Cohabitation

Moving in with a significant other certainly comes with its set of challenges. The key to overcoming these challenges is compromise. That being said, when you have two very strong personalities coming together, compromise is no easy task.

CK and I moved into our apartment the weekend of hurricane Sandy. When we learned of the impending storm, I insisted we stay in Hoboken because it’s attached to the mainland. Manhattan is an island, and I feared being stranded. At least in Hoboken we could get out to my parents’ house or a friend’s place further inland. Furthermore, the majority of contents for our new apartment resided in Hoboken.

Later, I would learn in a sharp twist of irony, CK’s apartment never lost power, Internet, TV, etc., and his neighborhood didn’t flood. And don’t think CK didn’t throw it in my face that he wanted to stay at his place on the 52nd floor.

When the water finally subsided, we needed to begin moving into our new home. It was literally just around the corner from where I was living, but that didn’t matter as we were moving boxes via hand truck past piles of sewage and gasoline soaked trash.

In the middle of moving, three of my friends showed up out of nowhere to help. I was fried from the stress the storm and having to move, so when I saw them all walk through my door, I was moved to tears. I realized then how awesome my friends are. It meant so much to me that they would think to come help unsolicited after having no electricity or running water themselves. I never forgot what they did for me that day, and when I was the first one to get power back, I invited them over to shower, watch TV, surf the Internet, etc. We were so disconnected from the outside world. We had no idea what was actually going on.

After moving as much as possible without the use of a truck, we only left with furniture. My friends drove us to U-Haul to pick up a truck and grab a hot breakfast at McDonald’s on the way. Let me tell you. McDonald’s never tasted so good!

CK and I transported all my furniture from one apartment to the other without the aid of an elevator. When we were finished, the sun was beginning to set, but we needed to head into the city to collect all CK’s belongings. Luckily, we’d packed as much as possible well before the storm hit, so there wasn’t much of that left to do. But, we still didn’t finish until about 1:00 am.

The time finally came to actually begin living in the our home together, and that meant decisions needed to be made. We fought about everything. And when I say everything, I mean everything.

Most of the items in the apartment were mine. I take a lot of pride in my home and invest heavily in the comforts of it. I think CK seriously resented that. He had very little to contribute, and much of it did not fit the space or match in style. There were many objects that were not necessary, but because he had them, he felt the need to find a home for it. Many of these objects, as well as my own, began to develop magic powers, as they would move around on a daily basis “of their own volition.”

One night after work, as we were hanging pictures, we were literally fighting and screaming at each other over inches. I wish I were exaggerating.

The atmosphere in our new home quickly grew toxic. Because of all the stress, our sex lives were nonexistent. There were a few nights we fought so bad, the second bedroom became an asset. Yes. We had a second bedroom. I learned a great lesson from an old roommate of mine. Get a second bedroom so you each have your space. And, if things don’t work out, you don’t BOTH have to move. I’m pretty sure I owe him a few rounds of beers for that little tidbit of advice.

I knew the fighting wouldn’t last forever. I felt we could get back to normal once we were settled and everything was set up, but that wouldn’t happen over night.

I take a majority of the responsibility for the fighting and the lack of inroads made. I am not the best at compromising, and there were a lot of instances where I should have given in or backed down, but I didn’t. Looking back, I actually believe this was when I began to develop and acute ability to manipulate situations to ensure my interests were met above his. Perhaps it’s the Taurus in me (I don’t actually believe this). I am rather stubborn. This living experience has taught me to be far more self-aware of my stubborness moving forward so I don’t make the same mistake.

I knew we just needed to get over the hump. CK wasn’t so optimistic. It was this toxic environment CK attributed as the root of his philandering. “I wasn’t sure what was gonna happen with us. We were fighting about everything,” he remarked.

I should have learned then and there he didn’t have what it took to stick out a monogamous relationship. Literally, the writing (and a few extra nail holes) was on the wall…

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