Marriage is tough in the best of times but in pandemic times? Forget about it! I don’t even have to look at official statistics to confirm it. Just anecdotally I would bet a shiny penny that the rate of divorce is probably at an all-time high.
I believe it was Chris Rock who once quipped, “if you haven’t contemplated murder, you ain’t ever been in love.” (Or something to that raucous effect.)
I laughed hard when I first heard that joke years ago, even then (as single-me) I understood it to be true. But now, more than ever, I know it to be true. Case in point: I have been harboring murdery vibes towards my husband recently. It’s not constant- it comes and goes like all fruitless, irrational thoughts. Don’t be shocked, I can’t be the only one! And don’t worry, I’m not really going to harm him in any law-breaking way (after all, he takes out the garbage and does all things around the house I hate doing so there’s that). Although, on second thought- should I be putting this out there? I mean, I watch enough Dateline and 20/20 to know that it’s posts like these that the producers end up zeroing in on as an early indication to the mental unravelling of a troubled, guilty woman (um, me in this case).
Quite honestly, it probably wouldn’t surprise him in the least if he knew. We’ve been on each other’s case for the last few days (come to think of it- weeks, months actually). This pandemic has been tough on both of us for separate reasons (as it has been for everyone else) but it’s been wreaking some havoc on our marriage too. We are becoming slightly unhinged and just a tad homicidal.
While it’s true, the pandemic did take the hustle and bustle out of our daily lives (admittedly, it was nice but only for like two weeks?!), it also created another behemoth in its place: isolation. All the typical outlets outside the home that we are used to leaning on to take the edge off mundane life suddenly disappeared. The pandemic caused us to slow down but we all ended up living in our own silos with issues that otherwise wouldn’t have been on constant blast and magnified times one hundred if not for this freakin’ pandemic. Life has been crazy and challenging for everyone no matter your circumstances. Tempers are heightened, patience are being tested, and relationships have been put through the wringer. Many are left feeling like they are doing too much while thinking others could probably pick up the slack a bit. The problem is everyone feels this exact way- at least in my household, anyway.
For example, my husband is a tidy guy. He usually folds his pajamas and keeps it on his side of the bed but lately I’d been noticing it haphazardly flung on my pillow. For some reason, I always automatically think he’s doing something to purposely piss me off (in his teasing, “playful” way). We have a king size bed, there’s absolutely no reason any of his stuff should be crossing the median line onto my side, frankly (lol).
Yes, fine, the first time I didn’t think anything of it (maybe he was in a rush). But after it kept happening every day I thought, is this guy kidding me? It was like that last straw being placed on the proverbial camel’s back and I was the freakin’ camel. I took it as a personal affront; I do so much around the house and he’s only adding to my already lengthy list of things to do. The nerve! Oftentimes, I find myself bottling things inside; I remember things (hello, my name is Petty) and I squirrel it away until I either forget about it or it’s brimming from my consciousness and I can no longer ignore it. I didn’t realize it but I was brewing resentment towards him, not just for this tiny indiscretion but for all the other little things that kept piling up that I’m sure he expected me to take care of. Evidently, I was keeping a tab and it was time for him to pay up soon.
I hadn’t confronted him on it yet for a multitude of reasons but also he’d been quite stressed lately due to work pressures so I didn’t want to give him another reason to criticize me for not supporting his work demands. Basically, I didn’t want this to turn into another issue, I just wanted some respect and well-deserved credit for holding up this household while the world was imploding. Plus, keep your shit on your side, damnit. Is that too much to ask?
Then, one morning I was late leaving for work and I witnessed my daughter flinging my husband’s pajamas onto my pillow with complete abandon. I chuckled out loud to myself and shook my head.
Communication is key, people!
What about you? What do you think is the key to a successful relationship?
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