Last night, my wife and I crossed a devastating threshold–a veritable point of no return. Around 10:25pm, she said she was tired and wanted to go to bed, and I objected and suggested we watch the next episode of the TV show we’ve been watching lately. An argument ensued, and I did something that I’m ashamed of–because I promised myself I would never do this–but which nevertheless cannot be undone.
If you’re thinking, “He went to bed without resolving the argument,” then you’re correct–but what we’re talking about here is much, much worse. In fact, it’s so terrible that I hesitate to post this publicly, and understand if you don’t want to read further. I climbed into bed, and just as my wife pulled up the covers to fall asleep, I opened my laptop computer, popped in my headphones, and watched the next episode anyway. I cheated.
There is no way to rectify what I’ve done–I can’t re-watch the episode with her, because she’ll know I’m not really into it. If I were to try and fake the same level of intensity that normally accompanies us when we watch a crime drama, she’d know I was faking it. If she watches it alone, that serves only to further isolate us from each other, and risks creating a habit–what if she enjoys watching the show by herself more than with me?
I know we all have our weaknesses, and perhaps I should have seen this coming. About a year ago when we were watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the first time, I plopped down on the sofa in the living room after a late-night skirmish and defiantly turned on the next episode. However, my resolve waned almost immediately, and I turned up the volume loud enough to ensure that she would hear what was going on. In less than a minute, she “caught” me and I confessed to being a childish dork and swore to never do it again.
Of course, my wife is no saint, either. While the list of Couple Things varies from marriage to marriage, reading Harry Potter was something we both held–or so I thought–to be a sacred activity. Well, a few years ago, she was working at the USU Bookstore when the sixth Harry Potter book was coming out. Sometime prior to the release, the store received it’s allocation of books, and she later disclosed to me that she had perused the first few chapters during breaks at work. Pretty awful, right?
Now, it’s plain to me that our chance at happiness is shot. I blew it, and the smoldering remains of an inappropriately consumed DVD stand as a testament to a once-great relationship. So, let this be a warning to those of you who are still in the formative weeks and months and years of matrimony. Pay attention to the set of activities and customs which arise in your relationship, and respect those boundaries! Whether your list includes reading books, eating a certain flavor of ice cream, or any other number of Couple Things, consecrate my failure to your success!
Please share some of your own stories in the comments below.