The Relation Between Marriage and Anarchy… OR puttin’ the FUN in Dysfunctional

The Husband and I met in July of 2006.  We married in December of 2008.  A few months back we celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary.  so, it’s getting close to 6 years now we’ve known each other.  Earlier today we were talking about the hardships in life, and the value of experience and self-examination, being able to think freely about things without having mother culture dictate how we experience the events in our lives.  The experiences we go through can either strengthen or weaken us depending on our reactions and outlooks.  It was actually watching The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo {Extended Swedish Version} that inspired this conversation, but then I realized how this doesn’t just apply to a single person.

It also applies to relationships.  The trials and experiences the husband and I have gone through together make us stronger as a couple.  Sometimes we haven’t necessarily realized it at the time (as demonstrated by the numerous times we broke up before we got married, and then the almost year we spent separated after), but now we’re so very aware of how much we can survive.  From homelessness, custody battles, unemployment, madness, breakdowns, and deaths, not to mention all the horrible misadventures during our separation, and then a million little (and not so little) fights and arguments, there’s a multitude of things we’ve been through, and never fallen out of love.  The most important thing is probably that whether or not we get mad at each other, our personal anarchist principles mean that we allow each other the mistakes we make and the experiences we need. How do we support a marriage with anarchistic ideals?  How do we support our partners in the life experiences they’re going through, supporting them to strengthen, evolve and develop, and do so in their own way and manner, without neglecting our own needs?

It is a fine and complicated line we walk, but the line that gives us the individual strength and power to do what we need for ourselves, and at the same time, take care of eachother and our children.  We adjust and adapt to eachothers struggles and phases.  My depression and PTSD is a prime example.  The Husband did not enable me, but he was present, accepting, and loved me through everything.  Being with a woman who was suffering from extreme PTSD, anxiety and depression definitely required him to adjust and adapt, and being with him allowed me to process and experience the things I needed to, until I resolved my issues and became the (moreso at least) functional person I am today.  I want my husband to be happy, be the best he is, and be proud and secure in himself and his family.  But I cannot know the choices he should make in order to grow and evolve, he is the only one who can possibly know those things.

It’s a matter of not telling eachother how to live our lives, while still expressing honestly our experiences and perspectives.  With communication comes understanding (sometimes!) and with love comes acceptance.

I’ve known a lot of “dysfunctional” marriages in my life, and I’m sure from an outside perspective we’re definitely in that category.  Still, we are so happy.  With eachothers, our lives, our family and our marriage.  We do put the “fun” in dysfunctional, and we are probably the healthiest dysfunctional family I’ve ever known.

With love to my Husband, and our two wonderful children,

-DomesticAnarchist

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So Proud of The Husband

The Squid loves her Dad-dad.

 

 I don’t think I’ve mentioned The Husband much in recent posts, and there is reason for that.  there has been huge amounts of frustration and contention in our marriage, which isn’t quite even a year and a half old.  I’m not really going to go into the issues themselves here, but suffice it to say, they were things that neither of us could bend on, and we could see no resolution.

my husband has been my best friend for years.  the first time we started talking we immediately connected to eachother.  the first time I saw him, I knew we were going to end up together.  …granted, I didn’t foresee marriage and babies and life-long cohabitation, much less school for him and housewifery for me, but in my gut I knew we would fit together perfectly.

and I was right.  a few weeks ago, The Husband and I talked, and decided that we are going to put an honest effort into resolving the issues in our marriage.  which means working through our own shit, and is going to be a struggle.  really what it comes down to is setting aside all of the bitterness and frustration, and focusing on the love and friendship that we have.

I have regurgitated the words “We are an autonomous collective, not a dictatorship” so many times, but’s it’s always in reference to my kids.  being autonomous means we make our own choices, but being a collective means we need to work together.  once our choices start stepping on other peoples toes, they no longer work, and things have to change.

however, the two most important facets in being an autonomous collective are: A. equality, and B. communication.

I’ve been very frustrated with The Husband for not “taking initiative” (IE: not knowing what I want him to do.  so much for communication.), and for not “putting effort into saving our marriage” (IE: not dropping everything to do whatever it is I think we should do to resolve things, so much for equality.).  for being an anarchist, I am a horrible control freak.  I want to know what’s going to happen at all times, and if I’m not comfortable with it, I want to be able to change it.  I also tend to try and put the responsibility for my own well-being on my husband.  it all just goes back to my own insecurities, and my childhood programming of trying desperately to find someone to take care of me, and my childhood scarring of thinking if someone does not take care of me, that they don’t care about me.

what a load of crap.  and see, the great thing about The Husband, is he’s totally never let me get away with that.

