On keeping the marriage alive
One of the Bitch Herd really likes her fella, and this is quite perplexing to me. This isn’t some ‘first flush of attraction’ thing, either; they’ve been going out for years. Sometimes, when she’s crying off a proposed night out, the reason given is her desire to spend time with her other half.
Now, I’m not one to begrudge someone time with their fiance; for me, the significance of this comes more from the fact that I feel no such urges to spend time with my other half. Am I the weird one? I decided to run it past Himself to get another perspective on the situation.
“Spend time together? But they live together.” was Himself ’s baffled response. “I know,” I affirmed energetically. We then retired to separate parts of the house for several hours, reuniting only at bedtime, in the loo. “Hey,” I muttered, exfoliating. “Hey,” he replied, showering me with toothpaste.
Is there something wrong with this picture? It’s not the only time I’ve considered the possibility that we’ve hit peak married. Around Christmas, between juggling family obligations, an increasingly demanding toddler and seasonal merriment, one night the idea of having sex at the same time as watching Making a Murderer was actually mooted as a time-saving measure. That, my friends, is peak married. Incidentally, we did not go through with the plan, as we decided the content of Making a Murderer would be off-putting. I suppose I hardly need to add that we opted for Making a Murderer and not the sex.
So there’s Himself and myself, like ships passing in the family bathroom, while my friend not only lives with her boyfriend, but allocates special time to see him as well. I look upon nights when Himself is out as little mini holidays. I treat myself by going to bed when the child goes, cracking open a nice bottle of Fleurie and going on a cheese bender. Heaven.
The other great upside to Himself ’s nights out is banked parenting points. I’ ll get a brunch or a night out with the Bitch Herd in return for having, as I see it, a pleasant, Himself-free evening. I try to analyse if this is what parenthood has done to us, or marriage in general.
Of course, I used to anticipate time with Himself with the same giddy thrill that I now equate with a secret cheese bender, but, at some point, this changed. We still get on great and all that, but he’s become more like a reliable old hand-medown footstool rather than a sexy new Ikea purchase.
Reading my friend’s text explaining that she can’t meet because they’re going for dinner and a walk around town together makes me think that I should, perhaps, make more of an effort with Himself. “Let’s have dinner at the table tonight,” I announce, interrupting him as he is bringing the plates towards the couch. “Oooooh, fancy,” he says. And so we sit up on real chairs with napkins and everything, and tuck into this hearty chicken dish.