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The Death of Marital Bliss

We are like ships in the night. Acquaintance-level roommates. Fellow custodians at a hospital and the patients are still in diapers. If we were a football team, we’d call this a rebuilding year.

We used to travel a lot – Europe, the tropics, long drives up the coast to hotels so ritzy and sexy they didn’t allow guests under the age of 18. We took it for granted, we decide, after a horrendous cross-country flight with our two infants at Christmas.

Our once beautiful home is now littered with cheap plastic toys and ride-on’s that scratch the formerly shiny mahogany floors. Our master bedroom, once as plush and full of decorative pillows and soft cushy shams as a luxe hotel room, is no more. All the pillows are permanently stacked in a corner, exposing the bare metal bedframe and one crumpled bedsheet. A room now as disheveled and spare as a crack den.

We deal with stress differently. He loses weight, I gain it, so it looks like I’ve been eating all of his food. When we got married we wrote each others’ wedding vows. Now, we are dangerously close to violating the one in which I’d made him promise that he would never weigh less than me, as it is both unattractive and unfair.

Two years ago, our therapist wrote a bestseller and closed his practice. Horrendous timing for us. I remember begging him on hands and knees (to no avail) to keep us on as clients. We are molting – mossy – with petty (and not so petty) resentments.

I always vowed I’d never become one of “those women” or “those” wives/mothers who passed the kids off to her husband the moment he walked in the door following a long day at work. After all, I had reasoned then, he would’ve just come home from a long day at a job that ALLOWS me to stay home to raise our kids.

Then we had kids.

And now, I don’t pass the kids off to him once he walks in. No, I meet him at the street, can hardly wait for him to finish parking his car.

Carrie Friedman

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