I've never had a great time of making friends at all in my life. I had a bit of a meltdown about this recently, thinking about how I have so few friends. I lamented, "I wish I was just at the stage of my life where I didn't care anymore. Where I didn't measure personal success by how many friends I have."
This is Offbeat Home's archive of Relationships posts.
Let's talk about our partners, and how we negotiate sharing our homes and lives with them.
My sister is amazing with people, confident and outgoing and extraordinarily empathetic. And me? Well, I was the best at logistics. I always had two sets of lunch money in case my sister forgot hers (which was often useful), and contingency plans for every situation. As we grew up and left home the relationship dynamic stayed the same. Then, last year, we had a family crisis, and I realized that the dynamic had shifted, and I needed to shift as well.
My husband and I got married not too long ago. It so happens that one of our long-time friends, also from our home town, found a part time job in the city I work in, and we've decided to share a flat. Offbeat Homies my questions are many…
In shopping for the new place, I remember what I left behind at my ex's: the pretty swing-top jars and canisters with colourful, perfectly co-ordinated labels, on which I used my best handwriting to label the coffee, macaroni, etc. They sat on the pantry shelf, a Pinterest pin waiting to happen. I was meticulous — borderline obsessed — with putting every package of food that came into our home into a pretty jar with a nice label.
You never realize just how thoroughly your world can be turned on its head, how easy it is to find yourself willfully trapped in a position that you swore you would never get taken in by. I never realized it. This is the sort of thing you expect to see on Lifetime original movies, not in real life. Not in your life.
I joke with my friends that I am a "part-time wife" because, for about half the year, I live with my husband and two cats in Boise, Idaho. The other half, I spend in Kalamazoo, Michigan working on my Ph.D. in English. This is a temporary situation, but it does raise a few eyebrows, and like any non-traditional living arrangement, it presents its own challenges.
My husband and I have been married for two years now and with him being active duty, he is gone for months at a time and in a demanding and high-stress work environment. Naturally, as you might expect, the fullness of our sex life dissipated. I was feeling neglected and dissatisfied with the few times we did have sex, and never seemed to have a constructive conversation about sex, until now…
My partner and I are atheists, so I feel a little confused when some of the über-Christian marriage advice resonates with me. I've been reading it because I enjoy reading things that make me think about our relationship and how to keep it strong. But all of it is supposed to be "Christ-centered." Do I really have to be a Christian or otherwise spiritual to have a strong connection to my partner? Do I have to pray to a deity in order to be a good wife and build up my husband? Should I convert in order to save my marriage!? (Okay, I'm exaggerating.)