On October 8th, B was waiting for the dryer to finish, and we lay down with our arms around each other. “So,” I said. “What do you think of living together so far?”
“It’s good,” he answered quietly.
“Okay. Now tell me what the real truth is.” or something.
“Nothing’s changed for you,” he said.
What? I thought. Of course it has. How could things not have changed? I’ve moved ! I’m living with a man! “What does that mean?” I asked.
B told me that I still just do my own thing. That we don’t really do much more together as a couple than when we lived apart.
And maybe, in fact, we do less, because our time is taken up with daily life, without carved out hours just for us. I feel like a good portion of my time and energy is spent on dishes, laundry, cooking, and cleaning. Yes, B does his own laundry and does help with everything else. But because I’m home more, and B works full time, the majority is up to me. And with two people instead of one, everything gets dirty twice as fast and twice as much food needs to be prepped and cooked and put away.
Also–I spend a lot of time online. For me, I’ve felt that I’ve really cut down on online time when B is around. And those times when we’re both in the living room, sitting on couches across from each other, using our laptops, I have felt happy that we can do our separate things, together. Now I come to find out that those were times that B wished we could be really doing something together, and he was just playing around online because I was!
On one hand, I felt a bit bad and wondered why he didn’t just say, “Hey, you wanna Boggle?” On the other hand, we had talked about how I’d still need to be my introverted self even (and especially) when we shared living space. But I do have a lot of time in the mornings at home alone when B is at work. So he hopes that when he gets home it’s us time. But doesn’t he need time to decompress, unwind, and not be coupley every minute we’re home together? Yes, he does, but apparently not as much time as he’s been getting. Speak up, my darling! Let me know! How long would he have gone on unsatisfied if I hadn’t asked him outright?
When he told me how he felt, I felt myself get a little mushy. I live with the guy, and he wants us to do more together? That’s so nice. That means he still likes me, and isn’t getting sick of me.
In the time since our honest, needed, revealing conversation, we haven’t had a game night, haven’t managed to get much farther in the book we’re trying to read together. But I have made the effort to put aside my laptop and say, “You wanna do something?” Then I have to wait for him to finish up what he’s doing on his laptop. =) So, it’s not just me, unintentionally ignoring him. It’s life, and balance, and both of us making an effort.
Recently, we decided to watch an episode of something together on hu.lu. I made popcorn and sat down in front of my computer. B was using his computer across the room, made no move to get up, and looked busy, so I entertained myself online while I waited for him. Finally, I looked up and said, “Is this one of those times where I think you’re busy and you think I’m busy?” Indeed, he had been waiting for me to finish what I was doing. “But I came over here with the popcorn and sat down, and you didn’t come over, so I was waiting for you!” Sigh. Communication. Again and again I learn that unspoken communication often leads to misunderstandings. And in fact, so does spoken communication.