If you’re married or in a long term, committed relationship, you will inevitably go through difficult times. If you have kids as well, it seems to me that the difficult times can happen a lot more frequently. No big surprise there, right? Children, as much as I love them, can suck the energy and money out of you in ferocious amounts.
So, sparks are going to fly from time to time, words will be exchanged out of earshot of the children. Unresolved arguments will linger.
The sex will slow down to an alarming trickle. Shudder.
And you know what? Just having kids and jobs can make that happen- working and parenting makes you tired, and tired people can get snippy with each other.
But what if, all of a sudden, BOTH bread winners find themselves without work. For, say, three months. Let’s mix in a metric-shit-ton of stress into the aforementioned cocktail of snippiness, shall we?
That’s where Mrs. Huttsez and I found ourselves for the rollickingly joyous months of January, February, and March, with a bit of April thrown in for good measure. Huzzah! What a wondrous time we had!
Man oh man, it got bad. We were through our little savings in a flash, Mrs. Huttsez was getting her interior design business off the ground, and I had two nice indoor trim jobs lined up for the winter that got “postponed”. It was like getting hit with a 2x4. WHAM!*
*Which made me just think of George Michael, which is making you think about George Michael. Maybe.
No one was hiring carpenters.
The missus and I were barely scraping by, both financially and maritally. It was awful. Arguments, stacked on fights, and brave faces layered over stress and tears. On and off, for two and a half months. Man.
We were growing apart, I could feel it. We even had the “Are we sure we want to be together anymore?” talk at one point. Yikes.
As I’ve already been through one divorce, I felt that it was time to take measures in order to avoid a second.
So I went on strike. I’ll explain.
Mrs. Huttsez and I weren’t arguing all the time- there where still moments of affection and tenderness, as well. But there was a lot more tension than usual, that’s for sure. Nevertheless, the missus was still getting a little quota of cuddles, and hugs, and shoulder rubs, and shags. Which- because she is a human- she likes. Here’s more or less how it went down-
“I’m going on strike for better husbanding conditions.”
“I’m going on strike until all the arguing stops, and we’re working together as a team again. I’m going on strike until you stop ‘blaming’ me for not working, and start being more positive.”
“Okkkaaaay.” said Mrs. H, “And what exactly does this “strike” cover?”
“No cuddles, hugs, back rubs, kisses, hand holding, or sex. We will live platonically, raising the children together as roommates.”
“That’s it? Anything else?” She was practically laughing.
“And I’m gonna sleep on the sofa the whole time.”
“The whole time? And no sex?” Now she was laughing.
“The whole time.” I confirmed whilst seriously doubting how long my back and genitals would last in exile from the comfort of Mrs. H’s bed.
“Okkkaaaaay.” she said as she chuckled off, “Let me know how that works out for you.”
The first week or so of my strike went pretty smoothly- my back and the sofa were getting along well, and the mood seemed to have lightened a bit, possibly due to the laughable nature of my strike in the first place.
It was in the second week that I began to notice Mrs. Huttsez pausing at the door on her way to the bedroom, glancing over to where I was making my bed on the sofa. The cold nights without Furnace Man were clearly getting to her.
After 11 days on the picket line, management accepted my demands, and I went right back to work.
We’d made it through the dark time. We were working together again. It was like a weight had been lifted.
You know what happened next? Within a few days, I got contacted to look at a job. And then another job popped up. And then I got hired to help run a job at Stinson Beach, doing nothing but gorgeous cedar trim!?
Coincidence? Well, think what you will, but this hippie raised man says “No”. It’s just better to be positive. Seems pretty obvious. What goes around, comes around, right?
So, there you go. I went on strike to save my marriage and it worked- ridiculous as it seemed at the time . Mrs. Huttsez and I are more in love now than we’ve ever been, and it feels great. We definitely deserve it. Family First!
That’s it for now.
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Thanks for reading. See you soon.