Tag Archives: marriage

Your Desire Shall Be for your Husband

I have been contemplating my relationship with my husband recently. It is pretty good now overall but we have had our fair share of ups and downs, and for years I resented him – not because we had had miscarriages, of course that wasn’t his fault, but because he had decided, despite knowing that I desperately wanted another baby, to wait so long (7 years) between our last baby and trying again, by which time it was too late.

I think that probably I was too ill by the time we started trying again, although I didn’t realise until much later that that might have been a factor. (I read a couple of years ago that women with chronic conditions such as ME, Fibro, MS, PCOS etc. tend to experience miscarriage three times as often as healthy women) .

I have mentioned before that I am not yet at a point of acceptance, of being able to get some closure and say now we have finished building our family. But I have been thinking more and more lately about trying to work out for myself what the shape of my life should look like now going forward if there’s not going to be any babies in the picture. I’ll be 45 this year, so the chances now are next to zero – especially after 4 years of no conception at all (and obviously not using anything to prevent conception!) It’s not beyond the realms of possibility, but highly unlikely. I know that.

I remember once, before we started trying again in 2010, my husband asking me, “Why am I not enough for you?” That is to say, why do you need a baby as well? At the time I thought it was a ridiculous thing to say, the two things weren’t in the same category. But I wonder now whether there is something in it. What is it that makes women like me want babies, and keep wanting babies even with a big family? Well, as I’m sure I have mentioned before, I was raised on the Waltons / Little House on the Prairie as well as having family friends with a big family which seemed really idyllic which fed into the same fantasy. Large family life just seemed much more homely and loving and fulfilling than our quiet, standard small nuclear family. When I had my own family I knew which style I wanted to emulate, and it wasn’t what I had grown up with. But additionally, maybe also a kind of tender intimacy, feeling needed, having somebody to love and adore? (Come to that, why do most women not continually desire that?)

My husband had two sisters, so not a specially large or small family really and I don’t think he was fussed either way. But I do remember once discussing with him that I wanted ten children, and he actually agreed. I suspect now that he thought I was joking. (We have produced 9 in total though – including all our losses – so one more and I would let him off the hook!)

Obviously I have also had thoughts about having a career and started taking steps towards that, but there have been obstacles and it hasn’t happened so far. I have been toying with the idea of working but I think I am basically unemployable. I would be so unreliable with ME – most days I wake up in so much pain I can’t get up, and who would want to employ somebody who might need more sick days than work days? So I have begun to wonder about what sort of things I could do from home. But I would still be at home.

I’m not really convinced that I am cut out for housewifery. I may have the excuse of homeschooling and having the kids around all day and having lots of extra educational materials and books hanging around, but I do not keep a very tight ship. If burglars ever broke in, they might be forgiven for thinking they were too late and we had already been burgled. I wish we didn’t live in a mess but we do.

Perhaps if I were well enough I could take a bit more pride in the state of the place, try a bit harder to keep things ship-shape. But I don’t think I would find that very fulfilling, and sitting at home reading books all day for the most part does nag me with a twinge of guilt at times. So being at home without babies, now that my kids are nearing the end of their education, is beginning to feel a bit odd. What will I do when the children are grown and start to fly away?

I did start some serious writing projects, but I haven’t given them the time or effort to see if they could amount to anything yet. Too busy letting myself get distracted with blogging, although I have given facebook and twitter the boot recently and I have pleasantly surprised myself to find that I really wasn’t addicted at all. (It’s nice to be able to discover new things about yourself at a time when you’re beginning to feel old and staid and boring!)

Going back to my relationship with husband though, I have been thinking more about the necessity of adjusting to this different way of life as empty-nesters (actually I think it will be a long way off for us as youngest is still only 12 and eldest who is 20 seems to have no plans to leave to go somewhere he might need to cook and wash his own clothes). I know it’s not uncommon for some couples to grow apart and end up separating when the children are gone, but that is not something I want to happen to us.

I keep thinking about the phrase in Genesis in the Bible where God tells Eve, “Your desire shall be for your husband“. The context is that it is part of the ‘curse’ after the Fall, and I know that many anti-feminists interpret it to mean that part of the curse is that women desire power over their husbands. (Just as an aside, I posted a question about Christian feminism on a Christian forum recently, asking for reading recommendations, and wasn’t at all surprised to be told that the whole concept of Christian feminism was power-seeking and unChristian. Good grief.) Anyway, what was I saying?

Yep, I don’t honestly know what it means, what the relevance or significance might be to modern Christian women. Perhaps none at all. But I can’t stop thinking about the phrase somehow. I remember when we were first together, before we had children, he told me that he didn’t want me to let myself become dependent on him, because I was perfectly capable to look after myself. But inevitably, as a non-earning housewife and mother of course I did become dependent on him and I still am. I’m not actually too worried about that, as I don’t think it reflects my worth or capability, and I know that things can change in an instant – the universe turns on a pin, after all. There was a time when I went out to work and he stayed at home. It’s not inconceivable that the roles could reverse again. I might get well. (Pigs might fly, hopefully the former is more likely than the latter.)

