THE ETERNAL FEMALE COMPANION
(Written after another union of the minds, in the eye of the storm)
She is very efficient in reminding you of where you stand. "You are somewhere," she says, "but I cannot see you well, nor do I wish to admit to your presence or absence in this time and space except as a target of unease. A nuisance value is what you can hope to achieve at best. That is, if you speak out at those times, but stop before her irritation hits higher levels.
Disappearing does not help much. Memories of those frequent minor catastrophic times grow out of proportion in frequency and severity unlike their natural relatives or accidents.
Staying quiet is taken to mean you belittle her unhappiness, while consolation is regarded as condescension.
Do not ever try to buy her off with an immediate present. An expensive one will remind her of the time(s) you had vetoed expenditures because of tight budgets. A cheap present will make her feel cheap and even more unloved.
Attempting to talk about the good old times of sharing months, years or decades of good times, adventures, children, success stories or goofs, reminds her that all that is now in the past and will never happen again because you are old, a grouch, insensitive, egotistical, unloving, not the same person, sick, disgusting, hateful, difficult, uncaring, self-centered, lazy, depressed, diabetic, obese, with bad eye-sight, with too many implants, and so on and on.
Waiting a while and trying to get her to discuss plans for a new vacation, a visit to children, a new venture which may help the financial or emotional coffers almost always also backfires. If she is unhappy with her present lot which has you in it why should a future with a great deal of more of you cheer her up or even interest her?
Can you supply a young prince charming to take her out of the dumps? Never. You should never even consider this. This would be the worst affront and insult to a loyal spouse whose loyalty can be the subject of thousands of romances from time immemorial.
The best solution that I have been able to find in all my experience and thirty odd years of marriage is to arrange for a close friend, another woman, who has had similar or worse experiences with another detestable male, to call her for a longish session of talks about life and misery. It helps if this friend has told her a number of times in the past, "Your husband has some redeeming features, but, honestly, I cannot understand how you can stand his holier than though and know-it-all attitude."