So I've been married a few months now. When we got married it didn't feel like a big deal because we had already been together for five years and had lived together for a while. We both went to work the next day and continued our lives as normal. Marriage was no big deal, I thought. I never even considered it possible that marriage could change anything. I'm starting to wonder if I was wrong about that.
No matter what I'm doing, I like to have an exit strategy. I think it it gives an illusion of choice. For example, I can quit my job any time I want. Somehow that keeps me going when times get rough because I feel like the end is near, so I can tolerate one more bad week or so. By the time that week is up I've usually snapped out of whatever funk I was in. I end up thinking, "Hey, I didn't quit, so I must be here for a reason." Marriage is different. When I get pissed at my wife what am I to do? I can't just break up with her or kill her. This thing is permanent, and sometimes that permanence leaves me feeling hopeless. If I can't just leave, how do I know I'm there for the right reasons? How do I know I'd still be there if I had the option to leave?
Why do I feel the need to spend my entire life with one person? I couldn't spend my entire life with one bike. If you look at some of our close primate relatives, many of them are not monogamous. I'm not sure that human monogamy is the best biological fit. It's most likely entirely culturally based, probably with roots in religion. I rejected religion long ago, yet I cling to this monogamy thing. That doesn't make any sense.
Times change and so do people. Where was I 5 years ago? I lived in a different town, had a different job, had a different car, had different friends, lifted weights almost to the point of obsession, and hadn't even started cycling yet. Look at me now. I don't even have a car (got rid of it in favor of a bike) and, outside of family, I don't even talk to people I knew back then. My weightlifting obsession was replaced with my cycling obsession, which, as funny as it may sound, has changed my outlook on a lot of things in life. Think about it. My diet changed, the people I hang out with changed (picture the average musclehead in your local gym alongside the average roadie), I went from spending 2 hours a day inside with blaring rock music to spending 2+ hours a day outside with peace and quiet, and so on. That all adds up. I think of myself now as a calmer, more peaceful man who is more connected to nature.
I've changed and I associate with different people, yet I still deal with the same woman. Or do I? Come to think of it, she has changed as well. What's funny is that the changes we've made tend to make us more and more different. When we first met neither one of us had many friends. As soon as we became close I felt socially satisfied and distanced myself even more from others. She has tended to gather more and more friends, none of whom have anything in common with me. She used to be in alright shape and she'd be open to me trying to get her to do somewhat active things like taking hikes. I get in better and better shape as my life goes on, but she gets in worse and worse shape. I can't ask her to do anything physical or else she'll whine about it and/or accuse me of calling her fat. We used to be pretty happy people, but these days she likes to get mad about any little thing and stay mad for the rest of the day. I can't even joke around anymore.
But here's the big problem- Our careers are taking on completely different paths. Ever since college was over I've wanted to move to a particular region of the country that shall remain anonymous. To make a long story short, my career has fallen flat on its face and I have wasted plenty of years of college. I'm at the point where I just need to start over. I have decided on a career that puts me in the exact region where I want to be. It will take me a long time to get hired, so I'm applying right away. My wife wants to stay where we are, and we had an agreement that we would stay here for 3 years. She accuses me of breaking our deal. The thing is, the only reason we're here in the first place is because she broke our original deal to begin with. (She applied for a job that she really wanted. I said if she got it we could stay here for 3 years. If not, we'd move as soon as we saved enough money. She didn't get the job. I figured we'd be moving after a year or so. Turns out she applied again and ended up getting the job.) It could take up to a year or more for me to even get hired, followed by 3 months of training, followed by maybe a month or so to move to my actual location. Overall we could be looking at a year and a half, which would make it 2 years that we've lived here. 2/3 isn't bad, right? After all, things change. I'm not happy here and one more year of plotting my escape is about all I can handle. I can understand why she would be upset that I broke our deal, but the funny thing is that I was going to apply for a 1-year volunteer program in the same area (many hours away) and she was OK with that.
Now I'm to the point where I really don't care. I'm not living here forever and that's that. If we get divorced over it, so be it. I'm excited about the new career. It's the only thing I've actually been able to see myself spending my whole life doing. Before we got married we both understood that I was going to move eventually. Now she's whining about it. I feel like she's trying to trap me here and planned on it all along. Or maybe I'm just selfish and should wait until my 3 years are up. Easier said than done. I'm tired of wasting my future. Life is too short.