Marital Conspiracies

“All you need to do is to augment the salad.” It’s what I say to my husband Thom about three times a week when we touch base before coming home from a long day at work. He generally calls and asks what the deal is for dinner on a midweek night. I know he’s exhausted, and won’t be very chirpy about doing anything elaborate for an evening meal when neither of us have given any time or thought to it. So, I tell him this, even when the leftover “salad” now consists of three pathetic pieces of lettuce and a lonely chunk of tomato in the bottom of a giant bowl. (Not to mention the fact that there’s nothing else in sight for dinner). I know if Thom gets home first he’ll add Spring Mix, onions, tomatoes, celery, carrots, pumpkin seeds, nectarines, Feta or Blue cheese and who knows what else to the salad he’s “augmenting.” But if I ask for that beforehand, my sweet natured hubby will get very cranky – and I don’t  want to come home to a cranky hubby at the end of a long day with cranky clients. “Augment the salad” has now become code for any unsavory requests we want to make more palatable, by minimizing them to each other. Last night it was putting the kayak holder on my car in the dark, so I’d be ready for today’s excursion to Newcastle at the crack of dawn. Two days ago, it was re-attaching a rewired lamp to the wall by my reading/writing chair. On Tuesday before going to work I had to “augment” his “salad” by helping him haul and unload a house-sized trailer of brush to the dump (which was then closed!) Two days before that, it was a “five minute job” of helping him take four air conditioners out of their windows and into the garage. The “salad” list goes on and on. It’s a weird, conspiratorial folly we embrace by default. So, how do you “augment the salad” in your marriage?

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Susan Lager

I am a licensed, board certified pyschotherapist and relationship coach in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Through my psychotherapy or coaching services, I can provide you with skills and tools to transform your life.

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