If you are a fan of the TV show “The Big Bang Theory” you will know what I I’m referring to in this post. If you haven’t seen the show, the “roommate agreement” is an 80ish page document frequently wielded by the head geek of the show when having disagreements with his roommate about specific protocols going on in the apartment. It is hilariously comprehensive and covers everything from what time each one occupies the bathroom in the morning or the default thermostat setting in the apartment, to what to do during an alien invasion or the duties of a sidekick if one of them suddenly develops super powers.
The agreement stipulates that the other roommate receive a 48 hour warning if the one of them has an overnight guest. They have frequent arguments about this because the more sexually active of the geeks occasionally gets lucky with an impromptu “hook up” and violates the 48 hour advance warning clause.
Technically I call this a marriage adventure blog so I feel a certain obligation to discuss marriage issues even if only occasionally. Where I’m going with this is a conundrum that far too many spouses find themselves in. I know this because I’ve read approximately a bazillion blogs posts and books about this topic. It seems to be the elephant in the room that people are afraid to talk about, The problem being that one partner thought they were signing up for a marriage agreement but somehow a bait and switch happened and instead they got the roommate agreement – minus the overnight guest clause. This recalls the old warning – always, always, always, read the fine print.
The difference is that most people, when entering into a marriage agreement assume that the other partner is able to or at least willing to try to be available to meet the sexual and accompanying emotional needs of the partner. If one of the partners outright refuses, or won’t step up to the plate in a more passive aggressive fashion via poor health habits, unaddressed emotional issues, etc., this creates a huge problem because in the roommate agreement neither partner is expected to participate in gratifying the sexual or physical needs of the other partner whereas the marriage agreement implies that the partners not seek to satisfy basic sexual biological needs outside the marriage agreement, even if these needs are totally unmet within the relationship.
Open marriages aside, going outside the marriage to satisfy unmet sexual needs within the marriage is a huge social taboo. I’m not talking about the need to swing from the ceiling on a mink covered trapeze here either, just plain old garden variety sex. Going outside the marriage never seems to work well and usually damages a shaky relationship severely, if not irrevocably, regardless if it is the husband or wife who strays. Unlike the roommate agreement which does stipulate that the partners may arrange an overnight guest for said needs as long as there is a 48 hour warning. I generally don’t recommend it.
So what happens from here? Good question. The choices seem to be; A) remain in the marriage agreement, never have sex, and grit your teeth because the spouse is “so great” in all other departments (this is the ultimate self-con job by the way), B) Remain in the marriage agreement and meet your needs outside the marriage unit, or C) Take the high road and exit the marriage agreement before arranging to meet ones needs elsewhere.
Ideally the party who is not getting their needs met would prefer another option as in D) the sexually prunified partner lose that nagging little extra 50 pounds, work with a doctor to get off medicines that cause a lack of sexual libido or function, and do whatever it takes to be attractive and healthy enough to rejoin the marriage bedroom tango.
I know there are people who will say “well sex isn’t the only important thing in a marriage.” True BUT, if it’s not happening at all ever, zilch, nada and this is bothering one of the spouses then it is a hugely mission critical problem. In my opinion it is a deal breaker. As in “excuse me Bubba, or Bubbette, I don’t care how much money you have, what a great cook you are, or if you clean the house so thoroughly that I could lick floor, if I’m not getting laid on at least a semi regular basis then all the other stuff means exactly diddly squat! I can hire a maid for that, go find someone else with money, or provide myself with funds.” For a woman with small children in this situation this might be a little tricky to achieve at first, but personally I’d rather be strapped for cash on occasion than watching my soul die slowly in a sexless marriage.
The no sex clause is all well and good and if both parties are aware of this and amenable to that from the beginning. However, it’s not kosher to spring this little surprise on a partner after marriage as in “oh by the way, I don’t intend to have sex with you….like ever.” Whether it is expressed verbally outright or only implied through actions or the lack there of, it’s still dirty pool. The left out partner feels like they got cheated or scammed. And you know what? They did.
Further reading: Take the Red Pill
I don’t know if it’s a seasonal change, phase of the moon or some other ennui I’m going through lately. Or maybe it’s just a normal part of aging. Regardless I’ve been going through an approximately 10 day period of profound testiness, irascibility, glumness, and a generalized all around refusal to put up with anyone’s bull shyte for any reason what so ever, no exceptions.
When I was single and lived alone it was easy enough to just hide and wait it out. Ah, blessed, blessed solitude, a rare commodity more precious than the Hope Diamond. Not so easy when living with a spouse. If said spouse has not mastered the art of leaving well enough alone and not ask pointed and intrusive questions of a lady in obvious private distress, then said spouse places themselves directly in the line of fire. It is a principle that should be taught in the early years of grade school: Rule Number 1 – don’t piss off a crazy person who is figuratively wielding a battle-axe!
The other day a mental image came of my aunt-in-law, (mother-in-law’s twin sister) walking around after dinner at 6:30 in the evening in a muumuu and a hair net, already ready for bed, and so what I say? Unless you have plans for a night at the Opera, what’s wrong with getting in your jammies early? Mr. Husband made some sort of sarcastic comment to her about it. I didn’t say it the time, but thought, “what business is it of yours how a lady dresses in her own home?” Furthermore your pajamas consist of your birthday suit, and by the way I would prefer that you wear a muumuu. I’m too old for all this unbridled nakedness! I prefer some things to be left to the imagination.
