Imagine you hear this, from a peer, about her marriage:
“I need an outlet, he’s so happy I’m out with you and not the men I work with.”
“We’re working on things.”
“He says he wants to listen to me and be my outlet, but it seems forced and not genuine.”
“If he’s not nice or gets mad, I just retreat, I know I can’t talk about that issue anymore.”
“He hates talking.”
“I know I need to reach out more. I mean, he’s it. If I can’t be married to him, I can’t be married to anyone.”
“We go out to dinner, and we don’t talk. Maybe we laugh once, or we talk about the events of the day. That’s it. Then silence.”
“Sometimes I think that it’s best for him to do his thing and me to do my thing.”
This all came from a woman I don’t know all that well, directly. We’re just getting to know each other. We know a lot about each other from mutual connections, for whatever that’s worth. But for some reason, this woman shared all this with me. Me.
Does she know what I do with this kind of information? I connect dots. I extrapolate. I wonder. I infer. I deduce.
The girl never said, “I love him more than anything.” She never said a single positive thing about being with him, other than, “He takes care of us, me and the girls. He makes sure we’ll be okay.”
She discussed him as if he were a roommate.
It’s three now, the marriages I’ve seen end. There seems to be a pattern to a what a woman says when she is desperately unhappy in her marriage. There’s an equally distinct pattern in what’s not said.
I hate patterns. I see them too much.