Little things he does grate.
The way he stacks the dishwasher, the look he gets when you forget something minor, the tone of voice he uses with the kids – condescending and preachy.
The little things become bigger, the irritation evolves into your snide remarks and your petty silent putdowns. Your huffs and long exhalations.
You’ve been together for ages, or it can feel that way and the shine has begun to come off things. You trade your kid wrangling time, doing the hand pass over the dinner table as you shoot out the door. Other nights you sit and watch TV together. Sitting side by side if you’re lucky, this is your quality time, you on your phone and him with the Ipad while the show talks to fill the silence.
It’s not always as I paint it, but I know you know what I mean, I know I’m not the only one who has been there, and maybe you haven’t quite verbalised it yet, but you’ve thought – surely it’s got to be better than this.
“We are like ships in the night, passing and never really seeing each other, not connecting like we used to. We’ve grown complacent.”
And why do I refer to him as my brother – well who has sex with their brother??? The news is good on the irritating brother front – you can evict the brother and reconnect with the guy you married – it’s what I wanted and what I did. The first thing you get to do is choose to take off the glasses.
Until you do everything you see is tainted in that light, through those lenses. Everything you hear, the way it filters to your brain is through that prism. When you are ready you get to look at him with fresh, clean eyes.
Here’s what I want you to do:
Spend 5 minutes the next time you are together and just look at him.
Look at him as you would a guy on a train, or in the café at the next table.
Study him, notice what you can see, take in the details, look at his hands, his face in profile, his neck, his chin.
Stand back and watch him move, listen to him speak and laugh.
Let all this information wash over you like it is new, like you are seeing it for the first time. There will be things you are attracted to, things you like, things you don’t enjoy. Notice them all and be aware of how you feeling in that moment of noticing.
This is a first step, it’s an experiment to see how much new information you can allow yourself to pick up when you take off the glasses of: