Closed?Posted: September 18, 2013
In having an open marriage, I am finally able to be myself. For the first time in 28 years, I am not repressed. I am not ashamed. I am not afraid. I am me.
My husband, on the other hand, is a mess. He is struggling. He says it has nothing to do with my having sex with other men, but deep down I am not so sure.
We are broke. Financially, we are in ruins. I know this wears on him. He is a man, and a man is supposed to provide for his family. On top of that, he was raised with the idea that financial security is the most important thing. It comes before fulfillment, happiness, pleasure, adventure–it comes before everything. He was taught that you need to have thousands sitting in the bank. That you need to own your own home to be an established adult. That if you are struggling it is because you are irresponsible, or simply not working hard enough.
He is depressed. Suicidal. He doesn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. We have worked so hard, both of us. I put myself through school and have applied for literally hundreds if not thousands of jobs, but you know the story. I am too qualified for menial jobs, and not experienced enough for jobs in my field. My husband is still in school, and while in my darkest moments I am afraid it will all be for nothing and he will end up in the same position that I’m in now, I know for him that fear is a thousand times stronger. It is ever-present, and soul-deep. He is a mess.
Should I be out fucking while he is home watching our kids and contemplating suicide? Should I be giving him one more reason to feel like he is not good enough? Should I be doing any of this?
I want to be me. I want to be happy. I want to have SEX, damn it, which is something we rarely do in our marriage. When it’s good it’s very, very good, but when it’s bad, it’s horrid. And I don’t mean “bad” as in bad sex. I mean “bad”, as in no sex. Sometimes for months. I don’t know if I can go back to that. Maybe I am a selfish bitch, but I want to be me.
And yet, I know my husband has a problem. It is not his fault. Depression is an illness, and one I have struggled with myself. If he had some other, more tangible sickness, I would be crazy to be doing what I am doing and leaving him to suffer–even if it was only for an hour or two at a time. But because its a disease of the mind, I question how much I should let that limit MY freedom. MY happiness. MY right to live without depression.
His illness is real. It comes across as him being a crabby, angry, whiny child, but those are all symptoms of things that are wrong in his brain and in his life. I am his wife. I said in sickness and in health. If he is sick, then my place should be at his side. He comes first.
And yet. . .
I want to be me.