I was washing dishes the other day.  alot had piled up, because The Squid was going through a weird time, and didn’t want to play or do anything but get loads of attention and affection from guess who?  yours truly.  for the whole weekend that her precious Dad-dad was at a friends house (and lord, did I run him through the ringer for not psychically knowing that would be a bad weekend).  so, at last she was napping, I was getting caught up on the dishes, and The Husband, was in the other room watching TV.  I was seething.

then, instead of going in with my usual, “I’m on strike!  someone else better do those dishes, or I’m not cooking!” or “maybe everyone should just do their own damn dishes from now on!” I just poked my head in and said, “hey, babe?  You wanna dry while I wash?”

and holy shit, man, voila.  “Yeah, sure.”  he came in, we got through every one of those damn dishes, we listened to music and talked while we worked, and lo and behold, there was the happy, helpful partner I’ve been looking for!  and all I had to do was ask.  not demand, not throw a fit, ask.  how many times have I said to my son, “calm down, use your words.  when we can talk calmly and ask for what we need, it’s way easier for us to get help.”?  and then I go and quash and quash until I explode, because I never took the time to take a deep breath and just ask for what I need.  it’s amazing how much easier it is to parent our children than ourselves.

we’ve been our new house for a little over 7 months now.  when we moved in, I had this incredible image of what I wanted our lives to be like here.  I was ready to get right on top of my housewifery, focusing on my family, my parenting and marriage, and making sure to have a positive environment that we could all live in.

and when the husband started struggling, dealing with shit that didn’t fit into my image, I started to shut him out of it.  I got angry at him, for not fitting into the ideals I had for the family.  instead of trying to help him, encourage him or support him, I pretended he wasn’t there, wasn’t needed, and just focused on everything else.

okay, but the reason that I am so incredibly proud of my husband is this:  he is examining his demons, he is facing them head-on, and he is being here, fighting for our marriage, but not sacrificing himself to do so.  he stands up for himself, he stands up to me, and he does not cave when my emotional issues rise to the surface.  he is there for me, but I am responsible for myself, my issues, and my behavior.  and I believe that we are going to work through this shit, because we are two of the most stubborn people I know, which is hell when we’re head-to-head, but powerful when we are side-by-side.

Ethan, my husband, I love you, and I am so proud of you it blows my mind.

-Domestic Anarchist

"Yay! Dad-dad!"

Dishes – an ever-growing point of contention.

the battle of the dishes is a daily point of contention.  no one wants to wash them.  I am of the opinion that, as the sole provider of meals (by my own choice, since I choose not to live off of “Gom” breakfasts, nachos or ramen, which are the extent of The Husbands cooking skills), I should not also be responsible for cleaning up after every meal.  The Husband is of the opinion that, since I am home all day, while he is at work or at school, I have plenty of time to accomplish such things, before he gets home and takes over the kids so I can start on dinner.  IE: in the evening, after kids are to bed and dinner has been devoured, we both tend to radiate towards relaxation, as opposed to such hideous chores as washing dishes.

the dishes have not been completely done in the past 11 days.  I’ve done a few small batches, but not more than to provide us with dishes for the day.  I even threw down the ultimatum: “if you do the dishes, then I’ll cook dinner.”  which means we subsisted off of ramen and nachos for a couple days, before I got bored and caved in a foodie frenzy, with lasagna, stuffed chicken, and coq au vin.  …the dishes for which were rinsed, and now find themselves sitting on the counter.  …which is better than the rice pudding, which got a dish set on top of the pot, and sat til it acquired weirdness and got scraped into the garbage.

I miss my counter.  I miss cooking.  popcorn, veggie chips, oranges and cheese, even on game night, still bore and disappoint me.

much like Rex Harrison, I find myself complaining “DAMN, DAMN, DAMN, DAMN!”  I’ve grown accustomed to good food.

and I’m the only one that is that worried about it.  The Wizard is thrilled by having popcorn for dinner, and The Husband could happily live off ramen til the end of his days.  and the Squid isn’t even affected.  making my strike frustratingly ineffective.

in other news, my lasagna and coq au vin turned out bitchin’, while the stuffed chicken… definitely needs a new theory.  tastyish… but somewhat bland and excessively greasy.

so, apparently, there are a few things I can’t sneak bacon into.  …though it was badass in the coq au vin.  I see no point in ever using proscuitto, while the bacon gods are still smiling upon us.

-The Domestic Anarchist