Ill communication

10 Dec

My husband and I are stuck in a rut at the moment. We were at quite a peak for a while, but what we’re not good at is staying on flat ground. We soar and we dive, and whilst the highs are good the lows are not that great.

The Christmas period always proves to be a tricky time. My husband loves to go out and he has always enjoyed drinking. We met in a pub. At these bashes, like most other people, he gets pissed, staggers home and sometimes mistakes my bedside table for a urinal (and luckily I usually wake as he is about to start peeing, shout at him and order him to the bathroom.)

That is as bad as it gets, so not that bad. I suppose it’s because he’s having fun and I am not. Again, not grounds for divorce and not his fault. I just feel like I’m old before my time and small children make me behave like a trapped housefrau. There’s nothing – short of hiring a full-time nanny and getting a brain transplant from someone who has never had children – that I, or anyone else can do about it.

My mother loves to pull a quote from the latest film/documentary that she has watched. I like her starry wisdom. The other day, when I moaned about marriage not being that easy, she said, “Yes, well. I watched Scorsese’s George Harrison film the other day and Olivia Harrison was being interviewed about her long time with George. She said the secret to staying married is not getting divorced.”

I’d like to blame our periods of marital dis-ease on my husband and his drinking, and when I’m in one of my meaner moods I do. But it’s just as much me. We like to let things fester and when we are in the company of small children it’s not that easy to shout “Oh just bugger off out of my life for two days and I’ll sort out my side of the problem, you think about yours and we’ll see how the ground lies afterwards.” Things would be ok if there were space to move and time to think. But we’re like a billion other couples struggling to make it work.

I’m happy (and amazed) for the couples out there that are each other’s best friends and rarely find anything to disagree about. But I have a best friend and she’s not my husband, so things are bound to be different for me.

Luckily, I have the weekend to iron things out. My husband is working and I have children to deal with, so little time to think about what’s wrong in our relationship.

These are some of the things I do when I feel fed up with my husband (which may as well read fed up with myself, because I often project my own unhappiness onto him and make out that it’s his failings that are making me miserable.)

I text a friend. We all know that the ‘A best friend is someone you can call at 3am’ thing is quite ridiculous. If you were deep in sleep, you wouldn’t be thrilled to be woken with the sound of your friend’s highly emotional voice on the end of the line saying “I cannot stand the way that XXX looks so indignant when he tells me to calm down.” When I send these texts I just want to get something off my chest. I don’t necessarily need an answer.

I go out. OK, easier said than done if I have three feverish offspring in tow, but if someone is lovely or stupid enough to take them off my hands for an hour then I take a walk, a deep breath and say “This will all pass, and I am lucky not to be stuck in a cave in Afghanistan for Christmas, or faced with the prospect of waking up and realising that I’ve screwed up the country’s economy and am now busy dismantling the whole infrastructure of the NHS.” (I do not imagine I am Osborne or Cameron though, because they don’t seem to have a conscience.)

I find a really unattractive photograph of my husband. Then I laugh at him. Not nice, but it actually can make me feel better.

I then swiftly dig out my favourite photograph of him. It would be mean not to counteract the last thing with something kind. It also reminds me why I’m with him.

If I am still pissed off, I try to leave my husband well alone. I find this really hardcore because I usually like to have the last word; but snot, tears and a whole torrent of emotional outpouring and untethered vitriol will only make me say really stupid things like “You obviously love your boss (male) more than you love me.”

If I have to send a text deep in the throes of an unresolved argument, I just think, how can I tidy this up? For example, “I really hate it when you’re so moody and you didn’t even want to have sex with me last night but you managed to find time to watch Frozen Planet,” could also be neatly turned into something else. “I know you’re tired, but could we have a fuck tonight?” Much shorter, nicer, and if sent to the right person, a turn on.

I have to remind myself that as I can be mean, others can be mean too. Forgive them. Honestly, horrible wars are going on all over the world and an inability to let things lie or find peaceful resolution are how these wars start. Whatever the outcome, harbouring deep resentment is very unhealthy for all involved. And take it from one who knows.

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One Response to “Ill communication”

  1. leanne December 11, 2011 at 9:51 am #

    I notice alot of text seding…..please make sure you check recipient first…..although i know a few husbands who would not be offended!

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