Let's Take Another Shot At This

Well I got some interesting comments regarding my romantic dilemma. I do appreciate them, but there are a few things I want to elaborate on.

My first comment is for Ms Auntie B. Stop being an engineer? That wouldn’t help. Being an engineer didn’t make my mind work this way. I’m an engineer because my mind works this way. The training just sharpened the thought processes a little and made me more comfortable with it. So stopping being an engineer wouldn’t work. I’d have to stop being myself.

(Editorial Interlude) I can't decide if I should be surprised at Aunt B counseling me to quit thinking and do it. On the one hand she's a liberal hippie free-love type, but reading her intellectual discussions do give the impression of a highly logical mind. I guess we just have different opinions on what to apply that logic to. (End Editorial Interlude)

So I don’t think love is the sole ingredient necessary for a successful long term relationship. It’s the foundation, and the glue that binds it all together. And it’s what makes you patient with the other person and willing to accept their little faults. But it has definite limits. That’s obvious from the number of people I know who have been divorced. (I was going to site statistics, but I don’t have time to look them up at the moment.)

This is a comment Bridgett made at Tiny Cat Pants:

These things you mention seem pretty minor. I don't know -- do I want an Xbox or love everlasting? Hmmm...is not wanting to clean up after a pet a good reason to pass on spending my life with the most wonderful woman I've ever met? So those
kinds of things seem to be bad reasons not to make the jump.
Sure they are minor but they're just the representative things that came into my mind. I'm deciding if I love her enough to live with her. You're apparently married, so you know everyone has those annoying habits that get at you in your weaker moments. The same annoying things day in and day out can make you forget why you love a person. And they’re really just offshoots of the major issue. I suppose I didn’t want to put down into writing what I’m really thinking.

My dilemma hasn’t been about love. My dilemma is whether or not we can live together and our love wouldn’t eventually be drowned out by a symphony of annoying habits that we both have. And more importantly, I was trying to figure out whether our long term goals are similar enough that we won’t grow apart. So I had to decide if I wanted to have kids, and if I was okay with her not working while they were very young.

I feel like I'm not a good enough writer to really get this into words, but that’s what I’ve been trying to get at. I know no one can predict that for sure, but I wanted to make sure my odds are decent.


Blogger Aunt B said...

Ha, I can't believe there's even one person on the planet who believes I have a thoughtful analytical mind! Woo hoo!

I still stand by "If you really want to, you should" as my advice to you. I think you're deeply thoughtful and kind of a worrier and folks like that tend to be able to anticipate problems and deal with them ahead of time. I think that you, specifically, would be fine being married.

I do have some questions for you, which I don't need answers to, obviously, but they might be useful to you.

One thing I think that everyone picked up on is that you seem to be framing marriage as a "and now we have to be grown-ups" moment. You will put away your X-Box and miraculously transform into a husband and she will pop out some kids and magically transform into a wife.

I do think that you need to ask yourself if you can support three people and a dog on your salary before she decides that she should just stay at home and not work.

I know from my perspective, a lot of women who should know better are sitting around waiting for a handsome prince to come in and take care of everything.

Are you worried about that? That she's going to push off the adult responsibilities on you while she gets all the fun stuff? Because something in the way you framed your questions made me worried that you're concerned that she's looking at you not as W., the man she loves, but as a guy she really adores who can finance her dream of how her life should go.

What about you, W.? What's your dream of how your life should go?

Obviously, I don't know her, but from afar, I like her. She seems to intrigue you and keep you off-kilter and those are good traits in the spouse of an engineer.

But why are you moving in together to her place? Is that okay or is that again maybe a nagging indication that it's her life and you've just got a part to play?

But most importantly, what does she say when you say this stuff to her? Does she appreciate your concerns about being a good dad? How does she think you all will be able to get by on one income?

This stuff obviously worries you. How does she comfort you when you feel overwhelmed?

Again, I honestly do think you'll be fine, no matter what you do. I just didn't want you to think I was being flip. I was being flip, of course, but only because I think you underestimate what a terrific guy you are.

5:24 PM, December 06, 2006  
Blogger W said...

Seeing the thoughtful is easy. To see analytical you kinda have to squint and turn your head to the side a little.....

Insightful questions, but I think answering them would be just a little more personal than I want to go in this venue.

you seem to be framing marriage as a "and now we have to be grown-ups" moment.

I'm not sure where you're going there. Care to elaborate?

6:27 PM, December 07, 2006  
Blogger Michael said...

The whole kids things can be a huge deal..I was in love with a woman in Knoxville and we had a great time together. But she didn't want kids and I did...and it eventually led to our not continuing to be together.

5:34 PM, December 10, 2006  

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