It happens at some point in every marriage. You try to avoid it. You don’t want to have this conversation. You don’t want to ask that question. One looming question. A question that hangs in the air until one of you has the courage to ask.
“Honey, are you talking to yourself?”
And there it is. Your Secret Single Behavior, to borrow a term from Miss Carrie Bradshaw, exposed. My husband is slightly confused, slightly bemused. He knows he’s caught a rare glimpse here. Well, not rare, exactly, since I talk to myself all the time. I have however limited my self-conversating habits to select places. These locations are, or were, as follows:
In the car
In the bathroom
In the shower
On the riding lawnmower
The car and the bathroom chosen for the obvious reason that I am typically alone in those locations. The shower and the riding lawnmower for the ability to mask my self à self convos. It was the bathroom that betrayed me.
Until I moved in with my husband, I had never lived somewhere that had a bathroom directly connected to the bedroom. So the bathroom, while still communal with roommates, was a safe place to release my inner monologue. And then it wasn’t. My husband, on his laptop in our bedroom, heard me gabbing away in the bathroom to nothing and no one.
“Annie, who are you talking to?”
Pause for self-humiliation……
Right then and there I made the mental note that the bathroom was off the list. Of course, my husband laughed and didn’t really think it was weird at all. Most people talk to themselves. But this rather insignificant moment brought me to a greater realization in our marriage: I really can’t hide anything anymore. He’s going to find me out sooner or later. He’s going to see the Secret Single Behavior.
He’s going to see that I have to have the volume control in my car set on a number ending in 0 or 5. He’s going to see that my closet is color coordinated. He’s going to find my special edition Hermione time-turner necklace from Harry Potter and connect the dots from weird to obsessed. He’s going to know that I play Sims.
It’s difficult, to say the least, to let someone into that private world reserved for you, yourself, and back to you. Part of you wants to because it opens the door for a more honest and trusting relationship. Part of you wants to slam the door on that vulnerable place. Ultimately, the decision is always your own. I chose to let the door open. Put the cards on the table. Come clean, etc. How’s that working out for me?
I can’t say I don’t still flush when he catches me mid-self conversation, even after 2 years of marriage. And I can’t say he doesn’t still find it “cute” in that “I’m laughing at you” way when I sit down to the computer to get my Sims on. But, I’ve reached a new level of happiness with this honesty. He’s seen the Secret Single Behavior and he’s not phased. He’s still here. And he’s just as weird as I am.
Several months after BathroomGate, I was watching TV in our room when I heard my husband talking while in the shower. I don’t remember now what he said, but it was clear he was talking to no one but himself. I didn’t say anything. I just smiled to myself and made another mental note: we’re even.