B and I were able to get our first vaccine shots last week. This was important for many reasons, not the least of which being that B is in a serious state of depression lately. He hates his job, and like everyone else he’s tired of being cooped up at home all the time. He’s high risk, so work is a constant source of panic for him because he’s customer facing. It makes me tense and anxious when he gets this way; he tends to go off on angry rants and get loud or simply persist with complaining long after he’s made his point.
This weekend, we went into DC to pick up something he’d ordered, and it really seems like every time we do this, go out on drives together, we end up bitching at each other something fierce. I think part of it is that when we’re home together, there are distractions, like computer games and TV to watch, but when we’re in the car, we have to make conversation. Aside from yelling at other drivers on the road, there’s not much to talk about anymore, so we fall into a trap of having real conversations, important conversations. Not that we don’t talk; we do. That’s not an issue. But when you’re trapped in a confined space with someone who is angry and stressed and depressed, and you yourself (meaning me) are also tired and stressed, the blowup is inevitable.
The thing is, B always seems to find the one thing (or more than one thing) to say in these moments that really gets me. He’s not deliberately coming at me, but he’ll let one comment fly along the way that will set. me. off., and then I’ll come back at him, and he’ll get mad, and I’m mad, and then we just bicker the whole rest of the trip, completely destroying our nice day out and about with each other. This weekend, he was ranting about his job. He hates the way the company is run. He’s feeling pretty low about his own future; he doesn’t want to stay with this company but doesn’t know where he fits or wants to be. He doesn’t have a degree, which limits him, even though he has a ton of experience as a manager, is a veteran, and has a very strong positive customer service attitude. We need to make a certain level of income to be able to afford the life we’re living now, especially with the upcoming move, so he can’t just up and quit, and he works 6 days a week with little help and no time for lunch breaks. He’s burned out, and I don’t blame him.
However, after a long morning of listening to him run down everything in our lives and then refer to our new place as “another rat trap” (which it’s not) when I’ve been busting my hump for weeks looking and packing and now making calls and setting up everything BY MYSELF, I’d had it. I don’t remember what exactly I responded to, but I sniped back at him. Then he came back at me with “Every time we make these trips you’re so grouchy,” which was SO not the right thing to say, and I let him have it: “Maybe if you weren’t sitting there telling me how much you hate our life, our home, everything, I would be in a better fucking mood!” I try to just let him vent because I know he needs it, but there’s a point where I just cannot take anymore.
After that, he settled down a bit, we made our apologies, and the rest of the day was nice. But I really can’t wait to get the second vaccination shot so that he will have one less thing to worry and stress about AND we’ll be able to venture out of the house again a little more often and maybe have some real, actual fun. He also saw his doctor last week for his regular visit, and I’m hoping that she’ll be able to help as well. I feel so bad for him because he really is very unhappy with his job, and I feel guilty because he’s in this city for me and my job and my son but hasn’t seen his family, his son, his grandson, in years because he can never get the time off or we don’t have the money or there’s a global pandemic. I want to fix it, to help, to make it better, but there’s nothing I can do except let him vent and try not to take it so personally.
It’s not happening to me. It’s just happening.