Elusive Happiness

As each year passes, I find myself diving further into the midst of these tumultuous thoughts regarding my life, my accomplishments, and my goals.  I guess it is these thoughts that had me googling online journaling sites.  How ironic that one person can have so many people in his/her life, and yet the feeling of isolation and never saying what one really wants to say can drive him/her to this type of forum …

I have been married for 5 years to a man that I have known for 18 years now.  We met in high school and, ironically, I could not stand him when we first met.  He was young, stupid … just your typical pubescent boy making his way through the social stratospheres of adolescence.  After losing touch, we reconnected a few years later and as I grew to know him, I fell in love with this lost soul of a then young man – a high school drop out abandoned in infancy by a father living a life of crime and imprisonment and a mother who was incapable of caring for two young children; a mother who later died when he was just 13 years old, leaving a then pre-adolescent boy feeling lost and losing any hope of ever having the unconditional motherly love that he yearned to have for so long.

It’s incredible how much time changes a person.  For my husband, being with me inspired him to better himself (so he says).  He obtained his GED, and after many years of soul searching found his place in this world, where he currently works as an apprentice with a local union.  He is kind and gentle, and bends over backwards for me.  You would think that this ideally romantic turn of his life would be this “happily ever after” for me.  I mean, I got everything my 19 year old self wanted by marrying him, right?

I always told my mother and father I would never rely on another person for my financial success. When my 20 year old self made the decision to drop out of college, I knew I had to think of something I was going to tell my parents I would do.  My father was the one to tell me of vocational training and the opportunities that lay within, and it was his advice that had me determine to train in a specialty within healthcare.  My 20 year old self thought “2 years of this and I will be financially set!”.  God – how stupid are us humans?  To think that we all have it figured out at such a young, dumb age.  I should have known then how much time changes a person.  Hindsight is always 20/20, right?

So where am I going with all of this?  Well, here I am on the cusp of 34.  I now know that whatever wisdom I may have today, I am a complete idiot to my 40, 50, 60, 70, etc year old self.  I have tremendous guilt as I entered my marriage knowing my husband would never be the breadwinner and that I would need to secure our future; a role that now leaves me angry and resentful.  He tries so hard, but he has so many things that hold him back … a learning disability that went unacknowledged in his youth that now haunts him in all he does in his adult life, low self esteem that keeps him from living to any potential that he may have reached had he grown up in a stable environment with loving parents.  And then here I am, 14 years removed from my 20 year old self, still in school having obtained multiple vocational licenses and my associates degree working towards my bachelor and master degrees so I can God willing one day reach a higher position within my career.

I feel bitter.  For as much as I have accomplished and am still working towards, I have anger.  My feelings of being “in love” have turned to “love” as though my husband were a child – not a spouse, not an equal.  I know many would say that this is a recipe for disaster in a marriage.  That a leading cause of divorce is that change in a relationship.  My guilt keeps me from seeking to end it, and we have reached a level of financial codependency where I feel I couldn’t leave even if I wanted to.  And if I did leave, I can’t bear the thought of what would happen to my husband, a man who is still in so many ways a boy.  A man who lacks understanding of financial constraints.  A man who has been there for me in so many ways and in so many of my lowest points in my life.

These tumultuous thoughts of my marriage become conflicted with my career focus and constant dwelling on where I wish I were in my life versus where I am.  This place of keeping myself from enjoying life because how do you enjoy life without financial security?  How can I go spending money knowing my husband gets laid off at a moments notice going from periods of time of a few days to a few months?  Such irony in my birthday being this week and the guilt I have for not wanting to do anything to recognize it, knowing how much my husband wants to do something for me and how much I want to do something, but not being able to let go of the fear of financial ruin …

It seems to come in spurts – these fleeting moments of happiness and contentment.  I just wish I knew how to hold onto to them …

Leave a Reply