After 30 years, we’ve run out of things to say to each other

A few nights ago while we were preparing dinner, my wife punched me in the chest. “Are you listening to me?” she said with a knife in her hand.

It was not me. She had discussed various plans for Christmas, but I fell asleep, more interested in peeling the potatoes. After I apologized, she wondered if after all this time together we had exhausted all our topics of conversation. I laughed nervously, but maybe she was right. It got me thinking: is there a finite number of things to talk about after 30 years of marriage?

I suppose there is. Thanks to Covid and the gloom it brings, we’ve now had 18 mostly miserable months of living together, all day, every day. From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed, we are together. Yes, we both work during the day, but we’re in the same home office space and inadvertently overhear conversations that are no less interesting to us.

There are no longer those natural breaks where we would both go to our respective work stations for eight hours and come back to discuss the days we had. With no separation between our work and personal lives, the days simply follow the same predictable routine, almost indistinguishable from one another. From going to the grocery store to walking the dog, from chores to eating, I don’t think there’s ever been a time when anyone, especially us, has been forced to spend so much time together.

That’s probably not good. My wife is adept at finding time for herself when she needs it, but I’m the complete opposite. Every time I think about doing something for myself, I get a terrible feeling of guilt that I have something more important to take care of. My wants and needs fall well below the domestic pecking order.

The bottom line is that aside from the doom and gloom of the daily news and the deteriorating weather, there’s very little to talk about. The positive aspect, if you can call it that, is that I take comfort in the fact that we’re no different than most couples who have been together since the beginning of time, or even earlier in our case. It’s inevitable that we’ll stumble into old territory or have to apologize for saying something to each other that we mentioned 10 minutes earlier. This is the age for you.

Sometimes I don’t want to talk. I just want my own company. I mean why would you bother to have a conversation that you don’t really want or need to? It’s a waste of everyone’s time, isn’t it? Or is this the first step on a path that I really don’t want to go at all?

What would happen if I didn’t want to speak to my wife at any point, no matter what was said? How would our relationship be affected? I hope I never find out.

READ ALSO: I’m sick and tired of my wealthy, working-class wife’s virtue-signalling After 30 years, we’ve run out of things to say to each other

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