Marriage is not fair.
Let’s just start with the necessary call out to the Karens and Judgy McJudgment Pants who think me telling the whole truth means I don’t love my husband or that our marriage is on the rocks. Girl, you wrong!
But here’s the truth: Quarantine is putting a major strain on our relationship.
What is typically a happy and enjoyable marriage to a partner I love, respect, and think is the most generous and loving man has become some sort of insane social survivor reality episode and I’m not sure which one of us will be the last alive.
We have been together 15 years, married 10, and parents to two wild animals disguised as children. We’ve been through job loss, loss of loved ones, bankruptcy, buying and selling houses, devastating diagnoses, and a million other hardships in our time together.
Typically, the hard times make us stronger and pull us toward each other to lean in and hold the other up.
This season of hard is not the same.
My husband got laid off 9 weeks ago. We adjusted to a new normal then. It was weird but we figured it out.
That schedule was upended with COVID-19 weeks later and then, ultimately, it meant the closure of our children’s schools for the year.
Friends, anyone who tells you “marriage is 50/50” has their pants on fire.
Marriage might be 70/30 one day and 20/80 the next.
We love each other. We are dedicated to each other. This will not end in divorce or even with throwing that word around.
It is, however, causing two relatively low key adults to become tightly wound, high-strung, anger machines who seem to be triggered by everything from an overflowing trashcan to a misplaced and unintentional interruption.
More than once in the last several weeks I’ve dreamt of running away; to an island, a cabin in the woods, or to my shower where I cry all the tears and invite no one else to the world’s most pathetic pity party.
More than once I’ve considered the return policy on my kids. *Spoiler Alert: There isn’t one or it’s long since expired.
Friends, please hear me when I tell you that I am wildly devoted to my husband and I would cut you if you looked at my kid wrong, but I am STRUGGLING.
I feel so out of control by all of the unknowns surrounding the quarantine–
How long will this last?
Will we be safe to go back out?
What will normal look like now?
When will school start again?
Will we EVER get approved for unemployment?
How will we afford basic needs?
All of these thoughts plague me all day and late into my usual sleepless nights. It’s another layer on top of my already diagnosed and medicated anxiety that every seemingly small trigger sends me into an eruption.
I’m sure I’m not alone.
My husband deals with big emotions differently and so do my kids. But we are all struggling.
Take all of that struggle and shove it into the square footage of your house or yard and mix in the tense feelings of fear that accompany pandemic panic and everyone is just living in a prolonged period of walking on eggshells.
This is no way to live, friend.
I’d hoped I’d be the magical homeschool mom with all the crafts and ideas but, turns out, I’m more of a ragey Roseanne-type that is more likely found eating macaroni at a truck stop than baking whole grain oatmeal and flax cookies for my beautifully clean and smiling children.
Nah, Karen. Mine are the ones running half naked and covered in ketchup in the backyard and I’m fine with it because they are alive and it gives me 5 minutes to breathe without anyone touching me or asking for a snack, thank you very much.
I love my husband.
I’m aware how blessed I am that we are in this fight together, but that doesn’t mean we are always surrounded by emoji hearts and kiss marks. We aren’t. Especially not now.
And that’s okay.
I’d rather be honest by what plagues us so that others will feel validated and unafraid to express their truth as well.
Marriage is hard. Right now, it’s a fight for survival. But, despite the opinions of Karen next door, we will make it through this–together.