Tracy, my manicurist who has Vietnamese parents, a husband and two small children, overhears my conversation with a neighbor at the pedicure station. She empathizes with my feelings of separation from my husband due to his illness, but reports, “I know how you feel. I cannot share my deepest thoughts and feelings with my husband anymore, because when we fight, he brings up these things to argue back at me. People in your generation and my parents’ share everything with each other, but in my generation all they want to talk about is shopping and sex. I feel lonely too.”How many feelings her comment stirred in me. First, that I have truly been blessed in my mid-life relationship with Bob. We actually did share our lives with each other and listened when each one spoke.Before his illness, we fought generally once a year, on vacation and that was frequently about directions, walking or driving in a foreign country.
I also understand that the pace of life is so much faster now, lives are so much busier and "the good life" still as elusive as before, that rewards count even more than they did when I was young. Why else push ourselves so hard unless it IS for the brand name gizmo or gadget we can now purchase? The search for fun and excitement is sought by both partners, but since vacation time is so short and seldom do the couples have alone time together when they are not both exhausted, it is no wonder people are often disappointed in each other, while feeling they are each doing the best they can.