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I Want My Cake, and to Eat it Too

You feel justified in all the choices that brought you here. I hope you can handle the consequences.

If you just jumped in. You die, start over with a new life here.

She just doesn’t get me. I’m so drained from thinking about other people’s problems and trying to fix them all the time. Gaming is my way of taking an empathy break. The problems in a game are temporary, and beatable. I know that if I dedicate enough time to it, I can overcome whatever I am struggling with. It’s a matter of practice and skill with strategy. I thrive in environments where I can think a couple steps ahead to win the game, but I am not fantastic at looking years down the road. 

Gaming is my escape, entertainment source, creative outlet, and social bonding experience. I guess I do wish I had more bonding experiences with my wife. She’s right, it has been awhile since we’ve been on a date, and I miss her. I miss what we used to have, we spent all day together. I wish we could have that back, but nowadays when we spend time together, she just seems to complain about how we never spend any time together. Women are so hard to understand. I feel like nothing I ever do makes her happy.  

Now I’m at this crossroads. Again. I find myself here pretty frequently. Where she seems fed up, and I want to change. See, that’s the thing, I really do want to change. I want to be all the things she wants. I want to be good at taking the trash out, I just don’t see it’s full until it’s overflowing and the second I seem to realize it’s full, I also realize she’s angry. Sometimes, it’s the other way around. Oops. What can I do? I’m only human. 

That’s the thing though. Even if I was good at taking out the trash, it wouldn’t be enough. She would want something else, something more. If I keep trying, she will see potential and want to “work on me” like I’m a project to be fixed. I would much rather just be here, in my own worlds, ones where I create the rules, or at least agree to them. I like video games, even board games, I just don’t like to play mind games. 

Over time, it has become easier to tune her out. I get how she feels. I just don’t know what to do about it. I understand that she wants more help around the house, and wants me to sit down to dinner with her. The thing is, I work so much, leaving by 5:00 is so unrealistic. I get caught up in my work and lose track of time. 

I don’t know how to balance the things she wants, with the things I need. I need to be able to decompress and let go of the day. I need to be able to check up with my friends, see what’s going on with them, and keep my daily habits going to earn my rewards. She wants more time. We spend time together, she makes it sound like we don’t, but we get ready together every morning, and she reads while I game every night. I spend more time with her than anyone else in my life, except maybe Matt, the IT guy at work, but we work next to each other, so that doesn’t count. 

I accepted a long time ago that Natalie wasn’t going to game. It’s ok. I can’t expect her to like the things I like. I mean, I couldn’t watch rom-coms all the time. I’m grateful, she doesn’t expect me to do that with her. I do wish I could talk to her about it. If only she would try to shoot some zombies, or explore uncharted waters with me, we could spend hours together every night. Heh, I can dream, right? 

I wonder if she made meatloaf tonight. It’s Tuesday, and sometimes on Tuesdays she follows her mother’s traditions. I just hope she didn’t put the mushrooms in. I really do hate mushrooms. They’re just so slimy. As I pull up, I notice something is different. Her car isn’t in her normal spot. She must have run to the store. Sometimes she can be careless and forget an ingredient. She should have called, I would have stopped on my way home. 

I hang the keys by the door and step inside to see the Manila envelope on the table, as well as breakfast’s dishes in the sink. She might actually have been serious this time. 

Care about how this all made her feel? Check out her perspective.

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