Professional Victim

I’ve been feeling really strange today. A lot of that has to do with Mara. It’s kind of hard to explain. Long story short, I was deleting some stuff from my external hard drive. Mostly some files where I had backed up our old laptop. I came across some diary entries that Mara had made. Some of them were really harsh on me. One said something about “why am I in love with someone who dresses me down whenever I get angry?” Another said something about how she had a hard time honoring her wedding vows when she was at the USX driving school in Medway.
This rose the specter of Bobby and the near-dissolution of our marriage.
Mara is going to be a football game tonight with her family. Well, she’s supposed to be at a football game. That last sentence is the main reason I’m writing this. I realized when she kissed me goodbye this morning that I don’t trust my wife. To me Mara seems like one of the most selfish people I have ever known. If she says something to hurt someone’s feelings, her defense is usually that she can’t change who and what she is, and the inference is that you’re being unfair by asking her to stop being a bitch. If you complain that she never lifts a finger to clean up around the house, she’ll hold out her wrists, inviting you to slash them.
Quite frankly, if someone feels like she can pat herself on the back for keeping her wedding vows, she has a fucking problem.
Mara is a professional victim. She may hate the way her sister, Stacey, is, but Mara uses the same tactics. I believe that if a better offer comes along, Mara will ditch me so fast it’ll make my head spin, because all that really matters is Mara. In the end the only thing that matters to her is whether or not she is happy. We all want to be happy. That’s a natural human sentiment. But it’s a problem here because Mara doesn’t know what will would make her happy. I think she suspects that it’s somehow tied to the hard partying you’re supposed to do in your early twenties, which she missed out on because of me. I don’t doubt that at some point in her life, whether it’s this week, next month, or ten years down the road, Mara will eventually go looking for that magickal elixir that will fill whatever void exists inside of her.
So, yes. Whenever she goes out that door I will wonder if that’s when it will all begin. I’m also very aware that if Mara decides to go out and seek those good times that she feels she’s missed out on, she’ll definitely try to do it without me knowing about it.
I guess if I were to be perfectly honest, I’d admit that we don’t have much of a marriage. In some ways I think our marriage ended for me when I found out about Bobby. Whether or not that romance ever culminated in a sexual relationship is beside the point. Betrayal is a mental thing. Mara betrayed me. And lately I’ve found those old walls going back up as a way of protecting myself. Maybe that way when Mara decides that she doesn’t want me or this marriage anymore, I’ll be ready for it.
I’ve had a heavy weight on my heart today. Part of that is because whenever Mara goes to visit friends or goes to visit her family, I wonder if she’s going to see someone else. Thanks to the fact that I stumbled across her confessions about Bobby on her blog, she’ll never make a mistake like admitting an affair or a potential affair on her blog again. The next time I’ll have no way of knowing.
In the end, the problem is that Mara doesn’t respect me. I don’t think she respects anyone. We’re all secondary characters in the drama of her life. She doesn’t act very much like she loves me. I am a decision that she has made and that she will standy by no matter what, suffering in silence. What I feel doesn’t enter into it. Because if Mara stops and has to consider what another person is feeling, to her that means that her life and her being is being subjugated to another human being. In short, her life is no longer her own.
I hope this cloud passes from me. I do love Mara. But sometimes I tire of the melodrama. I wish she could pick up a wadded up piece of paper and throw it in the trash can without that action being a fucking sacrifice. I wish you could talk to her about things with being cast in the role of unreasonable oppressor. I wish she could realize that maybe one of the reasons I don’t think about sex very often is that she’s got such a bad attitude. There’s nothing sexy about someone who scowls all the time, or snaps at you if you ask her if she’s seen something that you’re looking for.
In a way I understand her bitterness. I’m sure it’s incredibly lonely up there all alone on that cross. I just think sometimes that sooner or later I’m going to get tired of being beaten down all the time. With Mara, either you’re in charge or she is. I used to say that I would not bow down and anyone’s ground. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that I have been reduced to a marginal player in the great drama of Mara’s life. Sooner or later I’m going to get tired of that.
Either that or sooner or later I’m going to become Tom Nickell, sitting in my own corner of the house and only interacting with my wife when I have to. While things were improving between Mara’s parents before her father died, Tom and Pam had made peace in that household by going to their separate corners and living separate lives.
I’m not going to live like that.

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