But I would really just like to be satisfied. Content. With him. With our life as it is, without wanting or needing any babies, or a bigger house, or more money, or some great career or some other monumental success in my life. Is that lame? Or is it a reasonable way for a middle aged woman to think? Yuck! I hate that phrase, ‘middle-aged’. I’m just ‘mature’, right?! (Hahaha, who am I kidding!)

So we are back to gratefulness again. I am grateful. I am thankful. I have lots of good things in my life, and I am totally grateful that I do have such a good, faithful, long-suffering husband. He thinks I am crazy, but he still loves me, and thankfully he seems perfectly happy to accommodate my wish to keep quite a bit of baby-making practice going. 😀





Although I love the actor John deLancie, I think I feel about Q exactly how one is supposed to feel about him – he’s an obnoxious, loathsome character, who is always unwelcome and turns up when you least expect him, and he keeps on popping up when you think you’ve got rid of him.

Thankfully I can’t think of anybody in real life who fits his character. Loathsome and obnoxious, yes. Manipulative, yes. But nobody who combines all those features rolled into one.

The idea in this episode is that Vash had been with Q ever since the Enterprise (TNG QPid) but had lived to regret it, and was now struggling to shake off this abusive partner.

A few of our married friends have gone on to split and divorce, one couple’s split in particular was a big surprise, seeming to have been the perfect couple with happy home and settled family.

But after the split the wife claimed that the husband had been abusive all through their marriage, and managed to turn all his kids against him.

In actual fact there was more than a little evidence that it was the other way round – she had been the drinker, violent, unfaithful, verbally abusive, shopaholic, and he had put up with it all, through thick and thin.

Who knows what really goes on behind closed doors? Presumably the children would be in the best place to know the truth of what went on in the relationship.

Vash’s character is not all innocent at all. When Picard met her, she was already a mercenary, thieving dealer in historical artifacts and of course her character has not improved through her time with Q. Q hangs around because she’s up to her old tricks again, and one of her artifacts puts the station at risk. Together with Quark’s insatiable greed, they make quite a pair.

“I’ll never understand this obsession with accumulating material wealth. You spend your entire life plotting and scheming to acquire more and more possessions until your living areas are bursting with useless junk. Then you die, your relatives sell everything, and start the cycle all over again.” – Odo

The highlight of the episode is Q and Sisko’s fight.

You hit me… Picard never hit me.
I’m not Picard.
Indeed not. You’re much easier to provoke. How fortunate for me.

Of course, everything is resolved in the episode, and Bashir wakes up completely ‘clueless’ about the events that have unfolded while he was asleep.

But we can be sure that we’ll see more of Q. Having spotted Sisko’s vulnerabilities, as all manipulators do, he will be bound to return to cause trouble another day.

I hope everyone has had a lovely Christmas and wish you all a happy new year. Or, as Spock might say, I hope you experience a pleasant celebration of your planet’s winter solstice, and a most logical new year.




Emissary part 1


On star-date 05.20.13, Captain Jean-Luc Picard was kidnapped by the Borg and was forced to lead an assault on Starfleet at Wolf 359. In that battle, Lt. Commander Benjamin Sisko lost his wife Jennifer. Now he has been reluctantly posted to DS9 to work alongisde Kira Nerys who will function as liaison between the Bajoran government and Star Fleet.

In this universe, for the purposes of this blog, Jean-Luc Picard (and sometimes the Borg) is the devil who causes all the yuck in my life.

Jennifer wasn’t Sisko’s wife, but rather his mother who died in May 2013 (hence the faked star-date above).

Oh, and Sisko and I are not just feuding colleagues but man and wife. And since the metaphor is not quite ideal to my real-life situation, Jake will often be replaced by four Ferengis, or a variety of other characters and races, depending on what fits. I will introduce them properly in the episode ‘Dramatis Personae’.

In my original blog on Open Diary, I wrote a series of posts about my life based on the first season of DS9. Some of the themes of the episodes seemed to bear a spooky resemblance to what was going on in my life, or at least my mind. But it may just be that I became so immersed in the story that I began to see my life as Kira’s. When I look back it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was at the time, and I don’t honestly know why I was so hostile to Sisko. Our real-life situation is much worse right now than it ever was then (between 2006 and 2008) but our relationship is actually much better than it was.

Act One

So in Star Trek DS9, neither Sisko, Jake or Kira are happy to be posted to the DS9 Space Station – which is after all in Deep Space – but Sisko is trying to make the best of it, and encourages Jake to do the same. Kira isn’t specifically bothered about being on DS9, her objection is to Star Fleet’s involvement, and she makes that very clear, very rudely! In real life, it was Sisko’s idea to bring us all here.

