(Sorry, this is long!) My husband and I had another difficult chat last night. We've had a number of them in the last few years. The source of these bumps in the road in our relationship cannot be really easily summarized into one sentence. But it does have a lot to do with how hard it is to maintain a marriage sometimes. Not to suggest that single-income families don't have similar struggles, but our situation does have a lot to do with the fact that we both work. My husband is a sensitive soul, he really is, God bless him. Whereas, I've kind of become more of a lost soul, I guess, given how hard it is to do the Balancing Act in light of the state of the world today. Last night, he basically gave me the "We don't talk anymore" complaint, one I've heard before. He emailed me this AM to apologize. I emailed him back that I felt he didn't have to apologize, but here's what I also said:
"....Let me give you some semblance of my mindset about this sort of thing: it's my belief that we (meaning our little family) are not an anomaly. I.e., the average American family where both parents work is in many ways like us. Work takes up a huge chunk of the day, the kid(s) take up a chunk of the day, and there's not much time left over for whatever. I see stories about these parents on the news, and many of them look like they're in a daze as they go through the machinations of their crazy schedules day after day after day. I read about this sort of stuff on my working parents' websites. Our situation, while we might not like it or it might not be ideal, is probably the norm.
As for me, I find that the day-in-day-out monotony of this kind of crazy routine, coupled with the sorry-arse state of this world and the stupid human race that inhabits it, coupled with the increasingly chaotic mess (I mean mess in the physical sense, with the piles I amass) in our household that I can't seem to motivate myself to control, can get me pretty down pretty frequently. And I'm not just talking depression. Stress has been insane for me; I find myself feeling like I'm going to collapse from stress/worry sometimes. Furthermore -- and I don't want this to sound like an excuse/crutch -- I come from an alcoholic lineage. My need to self-anesthetize has been stronger than ever. Except I don't abuse substances. I resort to trying to fry my brain into numbness in front of the TV.
Just to briefly recap what I said last night: I do feel like I've been *trying* to "connect"/communicate more. The fact that you brought up last night that you are dissatisfied with the level/amount/meaningfulness of those connections -- granted, these are not your exact words, but I feel that my interpretation of what you said isn't off the mark -- I hope you will consider what I've said above about how I believe this is the standard for most working parent families, that it is very hard in this day and age to have an idyllic, fully blossomed romantic/intimate relationship (I mean the "connections" stuff, not the s^x stuff, although that can't be discounted either). Mind you, I'm not saying it's all or nothing! You might not agree with this, but maybe your standards about how our relationship -- or *any* relationship for a couple in our shoes -- could be adjusted a little to reflect the reality that we and many American families have to deal with?