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…
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.
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.)
Maybe it's because, save for a handful of first and second dates, I've been single for five years and used to making my own way. Maybe it's because I'm in inching towards my mid-thirties and my perspective has changed. Maybe it's because he and I work in the same field and, therefore, the same income bracket and I have a rough idea of how much he makes. Or maybe it's just my strong sense of independence and feminist ideals… Whatever it is, I suddenly find myself in a position where after half a decade of buying my own dinners and buying my own drinks, I have a man buying them for me. And having a man buying them for me feels, well, odd.
My name is Sullie, and my partner and I live below the poverty line. What's more, my partner is unemployed and will likely remain that way for the rest of our lives together. So why am I okay with this? Because my partner's health issues are chronic and difficult to manage. Here are our steps to living below the poverty line on a single income…