Again, I’m amazed anyone actually reads this. So I’ll go ahead and continue only in a more positive direction…
When a body begins doing The Work, sophistication gives way to simplicity and reality exists in the here and now. Pleasure is more likely to be found it the mundane, or at least acceptance is a touch easier.
For instance, a couple of things that have become more major irritants are the fact that Arwyn doesn’t cook and doesn’t even do much cleaning in the kitchen. Her involvement with food is putting it into her mouth. The clutter and mess around the sink was driving me mad, because there was no space to prepare food.
Cooking is one of those mundane things I do that actually does help center me as much as anything else. There is nothing that can yank a body immediately into the moment like the chemical reaction that produces sulfuric acid in your eyes while chopping onions.
But before I could get to the onion chopping, there was this huge mess in the kitchen. The same work I did over Arwyn’s cooking now applied to her doing dishes. Early in our marriage we had an agreement that I would cook and Arwyn would clean. This seemed fair to me, since she said she would rather clean than cook. So yes, it might seem very unfair of me to grouse about her not cooking now. But she has not held up her cleaning part of the bargain, either.
So, Saturday I said “Fuck it” and did the dishes. That meant emptying the dishwasher, filling it back up, starting it, and then finishing the rest by hand in the sink. While Arwyn played spider solitaire on the computer. I knew my attitude was going bad, so I worked over the statement, “Arwyn should do the dishes!” And in short order, it was apparent that if I wanted to exercise my right to live in a cleaner house, I needed to clean it. Myself. So I did. And then I made a few dozen cookies and some home made baked beans. Then I cleaned up after that. The boys wanted to go outside, so I told them they had to clean their playroom, first which they did. Then the boys and I went for a long hike in the woods which was a lot of fun and an adventure they talked about the rest of the weekend.
I have a lot more work to do on my attitude. Arwyn has disappointed me in so many ways so many times. That is more my problem than hers, and I need to clear that away so I can move on. Those expectations were mine, and I need to own up to them.
One of the more puzzling things Byron Katie says about marriage is that it only takes one person to have a good marriage. In other words, I can have a good marriage (or not) independent of what Arwyn does. There might be mitigating circumstances but mine is not one of them. So once I post this, I’ll see about doing the work on one of the bigger, more persistent issues I’ve been kicking around: sex.