silence is golden…but not in my house

Being married to someone who is so stiff and robotic is my kryptonite. And the silence….it’s like having a plastic bag over my head that gets tighter and tighter, less and less oxygen reaching my lungs.

I stand there in church singing during worship and feeling the music as much as I’m thinking about the message of its lyrics and I’m painfully aware of the statue next to me, hands shoved in his pockets, staring straight ahead. I want to punch him to see if he’s awake. He makes me feel self conscious so I tuck my emotion away, blink back any tears that are burning in my eyes, cross my arms, and sing a little softer. I don’t know why he goes to church anymore. Maybe it’s because this church isn’t Baptist enough for him and the music isn’t exactly traditional. During the sermon, he plays with his phone, reads emails, works on programming stuff (I have no idea what), and just looks generally miserable.

No one talks to us except the few people we know but let’s face it, they are the girls I have made connections with. Their husbands might shake his hand and say, “Hey, how’s it going, man?” To which he replies, “Good.” Then he shoves his hands back in his pocket and sits silently or he disappears to get coffee in the lobby although sometimes he just leaves and drives to the coffee shop across town and comes back 30 min later. I’m more relaxed when he leaves but I wish he wouldn’t.

I wish somehow he would open up. I don’t want him to be as connected to music as I am because that isn’t him. But I wish he didn’t just flow through life like a freaking dead fish, like an ameba fluidly going in whatever direction it is prodded with no question and no backbone. Yes, he’s laid back and everyone says that’s what I need but that same emotion and passion that is lacking in his response to being cut off on the road, hearing a good song, or watching a hear-rending movie is also lacking in how he interacts with me. His compliments, on the rare occasion they leave his lips, are empty and unbelievable. It’s like a toy that is programmed to say certain things at the push of a button. It’s robotic and meaningless. Some days I wish he’d yell at me so I would have a gauge to show there is emotion in there somewhere even if it is anger. Instead I get silence but not the usual silence I’ve become accustomed to over the past years. It’s a tense silence, one that I’ve been trained to know is directed at me and I am left to wonder what I did to make him become sullen and unresponsive. Silence is golden, they say. But in my house, it is vomit inducing. I am so tired of trying to pry a reason out of him so I can put my stomach at ease either knowing it isn’t me but that’s laughable because IT’S ALWAYS ME.

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