The Ferengis weren’t happy to begin with, but they have got used to it – they love the Wormhole, and they are now far too settled to move back to Bajor. Family and friends are still there, and even though they are lonely (no kids their own age), they want to stay. I on the other hand objected to the move. I miss my family and friends terribly and although, alright I do actually love the Wormhole now (which, by the way, is the Atlantic Ocean) and I know I would miss it if we were taken away from it, I object strongly to being moved without my consent, and haven’t been able to get used to my new life. I am making him sound like a tyrant, but in fact he took me away from a very unhealthy, emotionally toxic situation. it was for my own good. But it was very painful.

In real life, when we moved here in 2011, I didn’t shout and fight and feud with Sisko (that season of our relationship was for the years previous to our move), but I cried a lot for months, moped around the house, pleaded with him to take us back. But failing that, I learned that pleading didn’t work and our old life was not there for us to go back to (more on that in another episode). I am not happy, but instead of fighting to control a situation that is out of my hands, I am turning to my spiritual life for serenity. Not sure if it’s working really, but I will let you know.

Act Two

In DS9, Sisko meets with Jean-Luc Pickard to object to his assignment and request a move anywhere else. It’s a tense meeting because Pickard was responsible for Jennifer’s death. He can’t forgive him, and lets him know it.

In real life this never happened because in fact Sisko himself is the devil in the sense that he was responsible for moving us here. it was his choice, this was what he wanted. That’s not to say of course that Sisko was in any way responsible for the death of Jennifer his mother, far from it. But he did have the opportunity to go and see her and say goodbye before she died, but he refused – finding the situation emotionally intolerable. I will elaborate on this in another episode, but in another emanation where I see myself as a passionate Klingon, he is the emotionally repressed Vulcan. That has changed somewhat, but it still permeates our relationship.

Where I am an irrepressible, red-headed Celt, he is a cool Scandinavian. In fact he does have a deep, dark svårmod river of passion, joy and anger running below his icy exterior, but it rarely shows.

Act Three

At this point, Bajor’s spiritual leader, Kai Opaka, is introduced along with the Orbs, the ‘tears’ of the Prophets.

I think that in the original blog, I glossed over this part, but I will mention that my spiritual mentor – the person I most respected and to whom I would always turn to with questions about Life, the Universe and Everything, the person who most understood and shared my tastes (except perhaps in music – see below, he wouldn’t have approved), whose opinion I valued above all others, was my Dad. I have already mentioned him – when I was very young I believed he played Spock in Star Trek’s Original Series. It was he who introduced me not only to Star Trek but to the love of all things science and science fiction. If you know DS9 well you will know that Kai Opaka does not last long as a character and her passing was devastating. My Dad died in early 2011 and the world has never been the same.

I’m not sure I have a use for the Orbs yet as a metaphor – but if I think of anything, I will let you know and weave them in to the story!

Act Four and Five

I will have to leave Acts four and five for another day, as I am very tired now and will give myself a headache if I go on. I hope you have enjoyed reading my ramblings as much as I have done writing them.

My soundtrack to writing this post was Metallica’s excellent and underrated album ‘And Justice For All’ – if you happen to appreciate that sort of thing, please enjoy. If you can’t stand it, I won’t make you listen. Awesomely, it co-incidentally finished just about the time that I was finishing up the post. 😀


I need to get organised somehow. I feel as though I have been constantly battling chaos ever since… When did it begin? I think it began the moment I left home and became responsible for keeping my own house.

In my defence, since that moment I have always lived with the most exceptionally lazy and untidy people (or so it seems).

I have moved house in my life around 25 times, and unless there’s some kind of miracle to restore our finances so we can buy our rental house, this place won’t be the last. I wish it were not so, but that’s the way life has unfolded for me. I don’t like the feeling of being a helpless victim of circumstance, but it’s very clear to me that I’m not the one in control.

I can think of only three places where chaos wasn’t a problem: my student digs, our place in Stockholm, and finally, when we were living at my mother-in-law’s. In the first two places, I just didn’t have that much stuff, and in the third, somebody else was doing the housework! (Well, I helped, but I wasn’t the only one responsible for the whole house.)

Even when we had additional family members at Grandma’s (ten of us at one stage) it wasn’t hard like this. In fact, having more adults working together made things much more workable. It was a completely different dynamic. That’s one of the attractions of living in community.

My conclusion: I can’t manage this much stuff without help. And since there’s no help to be had, the stuff must go. Ugh. If only it were that easy. I’m really feeling totally overwhelmed this week, just drowning in stuff.

I keep thinking as well that this chaos is an obstacle to spirituality. I long for some kind of routine, and just a bit of space and time and solitude. I love my big ‘happy family’ but it is suffocating sometimes.

I keep planning to walk down to the church ‘tomorrow’, as I discovered a few weeks ago that it’s open during the day, but so far I haven’t managed it. Maybe tomorrow. But I won’t get my hopes up.

I can understand why the ‘desert fathers’ and mothers withdrew to the desert looking for a deeper and more satisfying spiritual life. Marriage and motherhood is a *much* harder path.

Is serenity even possible in a big, noisy, active, busy homeschooling nuclear family?

Next post had better be on joy, for balance, I guess.