"How is your marriage today, Cameron?"
Thanks for asking. And how prescient of you to ask about today's status, as it does seem to change on a daily basis.
The most 'interesting' thing that has happened in recent days is that Gabbie told her mother, Cindy, that she was going to move out.
Cindy has huge leverage over Gabbie, and in fact, a lot of Gabbie's rebellious behavior stems from her desire to be free of her mother's controlling ways. Their relationship has a weird dynamic. Her mother is bossy and controlling, Gabbie resents her for it, and they fight constantly. Yet, Gabbie never stands her ground for long and Cindy never backs off. They're the best of friends who never stop fighting.
When Gabbie told Cindy she wanted to move out, among the many choice words her mother said to her were, "Drunken whore." There were plenty of other insults but those are the words that Gabbie said hurt the most.
Slander and fighting aside, the conversation can be summarized very simply: Gabbie's mother told her she couldn't move out and Gabbie gave in.
After Gabbie explained the conversation to me, all I could say was, "You're 44 years old and you're going to let your mother tell you where you can live?"
To which Gabbie replied, "I guess so."
So there you are. Gabbie is not going any where and, presumably, we'll be married until one of us drops dead.
You might think I'd be happy with that result, especially after my whining in the last post. But no. Apparently, nothing makes me happy right now.
Gabbie's decision to stay because Mommy commanded it doesn't exactly make me feel that our relationship is secure. If she doesn't want to be married, why would forcing her to stay make either of us happy? It won't.
On the other hand, maybe Gabbie gave in so easily because she needed an excuse not to move. Maybe she's entertained the fantasy of living alone for so long that she never imagined the reality of making that happen, until now. Maybe a taste of reality killed the fantasy.
Although I am not happy with my mother-in-law's meddling, the idea of taking care of three kids alone is not appealing. So...if Gabbie wants to stay, I'm thrilled. But I want her to stay because that's what SHE wants. OR, I want her to stay if we agree that our romantic partnership is over. That would permit her to have Charlie and me to start dating men - both without the knowledge of the kids. (I wonder...do we need to ask mommy for permission to do that??)
As usual, when Gabbie tells me which way the wind is blowing that day, I respond only to what she says and make no comments that reveal my own feelings. I've found this to be a wise tactic, because, why make a big deal about something if she's going to change her mind the next day anyway?
The flip-side of keeping my opinions to myself is that I have no idea whether Gabbie would agree that we are finished romantically or not. I'd think so...but I'm not sure.
A lot of the reason I'm confused is that Gabbie's behavior has been very different ever since we had The Conversation. Prior to The Conversation she spent as much time out of the house as possible. In a typical week she was home for maybe two dinners out of seven and was out until 10pm or later four nights a week. Also, she'd see or talk to Charlie multiple times every day. Now, she's ALWAYS home and I've seen Charlie only once in two weeks. Does she have a new love of life at home? Is she in a mourning stage where she's savoring family time while she has it? Or, is she simply trying to please me because I complained so bitterly about Charlie?
I don't know the answer. But I do know that I hate all the ambiguity in our situation and I'd like to have a stable, mutual agreement as soon as possible.
I feel unusually motivated to get some answers. Therefore, I have decided that if there are no new revelations by next Sunday, I will speak up and get our status clarified.
The resolution that would make me happiest is to have an open marriage. If that is the outcome then I hope to soon begin dating. Should I dare to imagine what drama that might bring?