It’s been almost a year since Bryan and I moved in together. Who could forget when our moving truck was a no-show on a day that was raining cats and dogs and how we had to sprint to the nearest U-Haul to move all of my stuff from my third-floor walk-up with the narrowest staircase that ever was? OH! And since no movers = no moving assistance, Bryan did all of the heavy lifting with a bum back and I helped with the strength of a fluffy bunny rabbit.
There have been a lot of important lessons in a year of rooming together which make me wonder how anyone can get married without figuring out living compatibility first. Please weigh in if you have an answer! It took us a while to iron out the kinks (and by that I mean not kill each other). We’re still not there yet and I believe there will always be nights when one of us grumbles him/herself to sleep.
I had a really great conversation with one of my besties over the weekend about living with a lover. It was eye opening in a “thank G-d I’m not the only one who freaks out about the little things” kind of way. Because there are a lot of details that can drive a person crazy about cohabitation, Bravo TV vs. ”How it’s Made” and car show marathons notwithstanding. Speaking of which, who in the hell cares about how a baseball glove is made?! Bryan can watch this show endlessly and that God-awful 80s science music makes me want to poke out my eardrums with a sharp pencil. But I digress.
My friend’s good-natured gripe concerned the way her girlfriend loaded the dishwasher (read: not to her standings). She explained that there were so many more dishes that could fit if the gf just took a few moments to place the cups and pans correctly. We laughed. I then told her about the time Bryan said he would put up the shower curtain when he got home from work. I thought it would be nice if I saved him the trouble by putting it up myself. His reaction to the news was hardly what I expected. “But did you clean out the bathtub thoroughly?” My friend and I commiserated.
I have learned that any benign comment can quickly lead to a full-blown argument without a quick deep breath and an internal debate. Questions like, “is this worth a fight?” and “how important is it to be right this time?” often override my initial impulse to claw out my partner’s eyeballs. Not always, but sometimes.
The truth is, there really isn’t an easy way to share living quarters. Despite the fact that 700 square feet is double the space I had in my last apartment, it can feel a lot more confining when you aren’t the only person moving around.
And there are many times when I remind myself of how very good I have it. Bryan is a wonderful roommate, and one who respectfully tidies after himself and takes out the garbage and recycling without so much as a gentle nudge. He just remembers. He also does the dishes and makes the bed every morning and for that, I am very lucky.
I just hope he knows better than to ask if I cleaned out the tub the next time…
Do you live with your partner and how do you make it through the rough patches?