Monday, 20 June 2011

Father's Day

Yesterday I took my children to shop for Father’s Day gifts and guided them towards three suitable purchases within our budget.  Feeling no resentment towards the penny watching regime which has become second nature to us all, I took pride in making sure they understood the value of a thoughtful gift, however small.  We came away with a bargain priced family DVD, a bag of popcorn and a New Scientist magazine. I knew all these item prove more than acceptable to my husband who, since our financial demise, would not dream of buying anything for himself.  I delighted in the joy and the excitement on my children’s faces in their anticipation of the act of giving and the pleasure their gifts would bring to the recipient. 
As with any celebratory day in our household, the children were unable to contain themselves and arrived at our bedroom door bright and early.  I watched my husband carefully unwrap his gifts and discuss its merits with each child without any outward signs of his pleasure and while the children were unphased by his reserve, I struggled to suppress an overwhelming sense of grief for the absence of warmth in his actions towards us.  Oblivious to his inanimate facade, the children quickly moved onto other things secure in the familiarity of family life.  I, on the other hand, was left to talk myself out of the anti climax which always goes hand in hand with my husband’s lack of emotive reaction to anything.
I have attempted to rectify this obstacle in our relationship many times by.
· Explaining how difficult it is for me to live without engagement of this nature, His response has been either, it is just my perception and not at all how he is or I am an excessively needy person and this is a failing in me not him.

· Asking for a smile or a verbal response but in these instances I am told that either my questions are rhetorical and require no answer or he has no inclination to grin like a banshee at my behest.

· Trying to ignore this trait. However, I often feel resentful and deprived of what I perceive as his side of what should be two way communication within our marriage.

On days when I am sure I am deserving of a smile or some warmth, I grieve silently for the lack of it. These days, my face will often mirror the inanimate nature of his as we go about our lives in silence and, on occasion, when my grief turns to anger, I demand to know if he has heard me say how brightly the sun is shining or how well the children have settled at school but my outburst are not pleasant for either of us.
I know my husband does not refuse engagement with me out of malice but his ignorance of his actions and his refusal to consider the long term consequences of this lack of intimacy regularly renders my heart heavy and while I understand the impact of our ongoing precarious financial position has already taken its toll on the fragile ego of this shy and sensitive man, I can see behind his deadpan expression that the three year battering at the hands of our creditors has left him a legacy of shame for his part in it.
Sadly, despite my best efforts, it is on days like these I realise the task of rebuilding our marriage is likely to outstrip the difficulties I am currently experiencing trying to rebuild our lives financially and although I have always subscribed to the, "Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, either way you are right" fraternity, today, on our seventeenth Father Days together, 

I simply don’t know what to think or what to do.

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