, but maybe they’ve learnt something about autonomy and strength, and true love." How absolutely true ! I don't know that I am the best role model for J as far as how to be in a healthy relationship. I have a lot of unresolved issues that are making their presence felt in my marriage with DB. In the end, she will take away from observing me and us, what she will. If it is within my power, I will encourage her to examine our life and decide what parts of it to emulate in her own and what to reject. Enabling her to do that will the best I can do in lieu of being the relationship role model, I have not yet been able to be.

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