The Television Divide

Looking at her sleeping, it’s hard to be upset. My love is an angel. She’s so sweet. So caring. So kind.

Awake though? Yeah, she’s absolutely still an angel. And it’s still very difficult for us to get irritated with one another. But it’s not impossible. We’re unique individuals and we’re human, after all.

If I haven’t blogged about this in the past, I’d be shocked. But I can’t recall, because I’m not that young anymore. And I’m not doing the research to verify one way or the other, because I’ve got priorities, it’s 11 p.m. and…

No, Dickmoji. And I’m not in the mood. Go pound sand, will ya? As I was saying:

…it’s 11 p.m. and I’m tired. And I need to release this stuff from outta my head.

First, my wife and I have a magical relationship. But occasionally, we step on each other’s toes. The most common recurring issue? The fucking tv.

Something funny, asshole?

Yes, Dickmoji, I have. And if it were just about the tv, I’d agree. But it’s about a little more than that. Like being called a control freak. And what some might consider common courtesy. (I’m not throwing stones, my Queen. I’m just laying down the typical perspectives we each bring to those tv-argument moments. So please don’t get mad at me. And for the record, I’m highly interested in seeing you naked. Right now. So can…

Yes, Dickmoji.

I’m hopeful, Dickmoji. I’m hopeful. If you allow my to finish my thought, I’d appreciate it.

Why thank you. I appreciate it. As I was saying in my unfinished parentheses:

…So can we approach this blog not from a position of placing blame, but from a position of trying to understand…each other?)

In my mind, the tv issue also has a layer of fear that my impending retirement will exacerbate the tv-divide and it’s impact on our marriage. And it’s about allowing unspoken concerns to build up inside, communication, and dragons.

Not yoga’s Dragon Pose, Dickmoji. Actual fire breathing dragons, Game of Thrones style.

That’s the point, Dickmoji. My metaphorical dragons are a literary device to signify the weight and complexity of the problem. That in addition to all the other stuff, the conflict between me and my wife is a little more complex, as if there were also flying monsters to contend with, ones that can light your ass up with flames shooting outta their mouths. A bit of hyperbole, Dickmoji. You do know that actual dragons don’t exist, don’t you?

Despite my likely regret, I’ll bite. What, Dickmoji?

Don’t really care, Dickmoji. I never really understood the differences between metaphors, similes, and the like. I’m an engineer, not an English teacher. Regardless, you know what I meant.

Let me offer a bit of context about the argument at hand:

  • My wife likes to binge watch reality shows. I can’t stand them. For me, the artificially staged scenarios are not real. And the constant pretend fights and drama make me question the morals and mental health of humanity. For her, they offer a guilty pleasure, something we’re all entitled to, no?
  • Nikki tends to put on whatever she wants, without asking my input. Now that’s not entirely fair—we both have become more adept at dealing with this issue, considering it’s happened dozens of times. With that experience, we know our triggers. She’s cognizant that I might want to watch something else; I’m cognizant that those shows bring her a bit of joy. Yet, here we are: same argument, differing setting.

Ok. It goes like this:

Our weekend started off great: Friday night date, Jamaican food, cannolis, and making love. Saturday morning lovemaking, cuddling and the prospect of more…sex. And then, dinner comes along.

Exactly. Just, not in a good way, Dickmoji.

Let’s continue:

Craving chinese, I ran out to pickup food. Our daughter went with, and she was a tad nasty. Stress level? Rising. When I returned, I realized the new restaurant I chose fucked up our order. Not ideal, but disappointing, considering the specific craving. My mood slightly dampened, I opened the door of our bedroom and…reality tv, front and center. I could not deal.

I asked my soulmate if she could turn it off, but I didn’t do it sweetly. It was a bit gruff and it came off as if I were demanding. And the ball started a’rollin’…

Feeling stressed out because of the tv thing, I decided to dig a bit deeper. And the result? The issue also incorporated another of my sticking points: expectations. I expected to come home and maybe watch something together or maybe do some Ecommerce, this exciting business we’ve embarked on together. But instead, it felt like I was forced to watch whatever she wanted on tv.

