How do you handle disagreements in your home, when the discourse can feel like residing in a house divided?
In my house, we don’t agree. Sometimes it’s on little things. Sometimes it’s on big things. How do you navigate around those big things when they put a dent in how you view your partner? When it feels like a house divided …
It makes me wish I was more financially independent. More prepared for life as an individual. Less afraid to run my ship without answering to anyone. It might sound extreme – like I want an out, but that’s not the case at all.
Common ground is what I crave.
He would rather not open the discussion— a cement wall-like façade. My approach is more to find the middle. A compromise. An understanding.
Instead, we have settled into an impasse. Stalled by our own stubbornness. Where the divided house feels bigger than all of us.
Covid found its way into our home. But the disagreements around the pandemic have long preceded the current timeline.
We didn’t see eye to eye when the pandemic started. We approached our personal safeties almost on opposite ends. One of us is vaccinated. One of us opposes masks. One of us would err on the side of caution, especially when it comes to our child. The other – lackluster. Not as worried. No contingency plan for the ‘what-if.’
Well, the what-if found us. It is nestled in our home, lurking about and plotting. At least, that’s what I envision— like a messy, unwanted, life-changing house guest.
So I clean, and then clean again. I think ahead to what nutrition might be involved, mentally logging temperature and hydration daily. I notified work and made sure I had any equipment needed and a plan for going back to working remotely. The people closest to us, who we would normally interact with, have been informed. Some were even gracious enough to offer any help if we needed it – like grocery shopping, no questions asked. You are going to be my saving grace.
My daughter and I watched countless movies and ate all the snacks in the pantry. We sat out back almost every day for the length of a few songs when the sun was out and bright.
We stayed in our pajamas. Hair wild and free. She made a countdown for how many days we would cross off being in our bubble. She asked a lot of questions. I did my best to answer them. She noticed I never hesitated to hug her or kiss her forehead or let her snuggle into my side.
But here’s the dilemma.
How do you coexist, co-parent, and run as a team under the same roof when the differences between you and your partner feel like canyons?
It sounds like silence, echoing around the room while we eat at the dinner table— where little eyes can see.
It sounds like debates in the bedroom over “research” and research— where little ears are within earshot.
It feels like tension, so thick— and it’s unbearably suffocating.
What do we build a bridge out of, he and I? How far across the canyon will we get with each other? Will we still look at each other the same on the other side of this?
Our home isn’t the only one experiencing a divide because of this pandemic and what it poses far outside of home life. Opposing opinions were a source of spark, once. Now I long for the days when our conversations were more carefree. Or just full of more … care. And compassion for others because what is life if you have no one left to share it with?
He and I have both remembered that we need to talk to each other. And listen, too. Especially listen. We know we can’t solve all the world’s problems in one conversation; this will take time.
It starts at home. Where life happens, good and bad. Where little hearts beat.
If you want to learn more or stay up to date on the current state of your part of the world, here are some sites with lots of resources that are constantly updated as the days unfold:
Let us all remember to be kind and just do better.