‘Til Death Do Us Part

21Apr08

wedding photo.

A partnership is a funny thing.

Put aside, for the moment, the fact that he hates creamed spinach while you love it. Or that he needs to have the overhead fan on in the bedroom while you’re reduced to shivering underneath the sheets, bedspread, two blankets, and your new slanket. Or even the fact that your purchase of a $280 trunk could possibly affect your ability to co-purchase a house in the near future.

And consider the fact that, once you pledge your life to someone truly love, you’re also sacrificing a bit of yourself: the independent, antisocial self you used to be.

Back when I first started dating Michael — and when he was still playing regularly with his band, Joe Famous and the Velcro Revival — he wrote a song for me, called “My Girlfriend’s a Loner.” (how cute is that) The line that always stuck out to me was: “It’s hard to be a loner when you’ve got somebody over that you can’t ignore.”

Indeed. It’s hard as hell.

The first six months of living with Michael were a bit traumatic. I had a helluva lot of trouble adjusting to this new arrangement, and my mood swings were wilder than ever before. I insisted many times — in the heat of the moment — that we should give up on us.

Things settled down, and now I only try to divorce Michael once every few months (this may sound flip, but seriously: When my PMDD attacks, I react accordingly, despite knowing deep down inside that I love this man and want to build a family with him).

This past weekend, Michael went down to D.C. with friends, and I had the condo to myself. Hermit-like tendencies aside, I was disturbed by how at peace I felt being alone, and began questioning, once again, whether or not I was just meant to be alone. I don’t want you to think I’m on the verge of leaving Michael, because I’m not. But I’m also thinking that couples counseling would be a damn good idea.

Also wondering: Could this just be a matter of Needing More Space?

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5 Responses to “‘Til Death Do Us Part”

  1. 1 Nicole

    When you said space, I assume you meant physical space in your condo. It must not help that there’s no place to really be “alone” in your condo. Mike and I often retreat from each other, him into the office and me usually in the living room knitting. So space, I would think, could be a big part of the problem. It’s hard combining two people’s worth of stuff and personalities and habits and, yes, mood swings, into any space. Remember, nothing is permanent. I wear a bracelet when I’m feeling particularly antsy that has the phrase “this too shall pass” to remind me of that. Do the couples therapy, I think we all could use it more often than not. You’re definitely not alone in loving your alone-time but loving your coupledom as well.

  2. 2 Kim

    I feel this struggle too sometimes. I love having nights (or a few hours in the afternoon) to myself but then also notice I start feeling lonely much more quickly that I used to. What helps me is to schedule in some things that are alone-time- like jogging, taking a bath, or cooking – I think it’s important to carve out some individual space.

  3. 3 icagirl

    Couples counseling can be really good for any couple, depending on the counselor. Sometimes, it’s the only way to reveal true thoughts/emotions/feelings, because both persons feel “safe” in a counseling area. It is not uncommon to want to be alone. Human beings are meant to interact, but also to find times of solitude. I am starting to sound a philosophical Hallmark card, aren’t I?

  4. 4 Alicia

    I imagine that if Matthew and I actually lived together on a daily basis, I’d likely feel the same way. I think that for our relationship, his travel schedule and my busy work/school schedule is really grounding and positive. When I do have down time, I like to spend it alone, wathcing foolish television, reading, and judging myself in the mirror. Sometimes, when he’s home consistently, he drives me up the wall. Thankfully, we have a second bedroom, which is my office, my retreat space to read and work. You’re just another qurikyalone (and if you haven’t read the book, I am floored and astounded at this moment, and demand you borrow my copy immediately!). It’s not abnormal or unhealthy. It’s who you are, and it’s a good thing.

  5. You’re going to totally miss me THIS weekend.

    P.S. As much as he’ll whine and act all cute, you MUST keep Gizmo out of the bedroom. He’ll make you think that he just wants to snuggle up to you all cute in bed, but his motives are really to pee all over your photo albums.

    Keep Kooshie out too. It’s just not reight to let one in and not the other.


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