Sometimes getting things out on the table for open discussion is the best way to clear the air in order to get rid of the negative energy that is likely affecting many marriages following this pandemic. 

There's a lot happening and normal, everyday problems can seem insurmountable when grouped with the stresses this coronavirus has bestowed.  Look for DMK's suggestions following one couple's discussion.  Oh!  Since COVID-19 plays a part in this couple's stress, we brought it in on their talks.

Her, him and COVID-19 

Her:

Marriage is hard enough, then some super crappy virus comes along and makes it so, "UGH!!!!!" 

I mean really, I'd love to get things out on the "table" (big air quotes as I write this back to you), but unfortunately my kids have my kitchen table covered with their happy meal toys and junk while they scratch up their coloring books with pens and pencils (because crayons are hard to find around my house - unless you look under the beds or in a toy box somewhere).  The sink always has dishes in it, floors haven't been mopped in weeks, yet, I feel like all I do is work, launder, clean and cook.  My husband will put in a good faith effort, here and there, but most of the time I have to come in behind him and do it all over again anyway.

While we're all back to work and school by day - the bills, extra house cleaning and husband who travels for business 3 times a month have me ready to file for divorce on a daily basis. 

Don't even get me started on the d*mned masks and hand sanitizer.  I literally feel gagged all day while I cover my broken-out face with a non-breathable, ear slicing mask and glob on germ killing goop all over my dry, cracked hands. 

Then I come home to, "Hun?  Did you remember to pick up my shirts at the dry cleaners today. You know I'm leaving for Toledo in the morning and I need to pack tonight."

With a quick roll of my eyes and tilt of my head, he proceeds to remind me that the reason he asked me to do this for him (like he always does) is because I agreed to pick up Panda Express® that is next to the school and daycare where I pick up the kids which happens to be down the street from, you guessed it, the fu*%ing drycleaners!

Not only did I pick up the stupid shirts, dinner and kids, I even set them out on the bed, next to his suitcase that I already, mostly packed!  Ya.  I'm in one of those kinds of moods and I'm not afraid to write about it. 

Lately I feel more like a personal assistant rather than a spouse.  I love my husband, but I work just as many hours per week as he, despite earning half the income.  Why?  Because years ago I worked 50 hours a week in the same dead-end, full-time job as I do today so he could work part-time to finish his degree.  Somehow, I feel like I bought his way into a real career, while I stayed back, in the trenches, filling in the gaps, so he could continue to move-up in the world.

I hate that I feel this way, but everyday I feel more and more resentful and taken for granted.  I try to give him a glance or a stare down when he pretends he doesn't know how I feel, but he just laughs it off like I'm joking.  I don't want to argue anymore, so lately, I just walk away and try to ignore my feelings.  The only problem is that the more I do, the more resentful I feel. 

Him:

Okay, I really love my wife.  She's that part of my life that makes everything right.  I read what she wrote and ya, I get it.  I know I'm pretty much dependent on her keeping things together in our lives.  Truthfully, she does it better than I do. 

And, not to point out the obvious, but she's never really happy with the way I clean.  Add to that, COVID-19 fears and I think her idea of clean is a little bit over the top.

I always get our order wrong when I pick up dinner, so that's why I ask her to do it.  That way she won't be disappointed (or frankly, blame me when the drive-thru does what drive-thrus do). 

So, I ask you?  On the basis of trying to keep the peace, keep her happy and keep my head in the game at work (since I earn the majority of the household income), what else can I do?  We both made choices and sacrifices, but somehow she blames me for hers.

I do understand, but I really don't feel I've taken her for granted.  I don't want a divorce, but I'm tired of her threatening me with one every time things get stressed at home.  

COVID-19:

I'm not picky.  It's been said I'm actually a little bit dumb.  Most things outside the body slow me down.  But, if I could find someone like you two - overworked, stressed-out people with germ-carrying kids around them, I would likely do pretty good for myself. 

