We were young, double income, no kids (DINKs), enjoying each other’s company in many ways. We talked about so many aspects of life and dreams of the future. We would talk about how our “getting to know you” time actually occurred after marriage instead of before. It was not ideal, we both agreed. But, we were married and we were going to work through it together. I was so young, so naïve. I think we both were.
Mindless and I had such fun together when doing the things he felt skilled in or didn’t care about. But, on those occasions he did feel threatened, he would pout or become sullen. I loved to dance. Mindless hated it. So, I stopped dancing, except on the very rare occasions he would go with me. I loved to work with my hands and fix things. It bothered him, so I just stopped doing it. I was capable of lifting a 50 lb. bag of dog food and carrying it into the house on my own. This bothered him, so I stopped doing it (honestly, I didn’t really miss that one ever). He would be upset if I won at any game we played, such as Chess and Scrabble. I played to win, but if I lost I didn’t care. If he lost, he wanted to keep playing until he won. It took the fun out of playing. I refused to lose on purpose (he didn’t ask, but of course it was an option), instead I just avoided playing those games with him. We had gone to different colleges. We hung out with his friends from college far more than we did with mine.
Mindless and I had both gone to colleges near my hometown, which was far from his parents. So, though we both had friends in town, it was my family that lived near to us. Mindless decided he wanted to go to graduate school. We moved many miles away. I looked at it as a fresh start, in a place that was new to both of us. But, I was very sad to leave my home state and what little family I had left. He started graduate school. It took me about two months to find a job. It was a very difficult job, with a very difficult boss, but it supported us decently and it was a great resume builder. At first we lived about an hour away from my job. The apartment took my dog, which wasn’t easy to find. His school was a little over half the distance between our home and my work.
My dog was very old and getting very sick. A few months after we arrived, she was having trouble walking. She somehow made it to my bedside, laid down and had a seizure. I was crying to Mindless to help me get her to the car and take her to the vet. He insisted he had to shower first. We did get her to the vet, after his shower. It turns out she had a brain tumor. The vet suggested we put her down because, at her age, surgery just wasn’t a wise option and it was unlikely she could walk again. She was my childhood dog. She meant the world to me.
About a month after my dog passed away, we decided to give 30-days notice. We moved to an apartment one block from my work. It was so nice to be so close. Instead of the burbs, we were now living it up in the city. His school was closer than before with easier public transportation options if he desired that route. We traded in our two cars for one, and a cute one at that. We took road trips on weekends and enjoyed our lives together very much. I was patting myself on the back for having made this move away from family and friends. It was good for us, or so I thought.
My co-workers were all of the same age. Mindless and I were one of the few married couples. Co-workers would invite Mindless and me to join them at various bars around town, or a wine-tasting out in the country. We would go and enjoy ourselves. We had a lot of fun together. Once, Mindless told me he would meet me, instead of me coming home and us going together. So, I went with my co-workers to the local Irish Pub. We sat down and were chatting and had a drink. A guy was sitting next to me at the bar and started to chat with me and my co-workers. Mindless walked in and saw the guy talking to me, came over, put his hand on the guy’s shoulder and in an abrupt and angry tone said, “Dude, that is my wife!” My co-workers looked at me with surprise, and I think pity. I was so embarrassed. I told them that he can sometimes be a little jealous. We all moved on and pretended that it never happened. When we got home, I gave MC hell about it. We fought. I was very upset and he “regretted his behavior.” My co-worker friends still invited us out in the future. We still went out and we still had fun with them. In the future, however, I was more mindful to only talk to women or men Mindless already knew.