Thursday, March 24, 2011

Where is My Happy Ending

Shannon’s Story – Part V

This is part V of a series of sub-blogs written from my best attempt at writing from my wife’s perception of our life together.  If you are reading this blog for the first time I would request you go to the beginning (here) and start reading or go to any entry that looks interesting but don’t start here as this entry is a bit of a diversion from my previous direction.  The start of Shannon's story is here.

Shannon speaking….
Do you remember Brent from my earlier blog entry?  Brent was now a VP for this company Ryan and I both worked for and was over Ryan’s account and the account I worked for.  I had traveled with Brent once or twice for sales presentations as support.  When Brent found out I had quit he offered me a job to stay.  He said I could work from home and work on a project by project basis for him.  With that I couldn’t really say no.

As I said this was a fairly decent time.  I traveled a little during my second pregnancy but the work pace was not too difficult.  I went from a 1 hour commute to no commute at all and working from home I could really focus on projects and was no longer bothered by the mundane aspects of typical office environments, this was truly my environment.

About four months after our second daughter was born I started traveling for work more often.  It was very difficult to balance work and family but the work challenges were becoming more exciting and my role was becoming more formal and I enjoyed the respect I was receiving.

The short era of contentment in our marriage was drawing to a close.  As I became more successful I felt I didn’t need Ryan as much, he seemed to become smaller and less significant.  I was becoming more in control.  We did attempt marriage counseling but the counselor seemed a bit odd.  We went for about five sessions and stopped.  Her two brilliant conclusions were that I needed a friend and might have a thyroid imbalance.  The only problem I had was that Ryan was an ass!

Actually, I have to say that Ryan had become a very good dad.  It was ironic that as I achieved my goals of becoming a mother I found career success and as Ryan had found the job he had been hoping for he started to become a family man.  But being a good dad didn’t make me attracted to him and I had certainly lost any spark that had once been in our marriage.  Although by now, our struggles had been so intense and so long that it was hard to remember a time when we were ever happy.

I remember Ryan found an article in a magazine I had purchased once, it was about new parents.  There was one quote from a women talking about her husband that said “I fell in love with him all over again (after having children).”  Ryan was very confused, he felt by being a good dad, by being more active around the house, by being the one who helped out on field trips, he was becoming the person I wanted and I would be happier in the marriage.

Two things were wrong with that.  First, there is a Sarah McLachlan song with the words “it's a long way down to the place where we started from.”  For us I would change that thought to “it’s a long way down from where we started.  And it would be a long way back up and maybe an impossible climb.  Second, I wanted someone who understood my dreams, someone who respected me.  Simply folding the laundry, cooking dinner, and taking care of the kids was not necessarily what attracted me.  This was not really what I asked for and I just didn’t want to settle.  I simply wanted more and was beginning to see a path to getting more out of life.  After all, I had earned through my accomplishments this path that I was now on!

My work pace accelerated rapidly and often I was on the road 3 days a week.  And I was traveling with Brent often now.  Brent has a very magnetic personality and people seem to be drawn to him, he tends to create an almost cult-like attraction within his “team” (as he called us).

Brent started asking me questions about Ryan that seemed odd.  Questions like, “who wears the pants in the family?”  “Does Ryan object to your travel?”  “What will Ryan think when you are making more money?”

And of course there were the looks and the vibes.  I knew Brent was interested in me.  Brent had a reputation as a ladies man.  It was rumored that there were more than a few women who he slept with throughout his region.  Coincidentally, Brent looks a bit like Tim Robbins in The Player, and yes he can be “a player.”

I think by being from the south I also fit some romantic image he sought.  He often kidded me about my accent, although I don’t really have a strong one.  Even though Brent was from the North, I think he secretly had a southern soul.  He is really into NASCAR and hunting on the personal side although, as I learned guys from Minnesota, Wisconsin, etc can be just as redneck as those from the south.  He also started to share a few tidbits about his marriage and his unhappiness at home.

What I have learned is that guys will probe, carefully stepping out onto the ice to see how far they can step out.  Brent is from the Upper Midwest and he knows about ice fishing, and he was definitely ice fishing with me, taking those first careful steps out.

But for now it was exciting to be around him and it was intoxicating to have someone value my opinion and abilities and figuratively hold me up on a pedestal.

to be continued…..


Jack said...

This is interesting stuff...

Rosie said...

This is more than interesting. It must be a bit heart-wrenching to write. You seem to have thought about all these details for quite some time, which probably hasn't been easy.