I started reading the blog, A Practical Wedding, when I got engaged. I found it to be refreshing and well..practical with realistic discussions about how to plan a wedding and a marriage. It wasn’t wedding p.o.rn, it was real women talking about real life stuggles as they transitioned from being single to being a wife. I still read it now, even though I am a year and a half into my marriage because I like the topics and the community.
However when I came across this blog post from the other day: Married, With Room Mates,(http://apracticalwedding.com/2012/03/living-with-roommates-as-a-married-couple/), I had to take a pause for the cause.
In the post, the author explains why she and he husband have a roommate, by choice..not necessity.
This is how the author’s post begins:
On Valentine’s Day, Michael and I went out to dinner at one of our usual places. The waitress walked us to our table and seated us—then handed us three menus. I looked left and then right at the two men sitting next to me, and for the first time in what feels like forever, I enjoyed a Valentine’s Day date with my husband. And our roommate.
That’s right. I’m married and I have a roommate. By choice.
Um, where they do that at?? What part of the game is this? Valentine’s Day for three??
Let’s examine another excerpt from her post:
Because up until that point, marriage had started to get lonely. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love living with Michael and am so grateful for the life we have been building together. But until we got married, we were both firm believers that your partner shouldn’t be expected to be everything all the time. And yet, marriage had somehow found us living in a state that was absent of any sort of extended community or nearby friends, and it was creating a huge void in our lives in the shape of The People You Spend Time With Who Aren’t Your Partner.
And unconventional as it might be, our roommate filled that void.
I have serious issues with this. I have no issue with the notion that marriage can be lonely at times. And she is correct in saying that you should not expect your partner to be YOUR everything. They can’t possibly be. However I don’t think that willingly taking on a roommate is the way to fill that void. What you do happen to do in that case, is GET OUT OF YOUR HOUSE, FIND A HOBBY, AND MEET YOURSELF SOME NEW FRIENDS THAT SHARE A COMMON INTEREST. I wish I would come home and tell my husband, babe I have a void, so I’d like to find a room mate so that I can have a plaything. I would get cussed from here to Timbuktu!
Then there is this:
But I don’t really think those things matter as much as what having a roommate has done for my marriage, and really, for myself. When we sat down for our Valentine’s Day date, I looked at Michael and then at Joe and I expressed to them just how happy I was feeling (as I’m wont to do). Michael chuckled and then said, “It’s true, you’ve been way happier since Joe moved in,” before turning to Joe and finishing with, “Thanks, Joe.” (Editor’s note: In what galaxy, does this even sound right???)
Part of this improvement comes from the fact that Joe provides us with a window to our marriage. His presence keeps us on our best behavior, and it encourages us to take an extra moment before acting rashly or treating each other in a way that would embarrass us if it were to be witnessed by others (read: less screaming matches, more discussions).
I am my own window on my marriage. In the privacy of my home, with my husband..I sometimes misbehave and show my ugly side, I am sometimes break down and am vulnerable and exposed. I sometimes act silly and foolish and act like a big baby. In fact, that is what I am supposed to do. And my husband has the same privileges. That is the beauty of marriage and having a partner to lean on. Marriage is sometimes messy. And I don’t need a spectator for all of that. It is me and my husband’s responsibility to treat each other and our marriage with care. A roommate should not be the catalyst for that.
In her post, the author references another post she wrote about getting married young. Perhaps she shouldn’t have gotten married if she needed a husband AND a buddy. She wraps up her post with this:
And while I know that our living situation can’t last forever, part of me doesn’t feel any pressure to change things anytime soon. Because if what our marriage needs right now is to have our best friend living with us, if that makes it possible for us to treat each other better, create a stronger foundation for our marriage, and have a third person for board games on a Tuesday night, then I think we’re doing things just fine.
There is so much I disagree with in this that I barely know where to begin. You treat your spouse right because that is what you vowed to do, you develop your own foundation with your spouse! I do think it’s important to have a community of people (family and friends) around you who want your marriage to succeed and who will cheerlead on your behalf. But when it comes down to it, the two people who are married are the people who call the shots and make the rules. I fail to see how having a roommate enhances that. AT. ALL.
If folks aren’t careful, a dangerous precedent could be established. What if you start confiding in a roommate things you should be telling your spouse? What if your roommate gets a bit too comfy and starts to feel they can interject their opinion in decisions you make with your spouse? What if you simply can’t feel comfortable in your own home anymore?
I couldn’t believe the co-signing that was going on in the comment section for this post. Maybe it’s because I was single for so long and one had one roomate (excluding college/cohabitation periods) in the whole time I’ve lived on my own. But what I do know is this, I cannot possibily see how deliberately making the choice to take on an additional person in your home (and by extension your marriage) can be a good thing.
I’m not the one.
Thoughts? Questions? Comments?