Yes, indeed our beloved feline has pneumonia. I didn’t even realize that could happen to cats. This poor kitty picked his parents well when he adopted us. He has been the most high maintenance cat I’ve ever had. My sneaking suspicion it is because he’s male. I never had these problems with female cats. Oh, just kidding…well no I’m not, actually. Human males can be a bit high maintenance as well, in my experience.
In retrospect, Mr. Kitty had been trying to tell us he’s not ok with bizarre behaviors; inappropriate urination – on the stove, my shoe, a pile of laundry, hacking up unmentionable ectoplasm all over the house, pawing at us and then running to hide. But when he started gasping for breath we finally figured out he was in crisis and rushed him to the vet.
So now we have a kitty with pneumonia and have to give him medicine twice a day and hope for the best. Giving a cat medicine is no easy task. Of course it doesn’t take him long to figure out our nefarious plan and hides. Then it falls to me to drag him yowling, hissing and scratching out of whatever his hidey hole du’ jour is. We wrap him up in a bath towel like a burrito, so he can’t claw us to shreds, and then give him a dropper full of antibiotic and an anti-congestion pill. He of course struggles, growls, tries to get loose from his towel straight jacket and in general acts like we are skinning him alive for sport.
Just like a child, Kitty doesn’t understand that all these horrible things we are doing to him are for his own good. It reminds me of a sister when she was a kid. She fought like a banshee every single time she needed to take meds. She never did figure out that it was inevitable. She absolutely would not take medicine without a fight. It took 5 of us to hold her down. One sibling to each arm and leg, and one kid to hold her nose long enough for her to open her mouth so my Mom could pop in the medication. It’s sort of ironic really, because she’s swung to the opposite extreme in her adulthood and will take anything she can get her hands on.
I’ll be the first to admit that I just do not understand what is going on inside the talking heads up there in Washington. But I am at even more of a loss than usual these days. This ridiculous government shut down nonsense is simply beyond the pale. I would give me left arm to be a fly on the wall in the room where “they” decide what is essential and what is non–essential as far as government services are concerned.
I’ll bet good money that the government-funded barber shops, restaurants, and private health care for the bigwigs up there in Washington are buzzing along, business as usual. Yet our tax dollars are now spent to shut down national monuments that are just sitting there in the open air and not even manned to begin with. People have been arrested people for hiking in the Grand Canyon. I am shocked and appalled. How on earth or what kind of bizarre disconnect from reality, does it take for a government officials to decide they have the right to close a canyon, for God’s sake??? It is one of the wonders of the natural world. Our national parks, which people come from all over the world to see, are closed. What kind of message does this send to our neighbors on this planet?
I’m concerned that we are rapidly becoming the laughing-stock of the civilized world. As a rather cantankerous grandmother, sometimes I think that our elected officials up there in Washington all need a stern do better talk, a good spanking and all sent to bed without their supper until they stop bickering, learn to work together and do what it is that we hired them to do…which is run our government in an efficient, humane and prosperous way, as they solemnly promised to do when elected.
Right now it reminds me more of school yard shenanigans where boys get in a snit because everyone won’t play by their rules so they snatch up their toys and go home. We the people, who purchased their toys in the first place, are not getting our money’s worth by any stretch of the imagination.
I have to admit that I am more outraged than usual by the absurd twists and turns in our nation’s capital. It hit Mr. Husband and I personally because we had plans with a group of 10 to go to Gettysburg this week and receive a day and half private tour by the director of a documentary which will come out soon on the PBS television station. This came about because a friend of ours was one of the people to fund the documentary. But now we can’t do it and our trip is cancelled because the Gettysburg National Cemetery is CLOSED.
I may need to call in a Shaman or go get to Whole Foods and get some sage to burn or stop by the local church for some holy water. Our house seems to be infested with technological gremlins or gerbils. They are furiously busy mucking things up around here. The first gadget to go down was my main computer. It unceremoniously croaked and there was smoke coming out of it, filling up my office, so we had to take it to the computer hospital. $200 later it returned home.
The next thing to go was the lamp on the Big Screen TV in the den. I whispered a secret “yippee” until I found out that the replacement lamp and a backup was $300. Not so funny after all.
And now our refrigerator decided to stop making ice. I don’t really care because I rarely use ice at home. Mr. Husband does though. To him a soda just isn’t a soda without ice in it. We foolishly assumed this would be a simple fix so I called up the Sears repair department to send out a man to fix it. $500 later we still don’t have ice and are waiting for a replacement motherboard for the fridge to come. Then we call them back out to install it.
A motherboard for a fridge??? Who knew? There is all this noise out there in the Hi-tech world about having a “smart house” and everything controlled from your computer or phone. I shudder to think what would happen if the mother board for your house went out. Would everything malfunction at once? What would happen during a power outage? Would you be locked in or out of your house? Could you house catch a computer virus and start spying on you or broadcasting images of you in the midst of your daily hygiene routine?
I know I can get a little out there when I start thinking about possible scenarios, but I’m leaning towards not having a house that is smarter than I am.