Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Open Marriage and Looming Shadows

Suddenly home felt like a different place last night. Just the two little boys were home with my husband and me, and we settled in the lounge to eat dinner together. There's still no TV as Husband hasn't had the time to reconnect the satellite dish and all, so just chatting to each other over supper is an easy thing to do suddenly.

And the boys took us into deep and thoughtful conversations. They were analyzing how their relationship with their big brother is changing now that he's permanently back from University - how he was the sparkly hero to them, but now they're realising he's actually just human, and not always a nice person either, like anyone. My youngest was thinking through how he might approach my oldest about the way he sometimes laughs at him in a way that makes him feel humiliated, and also how he sometimes guilts him into stuff. Ag, the content of the conversation is less important than the spirit of it, though: my little family, sitting together and connecting in a safe and loving place. Both parents involved and supporting the conversation like a well practiced team, enjoying together watching our kids grow.

It was suddenly the moment where I could see that my hope of this Open Marriage - living together and raising our family as a team - suddenly seemed like it might work. Months of bitterness and anger and pure fucking misery behind us. And suddenly, peace. Co-creation.Collaboration. Kindness. Love.

Then we moved to the diningroom table to cover schoolbooks together. Cutting plastic. Stocking up on sticky tape strips. Chatting and laughing together. More comfortable and happy family space. After the boys left us and headed for bed, Husband and I finished off the last of the schoolbooks alone together. Then we got into a gentle conversation - he was asking me about the boys I'm meeting, whether there's anyone serious on the horizon. I told him not really. Told him about Berlin. My Bush Man fling of last week. A couple of the others I'm chatting to but not really going anywhere with. We talked of the marriages that many of these men of mine are in. Respectful and supportive, like ours, but no longer sexual, like ours. So many of them haven't had intimate sex with their wives for years. But, not like ours, nobody is talking about it. They're living in secrets.

Then hubby mentioned to me he'd seen the specialist he was sent to last year earlier yesterday. The results from his liver function tests are not good. He has more tests today, and a CAT scan on Friday. We both went quiet. His dad died of pancreatic cancer at the early age of 54. Hubby is 48. We've already walked a horrible road of potential terminal illness with him in 2009.

So now we wait. Till Friday. To see if there's another tough chapter looming for us.

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