I have been married for nearly 12 years. I have been an introvert for far longer.
Within the first two years of my marriage, I had to quit the band I was playing bass in, quit my job with the guitar shop, give up any frequent visits with the two people I still considered friends since leaving high school, convert to Catholicism and get baptized, and generally relegate my life to things that allow me to be 'in touch' at all times.
My only escape was work.
My only retreat was business trips.
I went on a trip to China last week. But, something different happened this time. I made a friend. A very smart, attractive, and nice friend. A friend who wound up deeply disappointed to discover that I was married. A friend, none the less. We're still chatting on Skype... Time zones allowing.
With that, I think I've discovered the difference between being alone and being lonely.
I'm not free yet. But, I am making changes. Eventually, the life I'm living must come to an end somehow. I want to escape. I need to escape. I not only have my own wall to break down, but, there's an additional barrier put up by my spouse which is the real nightmare.
I still don't know exactly what to do. I've had many friends and co-workers tell me "just get out". But, it's easier said than done. Though, last week's events have helped my confidence. I think I have the energy to free myself. I just need to know what to do and how to do it.
I've been in the cage so long. Even if someone were to open the door for me, I'm afraid I've lost awareness enough to actually step out. What is the move to make? What are the words to use?
I'm working on it.