As the first couple of years of my marriage ended, I realized that my husband had been ignoring me in a number of ways.
Not only did he not have the time to clean up after himself, but he wasn’t doing a good job cleaning his face.
I’ve never had a husband so obsessed with his face that he wouldn’t clean up when he felt the need.
I had a hard time letting go of him, so I started a weekly ritual of wiping off his face and then doing the same to mine.
And then I started asking him questions like, “What’s the most annoying thing you’ve ever had to do to your face?”
“How long have you had to wear glasses?” and “Why did you wear a mask?”
I would ask these questions because I had never seen him use his hands before.
He had never even seen me wearing makeup.
I asked him, “Why does your face have that look?”
I thought he was trying to be helpful.
It was the beginning of my understanding that he was doing the wrong thing.
“I can see why you want to do it, but I don’t understand why you don’t just do it on your own.”
The question I got was the one I had always suspected: why did he do it himself?
Why didn’t he take a shower?
What I realized was that his lack of a routine wasn’t a problem, but rather a sign of how much he wanted to fix the problem.
He did not want to fix a problem.
So I started trying to figure out what the problem was.
He started to tell me about the cleaning routine he had tried for years.
“I want to wash my face, too,” he would tell me.
“And when I wash my hands, I want to put it in the sink.
But that’s not going to work.”
What’s more, he was always saying the same thing: “I’m not going out with you because you don.t clean.”
He always wanted to do his own cleaning, but it was never on his own.
The answer was simple: He wanted to clean himself.
In the weeks leading up to our wedding day, I asked my husband about how he felt about his cleaning.
“He told me he wanted the most important thing in life to be his own body,” he told me.
He told me that he wanted “to be himself.”
He said, “I need to be myself.”
He told my husband that he had no interest in doing things like “getting out” and “getting away from my wife,” because he was afraid of being judged.
“It’s like when you’re a child, you just don’t get to do what you want,” he said.
“My husband was trying so hard to be me.
But I didn’t want to be him.”
At the wedding, he explained to my husband what he was missing out on, but not having a routine was what had made him think that he didn’t have a routine.
“When you have a bad routine, it makes you think, ‘I don’t know what I’m missing out there,'” he told my wife.
“There’s nothing wrong with being messy and messy.”
But after our wedding, I wanted to know if I was seeing the right man.
What I was finding was that my expectations were different.
“We didn’t talk about the makeup, or the glasses, or anything like that,” I told him.
“What I was really interested in was the makeup.”
I was shocked by what he had to say.
“I think my husband has to have a great clean up routine.
That’s what we were trying to get at,” he explained.
I didn.t know what to expect.
I was expecting a good-natured, “You’re a good man” type of relationship where he would just clean up the house and do his laundry, but this was completely different.
We were just not talking about it.
We weren’t having a conversation.
“You have to be yourself,” he repeated to me.
And I was not ready to accept this.
He went on to tell my wife about how I could use a mask to get rid of the dirt.
“That’s exactly what I was going for,” he added.
I could not believe that someone could say this to me so casually, so without even considering my response, and without actually asking.
“Your mask is going to look like this,” he reminded me.
I stared at the mask in disbelief.
“Is it going to be a mask that doesn’t look like a mask?
Or is it going- oh my god, I thought- I can’t believe this is true.”
“Do you want your mask to look exactly like this?”
“No, I think that mask is just going to have to do something else,” he replied.
I started laughing.