Mawwiage

July 24, 2009 at 11:58 pm (Mental illness)

Today is exactly six months into my marriage. Time for a post I’ve been preparing a long time (and, before you all panic, there will be no sex data here).

I predicted:

Me getting annoyed at my partner’s casual messiness (we housesat together for two weeks about a year into our relationship, which turned out to be one of the best things we ever did – it was a hideous experience!)

Me getting slightly saner (thanks to stability of home, finances, and housemate), beginning at about six months (because getting married is stressful).

Fights and tears.

What actually happened:

Early on: I slept about eleven hours a night for two months. Marriage is a big life thingy, so it wasn’t all that surprising. What did surprise me was the sudden drop in my IQ. I’m just thinking about him all the time. That’s just how it works. (I hope I get my IQ back one day, but I doubt it’ll happen.)

I also freaked out (screaming, jumping, horror) a lot when I was naked and A MAN walked in. (I only jump a little nowadays. There’s a process. . .)

I’m still not used to sharing a bed, but I’m more used to sharing a bed with him than have a bed to myself (having a bed to myself just feels wrong).

It’s a lot harder to lose weight. I think that’s because I’m now living in (and enjoying) the present, rather than only preparing for some vague future time when I’ll start living.

Future plans: Two kids and a house – not for about three-five years respectively. We’re on a pretty similar wavelength (or so it seems at the moment).

Fights: We haven’t fought since we married. He annoys me plenty, but it’s obvious even to my addled mind that he’s doing a lot of great things for me, many of which don’t come naturally to him (like tidying his stuff up as he goes along, and making his lunch instead of buying it). Also I think I’ve become adept at not pushing him too far all at once. (I like fast thrilling change. He likes nothing to ever change.)

Money: Fundamentally, he earns the money and I manage it. He loves insurance and guarantees; I like savings. Neither of us has expensive habits. We’ve eaten out just twice since we married (excluding times we were invited to social occasions). I hate the fact that he is literally my carer – financially and psychologically – but he’s clearly not suffering, and I’m clearly improving, so I can more or less live with it (since I have no choice anyway).

Expectations: I tell him what I need – and he does it. I also tell him what I want (making the difference clear) and he does almost all of that too.

He asks almost nothing – but he doesn’t need to, because I figure it out – and I do it. I’ve seen a lot of relationships in this pattern, and the girl always feels bad for asking so much – but it’s evident by the way the guy is floating along that she’s giving as much as she gets (and often more). I have to keep reminding myself of that. Luckily for me, his happiness is clear.

Chores: Since Chris earns most of the money, I do about two-thirds of the housework, including rubbish, washing, shopping, and periodic jobs like dusting. He fixes stuff. One of us cooks (we’re similarly skilled) and one washes up each night, and on weekends I hoover and he does the bathroom. I also have a “microcosm” system so that he still has the habits of independent looking after his own household (which he’s never done) – there are certain food items that only he eats, so he has to notice when they’re running out and write them on the shopping list (or he goes without for a bit). Also the study is all his – I don’t vacuum there, take out the rubbish from there, take out plates from there, or do any kind of cleaning whatsoever. So my partner has to notice all by himself if the rubbish is overflowing or something’s growing in an old coffee mug. If I drop dead, he’ll already have the habits of looking after himself without being told. If he drops dead, I get life insurance 🙂 So we’re all set. (This is one of those things we’ve talked about.)

Best part: -Cuddling up at night. Cuddling in front of TV pretty much every day (my perfect date).

-Pride in our savings – I’ve never had savings before.

-Herbs. I’d never bought herbs (or spices) before – food was for survival, not experimentation. Now we have cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, cumin, tumeric, fennel, basil, thyme, mint and chives. Rosemary and sage are on the shopping list. I am enjoying my attempts to figure out what flavours go best with what foods (so far I like baked real-potato chips with thyme – I’ve also never had a functioning oven of my own – and lamb chops are great fried with garlic, ginger and fennel)

Worst part: -The SO has a lot of around-the-house habits I find startling (and annoying).

-Finances are really stressful – I still can’t believe how much insurance (house, cars, health, etc) costs. The SO and I have very different money experiences and habits.

On Wednesday both he and I went to the dentist with toothache. It had occurred to me that it was terrifically bad luck for both of us to need a dentist trip at the same time. As it turned out, both of us were only suffering from referred flu pain. And I ended up with another excellent example of how different we are.

My dental trip cost $95

His dental trip cost $240

My philosophy is, “Great, now they’ve checked the painful area I know I’m fine – I can skip my five-yearly checkup.” His is, “Better get another x-ray, a full checkup and a clean – since I’m here.” (And then he feels vaguely guilty for not doing the same thing every six months.)

Since I’d expected nasty bills, this was okay – just. And I’m sure my partner consciously chose not to bug me about how I should have gotten a proper checkup.

Changes: The SO is tidier, better at remembering what he’s going to do, and doesn’t make impulse purchases any more – unless it’s books, which are always worth buying.

I am calmer. One day I endeavour to become messier as my OCD fades 🙂

I have started singing again around the house – I hadn’t realised I’d stopped, but I noticed when I started again. And I knew it was because of him.

Us - six months ago.

Us - six months ago.

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6 Comments

  1. Ann said,

    Nice progress! Its amazing how entertaining other peoples lives are. I love hearing about you guys, gives me hope that I will find someone who can cope with my own weirdness (which has less validation as I don’t suffer from legitimate issues, I just hate people, suffer from a case of extreme sarcasm and lash out when ‘down’, driving away most of the world population!)

    Keep up the good work, give it another 6 months and you might let him leave his book on the coffee table!

    Ann

  2. Ben (Crispin) said,

    Interesting how you classified your ‘Marriage’ post under ‘Mental Illness’…

  3. Lorijo said,

    this is beautiful. ps. hi…we went to school together back at OCS…im the american girl…remember me? I believe you were a year ahead of me. i found your blog via michelle george, who i knew at my old church in canberra.

  4. Lorijo said,

    haha, no worries, i’ll have to jog your memory a bit more…i’ll see if i can dig up some pictures of me from back then…and let’s see if these three additional clues help in the mean time…Clue 1. I was a friend of Fiona Crispin…(recently reunited by facebook) relation to Ben up there? I’m not sure… Clue 2. I sang on the worship team at school, and Clue 3. I lived in Indonesia part of my life…apa kabar?!

  5. felicitybloomfield said,

    That’s so weird. . . the one thing I DID remember was that you and Fi were friends (and yes, my close friend Ben is her brother).

  6. Lorijo said,

    picture on blog, in my school uniform…may not be the best angle…but it was available…haha

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