Saturday, October 12, 2013

Love in the Time of Cholera

Ok, we don't have cholera. My wife has pneumonia and a strained ribcage from coughing. I have bronchitis. Nico has conjunctivitis and perhaps a chest infection. We're all on antibiotics. Ellie is fine but, between you and me, kind of hard to take sometimes with her constant questioning. We know this is what four-year-olds are supposed to be doing, but at 5:45 A.M it's a little hard to take.

These are moments in which communication between spouses becomes even more important, as the usual pressures of finances, home repair, education, scheduling, etc. don't take a break because you are sick. So here are some marriage survival rules and tips.

1. Fights in the morning don't count.

Mornings are hard. We have to get the kids and ourselves ready and out the door with time pressures mounting. Sometimes we snap at each other. Our general policy is that these fights never happened. If there's a real issue to discuss, we can discuss it later.

2. If someone says "ok," it's okay.

You're fighting and one partner responds, "OK!" as a way of cutting off discussion. That's it. It's over. The person who was demanding something has to stop demanding, as the other partner has said "ok," however peevishly. And the person who said, "ok," well, for you it has to be okay. No grudges.

3. Google (or other remote) calendar.

Half of our fights, I think, I used to be about who needed to be where when, what commitments or late meetings were coming up soon, and so forth. Google calendar simply solved that problem.

There are more, but now I have to go give my children a bath. Waffles are sticky.