My Romantic Journey, Part I

Since these autobiographical posts are proving to be so popular, I decided to write a series about my romantic journey.

When I was 16, I met the man who three years later became my husband. For the purposes of this series, I will refer to him as B. This was never a relationship based on a huge passion or anything of the kind. I felt it was cool to have a boyfriend who was much older (B. was 20, and seemed like advanced old age to a 16-year-old) and a university student. In general, I didn’t like him much but I though I could improve him with time.

At that point, good girls from nice families in my country didn’t move in with their boyfriends. If you went out with somebody for a couple of years, everybody expected you either to get married or break up. I wasn’t particularly interested in getting married, but marriage was going to offer me an opportunity to live independently, have my own place, and feel like a real adult. I knew the entire time that this was not the kind of a relationship that I would want to be in for the rest of my life, which is the kind of attitude that doesn’t bode well for a new marriage.

For the most part, things went really well in the marriage. I went to school during the day and worked on my computer all night long. B. would go to bed very early, so we barely ever met. This wasn’t hard to achieve in our big apartment. On weekends, I worked even more than during the week, while he spent time with his mother. I was mostly interested in making money and only wanted to be left alone in order to be able to do that. Of course, I felt that something was wrong and that young people of my age were not supposed to live in a boring, passion-free, roommate-like relationships. I didn’t, however, have much energy left over to think about what was wrong and how the situation could be improved.

The problem with entering into a very serious relationship at a very young age is that people might grow and change a lot with time. Or they might not. I changed profoundly (see my series titled “My Intellectual Journey”) and decided that this life of making money to buy things and making more money to buy more things was not for me. I wanted to find an environment where I could grow intellectually, experience new things, and simply reclaim my youth. At twenty, having nothing other in your life but working and paying bills is not very inspiring. I decided I wanted more.

B., however, didn’t. After a time of choosing to stay unemployed, he accepted a secretarial job at a place where his mother worked. He was (and I’m sure still is) a highly qualified professional capable of making a lot of money. However, he was content with making photocopies and snoozing in the corner for a small salary in a dead-end job. This wasn’t the main problem, of course. What I could not understand or even imagine was that he didn’t want anything new or different. Traveling, exploring new places, growing professionally, developing hobbies – none of these things seemed to interest him. He was happy with the way things were.

(To be continued. . .)

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