In addition to my killer instincts, my major attributes are my ability to shut down a global economy and negatively affect nearly every household...everywhere.  But, I'm not trying to run up my own temperature here.  Just trying to keep my- humble self in perspective. 

I mean look, things could be worse, you could have Big Pharma breathing down your virus trying to come up with a better than 95% chance of protecting every vaccinated person on this planet.  I mean, really, who can live with those odds?   

And I virally take offense to being called a super crappy virus.  Not too smart, sometimes, but diarrhea is actually a less common symptom of my virus, so super crappy, I am not!

In all honesty, I'm sorry for the pain I've caused throughout the world.  But, really, try to remember I was born into this job. 

I'd much rather be a person eating Panda Express® and complaining over who picked up the dry cleaning.  

While I'm not too bright (no pun intended), I think you both have something good together.  Unlike me, you guys have the choice to keep your flame alive (okay, a little pun there). 

So, make good choices at home for your marriage and your family; outside the home, get vaccinated and keep up the masks and hand sanitizer.  Really, I'm ready to submit my letter of resignation from this global pandemic.  I'm sure you'll be ready for me to go.  Corona out-


DMK Suggestions

Here's the deal, times are difficult.  Regardless of how much terrible stuff going on in the worlds gets into your home, every marriage has it's share of typical compatibility problems.  In some cases, certain issues seriously damage a relationship or even end it.  It's totally dependent on each spouse, love and marriage as to what a couple can get through, needs help with or can't get over.

Suggestions for her:  

You're mad and not completely with your husband.  You're unhappy with your job, dissatisfied with your career and everyday life.  You made some sacrifices, for a good life for your family and now those sacrifices have reached a limit. 

While your spouse has seemingly fared better than you, he seems slightly out of touch with the toll your sacrifice, to support his advancement, at the expense of your own, has taken on your individual happiness and relationship with him.

Improve your communication skills by not just saying the right things, but by saying things right.  Eye rolls and insinuation of dishumour don't help.   Yes, it's frustrating to feel unheard and unappreciated.  But, if you're vested in this relationship - honest conversation about what you feel, lack or need is essential and far more effective in resolving the problems.  When we were children we could use common, less mature expressions of anger, sadness or frustration to get our way.  But as adults, we have words, reason and wisdom. 

Devise a plan and goal(s) that would get you to a place that would make you happier.  Ask your spouse to support you fully, by reasonable measure, as you supported him.  Be patient and expect some issues to arise along the way.  Seek counseling, if needed, to help guide you both towards a more stable relationship and you towards personal happiness. 

Suggestions for him:

We know you love your wife, but yes, you are taking advantage.  You're educated and earn a good income.  You likely have a position that requires reasonable skill and intellect.  So, you know when your asking too much or laying it on think to get your wife's help. 

You probably work very hard and have a lot of stress in your everyday life.  Your family depends on you and boss likely expects too much.  It's extremely helpful to have someone for which you depend, at home, to do the "little" things that make your day so much harder. 

The problem is that all of those little things add up to make your wife feel like a person who has little value. This damages her self-esteem and ability to think of herself beyond that of a supporter and subordinate.  This actually contributes to your burden as a primary provider. 

Encourage her to think bigger.  Develop a renewed closeness over what you both really want from your life together and for your marriage and family. 

Summary: 

COVID-19 is hopefully ready to call it quits with the new vaccines out there.  But, despite all the casualties and loss from this terrible pandemic, your marriage shouldn't be one of them.  Yes, it's aftermath leaves behind a lot of pent-up emotions and stress from not only the fear of such a deadly virus, but from the changes it has bestowed on your home, family, finances and community.  It is a true test of strength, love and empathy in your marriage to get through it along with these challenges common to many marriages, but equally as complicated. 

Take your time, be patient and attentive to each other's feeling and you will maintain a healthy, happy and cohesive union! 

OurDMK.com


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