Tag Archives: divorce

Marriage, Pandemic Style

Ever wished your partner would spend more time with you? How quaint! This is the universe’s way of testing our relationships. And if the data from China is any indication, we’ll be seeing a wave of divorces once people can get to their lawyers.

Not me, though; one nasty divorce was enough for a lifetime. But since 24-hour togetherness  can strain any partnership, I’m trying to follow a few rules.

  1. Spend time apart.  Encourage separate activities to create some alone time; for instance, I’ll bake or write while my husband paints or works on his computer.  And if you live in a studio apartment, try to at least identify separate work spaces. With luck, this will give each of you something to talk about every evening besides the virus.
  2. Share a laugh: a book, video, joke, photo or film. We’ve just gone through all three Cage Aux Folles movies (note: the subtitled versions are funnier than the dubbed ones).
  3. Plan things to look forward to once life returns to normal — a trip, dinner at a special restaurant, going out with friends, etc.  Fantasizing encouraged.
  4. Connect with others.  We enjoyed a Zoom cocktail hour with two of our favorite couples the other night and are going to make this a regular routine.  Cheers!
  5. Make a big bowl of popcorn and find something fun on TV.  We’ve been watching old Nick and Nora movies from the ’30’s and adventure films such as the James Bond, Kingsman and Indiana Jones franchises.  Pretty much anything that bears no resemblance to today’s world is a good choice.
  6. Stop obsessing over the news.  It helps nothing and makes both parties depressed, which isn’t conducive to a happy home.  Being informed is one thing; worrying about anything outside your own control is counterproductive.
  7. Go for a walk.  It’s reassuring to see the flowers blooming and hear the birds chirping as if the whole world weren’t going to hell in a handbasket.
  8. Take deep breaths whenever your beloved is getting on your last nerve.

My mantra: “Whatever doesn’t make you want to kill your partner makes you stronger.”

two silver colored rings on beige surface

Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

Pants On Fire

When I was a child, lying came as naturally as breathing because it was an easy way to avoid punishment. As a young adult, it also served a useful purpose: to tell someone what they wanted to hear, grease the social wheels, escape an uncomfortable situation.

It wasn’t until I realized I’d married a pathological liar that I finally decided honesty really is the best policy, even when the truth is scary (e.g., telling your kids that their father has wiped out their college funds). But first, I needed to keep up pretenses until I had my ducks in a row (divorce attorney, exit plan, safe deposit box) and could salvage what was left of my savings.

This week, I read a great piece on how to spot a liar. Wish I’d known these tips back then, and am passing it along as a public service to any of you who have — or suspect you have — liars in your personal or professional lives.

It may also come in handy as you watch the news.

animals back light beaks close up

Photo by Brandon Montrone on Pexels.com

 

The FOUE Effect

My colonoscopy last week prompts me to address a phenomenon I call “FOUE”, a common issue in modern life.

FOUE, pronounced “phooey” is an acronym for Fear of Unpleasant Experiences. Most of us suffer from this condition at one time or another, especially if an outcome is potentially scary:

  • Putting off a doctor visit or mammogram
  • Noticing our waistband is tight but not getting on the scale to see how bad it is (ignorance is temporary bliss)
  • Having a sinking feeling that our boss isn’t happy with us, but not asking directly
  • Avoiding confrontations with our nearest and dearest
  • Not opening a bill we know will be high, or a letter from the revenue service

As the sages say, knowledge is power.  If we confront the thing we’re worried about, we will at least know where things stand and be able to take action.

So, back to the colonoscopy and why people avoid them. If you’ve had one, you know it’s generally unpleasant — not the actual procedure, because you sleep through it, but the prep in which you drink gallons of liquid, take laxatives, and spend a day or two in the bathroom.  (Hint to you over-50’s: buy some diaper rash cream before your prep. You know what I’m talking about.)

Happily, there’s a newer option that makes this a little less icky.  Called HygIEacare, the process lets you avoid drinking the nasty prep liquid and instead have your insides flushed with warm water to make sure everything is nice and clean.

You sit in a sort of bathtub, with a pillow to lean back on, for about an hour, and can read and relax (more or less) while water flows into your tush and which you then expel whenever you feel the urge, as it were.  I won’t say it’s delightful, but it’s definitely an improvement. Highly recommended if it’s an option where you are, although it’s pricey ($245 in Austin) and not covered by insurance.

(Above, before the event: the water system, tub, me trying to relax)

The upshot: everything went well, which I attribute to taking a daily probiotic and eating more fiber than I had the previous time (five years ago).

Coincidentally, last Friday was also the 15th anniversary of my divorce from my first husband, a real a*hole. All in all, a shitty day … in a good way!