“Do you think we should do marriage counseling?” I asked, as we watched our daughter play with her toys.
“No,” Husband said, “why would you say that?”
We have had this conversation a hundred times. I’m unhappy and he’s perfectly fine. I air my grievances, he brushes them off as a result of us being stressed in the past and gives blanket suggestions (“Why don’t we get a babysitter and try hanging out more after she goes to bed?”).
Tonight I tried to express how unhappy I am and why: I don’t feel passionate about our marriage anymore, I feel like we’re two really good friends just living together, I’m resentful of him pushing me away physcially and emotionally during the five years we lived in California. I’m the breadwinner and I hate it.
I tried (like always) to keep the conversation light and friendly. I explained that every time we have one of these conversations I move closer to divorce.
In the end, we agreed that we would try his way for a year (attempting to go out more, be around familial support more, attempt to reconnect in the evenings after our daughter has gone to bed). If, in a year’s time, I was still feeling the same way we would seperate.
He also mentioned that he would like for me to help out more with our daughter. Often, when I come home and am met with a screaming child, mess everywhere and a tired husband I’ll go into my bedroom for 15-30 minutes and decompress.
“You’re like ‘I can’t handle this’ and then you just disappear leaving me with a screaming child,” he pointed out. “And maybe stop spending so much money.”
I pointed out that I need that break between work and home so that I don’t lose my shit on them. And after years of not taking care of my appearance because we couldn’t afford it, it feels amazing to be able to buy clothes that fit, makeup that compliments me and have my hair done once a month. Yes, it’s expensive but to me it’s worth it.
“Well maybe just spread it out more,” he suggested.
I agreed but felt a stab of resentment. There was a time when we had only a few dollars in our bank accounts to last us to the next payday. When we moved I signed a contract for a salary paying 2.5x what I was making. We also moved from a high cost of living area to a lower one. With my new high paying job came twice the responsibility. PLUS I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease this year. So I get to work harder, not spend my money on things that make life bearable and feel like shit.
And Husband? Since he won’t find a job that pays decently and is not interested in going back to school, he has to work from home (at a low paying job) and watch our daughter. This way we can skip paying roughly $30,000/year in daycare.
Anyway, by the end of the night he was tired of my bitching and I was tired of feeling guilty for wanting to enjoy life for once. We retreated into our corners, he fell asleep on the couch (per usual) and I eventally went to the bedroom (per usual).
But not before I marked October 29,2017 on the calendar.