I have a secret: I don’t think caregiving is rewarding.
I also don’t think I’m alone.
I’m supposed to talk about how this is what God decided I should do. How much I love my husband and cherish my vow to him. How I live to make him happy.
And that’s what I say to people. They say I’m one of God’s angels on Earth and I say it’s my duty, it’s what I’m here for.
But really, I’m just saying that because I fear how much people would judge me if I was truthful about the way I felt.
Marriage requires a lot of sacrifices. There’s a lot of choosing us over me. And as a woman, there’s even more to give up. My husband has always had the final say and I’ve quietly accepted this, as much as I push and cajole.
But now that’s no longer enough. I’m supposed to give up everything. All of the things he was supposed to provide, his end of the bargain that gave him the right to veto my desires, is off the table now. He provided the financial security, I worked and maintained the home and my figure and was charming and not a nag and stroked his ego.
Now I have to do both halves of this bargain. While he does nothing. Like another child.
Day in, day out, for years. Forever. Til death do us part.
He isn’t the worst person to care for. He isn’t mean or violent. But he’s also not appreciative. And, honestly, I’m not sure how differently I’d feel even if he was.
Even if he appreciated the sacrifices I make for him, I wouldn’t want to be making these sacrifices.
I miss who we used to be, the life we used to have. He may never be able to have that life again, but I could.