A lot of experts have commented on the merits of making marriage work. Many more have spoken about the need to communicate and keep connected. The problem with most of these gurus, Betsy thought, was that they knew precious little about life in the real world. Most of these folks were authors who derived their income from speeches and seminars.
The real world involved a lot of balancing of precious discretionary time and money. Few people had the time to sit around and relax in a seminar to learn the secretes of love.
Jerry, all too familiar with the pressures of life, was thinking about one of the pieces of advice a relationship guru had shared. If one wants to make marriage work happily, one has to make serious sacrifices and intense considerations.
The problem was that most people did not want to put in the effort necessary to ensure victory in wedded bliss. The work was always deferred to the partner instead of owning the responsibility outright.
Sure, there was always a fine line to walk, but if one didn’t walk the walk, the talk was meaningless. Jerry was determined to show his lady that they could make their walk have a sweet talk that didn’t cross over any fine lines. Well, not unless it was absolutely necessary anyway.
A Fine Line to Walk
Jerry, a seasoned roar warrior, worked for a company that had him visiting too many sites and too many clients each week. He was away from home way more than he could keep track of. Most of his communication with is wife was built off of text messages and video chats. Very grateful for technology as he’d not have a marriage at all without it.
Betsy was a hard working tough corporate raider who rose up the ranks faster than anyone else in the entire company. She was determined to break every glass ceiling ever erected. Her long days made it easier for her to not notice how often she slept in an empty house. Her husband had tried his best, but things was cooling off little by little each year.
Their marriage perplexed many friends and family who could not understand how they made things work living in different places. To be honest, they only owned one home, but Jerry was traveling so much that hotels were his home more than his own house. Betsy was able to enjoy their home on weekends when she geared up for the coming week.
Vacation time was very different from most other’s vacation trips. They planned and booked their vacations such that they met and spent time together. Sure, they packed a year’s worth of activity during the short vacation week, but that was just how it was
Jerry had insisted they take a week per quarter to connect instead of saving it all for one giant month to spend together once a year. It took Betsy a little time to understand the wisdom in such practice. The time was too short of course, but it was worth it. It sure beat cramming a full year of connecting in one sitting each year.
This arrangement meant that Betsy ran the show around the house. She was the boss. Jerry periodically would visit to repack his suitcase before taking off. He had to constantly adjust to her arrangement of things. They had long given up on fighting over what was what, as he clearly was vetoed the moment he got back on an airplane. Her house, her rules.
The year they had tried to take their whole vacation at one shot, she had put her foot down to try it out, they had spend a week and a half of pure total bliss. All that pent up waiting was explosively ignited and consumed. Then, they had about a half week of awkwardness trying to figure what to do next. They had grown somewhat apart during the year.
The last two weeks of that vacation was tough. They argued a lot. They had such differing views about many things. Jerry wanted things minimalist in nature, thanks to having to live in a minimalist way for travel purposes. Betsy wanted him to care about a lot more things because she had filled her life with more.
Worse, what was important to them career wise was shifting. Jerry wanted to grind out another couple of years before making a grand exit to start his own business. Betsy wanted him to quit now and stay home so she could start a family. The way that conversation flamed out, Betsy opted not to tell Jerry that she made considerably more than he did and that his income was not necessary at all. That would have hurt his ego a bit too much.
They cared for each other, they really did. The reality of life on the road was such that staying connected was getting harder. They were living more like pen-pals and best friends than lovers.
The upside, they learned to keep their vacation patter to quarterly. That kept the passion alive. The fighting was down to a minimum now that Jerry was being more cooperative with Betsy’s leadership. Eventually, however, something would have to give. They couldn’t sustain this lifestyle if they wanted to have a family the way they wanted to have their family be.