A joke-free, far more personal entry this morning, and I should add that I am rather glad that this blog is occasionally read by at least two people. One of them knows that my marriage was not made in Heaven, and each morning that sad fact is underlined yet again by my wife. To put it bluntly, she hardly ever speaks to me and hasn't done so for quite a few years. In a strange way I am a kind of non-person, a semi-detached member of this family and in odd, subtle ways - which might just be me being paranoid - she even seems to exclude me. It doesn't help that, more or less by necessity, I work in London and am away for four days a week, but it would be simple thing for my wife to include me in things . However, she chooses not to. Last night was an example: my young son will be leaving primary school next July and starting secondary school in September, so yesterday was an open evening at the school we hope he will be able to attend. This has been arranged for several weeks, yet the first I knew about it was when my wife and my children disappeared out of the door. There is absolutely none of that chit-chat which I am accustomed to elsewhere, she is silent, grim presence who only speaks to tell me not to do this or not to do that or to inquire whether this or that bill has been paid yet.
I grin and bear it and try to keep things normal, but - and here's the very personal bit - each morning when I yet again I am virtually invisible to her and am ignored as a non-person, my heart breaks quietly. I don't want to sound pathetic, but that is a good way of describing it. And I don't know what to do about it.
I have spoken to my sister-in-law several times and after my heart attack I was finally in touch with a counsellor. But there is only so much talking you can do, and if my wife doesn't show any willingness to want to change things, there isn't a lot I can do.
I won't pretend that I love her any more, and the circumstances of how we eventually ended up getting married are not the most romantic possible, but I do know that two civilised adults who two children together should be able to rub along together for the greater good. The trouble is that in several quiet ways my wife is odd. Often she doesn't respond like a 48-year-old woman, but like a 7-year-old on a primary school playground. Several years ago, when there was a very stupid feud in her family and it was split down the middle, she took sides (her two sisters didn't) and just cut her father out of her life. He more or less became a non-person. She has done something similar with my stepmother, who has now returned from her nursing home and lives barely four minutes walk away. She has not visited her in more than two years, but no one knows why. It is very odd behaviour. In the early days when it was apparent that we were quite different people and weren't getting one very well, I would try to persuade her to talk things through. But as I think I have recorded here before (possibly in this blog's first incarnation) her family are emotionally illiterate, and my wife seems to be the worst sufferer. She finds it impossible to talk about herself or her feelings, not just with me but as far as I know with anyone else.
There is much, much more I could write, but there is, in fact, little point. I as moved to make this entry after yet again coming downstairs in the morning to find her one communication with me being a short shopping list. But it is good to have the chance to let of a little steam and I also know that both the readers I know of have experienced the downside of marriage, so I am grateful that they indulge me and that I know this entry will, sooner or later, be read by someone else.