As twisted as it may sound, I was glad to hear that we would have to stay home because I thought it would allow my husband and I to spend time with one another. You can imagine the heartache I felt when I realized not even being mandated to stay home could bring us together.
Now no one in their right mind would air their dirty laundry, but here I am, laying it all out for the world to see. In case you are wondering why… it is simply because I know that I am not alone. This post is not an attempt to bash my significant other or cry about how lonely I feel. It is a way for me to pour my heart out and perhaps actually be heard, even if only by a stranger.
As parents, we get totally immersed in our roles and daily routines. After the birth of my first child, my mother gave my boyfriend at the time and I the most valuable advice either of us could have received.
Don’t get so caught up in being mom and dad that you forget who you are as individuals.
I didn’t really understand at the time, but she was preparing me for the part of parenthood where you no longer see your partner as the person you fell in love with, but as a co-parent, which feels much more like a coworker at times. You know that annoying coworker that does the bare minimum while watching you run on fumes still giving 110%. Needless to say, I was much younger, and her speech went in one ear and out the other. So now a decade later, in a marriage with three children, I have tried my very best to make sure that I find me-time, give my spouse time for himself, and, most importantly, find time for us to remember that there is an US.
The problem is simply that it almost feels too late. When my husband gets home after a 12-hour shift of manual labor, he checks out completely. Some days, I understand he is exhausted. This man is visibly worn down; his hands are rough and there is always something that needs icing or bandaging. I would never dream of comparing what I do daily to what he has to endure to take care of his family.
However, as the years go by, I often feel like he should still be able to take a few minutes to check and see how my day was or ask how I’m feeling. It may come as a surprise, but after dealing with two toddlers and a preteen, while managing all of the finances, and a million other essential duties, I AM EXHAUSTED TOO! My husband is physically worn out and I am mentally on the verge of a breakdown.
I choose not to complain. On the one hand, most of what wears me down comes with the territory, and on the other hand, I know that he is not making the effort to try and hear me. It always boils down to, I am overreacting, and oh well, he is tired.
Now somewhere in my mind, amidst the crisis of a national pandemic, I thought that we would be able to reconnect, maybe even lean on one another and grow stronger together as we face this obstacle together. Unfortunately, not even being compensated to stay home has given him the security to focus on what is right in front of him, falling apart, and should matter the most… me. Despite how tired he is, there is always time to run here and there, to the store, to the gym, anywhere but here.
I know that marriage is not all sunshine and rainbows. I am just tired of feeling like I have to weather each storm alone. I don’t know what the future holds for us, and maybe as the days go by, things will change. For now, the fact that not even a quarantine can keep us together may have actually broken my heart…