Finally in port, after weeks of no communication, he texts “want to talk?” Unsure of my ability to converse with an adult, after being in the hole with three kids for 68 days, I send a kissy face emoticon with a thumbs up. The phone rings.
1. Confront Reality
“Why did you take 3k out of my account?” he asks. “Really? This is what you want to talk about? I had to pay a credit card off”. “You just paid 2k last month. Send me your credit card statements” he said.
2. Clarify Expectations
“Come again” I asked. Wishing I was back in the hole. “This isn’t working” he said. “We need a consolidated view of our spend”. I tell him I’m just buying food and clothes for the family. Nothing much to see. “Sue, you’re spending 3k a month”.
“Then you know what to plan for. You’ll get lost in the details. Stay high” I tell him. Fingers crossed he forgets where the devil lives.
3. Practice Accountability
Independent play and occupying kids comes at a high cost. They need day jobs to keep busy. I google child labor laws. Now feeling guilty over working for Nike, and wondering where my husband’s balls are sourced, I tell him I can’t talk now.
I breathe heavy. In an effort to distract him. I discover I won’t have a future as a phone sex operator. I google to see what I’m missing out on. A 26 minute call buys one gallon of organic milk (don’t you dare tell me to buy conventional milk). He distracts me from my research by, again, asking for a damn credit card statement.
“Stop dissecting me. It is a violation of our vows. We need to budget for therapy”. “Just send me the damn thing” he said. “Do you even know when our wedding anniversary is” I ask.
We got married on flag day, at city hall. At the head of the permits line. After the 3 month old had a diaper explosion. A shit show and I can’t remember the date.
“Susan”. Yes? “I’m not judging you (yet). I just need visibility”.
5. Extend trust
Fine (But not really).