I was talking to my friend about our marriages and I asked her how things were going with her and her husband. Like all marriages, they have their ups and downs. And like most marriages, their relationship has become about two people going through the motions, doing what they need to do to take care of the kids.

I asked her if they go out together and make the effort to go out on dates. She mentioned that they had gone out the other day to a bar and ordered some food and drinks. She described it as the two of them just eating, having a couple of beers, and then leaving. No connection, no conversation.

It sounded all too familiar to me. I thought about my other friend. She never talks to her husband about anything. And he doesn’t really talk to her about anything other than work. To be fair, she’s not that interested in things like history and politics, which is important to her husband, so I don’t think he makes an effort to talk to her about those things. My other friend says that she and her husband don’t even bother talking, because their kids always interrupt them.

How sad is this life. I mean, it’s other things too. It’s wonderful, it’s fulfulling, it’s magical, it’s funny…I feel so much love every day. But it’s because of the kids. So many times I think, if it weren’t for the kids, we wouldn’t even be together. What do we even have in common anymore? We don’t even like each other most of the times. Lately, the only thing that truly brings me joy are my kids.

It’s lonely living like this. As humans, we need that connection with other people. We need to feel loved and appreciated. We want to say something and have the other person listen… REALLY listen. Not just nod and say,”Uh huh.” Like, listen and understand where you’re coming from. And we should do the same for others. But how often do we let our own shit get in the way of truly understanding another person? We don’t want to hear it because we’re mad at them, or we’re not like them so we don’t understand their feelings, or we think,”Why should I be nice to him when he refused to apologize for hurting my feelings?” Or something stupid like, “He left the dirty plates on the table AGAIN even though he knows it aggravates me.”

This is shit. It’s all this shit that gets in between people and cause distance and dissolution. How do you get past it? How do you let go of resentment and anger? I used to think that it all fell on the other person. Like, if my husband would just apologize for hurting my feelings, I would be able to let it go. Or if he stopped doing certain things, our relationship would be better. But that’s bullshit. Because there’s always something that’s going to piss you off. And it’s not up to the other person to determine forgiveness. So I’m struggling right now to let go of the shit. But I can’t. And a part of me feels like our marriage is like a clogged up sewer system that is just piled full of shit so bad that nothing can drain it out.