We do not match – and yet we do not part

For almost 35 years, Suse is married to her husband: you, the energetic, he, the insane. How many times did she think: It just does not fit …

They were fellow students at the university and lived in the same corridor in the dorm. Suse already with a small son, because it was then in the early 20s in the East: one was married early and quickly got children. Often too young and often too fast. Suse was in a bad marriage, she remembers: “The man stuck to me too much, was too much at my feet.” Too much for a young woman who did not have self-esteem herself.

Then there was Martin *, this closed-off but so attractive fellow student, who did his thing and went to volleyball all the time. It would take a year and a half before they finally came together to become a family – and still do today. “In Martin,” says Suse, “I was really in love”, she could not say that from her first husband.

I did not want to look up, but I wanted to be at eye level.

Today, at more than 35 years of age, the two are three-time grandparents on the joint life-watch, and those who meet them experience a lively and young-married couple who are beaming in their own way. Even if the liveliness is clearly on Suses account. You, the lute and the energetic, Martin, the silence, the Insighted. Suse with a firm position at an art institute, ambitious from home, Martin as a freelancer in the IT industry, smart, but with too many doubts and lack of daring on the way. Suse, the woman who likes to enjoy beautiful clothes and exhibitions, who wants to travel and experience something, Martin, the man who prefers sitting in his room.

This smells of imbalance, conflict of interest, Zoff – and that’s how it often was. Especially at the time when Martin was unemployed, got involved and did nothing. Suse wanted a man who rolled up his sleeves, looking for a solution, but Martin was not that man. He is not a doer, he only increased the more she tugged at him. Leaving her the care of the family, the payment of the common house, the tuition for the daughter and, and, and. “I do not need a man to look up to,” Suse said, “but I need someone on par.” Martin did not seem to be this man anymore, from Suse’s point of view, she treated him unfairly.

Am I afraid of being alone?

Suse did not mean to be mean, but in the meantime it was, made him down, her respect seemed to be consumed. A few hours of couple therapy did not solve the problem, the therapist advised individual sessions, only Suse agreed. The frustration rose on both sides, but only one acted: Suse. In the middle of 2000 she went astray and demanded nails with heads. Everyone moved into their own home and looked around for someone else online. They did not talk about divorce.

Suse had an affair, but she confessed to Martin. And she herself spied Martin’s cell phone, he also texted with a strange woman. This drove them both apart, but then had a kind of Revitalisierungseffekt. Everyone felt hurt by the fact that the other seemed ready for something new. Both did not care about each other. But it took, and Suse asked herself questions: Am I just too cowardly to draw an end, am I afraid of being alone? She could not give a clear answer. She only knew that she was from a generation in which life alone felt wrong. In which individualism was not as important as it is today. But was that good or bad?

After a long time finally the insight …

Either way, Suse felt it was not over yet with her marriage. Nevertheless, a happy ending was not around, in the following years there were even more downs than ups, she was gone once again. And Martin was only slowly getting out of his agony. Then had a new job, gained more confidence. They were never completely without each other anyway, because they are both family people, his clan, their gang – it was all too much interwoven that they both wanted to drop.

Then the common friends, the bike rides, their same taste in music. And the weird fact that the other one looked very different when you looked at him at a distance: somehow more exciting and dazzling, somehow more the same as before. After a long rebellion, Suse came to the realization that she wants to stop trying to change Martin. She wants to be more thankful for what she has in him: that they come together well through everyday life and that he has always been her rock solid. And if he does not want to go to Paris with her, she just takes a friend with her. She senses that she also makes age more gracious. And although she could have imagined living apart, they moved back together. “Maybe we are just a few old pines that can not do without each other,” says Suse. “Anyway, I can not fall asleep if the guy is not lying next to me!”

Would you like to read more about the topic and talk about it with other women? Then check out the BRIGITTE community in the “Forum: Relationships in Everyday Life”!

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