Do You Think Your Marriage Would Be Better If You Lived Apart?
Between the grooming habits clashes and the different cleaning styles — would being next-door neighbors make us happier in marriage?
I’m the FIRST to admit this: living with another human being, especially of the opposite sex, day in and day out, has its drawbacks. In fact I could probably fill up a book with all the things that make me at times want to strangle my spouse. Here’s just a smattering…
1. The toilet situation. Men and their “use and abuse” of the toilet — between leaving the seat up at 2 am (so you, in your sleepy stupor, fall bum first into cold toilet water), and their uncanny ability, at mid-life, to still manage to miss the bowl. Plus the fact that sometimes, walking into the bathroom is akin to walking into a lion’s den.
2) Then there’s the hair. The chin, nose, ear hair which, as a woman, if you clip, wax, tweeze or pluck, you do it in the most cleanliest of ways, whereas your man will leave his whiskers EVERYWHERE.
3) The smell test. I have a one-day rule for the bulk of the clothing I wear — as in, I wear, it and at the end of a long day I place it in the hamper and proceed to launder it. Unfortunately, after 12 years of marriage I’ve learned my idea of dirty and my husband’s are on two OPPOSITE ends of the spectrum. Arguments ensue over my “obsessive need to be clean” — or in other words, my belief that you should WASH clothes you’ve worn vs. my husband’s rule of thumb that first you should smell them and if they pass the sniff test, you don’t need to wash them. I know — EWW!
4) The dishes. I have a dishwasher. It’s installed, bought and paid for. I want to use it, not because I want to waste water, but because I can’t possibly hand-wash a dish as well as a machine can. On the other hand, my husband believes you use a dish, rinse it under water, and babe, “it’s good to go!”
5) The crunchy underfoot carpet issue. We have a dog who is pretty much anorexic and literally subsists on dog biscuits, which is why there are little crunchy pieces underfoot through almost every square inch of my house, as well as the usual foot traffic dirt which accumulates. And so, I vacuum, probably twice a week. In doing so, I need to contend with my husband’s grimacing and endless quips that I have a “vacuum addiction.” Whereas I feel I simply like to walk on a surface where I am not perpetually crunching pieces underfoot.
Seriously I could regale you with at LEAST 10 more sticking points my husband and I have to contend with and how living with the opposite sex on a regular basis could, perhaps drive someone to drink … A LOT.
So getting back to my original question, do you think your marriage would be better if you lived apart?
In my opinion, when it comes to the grooming / cleaning habits — yes. But in terms of intimacy, and really seeing and dealing with one another in your most glorious and not so glorious states … NO! I think the glue that truly holds a marriage together are these moments, these intimate experiences — as extremely annoying as they can be. These arguments, the hated and silly ones, learning to acquiesce and compromise to appease the other — these are all things you need to experience in your marriage to strengthen your bond. And honestly, if you don’t live together, well, you’ll miss out on all of it … plus those nighttime extras — the snuggling and, well, you know the rest!
Tell us: Would more marriages do better if spouses lived apart?
Melissa Chapman blogs about her marriage and everything in between at www.marriedmysugardaddy.com. Her work has appeared in The Staten Island Advance, Care.com, ABC News, BlogHer, Baby Center, Momtourage, Lifetime Moms, Babble, The Washington Post, Time Out NY Kids and iVillage.