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Photo by Christopher Alvarenga on Unsplash

Could We Be Any More Opposite ?

Once again I will re-iterate; WRITING IS A LONELY WORLD

Especially when your spouse doesn’t read your content or ANY of your pieces.

I live in a relationship where the dynamics are worlds apart from each other. He has is own share of interests and friends, and I have mine.

It’s okay because, for us, it works. The only frustration I have is when I am excited about the success of something I wrote, and he WON’T read it. Conversely, I have pieces that I would rather he didn’t read, so it’s “this close” to a win/win.

I made the decision, after a major OOPS, to not share many, or any, of my written pieces on Facebook or Instagram. I shared one article, which I thought was shared on a Facebook Anxiety page. It is a private group of a tribe of women, who offer help to others who suffer from anxiety and depression. I just happened to be sitting outside in the sunshine one morning, when my friend on the page was trying to relate some of her day to day frustrations. So, in an attempt to share my own story, I posted:

With the hot sun shining on my phone, and not enough coffee in my soul, I accidentally made it a public post on my FB wall. I have over 1000 friends, including my parents and pretty much ALL of my co-workers. YIKES!

Needless to say, I received multiple private messages, phone calls, and a bucket full of questions on Monday in the office. The most common question being, “So, which one of us is Susan?” Definitely a moment referred to as a “face-palm” situation. My generic answer to this question was cleverly evaded with, “It could be any one of you”, as I screamed in terror from the pit of my stomach. Definitely a newbie move on my part. Live and learn.

Ironically, my anxious self went through A LOT of high anxiety from this error in social media etiquette 101, while I was attempting to help someone in THEIR anxiety.

I tried to share my situation with my hubby, but he didn’t understand the madness and turmoil that I was surrounded in. Why? BECAUSE HE NEVER READ THE ARTICLE. Or ANY of my work. On one hand, it may be a blessing that he cannot read my soul and see what kind of articles, poetry, etc that I post on Medium. On the other hand, I make attempts at compromising for his interests.

Here’s a breakdown of what I do in a week:

Work at my job, write, workout, write, hang with hubby, write, work, workout, write, hang with hubby, rinse and repeat.

His week:

Work, smoke a cigar, watch TV, eat, smoke a cigar while he watches TV, sleep, go for motorbike rides, cigar, TV, motorbike, rinse, repeat.

So, we live in two VERY different worlds.

My compromise? I will hang out with him and his cigar buddies. (They get together every other weekend for a thing called a “HERF”) Basically they sit around, visit, sample expensive rums, whiskeys and beers and smoke cigars one after the other until it’s time to go home. Totally not my thing.

However, I have smoked about 6 cigars over the past year, just to be part of his world. I know what you’re thinking “gross”. Or maybe you’re not? I think it’s kind of gross, but it’s fun to be part of his world, if only for an hour.

I will also get on the back of his motorcycle and ride with him when I am not engulfed in a writing project. We traveled two weekends ago through two countries (US and Canada), three States (Montana, Idaho and Washington) ad two provinces (Alberta and British Columbia). It was fun and all, but I missed an entire 4 days of writing time.

His compromise? He gives me space when I write and when I go for runs or workout. Typically, his “giving me space” is spending time watching TV in the garage while he smokes cigars.

Cool.

He hasn’t crossed any of the bridges into my world yet. He doesn’t read, write, or workout. He doesn’t understand my frustration when I haven’t reached a goal I have set, or when a story doesn’t fly to success. And I don’t understand his addiction to cigars and biking. Although, I will give him a shout out, as he always announces in groups of people, that I am a writer and am working on a book, and getting paid to do so. It’s just too bad he cannot answer any questions, that his circle of friends may have, about what I write.

The toughest part of it, for my anxious mind, is that he WON’T compromise.

I invite him to workout with me in my gym downstairs in our home. I offer to print or pull up articles I have written so he can look them over, but he shows no interest. It’s like there is an invisible line in the day to day operations of our house where I can cross, but for some reason, he chooses not to.

Typically my response is to shrug it off, and enjoy my own private “Christina Land”. I try and find the glass half full in it, and be thankful that he doesn’t have opportunity to read into what I write and make it about himself. But then there are days when I am bursting inside, wishing he would show interest in my world.

For now, I enjoy the time I make for him. I enjoy the parts of me that he will never comprehend and I find a sick pleasure in crossing the line to get involved in his guilty pleasures. ( I will never try his expensive rums or scotches). For the most part, it’s hilarious to see pictures posted on Facebook of me with a huge stogie in my mouth, just to see my mother’s reaction or hear my friends get grossed out by it. Not many women have a choice of over 3000 cigars to choose from in their hubby’s humidor. I guess that can be seen as a bonus? And his cigar smoking has made us both some new friends, and for that I am grateful.

I bought him a cigar cruise for his 50th birthday last year, as I knew that he would be totally shocked and gracious for something so out of my comfort zone and so in his. We met a ton of new, wonderful people on the ship and still stay in touch with them. It was extravagant on my part, but you only turn 50 once.

I suppose I will see what he reciprocates with when I hit the half century mark. I will see if he is willing to cross lines and get out of his comfort zone to appease mine.

For the time being, our worlds may be a universe apart during the day, but at night, we lie down in the same bed and we share the same space.

Literally at the end of the day, our worlds come back together and our stars realign. In the end, that is better than a lot of couples seem to have it.

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Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

Writer of relationships / early childhood and mental health . Poetry and fiction dabbler

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