Last night, we were finishing a long drive from one end of the state to the other. My wife is driving. She thinks I hate conversations in the car with her, and consequently dislikes driving long distances with me.
This is untrue. I do not dislike conversations with her, I just dislike talking about the same things every time.
I tried telling her about the book I was reading at the time. Nothing but a few nods. I tried talking about recent events in the Middle East that were in the weekend newspaper. Less nods.
I knew what kind of conversations she did want to have, of course. Talk about her family. Talk about her friends. Talk about the kids she takes care of during her weekday job. In short, talk about her and the things she's interested in.
I may as well. I'm not trying to be selfish, I just feel like turnabout is fair play and I should be allowed to expect her to pursue interest in my topics once in a while, or failing that, fake interest long enough for me to appreciate the effort. Obviously that's not going to happen here. Readers, take note: when intellectual introverts marry non-intellectual introverts, they're setting themselves up for problems.
I know I'm not going to give up, I determined that for myself back at the beginning. But the proverbial long haul has arrived a bit sooner than I expected. I can't seem to talk to her about how to solve these problems between us, because she's never interested in solving anything. "Compromise" to her seems to mean that she gets upset, angry and/or silent and I eventually do whatever she wants me to do. She wants to have a conversation, but it has to be a conversation on her interests.
Doubtless she sees my own stubbornness in the same way, with the same frustration. But at least I'm occasionally able to look at things objectively and see my stubbornness for what it is. She just seems to see it as one more terrific injustice in a long string of injustices people inflict upon her.
I'm going to let her counselor work on that, though. I still lack the patience.
This morning, the coworker I car pool to work with was no more familiar with my book than my wife was, but at least he was able to listen and respond with a few recent books of his own. My wife dislikes reading in general, and indeed pretty much anything that seems to involve actual imagination.
I wish I could spend more time at work.
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