I have this thing about me. I tend to think everyone is like me. I tend to think that they think just like me.
Most people, including family members, don't get my situation. They don't understand. Very few people do. The ones that do, either are living almost the same exact situation, or they just love me enough to have not judged it long enough to begin to see it for what it is. A complicated, webby mess? Sure. Bad? No more so than any other situation.
They mean well. They either care deeply for me, or they are just good humans by nature and want to offer help or sage advice to wayward souls, lost along the way. Problem is, I am not wayward. Nor am I lost, thankyouverymuch, and as odd as it may seem to you, I am happy and right where I want to be.
The first part of the story most people can't seem to swallow is why. Why would I, a 30 year old woman, who has never been married, and never had kids, and wants both very much, want to spend my time even casually dating, let a lone living with, a 41 year old man and his full time, live in children who have, for the most part, absentee moms. Then, throw in the fact that he is "obsessed" (I prefer the term "passionate) with xbox and football, and therefore lacks the passion to clean the house, do laundry, make home made meals, spend obscene amounts of time at the park/rink/backyard/library with the kids doing whatever is they want to do, on top of working 40+ hours a week at a very labor intensive job.
The next question, while still not understanding the first, is always "How come?" How come you "allow" him to play football? How come you "allow" him to play Xbox? How come you are taking off work because the kids are sick? How come you clean his house, make his dinner? Take care of his kids? How come? How Come? How Come?!
God forbid, I ever lose my schmidt and complain for 15 seconds about something that happened at home, and it's "I don't know why you even stay." Or, "How can you put up with that?!" "He should be kissing your feet, for all that you do"
Here's the thing. I know these people are trying to be helpful. I know they are trying to be my "friend", or "Look out for my best interest" but really? You do not know my situation. You are not living my life. While I might have said that I was tired because Little Man was up coughing all night, that does not open the door for you to criticize my life.
I do not have to answer to anyone but God, but for those who must know...
"Why?" Why? Well, why do you love your husband? That's the same reason I love mine. I may not have a ring, yet....but it's coming, and it will come when the time is right. Until then, I choose to be with him. He makes me happy, my soul smile, and my world a better place. He gets me. He knows when to encourage me, when to cut me some slack, when to tell me to sack up and be a man, and when to just hold me. He laughs at my stupid jokes and shares my dark/weird/gross/immature/lame sense of humor. He makes me feel loved, valued, special, and worthy. He is my best friend and I can truly be me around him and he wouldn't think any less of me. Do I want to strangle the life force from his very body sometimes? Sure. Does he anger me, frustrate me, confuse me, antagonize me, and push me to my very limits sometimes? Yes, but that's all a part of loving someone. You can't appreciate the ups without the downs. He also has three kids. Those three kids have absentee d-bag mommies for the most part. Loving him, also means loving his kids. Living with him, also means pulling mommy duty, but without the actual title or "respect". I knew that going in. I wouldn't have it any other way.
How Come? Well, that's none of your business really. Listen, everyone has a "love language". It's the language in which you prefer to have love expressed to you. Sure, we say it 17 times a day, and no doubt mean it, but sometimes it goes deeper than that. Plus, I was raised to believe that men and woman, while equal in most parts of life, have clearly defined gender roles. Plus, there are some things you have to just pick your battles about. Yes, I cook, clean, do laundry for everyone, make lunches, keep our schedules, and take time off when the kids are sick. But if we waited around for Bee to cook, we'd starve or be 1345894 lbs because we'd eat fast food all the time...again. If I let Bee worry about cleaning, our new house would look like his old one. Not because he likes to live like a pig, but because cleaning is just low on his priority list. He will wash you clothes every day if you need him to, but remembering to take them out of the dryer, fold them, and put them away? It doesn't register in his brain. Same thing with lunches and keeping schedules. He can't remember what he did yesterday, let along which kid has what appointment next week. Once again, I ask you, do your Husbands/boyfriends do all of this? Or is it you. Yeah, I'm betting it's you. As for taking time off when his kids are sick, he would do it, but he does not get paid for time he takes off. Since he makes double what I do, it's important he brings home all his money. I get paid time off.
Football and Xbox are another hot button with most people. He is a grown man. I don't "allow" or "not allow" him to do anything. He does what he wants, just as I do want I want. The key is, we respect each other. Football is his passion. He loves it. I guarantee that if you spent 15 minutes with this man, you will walk away with at least an appreciation of the game too. It makes him happy, it makes him feel like he is a part of something bigger than him. He gets his male bonding in, his testosterone pumping, and gets his aggressions out. It makes him happy. If he were a skilled pianist, would you judge him for playing the piano? His games/practice are also something we, as in his family, can be a part of, and support him in, so we get to be involved too. Why do you go watch your kids play in 12 degree weather? Because supporting them and seeing the enjoyment in their eyes is worth it. Same thing here. Besides, Thursdays and Sunday's when he's gone, I know exactly where he is (Not that there is an issue with that...) and on Saturday nights, instead of being at home while he is out with the boys at a strip club or where ever, I am watching and cheering him on from the stands. He's a happy guy when he's playing football and I like a happy guy. Same thing with Xbox. I can do what I need to do around the house and he is content. It's how he relaxes. He does xbox, I do wine and facebook.
It's called living in a partnership. Sure, I do all those "wifely" things. More than most women, granted. I am proud to do it. Plus, I am a control freak and we all know if we let them do it, it wouldn't get done, or at least not the right way, to my crazy standards. Why fight, yell and scream, and get my panties in a bunch trying to make them do it, when I can do it myself and save the frustration? Besides, while I do what it is that I do, Bee has his own jobs. He takes care of the vehicles. That means, gas, oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, windshield wiper fluid, windshield wipers, tires, and anything else to do with 2-4 wheels and a motor. He is responsible for making sure the snow is cleared, the sidewalks too, and salted. In the spring/summer he is on lawn and gutter duty. He is also animal/critter/bug dispatcher. He can be in the middle of a game and winning, but if he hears me scream "SPIDER!", it's his job to come find me and kill it. He also grocery shops because mama can't handle that kind of stress. It's how we show our love for each other. If I had a ring on my finger, or if I had a ring and the kids came from my hoo-hah, no one would question it. EVER. Because, that is just what you do. But because we are not, and the kids aren't mine, I'm a door-mat and he's a lazy, good for nothing man who is taking advantage. It all kind of makes me sad, because that is so not the case.
Maybe I just need to learn to keep my mouth shut and not share any "personal" information about my life to anyone but those I know "get it".....