IS your independence compromised by a stable, contented relationship with your spouse? These are the signs you’ve thrown away your selfish dreams to be happy:
You feel guilty for being a prick
Go out for a few after work, forget it was your turn to make dinner and suddenly you feel like a total dickhead, your emotional defences crumble and you promise to be a better person. That never used to happen when you went out with people you didn’t really like very much.
Your old friends have disappeared
What happened to long nights round Phil’s house, sipping warm Red Stripe while watching three other blokes play FIFA? You haven’t seen him in years and now your best friend – your only friend – is your wife. Stand back and look at that and realise what you’ve become: a comfortable, untroubled shell of a man.
You can’t come and go as you please
As a single man you soared like a condor wherever the wind blew. There was always a tantalising chance of going on to a club, blowing £40 on drinks for some girl who wasn’t interested, and waking up on the sofa of a stranger who you still owe for the taxi. Now you’re a chained budgie who has to ask permission to fly, and you’re chirpy about it.
A house, an income, a pair of nailclippers, joyful memories and long evenings spent snuggled together on the sofa; you share the lot now. Save yourself from positive feedback and destructive encouragement by gratuitously scoffing Percy Pigs in front of your spouse. Secretly save him one for the praise you now pathetically crave.
If life before marriage was a spontaneous, thrill-seeking, all-you-can-eat buffet of sex snacks, then your gorging days are over. But it wasn’t, and now you can theoretically have sex with someone you fancy all the time, and clearly you were never that into it because you don’t even bother to ask.