Sharing Space under Stress.



Today, we are finally close to lockdown.

A relief, of course, as we knew it was coming, but the old anarchist head on me is still questioning every decision being made by a government I never voted for, and never wanted in the first place. It is going against my very grain, to place my trust in such a bumbling buffoon, and I’m reluctant to add, ‘well he is all we’ve got’

But we need to press on as a community

And I digress, I have a much more pressing problem at home.

I’m sharing my space with a man, a man I love very much, but a man nonetheless

and both of us are EXTREMELY SET IN OUR WAYS

Of course I’m much more calm rational and level headed than he, once I get my own way !!

And , once he listens to what I need…well of course, it really does not work that way. Sean and I currently live apart, and that works perfectly for us, but we have decided to move in together over this trying time.

I’ve not shared a space with ANYONE, bar my son in over 25 years. I’ve not lived with a partner, nor shacked up with a boyfriend, in an entire lifetime.

My son moved out at 24, mumbling something about me being a ‘nightmare’ and ‘chill out’

I am joking of course, but yet, I’m not.

This will be very ,very trying times for couples who are at the end of their rope with one another ,or worse,in violent , toxic relationships, let alone a couple who only got engaged a few weeks ago,and are still in a love bubble.

I’m lucky, Sean is a strong, kind, positive man, who would never let anyone walk over him,and uses humour and silliness to diffuse arguments. But I feel for couples who have just lost that spark, lost that loving feeling and are now forced to spend every day in the same house, with the added pressures of money worries, job concerns, and fears for the health of themselves or loved ones.

So how do we arrange this, so that it can work, maybe not perfectly, but amicably?

The most important thing, I feel is to carve out a tiny bit of space that you can call your own.

Sean has set up a ‘studio’ in my living room. With that comes lots of accompanying bit and pieces of photography paraphernalia, leads, things, bits, stuff…..

He’s currently giving me a ‘top tip’ on how to put a hoover away!!!! (rolls eyes to back of head)

I’ve got my space, in the kitchen (definitely my domain) and my gym upstairs.

Secondly, as my son says ‘chill out’

Does it really matter if the dishes aren’t put away, or there’s socks rolled up on the floor, in the whole scheme of what is going on?

Wouldn’t we just die off, if our partners recited a list of what was annoying about US???

So give, and respect, space.

Do fun stuff together, make a plan, so the day just doesn’t become one long tedium

Despite having access to my garden at any given moment, we are waiting until after we have our work finished before we go out , light a fire log and enjoy the outside, just like we would only be able to do if we were both at work

For me, being a chef, I’m gonna make sure me and my guy have lovely food ,even if I don’t have access to every ingredient I want, I’ll make sure we eat well, and eat together .

If things are starting to get heated, have a code or signal, that you have pre worked out , that indicates ‘discussion over’, and ‘we will resolve it another time’. As I mentioned Sean always acts silly or hugs me reallll tight and that puts an end to him, or I, being annoying.

This is going to be a real learning curve for me. I’m excited to have him here, he’s sitting across from me right now, with his wee man bun up, and his head phones on, pretending to work (lol) I know that if I have a wobble, he is there for me. I hope I can be there for him too . I’m baking buns later, so that should help .

(edited to add, Sean just mentioned he is also very annoying,and that I’m his balance)

So , everyone, hug your loved ones, we are so lucky to have them xxxxx

(If you are in a terrible relationship, please avail of the services that are there such as Womens aid, and the police to get you out of an abusive situation, they are still there for you. Phone numbers below)

Womens Aid 02890249041

Belfast Area Domestic and Sexual abuse Partnership 02890666049