There is No Spoon

The Matrix - Neo & Trinity

The Matrix - Neo & Trinity

Spoon boy: Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth.

Neo: What truth?

Spoon boy: There is no spoon.

Neo: There is no spoon?

Spoon boy: Then you’ll see, that it is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself.

Sometimes you have to throw out the rule book. Let go of how you think things should be. What is normal? What is a functional family? What is a good marriage? Always searching for answers I’ve read all the time on the internet, books, talk shows. Experts self-proclaimed and otherwise say that marriage is hard work. That you have to fight for it. Why? What rule book is that written in? It is a moot point now because there is no rule book. “It’s hard… fight for it.”  That all sounds like survivalist talk. If you are a carpenter everything looks like a nail.

Am I taking the easy way out to decide I’m not going to fight for it and then stop? Just let it happen. The quote “is not the spoon that bends, it is only yourself” has haunted me for years. Or inspired me might be a better term. Reality is changeable, mutable, subjective. At any given moment there are hundreds of inputs going on around us. Birds singing, cars honking, wind blowing, someone laughs, a couple arguing, billboards, TV, radio, internet. What we see out of all of this is what we are programmed from birth to see. If we grew up in a house where parents point out the dark cloud, our faults, suspicions about the neighbors, this is what our brains learn to recognize. This is what is real.

Psychologist say that the majority of our progress as children is learning how to filter something meaningful out of the chaos. We learn or don’t learn the same things in relationships. The beauty of this is that we can create a whole new marriage just by changing what we “see” or recognize in our spouse. I’m not claiming that this is a magic cure. What you may see is a person you thought you could live with, but you were kidding yourself. Or you are seeing your reflection. Yikes, that’s scary, especially if this person is getting on your very last nerve.

absurdistan - Veit Helmer, director

What I see when I look at my husband lately is a complete and total stranger. I thought I knew him, but what did I know? Have I really been listening to him?  Is he really listening to me. Have we both been on marital auto-pilot? This is what the husband does, this is what the wife does. This is what 2 people are supposed to do and think and feel when they are married.

Mr Husband and I bought into the battle scenario. When I picture warriors like the Spartans I see fighters trained from birth. They are heavily armored holding weapons and shields. They stand back to back, willing to defend each other to death. But rarely do they turn around and face each other. Their feelings about each other are assumed by not spoken. When a couple come together and they are from 2 different training camps there is trouble.

I’m turning over a new leaf. I’m not going to fight this fight because I don’t believe in it. I am going to be a conscientious objector in the war between couples. What I am going to do is live my life the way I think it should be lived. The hub-man claims to not  understand me anyway. What have a I got to lose? My fear, which is a universal one, is will he like me if I let down my “guard” down, my mask. Maybe he won’t, but I am willing to take that risk.

I spend far too much time trying to figure out how tell people who I am. My new motto is now a line from Mary Poppins “I want to make on thing perfectly clear. I never explain myself!”

6 responses

  1. After 14 years,I’m very over the ‘marriage is and should be hard chain-gang labor work’ thing myself.Ran across a parenting tip that really helped me,and I find it can apply to husbands as well…When the children have stressed you out to the max,pretend they are not yours and that you’re simply babysitting someone else’s.With spouse, it’s more like ‘remember when you first started dating and you were so crazy about each other and how cool his music collection/sense of humor/etc. was?’.

    1. Great advice! I’ll try that with the husband. May like the kid thing.That’s it I’ll pretend he’s not my husband. Maybe that will make it easier, thinking that I won’t have to deal with his “quirks” for the rest of my life.

  2. I think that you are in a road with no coming back. When you start questioning the bare foundations of our beliefs, when your mind starts to expand, it´s a new you and there is no coming back. I´m telling you this by experience, I so relate with some things you said, and I´m happy for you because once the first storms pass, you´ll live according with what you really are. When I started to get rid of old fixed phrases and creating my own set , some people was left behind, they just couldn´t accept it, me. But new people came in the way. And it was sort of a lonely trip but I´m happy with that, I couldn´t be somebody else except who I´m. Take it or leave it. I know it may sound selfish, but it´s healthy. I wish you the best of luck!!

    1. Thank you so much, wherewander. I’m looking forward to this journey. Tried it in fits and starts over the years but let myself get distracted. This time I’m going with the conviction that I have to leave my mental luggage behind.

  3. Fabulous. I’m so excited to hear that my theory is not new. And is proven in action. Love the what you said “he’s not perfect-but his perfectly him.”

  4. Wonderful… I took this up years ago and it’s worked a charm! Mr Husband and I are rather like adolescents when it comes to adoring each other… Of course he’s not perfect – but he’s perfectly him – and I wouldn’t have him any other way… (oh, all right, I’d probably tweak a thing or two if it were possible, but the truth, it isn’t…)
    Long may you and Mr Husband reign!

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