of the marriage you don’t have.

Someone posted on FaceBook this little joke video of a husand and wife texting one another regarding her going out for a “girls’ night out.” The joke was you first saw text of what each was really thinking and then backspacing/erasing and the more approrpiate response actually texted.

For example, he would text “when will you be home?” And she might start to write, “I am never coming back…” but then actually text “Around 11.” He’d then start to reply somthing like “so you’re just abandoning your family for the whole night” but erase that and say, “have a good time…”

It was cute and lots of people commented, “exactly” and “so true…” but what I was thinking was,

“My husband and I never text one another.”

We have no running inside jokes.

We don’t talk about the kids or our frustrations with them or our joy and pride for them.

We don’t share what we’ve seen on FaceBook or the news or happened to hear from someone else.

We certainly don’t dream outloud about retirement or a mountain cabin or the grandchildren we will be eager to have both visit and go home again.

We’re just here, in this house, in this life, together but barely doing more than co-existing beside one another.

It might be hard for someone outside such a marriage to understand how profoundly stressful such a marriage is. Afterall, if there is relatively limited fighting and screaming for an alcoholic household; if there are no calls from the police or jailhouse; if “all” I have to deal with for the most part is his emotional and mental absence, shouldn’t that be “not that bad” compared to the “really bad” alcoholic marriages?

Maybe it’s not “as bad” but it’s still bad. It still rots your soul. It still destroys you. It still erodes your sense of self despite it being his drinking.