What Marriage Is About. Reflections Of A Pandemic.
Since the begging of the coronavirus pandemic, I’ve started to keep a diary on Facebook. Partly one of the reasons why I stopped writing on Life of Two, partly a way to keep track of what happened – emotions, actions, thoughts. I am obsessed with recording stuff but didn’t feel like dissecting everything.
This post is about marriage. My marriage.
I know I am by far no veteran. We’ve recently turned four years of being together, almost two of marriage. But with the pandemic, we saw a lot of each other. I am sure all of you saw a lot of your spouses. So let me ask you: how did you cope?
I saw a few posts here and there about how marriage changes in confinement.
But too much is concentrated on well-being and emotional health and this generalist BS that doesn’t bring any real information. I’ll tell you how my thing (marriage) went. Something tangible.
Let me start by saying we didn’t drive each other mad.
I mean no madder than normal. We occasionally have someone (mostly me) who is pissed off and voices their concern louder than normal. Alin is the patient one. I don’t know what we’d do or be without him. I always apologise (because I mostly have to). That also helps. So no more of that – than normal.
I did notice an increase in irrational behaviour. For example I’d be with my back at him and would want to put something in the trash – he’d give me a wedgie, tickle me, and other … rather inappropriate stuff I can’t write about here. Of course I’d return the favour when time came.
The funniest things would be those conversations we had at the dinner table where everybody would speak at the same time, including Carla.
I mostly seem to be the source of this chaos but it’s amazing how quickly they both follow through. I am pretty sure at some point Carla was moo-ing, Alin was talking in a strange made-up language and I was singing. Looney Toons I tell you.
Isolation – in the middle of a pandemic, isolation at home means cohabiting.
Which, if you come to think about it, it’s exactly the opposite of isolation – it’s a breathing-down-your-neck kind of situation; basically everything you do it’s part of this family constellation and it’s planned at a macro level. When do we eat, when do we go out for a walk, when do we work, etc. Our apartment is quite small so being synchronised was key. And also very annoying.
I am a pretty individualistic person. I need my space. I need my quiet. Did I have to fight for them in the past 80 days? Yes. Was I rude? Most probably. Am I sorry? No. But I tried to make up by doing small things such as tea, baking when they least expect it, etc. Word of advice: this slamming-the-door-in-your-face attitude for the sake of my sanity only worked because of said Alin’s patience but also because I like to think I have explained how important that is for me. At the same time, I returned the favour. Two-way street.
And I kept the best for last. Laughter.
I think I read and heard this so many time it’s become a cliche. The secret to a working marriage or relationship is laughter. I laughed so hard at some of the stuff Alin said. To be honest, sometimes I don’t even think he does it on purpose. Which brings me in tears even more. The last thing he came up with, before bed and the light off, was
Now, don’t think this is an actual word. No. He was trying to say ‘moth’ in German. How we came to talk about moths before going to sleep I do not recall, all I remember was him putting together the few words he knows in German and SCHLÜFFTZUP. I think I peed a little bit.
When I think about it, most of our laugh attacks stem from inventing words. He is especially good at this. Why I am the copywriter between both of us, I don’t know. I think there are a lot of things he is able to put together and act … as if. Making up words is one of them.
So I thought to myself. As long as we will have laughter, our marriage will be fine. As long as there will be someone willing to spread the joy (Alin) and someone else to laugh till they cry (me), we are all good. Pandemics come and go, laughter is forever.