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Archive for the ‘repartnering’ Category

One of the nicest things about being re-partnered is that you don’t have any seething resentments towards each other from the ‘baby years’. Seth and I both have children from previous relationships, so all the sleep-deprivation arguments about fairness that happen in those early years of baby-rearing were had with someone else. This makes it a lot easier to find one another attractive.

Because this is so true…

I thought I had married an evolved guy—one who assured me, when I was pregnant, that we would divide up the work equally. Yet right after our baby was born, we backslid into hidebound midcentury gender roles as I energetically overmet my expectations. I was feeding the baby, so I started cooking for the whole family (pre-baby, Tom and I had alternated). I was laundering our daughter’s absurdly large mountain of soiled onesies, so I took over laundry duty. Soon I was the “expert” in changing a diaper.

We’re not alone: A 2015 Ohio State study of ​working couples found that men did a fairly equal share of housework—until, that is, they became dads. By the time their baby had reached nine months, the women had added more than two hours of daily work, the men a mere 40 minutes.

And Tom, while a kind, sensitive sort of person, rarely seemed to notice that I needed a hand, lounging on the couch and happily playing SocialChess on his phone while I simultaneously tended our child, emptied the dishwasher, and made dinner. Social psychologists say that men simply feel more entitled to take leisure time.

 

From Jancee Dunn’s “You will hate your husband after your kid is born” in Salon. 

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We live on a mountain
Right at the top
There’s a beautiful view
From the top of the mountain
Every morning I walk towards the edge
And throw little things off
Like car-parts, bottles and cutlery
Or whatever I find lying around
It’s become a habit
A way to start the day
I go through all this
Before you wake up
So I can feel happier
To be safe up here with you
– From Bjork’s Hyperballad.

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This is a fascinating article, as people’s stories of long-term relationships usually are.  You don’t have to be into open relationships, I’m not, to understand and relate to much of what Melissa Broder is talking about in this piece, “Thoughts on open marriage and illness” in Literary Hub. 

As much as anything it is about familiarity, desire and long-term relationships.

There is something about a long-term relationship that takes away the ability to see the other person. We stop seeing them as their own entity. We stop seeing them as a possibility, rather than a possession. Or we stop seeing the possibility of them not being there. The gap we have to cross to get to them is no longer there: the gap filled with doubt as to whether we are loved or whether he will text or whether he likes me. We stop fucking in that gap, or fucking from across that gap. We start fucking in some new shared space that we feel we own. Or maybe the shared space is still the gap but we fuck there for so long we stop seeing it.

I made conscious choices in the relationship I am in now to protect us against over-familiarity. But reconciling that with acceptance in its various forms, self-acceptance as well as of the messiness of life, things I am also actively pursuing, has been complicated.

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The building of bunk beds implies another level of commitment and not just because we do this together on our weekend, and not just because it means our children are sharing bedrooms, and not just because it means the selling of furniture I had bought, and not just because pictures need to be rehung and shelves shifted to accommodate the height; but because in building the beds, for a while the parts spread across the room, displacing everything until I am short of breath, and when that happens he notices, reassures me.

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