Monday, 11 April 2011
Not for all the tea in China
The single trait I have struggled to deal with throughout the duration of our financial demise was my husband's apparent lack of remorse. No amount of explaining how heart breaking it was for me to discover where he had led us prompted any form of apology. He watched every hair on my head and body fallout from the stress and said nothing. If anything it made him more detached.
Periodically accusing me of distancing myself from a situation which was as much of my making his, I lived in hope he might one day behave differently. After all it is not easy to explain to someone how and when to show compassion if they have always found it difficult to engage with their feelings. It's even more tricky if you are the proposed recipient. However, it's nigh on impossible if the individual concerned believes the part he played in our financial is insignificant when compared to all other contributing factors.
Befroe our financial demise I had no idea my husband was incapable of accepting responsibility for even the smallest indiscretion, nor did I know he regards every question, however innocuous, as criticism. It has come to light he is only comfortable with making statements and when doing this he calls it conversation. Sadly, these days I say much less and anticipate very little from him. Our marriage hangs by a thread, glued together by our debt and our children but not much more. I know one day neither of these will be with us and then, I suspect, our marriage will be over unless, of course, something changes.
I have no idea if my husband has similar thoughts as he would prefer to argue and be derogatory rather than evoke any feelings in himself. He says he has no idea what to do to make amends and as he would not know where to start he chooses not to think about it. In the past year, however, there has emerged one small positive sign. It is the only sign I have he wishes to have me in his life. In all other ways I could be a housekeeper/nanny or even just another adult in a house share. This sign has come in the form of a constant stream of tea. It appears, through this vehicle alone, he feels able to demonstrate a little warmth for me and so I now find myself the recipient of many, many, mugs of tea.
Tea flows in abundance towards me day in day out despite is not being a tea drink himself. I find it in a flask at my bedside if he leaves before I awake and it can arrive in quantities of four or five cups before breakfast time if he is at home. It waits outside my shower or sits next to my computer. It can even be found in the car if I am to embark on journey. It is constant and comforting in an way that gives distance to the contentious issues which surround our seventeen year marriage. It is this small gesture, and this gesture alone which gives me hope that one day there might be more to our relationship than debt and the giving of tea. Not for all the tea in China will I give up on him while there is still a chance our marriage might once again be whole.
In the meantime I have settled for his plentiful offerings of hot milky tea.