“Dating outside the Marriage”

(Note: This will probably be the only time I feature a craptastic stock photo about relationship drama, so SOAK IT UP, PEOPLE)

My last entry nodded to elder millennials getting out of marriages they chose in their twenties. Well, I, too, am continuing to feel sour toward a stale marriage I chose in my twenties, and it has naught to do with sex or romance.

The spouse that is my insurance career has been on its best behavior lately. It has been bringing me flowers (albeit fake ones with the UPC still attached, or last-minute bouquets from 7-Eleven) and burbling promises that it can CHANGE, it will be BETTER, it will keep improving itself, for MEEEE.

But, guys – its shallow ministrations seem so unconvincing.

Yes, as I wrote last year, staying in this marriage has been my choice – for stability, familiarity, and the benefits (thankfully NOT “for the sake of the children”) – and because dating SUCKS. But the hard fact remains that we just don’t have the same interests, or values, or religion, or love language, and our preferred ways of doing pretty much ALL THE THINGS are irreconcilably different. When my spouse tells that joke that I just KNEW was coming, or gestures in that totally predictable way, I bristle with contempt.

Many would say it’s possible for my spouse and I to rekindle our romance. But I feel like I have put in the effort, and my sentiments (or lack thereof) have stayed the same.

So, for perspective, I have decided to “date outside the marriage.” There’s an attractive local opportunity that just happens to be available (and a little in need), and I have approached it about seeing me a couple of weekends a month. Nothing too serious, just us learning more about each other to see where things go. And who knows, I might learn a little more about what I like and don’t like, as well as pick up a few new… tricks…

(BTW: If you asked me to identify the high point of my fraught union, I’d have to say it was our belated honeymoon when it took me to New Orleans. But even then we were much more like buddies than lovers.)

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