Do I hate my husband? Oh for sure, yes, definitely. I don’t know anyone who’s been married more than seven years who flinches at this concept. A spouse is a blessing and a curse wrapped into one. How could it be otherwise? How is hatred not the natural outcome of sleeping so close to another human for years?
Unless you plug a propofol drip into your arm every single night, how do you encounter those unwelcome grunts and gravelly snores as anything but oppressive? Unless you spend most of your waking hours daydreaming, how do you tolerate this meddling presence, rearranging stuff but never actually putting it away, opening bills but never actually paying them, shedding his tissues and his dirty socks all over your otherwise pristine habitat?
“Well, speak for yourself. I don’t hate my husband,” one of you holier-than-thou marrieds might announce, folding your hands primly in your lap. Do you think I can’t see your left eye twitching ever so slightly, as you resolve to never let each little irritation add up and move into your conscious mind like a plastic bag floating out to sea and then joining the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?
…Marriage requires amnesia, a mute button, a filter on the lens, a damper, some blinders, some bumpers, some ear plugs, a nap. You need to erase these stories, misplace this tape, zoom out, slowly dissolve to black. I start to spend more time in my head. I start to daydream more.
Surviving a marriage requires self-care, time alone, time away, meditation, escape, selfishness.
I find it hilariously ironic that, in this entire pathetic spectacle of therapeutic oversharing posing as an op-ed in the Paper of Record, the only revealing insight is an unwitting one: “I don’t know anyone who’s been married more than seven years who flinches at this concept.” Yes, I’m sure that’s true! Maybe, just maybe, you and your social circle are simply shallow, unpleasant people who would find well-adjusted happiness boring. Sucks to be you, I suppose, but maybe you could at least refrain from projecting your petty indignity onto the rest of us.