Saturday, May 29, 2010

Nothing is clearer, it is just a stalemate for now

Well, since my episode of paranoia, nothing has happened to clarify matters.

I tried to talk to my wife once about my concerns, but she was completely dismissive. Before I had even had a chance to explain my concern, she responded with:

"Oh your just being silly!"

...and she walked away.

So I get the feeling that she does not want to discuss the matter, or that it simply does not register for her and she is not sensitive to how I feel at this point in time.

When I hear her mobile phone signal with a text message, my heart skips a beat, but I try hard to ignore it. She still behaves oddly, as if the message is so private that she cannot read it while in the same room as me.

A few days ago I walked past the bedroom and saw her busily typing a text message on her phone. When I asked her who she was texting, she said:

"Just a friend"

I then said" "Who?"

She responded in an agitated voice, "Just a friend, you don't know them"

Now I keep asking myself whether I am simply being paranoid, in a effort to talk myself out of this anxiety I am experiencing. At the end of the day, I know that all of this can be explained away in a perfectly reasonable manner. I recall not that long ago that my wife suspected something was going on in my life, and it wasn't, so I could just be going through the same thing.

And I can't get over how she would be willing to lose something that she seems to value more than anything else in her life. No, not me, but something far more valuable to her.

I remember when we were preparing to get married, she asked me if once we were married, whether she too could use the title of "doctor", given that her husband is a doctor. She reasoned that this is the case with Knighted men who marry.

I wasn't sure whether she was joking or serious, but I realised early on that my being a doctor meant everything to her, as it does to her mother. I am quite sure that everyone from her mother's village knows that my mother-in-laws daughter is married to a doctor, and not just any doctor but a specialist. I am subjected to some kind of awe from all my mother-in-laws friends every time I come into contact with them, and they all insist on calling me "doctor" instead of my name, and they touch my hand almost messiah like as if some of my good luck would rub off on them.

It seems to me beyond belief that my wife, and just as importantly her mother, would risk losing this title that they wear like a badge of honour, which has given them the right to hold their head up high amongst their community, in a display of superiority.

The chinese I have found to be aspirational to the extreme, and excessive displays of ones success, although being something which may be frowned upon in the west, is second nature to many chinese.

I keep asking myself, "how could they risk losing this?". It just doesn't make sense.

....or am I simply trying to convince myself too hard.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

The mobile phone and the private messages

Well, the rational part of me keeps telling me that I am just being silly.

I have always been someone who doesn't jump to conclusions, who always believes that there is a sensible explanation for most things, and who is not possessive or jealous.

And I have been married for ten years with no concerns about infidelity.

However my wife and I have been having some real issues of late.

Now all marriages have ups and downs, but this issue feels a little more serious than most.

My wife seems genuinely disinterested in me and how I feel, and her values, as I recently realised, seem to be polar opposites to mine.

When did these differences develop? I simply didn't see it coming.

What has really concerned me of late has been her frequent text messaging and mobile phone use.

She has never been big on text messaging, but all of a sudden she seems to be glued to her mobile phone. She also never leaves the phone unattended, even when she showers, almost as if she is afraid of someone reading the text messages.

She also seems to get many more phone calls these days. Most of them seem to be from her Chinese friends, as she speaks to them in Chinese. I get the feeling that she is talking to them about me, because of her facial expressions. I don't know Chinese but I can pick up some words which makes it sound as if she is telling them something in Chinese, because she doesn't want me to understand.

This language thing has really become a huge anchor around my neck, as I am disadvantaged in so many areas.

However when the phone call is from a non-Chinese English speaker, she leaves the room and talks to whoever it is in our bedroom.

On the occasion when I ask who it was on the phone, she would reply saying, "its no one, just a friend."

This is simply not an upfront response, and if it were me she would not have accepted it, but I said nothing in response.

I probably should not have, but last night I was alone at home for a few hours. So I decided to look at her most recent mobile phone bills.

Now she is really careful about her mobile phone usage, as she is sensitive about the costs involved.

She typically refuses to make calls on her mobile, and when possible she uses her work phone instead. So her mobile phone bills have always been inside the monthly cap.

Her most recent bill however, to my serious surprise, is $120 over the cap. This is a huge amount, especially for her.

Her usage for the month before last comprised primarily of phone calls (and text messages) to two phone numbers, one mobile number and one landline number. It looks like she has called those numbers up to 20 times on some days.

But should I be looking at her phone statement? I don't know what I am doing? Am I snooping? Am I stalking? I feel so terrible about this but I can't seem to control myself.

My mind tells me that she could not possibly sacrifice everything we have, but I just have a bad feeling.

I just don't know what to do. Even at work today I have been distracted. I can think of nothing else.

This not knowing is the worst part.

I get the feeling that everyone is in on it, except for me. If she has done something, I know that she would not have done it without her mother's agreement.

This is not good.

Either I am remarkably foolish and paranoid, or something simply isn't right.

What do you like/dislike most about Chinese women?