Yesterday, my husband apparently had an epiphany. I pretty much told him to shape up or ship out. I didn’t cry, I didn’t beg, I didn’t whine, I didn’t bitch. I just told him in plain English, without attacking him that I was no longer happy in this marriage. I sat him down and told him in no uncertain terms that there are things in our marriage that I can no longer accept.
- Don’t tell me that you are going to do something, and then never do it. It breaks my trust in you. If you say that you are going to do the dishes, then do them. If you say that you are going to move a piece of furniture for me, then move that damn piece of furniture. Damn it.
- When I am talking to you, I expect you to listen. Just like I listen to you when you talk. If I am doing something, and you are talking to me, you want me to drop whatever I am doing and look at you so you “know that I am listening.” I expect the same respect in turn. Don’t stare at the TV when I am talking to you–it lets me know that you don’t value the things that I am saying, and in turn makes me feel like you don’t value me. In fact? New rule: When we are talking, the TV goes off.
- DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT expect sexual favors from me and expect that you don’t have to return them. I am not a sex slave. I am not a sex worker. You don’t get to “get in and get off.” This is a marriage, and as such, I expect things to be quid pro quo, especially in the bedroom division. Can I get an Amen?
- While we are on the topic of sex, just because you get off doesn’t mean that you are finished. We have had this conversation many, many times. And apparently, you have forgotten it in the last month or so. You don’t get to get off and then promise to “take care of me later.” Nope. Doesn’t work like that. If you have time to get off, you have time to get me off. End. Of. Story.
- Communication. Oh LAWD. Communication. Get off of your phone. Turn the TV off. Put the tablet down. AND LISTEN TO THE WORDS THAT ARE COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH. Lack of communication kills marriages faster than (as Gabriel Iglesias says) Fluffy kills tacos.
- Don’t be a selfish asshole. This one might only apply to my marriage, but I have a feeling that it doesn’t. When I am making myself something to snack on, I pop my head in and ask him if he would like some of what I am having. If I am going to the refrigerator for a drink, I ask him is he would like one while I am up. It wouldn’t kill you to return the favor every once in a while. If you are up and you are sneaking ice cream from the carton, bring me a spoonful and sneak it to me before the kids see us. If you are going to the kitchen to get yourself something, ask me if I would like something. It’s about so much more than eating and drinking. It’s about all of the little things. Like switching the laundry over for me without me asking, just because. Or bringing home flowers that you stopped on the side of the road to pick. I want to know that you think about me even when you aren’t around me. I want to know that you think about little ways to make me happy. Because I think about you even when you aren’t here. I think about little silly things to make you smile. And I just want that in return.
- When I am going through a stressful moment, or I find out stressful news, just shut up. Stop talking. I don’t want to hear any other words come out of your mouth until I have had a chance to process the information that I have just received. When I find out stressful news and you start running off at the mouth, “Well tomorrow we’re going to do THIS, and you better do THAT, and you better tell them THAT, and…” Just. Stop. Talking. SHUT THE HELL UP. I have asked you nicely to do this before, and apparently you don’t understand me when I say it nicely. When you start doing that, and you get loud and obnoxious, your voice, and the things that you say are like nails on a chalkboard to me. Please. Just stop talking. Sit with me in silence and just hug me. Give me a minute to process. Then and only then will we talk about our options and what we are going to do.
Apparently some of that sunk in. Because yesterday and today, he has been actively trying. He hates trying to sleep on his right side, but last night, he rolled over on his right side and just spooned me until we both fell asleep. That might not sound like a big deal, but for me it is a huge deal. I like to be cuddled, but I sleep on his right. And he hates sleeping on his right side (for whatever reason) so I barely ever get spooned. He will lay on his back and I can lay on his chest. But he very rarely spoons me. And usually, even when he does, I have to pretty much bitch until he does. Today, when I was trying to figure out bills, he delivered some bad news. And then he got another piece of bad news. But he held on to the second piece of bad news until after I had dealt with the first issue. And when I asked him to stop talking, he did. And he just held me. And then I took a deep breath and we tackled it together. So…maybe marriage isn’t easy. But I don’t think that it was designed to be. In the end, marriage is supposed to be about the person that you want to spend the rest of your life with. And, at least for the moment, that person is my husband.