1. Bathroom sharing. He seems to take issue with my hair. Yes, it is long. Yes, it is dark. Yes, he loves to run his fingers through it. But he does not like to see it in his brush, in the sink, on the floor, and in the shower. He also does not seem to understand why I need to keep an artillery of products on the counter, poised and ready for combat, at all times. Are a round brush, a vent brush, 3 combs, and 15 different types of leave-in conditioner all really necessary? "And why do you need both a flat iron and a curling iron to be plugged in at the same time?" he asked me the other day, completely bewildered. "What's the meaning of life?" I responded, knowing that neither question could ever really be answered.
2. Bed sharing. According to Adam, he is getting a lot of action in bed, and it comes in a variety of ways. Whether his covers are getting ripped off, or his pillows are getting pulled out from under him, he can always count on me to suddenly arouse him from the deepest sleep. Speaking of getting aroused ... "When is the best time to initiate sex?" he recently inquired. My answer: Not when I am tired, sleeping, writing, doing yoga, having PMS, having my period, ovulating, or feeling fat. It's really not that complicated, is it?
3. Nonstop compromise. Adam grew up eating fast food, Chinese take-out, and Hostess and Nabisco snacks. I am an organic, mostly vegetarian type who hates anything processed. Shortly after we were married, I unceremoniously threw out his Wonder Bread, Ding Dongs, and Ritz crackers in one fell swoop. He didn't know whether to slowly stab me to death or sit shivah. "I cannot live in a house with Wonder Bread!" I declared. End of discussion. "This is called compromise?" he asked me, as he tried to choke down a piece of whole grain cardboard.
4. Civility during PMS. Granted, I feel bloated, my breasts hurt, I'm tearful, and my clothes don't fit. But Adam would like to set the record straight: He is not responsible for my condition. "So, please, please, please stop blaming me," he begged, when I interviewed him on this topic. "Just go into isolation and eat your chocolate chips and peanut butter and let me be."
5. Having to accept the other men in my life. Ever since Adam and I met, I have been having passionate love affairs. While the names and faces of these men are different, they are universally responsive to my needs and provide me with unlimited stimulation. You might even say I am addicted to them. I go to bed dreaming about them and wake up thinking about them. They are the unsung heroes in my life: the Starbucks baristas who make me my nonfat extra- shot soy lattes and iced green teas (no water, no sweetener). I run to them first thing in the morning and throughout the day. At times, I even make Adam face them to get me my fix. He does this without complaint, which is one of the many reasons I love him. I admit, it is an unconventional arrangement, but we make it work.
While the union of marriage offers incredible benefits, it can also be a major pain in the ass for both sexes. However, I believe that by accepting our differences (rather than denying them), even the most frustrating conflicts can be navigated with mutual respect and a good sense of humor. We make it work. We understand each other. As long as I have my soy latte and there isn't Wonder Bread in my pantry ... and as long as Adam occasionally gets aroused from his deepest sleep, we are both happy!
|Jennifer Ginsberg is a Los Angeles writer and mother to three, surprisingly angst-free children. As a former actress/waitress, turned clinical social worker specializing in addiction, turned full-time mother/part-time psychotherapist/writer, Jennifer is particularly well-versed on the topic of angst.|
Find out more about her life at angstmom.com