You’re correct, Dickmoji. I wasn’t tied down, eyelids held open, with The Real Housewives of New Jersey blaring in front of me. No, I could’ve easily done something else. Like play guitar. Or write. Or take the dog for a walk. Or…

Yeah. You’re right. I could’ve just expressed how I felt.

Agreed. Less attitude. And more conversing with gratitude, knowing my partner always has my back, and knowing that I’m with my best friend and the love of my life.

But I didn’t do any of that. Instead, I allowed myself to get irritated and stressed, which resulted in this heavy feeling in my chest. And in my mind? My thoughts swirled, rehashing things I know she didn’t mean, but that needed a little unpacking.

The whole tv thing is problematic at times. I get these thoughts that she’s inconsiderate or selfish, even though I know that’s not the case. And then she feels like I’m being controlling, which is a trigger for me. Round and round we go.

And then she said something that stung a bit more: “I don’t want us to be in a codependent relationship. And I’ve been concerned that when you retire, you won’t allow me to have my own time.” (And I’m paraphrasing, my love. Don’t take offense. Pretty please?😊😘❤️).

I heard, “I don’t want to be a relationship, if this is the way it’s gonna be.” She meant, “I know we’re not codependent, but when certain things happen, it triggers memories of my previous abusive relationship.” Again, our unique perspectives caused the disconnect. Not that either of us is wrong. Just that we’re individuals, with histories that color our thoughts and feelings.

One more thing to release? She said that I made it sound like I do things to pat myself on the back (running out to get chinese food, “for her”). She was feeling some quid pro quo kinda thing. Because…of my tone and the way I expressed myself. But at the time, I didn’t recognize my failings. I chose to take offense. Just another thing to let go. What Nikki said wasn’t mean to be hurtful. It was meant to convey how she was feeling at the time.

One more item to figure out? Lying together in bed, she turned her back to me. For me, it’s was a sign of rejection. For her? Maybe she’s was feeling hurt also. Or maybe she just needed to change positions, because her back hurt. O maybe she was trying to comfort her own anxieties, since I wasn’t emotionally available at that moment (Which, right now, doesn’t exactly feel nice to acknowledge. I always want to be there for you, my Queen👸🏾. I’m so sorry that I wasn’t.🥺). But you didn’t frame the back-turning in any of those ways, did you? You chose to feel rejected. You chose.

These feelings I have right now are rather unpleasant. The pressure, the overwhelm. I don’t like it. I don’t like feeling as if there’s so many major structural problems to deal with in our marriage. Because there’s not.

You know you have a beautiful thing, right Markie? Keeda is a astonishingly breathtaking person. She didn’t mean to intentionally hurt you. She was trying to communicate how she felt, and she stumbled over her words a bit. She deserves some grace, as we all do. The tv thing is relatively minor. She was in an abusive, controlling relationship. So she has her own triggers, just like I have mine. We’re individuals, with a past. And sometimes our pasts will collide into one another, in the now. It’s not an ominous thing, it’s to be expected (Without expectations 😂).

We are going to step on each other’s toes occasionally. That will happen. No doubt. But we’re not intentionally placing our feet down to hurt the one we love. Rationally—emotionally—that’s just makes no sense. It just means we might want to watch where we step a little bit more and that when we do make mistakes, it’s not this global, the-sky-is-falling thing.

And just like that—with all the blogging, with recognizing how special we have it, with grounding myself in the present—the heaviness in my chest is starting to subside. I thank you for that, Dear Reader. And I thank you, Keeda. For just being yourself, which is everything I could’ve ever hoped for.

We have a fascinating, charming, fulfilling and inspiring, stunningly amazing relationship. Not perfect, but pretty darn close. I need to realize that. We both do. We’re all a work in progress. And each of us has a little further to go. It’s comforting to know that we’ll go there together, hand in hand (And more than occasionally, with my hand rubbing up on that spectacular booty of yours.)😊😊😊

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