Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Happy Anniversary

Today is my third anniversary of being married. The requisite roses arrived at work, in my favorite color, and the appropriately romantic cards were exchanged, but it doesn't change the fact that I'm spending the night alone with my son, and I'm not particularly happy about it.

I try very hard to be the sort of equal partner in this relationship that doesn't play tit for tat on having time to yourself. I can think of 2 times where I've said "I'd really rather you don't go out on this night." in a total of 8 years together. I don't crash the boys nights out. When I ask to do things on my own, hubby rarely says no, but he makes the experience of me being away and him being in charge so nerve-wracking that it's often easier to just not try.

For the most part, my "me-time" is accomplished by taking time away from work to do things, like get my hair done or have a manicure. It also includes a day every 5 weeks sedated while I get IV medication to try and control the arthritis. I've booked myself for 3 cooking classes, one each month for the coming three months, 2 hours away from the house during prime-time play time. The other option is that I wait until I've "done my chores" at the house, and got the boy to bed before I go out to meet another mom or two for a drink.

When I make plans for myself, I think it all through, I look at the calendar, I look at how long it's been since the last time I had a night out, and then I ask. "Sweetie, how would you feel about me going to a barbershop chorus guest night next Monday for a few hours?" Or "the community building meeting for our daycare is meeting next Wednesday, can you feed Z and get him down to bed?" I don't assume the answer will be yes.

When my hubby wants to make plans for himself, he send a calendar invite on iCloud. No could you? No would you mind? It's just a statement of what he's doing and I can figure out the details.

Last week on Monday, I got an appointment demand for Tuesday night out drinking with the guys, Wednesday night gaming and another one for the 19th gaming. Now, i checked. Our wedding anniversary is on the shared calendar, right there on the 19th, right where it's supposed to be.

Over dinner he starts talking about how they finally got that second game scheduled, and about how he's looking forward to playing this game with the guys. I told him, "listen, I need to talk to you about that. I'm pretty hurt that you would schedule something like this, something you do alone, on our wedding anniversary."

"Oh shit, yeah, I forgot about that. I know it's some time in September. So are you saying I shouldn't game? It took forever to get this on everyone's calendar..."

A giant part of me wanted to say "that is exactly what I'm saying, thank you very much.", but instead I said "it's ok, we can do something for our anniversary on Friday instead." And pretended like it was no big deal.

Last week, I decided to treat myself, and I put an emergency call into our sitter. "It doesn't matter if it's Tuesday or Wednesday, I just need you to take Z for a few hours. I need a break," I told her. She proposed Tuesday, and I reached out to a friend to see if she could get together last minute. We had a fine dinner, and I drank off some of my resentment, while we talked about how relationships are the hardest work you will ever have to do. It just pisses me off that I accommodate me-time mandate after me-time mandate, while I dance around, asking permission and eventually paying someone to take care of my son.

For my anniversary, I celebrated with my son at Red Robin. We sang "Ram-Sam-Sam" and "Goin to Boston" and a silly song that includes the words "ding dong ding dong", which he pronounces "Ning Nong, Ning, nong". We looked at the sky and talked about how the stars are always there, it's just sometimes the light makes it too bright to see them. Then we went inside, read "Guess How Much I Love You?", turned on the star projection turtle and looked at the green moon on the ceiling. I sang him the song I made up for him about how much the stars and moon love him, and he nodded off to sleep with only one "mama, mo meewk, pweeeease" (mama more milk, please) request.

Also, for my anniversary, I did not empty the dishwasher, I did not fold, wash or dry any laundry, I did not unpack the box of amazon mom delivery items (diapers, wipes, diaper genie refills). Instead I upgraded the OS on my phone and iPad, and played with new features and went to bed early. I hope to be asleep and sprawled in the middle of the bed before my hubby gets home.

I'm looking forward to a night out with him on Friday, but I sure wish there was an "I'm sorry, I'll cancel my thing" as part of the conversation that lead up to this new plan.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad. Fueled by coffee.


  1. You've written a few times about how much work relationships are to maintain and that is true but both people have to be doing work towards that goal and from all of your writing it really sounds like this isn't happening in your case. I see that kind of passive aggressive "sure go on out but know you're going to come home to complete chaos" play out in many of my friend's houses and I don't understand why these men don't get that this is just hurting everyone.

  2. I'd like to say the solution was simple, just do your own thing when and where you want to do it too. But it can be supremely difficult to make that stand, and to stand your ground in the face of bitching, moaning, teeth gnashing and guilt tripping. The bottom line is, you deserve that "me time" just as much as he does -- not just in the "tit for tat" way, but because you HAVE to have that time in order to stay balanced. And the second thing is, after you've done it a few times, there will come acceptance that this is ok -- both on his side and on yours. Stand strong, sistah! You can do this!

    (And I'm glad to see you writing again - you go, girl!)