Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Me time, you time, we all scream for alone time.

Yesterday, my friend Kevin posted a link to This Wall Street Journal article about space in relationships.

I was very drawn to the article for two reasons.  One because it was rather affirming, as I think Tad and I do a pretty good job of giving each other space to grow as separate individuals.  Tad needs a lot more alone time than I do and he's learned how to ask for it in a way that doesn't feel hurtful or upsetting to me, as I am a person who needs a lot of togetherness time.  He takes an annual trip to a cabin to write by himself whereas I take an annual trip to see friends.  At night when I'm gone, he reads or writes or whatever, by himself, where I tend to call someone to come over and chat with me.  (See you tonight, Jen!)
The second reason was that I was feeling a bit disconnected from Tad and I didn't really realize it until I read the article.  He's just finished his first year back to teaching and the Montessori program.  He's decompressing, celebrating, and a little inside himself right now.  The article helped me think about exactly what it was that was troubling me and I realized that I work so hard at giving him SPACE, that I felt like I couldn't tell him that I needed CONNECTION. 
We were talking about the article, loosely.  Then we turned to watch the next pitch in the Brewer game on TV.  The Brewers gave up their third home run in a row.
Tad said, "Oh, that pitcher is crying baseball sized tears.  With red stitching and everything." 
And this made me laugh, and I said, "I just pictured this actually happening and it was really gross!  That's why I know we're a good match." 
Tad sat back, "Well I don't have any doubts that we're a good match.  Do you?"
And I said, "No." Then I burst into tears.
We walked into the kitchen to make tea and I explained finally that I felt like I wasn't getting anything from him and that I felt disconnected and as we were talking we had to laugh as we noticed that Tad had prepared tea for himself and not for me. 
"Augh! See? That's where my brain is. I didn't even make you tea!"
In a very odd way, this made me feel entirely better.

But here's the other thing about that article.  There were a lot of comments after it, you'll notice. One of the comments was from a single mom.  She was saying this:

And while, sure, when it comes down to it...she's right about how it is worlds harder being a single parent who gets no choice about self-time...BUT I gotta say, I feel like THIS is exactly what is wrong with human kind and needs to be fixed.  Instead of just reading an article and thinking, wow, look at those people trying to improve their lives, she had to say, hey, you don't have it as bad as I have it!  The key to fixing a marriage is to talk to a single friend?  I don't think so.  Single parenthood and Coupled parenthood are apples and oranges.  Once again, I have to ask, Why can't we just be happy for each other's growth and happiness?

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