This is a piece of autobiographical fiction. Space and time have been rearranged to suit the convenience of the book, and with the exception of public figures, any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental. The opinions expressed are those of the characters and should not be confused with the author’s.
This story is written as an example to anyone who wants to believe that we are more than the patriarchy deems us to be, more than our limitations, and more than our fears.
15th June, 2019 – Sengkang, Singapore
Gideon and I are in the gym downstairs. We’ve just done a great workout together. He smiles at me and playfully hits my butt as I get down to the floor to do some butt exercises.
When we reach back home, Gideon undresses and says, “I’m going to take a shower and then we can make lunch together?”
I walk towards him hesitantly and starts kissing him, on his chest, his neck and finally we lock lips. The kissing is great and I think it’s going to happen. We’re finally going to have sex after not 4 months. But no, he leaves me hanging once again, steps into the shower and I turn around to walk out of the bathroom.
It’s been 4 months since Gideon and I have slept together. 4 months.
I had first asked him if anything was wrong. The first month that I brought up, he told me that work was getting very busy and he was tired all the time. But he promised that he would make time for me. After all, we’d just been married for such a short while. Nothing else could be the problem right?
The second month I brought it up, I did it in tears. I felt really unattractive and had been going to the gym very often. I was also eating much less and putting in more effort to dress up whenever we went out. He would wear t-shirts and pants everywhere but I would still put on the effort to dress abit more sexily for him. Nothing. Nothing at all.
The third I brought it up, it led to a fight. And then he finally told me that he had some credit card bill payments that were racking up. They were causing him a lot of stress.
He finally gave me an answer I was looking to hear. That it wasn’t my fault. That I wasn’t responsible for our lack of love-making.
Now, it’s been 4 months. Even though we sat down last month to talk about our finances and drew up a plan for it, he still hasn’t made any advances onto me.
At this point, my ego is heavily bruised. I keep asking myself if I’m not being understanding enough. I talked to friends about it and they all thought it was weird but couldn’t offer anymore help or advice.
When I first heard about his debts, I was in shock. I didn’t know that he had so many money issues. I didn’t know that he had allowed our credit card bills to pile up. When I asked why he didn’t tell me, he said that he thought he could handle it.
Yet, whenever we go out to eat, he would always choose to go to restaurants instead of cooking or eating at hawker centers.
I started blaming myself. I’m the one who told him when we first got married that he has to pay for all of our meals. I said to him, “If I’m going to be bearing your children in future, the least you could do is fatten up the cow.”
He has never once told me that he can’t handle the bills. I offered to pick up a full time job but he just told me that his bonuses would help cover our debt. He always told me that this was his way of loving me – to provide for me financially.
My mistake was to think that that was love. It wasn’t. It was two people flailing around trying to save each other – when neither of us had a lifejacket on. You can’t save someone else when you’re drowning yourself. You have to first save yourself before wanting to save someone else. If you try to hang onto someone in hopes of trying to save them, while you yourself are sinking, you are robbing away the chance for the other person to save themselves.
It wasn’t love, it was selfishness.
In the end, I was the one who had to come up with a plan and a solution for our debts. He brought me his problems and I helped to solve them.
Little did I know….that his credit card bills were not the only thing he owed.
In that same breath, I thought I was loving him – but I wasn’t.
I went into our marriage aching for love. Aching for someone to tell me that I’m worth all of their time and their energy. I fell into our relationship because there was such a deep pit of longing to be seen, to be loved by someone.
I didn’t know that I too, was being selfish.