Parents are fighting again.
It’s actually been a long time since the last one. But as always, their problem is that they never resolve their problems. They bubble underneath and then BOOM, and then there’s a quiet period during and after which everyone pretends it never happened. Which only creates another bubble which inevitably bursts.
Sometimes I wonder what their marriage would be like if I weren’t here. Objectively it is not a good thing for your adult son to come back and live with you. I really understand that. They watch me, still try to parent me, and blame each other for things about me.
But on the other hand, to some extent their marriage was defined by their kids. It was made emptier by us being gone. Right now they spend a lot of time watching the Olympics and me, being no particular fan of sport, spend time on my own. But if they didn’t enjoy watching the Olympics together, what would they have?
My mother told me once that before I came back here, their marriage felt emptier and emptier. They had less and less to talk about that they could get along about. In her iteration, it didn’t help that my sister wasn’t talking to them and that I was being a bum in Asia, because they had nothing positive to share.
I don’t think relationships should be so dependent on outside factors, even ones as close as your children. But their relationship wasn’t really based on what they shared together, I think. They were young, she was naive, he was pliable, and voila, you have a family. Next thing, they have kids, and her life revolves around those kids because we’d moved to Indonesia and she wasn’t working. And so their marriage revolved around us.
And without us… they’ve found they tend to get along when they’re careful with each other. And yet they also have no idea what they would do without each other. It’s a lose lose, really.