I often joke that Laurence is the real grownup in this marriage and that I’m still working out this adult thing. I may have the book sense but he’s got the infinitely more valuable practicality. But every now and then I realise just how much I depend on him, and it’s not something I’m altogether comfortable with.
It started with me getting stressed about the kittens this morning. They’ll be here in a few weeks. What if we’ve made a mistake? Should we really have two? Where will the litter box go? Can we afford the pet insurance? Will our pet ownership styles match or clash? He laughed at this last one and made it pretty clear that he had no opinions on how the cats were to be ‘raised’. I’m the one who wanted them so he’s expecting me to be the one responsible for their care. Me – responsible for another living thing?
I know the idea of responsibility shouldn’t floor me. I’m about to be responsible for another human being and a pretty helpless one at that. In fact, Laurence has been depending on me to take care of my body to keep the baby safe and I know although he intends to be as involved as possible, he’ll be looking to me to take the lead with most things baby care. And I feel fine about that.
But it’s a bit of a change to the dynamic that’s crept into our relationship. It’s not just that he handles the bills or that I’ve never gone into the garage on my own. Day to day, I find it increasingly difficult to make decisions on my own. If I’m contemplating canceling on a friend because I’m not feeling well, I’ll text him and ask what he thinks. If we’re at the bar, I’ll suggest he choose a drink for me.
I don’t think it’s helplessness so much as laziness but I’m not sure when it crept into our relationship. It’s not something he particularly likes either. I know he’d rather I just get on with the supermarket shop than stop at each item to find out whether he wants this and what kind. I’ve done something about that this week: a supermarket delivery order, without consultation. Sometimes, I think the mobile phone is my enemy. I should just forget it exists.
This dependence really hit home with me when I called the doctor this morning. Laurence has been asking me to call for ages, thinking that something was amiss with my ‘cold’. I’ve ummed and ahhed about it but he was firm with me this morning when we found blood and a clot on the sheets that I must have coughed up during the night. Even so, if he hadn’t told me this merited a call to the doctor, I honestly would’ve just left it until my routine checkup next week.
It turns out I have a chest infection and my breathing isn’t amazing. I collected my prescription and chastised myself for being willing to just leave it.
Then, on the way home, I popped into a pet shop to have a look around at cat litter and suchlike. For a moment I thought, “I should come back when he can come with me to help choose” but quickly corrected myself. I’ll go back when I have my trolley bag to carry the things I’ve chosen.