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Tis the Season of Taking

Admit it. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced you to reevaluate certain aspects of your life, like your marriage. After spending every day of the last nine months working from home with your husband, one more family dinner with him chewing with his mouth wide open is bound to be the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back. The thought of separating no longer brings on a crushing sense of guilt. Where you were once apprehensive of the consequences that breaking up would yield, one phrase has become increasingly louder with each passing day: “I want out of this marriage.”

Enter the 2020 holiday season. The constant resentment associated with your marriage has momentarily melted away and in its place, a faux sense of contentment. The past year has left you feeling entitled to pure, unadulterated happiness. You likely spent November focusing your attention elsewhere, such as converting the decorations of Halloween past to fun, autumnal arrangements artfully placed around the home. Perhaps you even took it a step a further and mixed fall with Christmas and made an autumn Thanksgiving tree because there are no rules to 2020 (See Pinterest). Maybe your husband actually offered to help decorate the house and—dare I say it—the fun you had together made it feel like the old days.

Thanksgiving came and went. Your sister and her spouse, who have both been religiously quarantining and undergoing regular COVID tests, stopped by for Thanksgiving dinner. Your sister’s boisterous laugh drowned out your husband’s loud chewing, so the camel’s back remained intact.

Now, Christmas is here. The holiday adrenaline rush is currently at its peak. Just when you thought your holiday shopping was done, your husband reveals that he forgot to give his boss a gift. Now you have to scramble to the nearest CVS to pick up a Visa gift card with just a few hours to get it in the mail. Hello, resentment.

It will soon be the new year, which will bring a swift conclusion to the season of giving as well as your faux happiness. On January 1, 2021, you will realize that you are not the same person from January 1, 2020. You will have the courage to admit to your husband that you want a divorce. You will have the strength to pack up your personal belongings. You will have the resolve to cross the threshold of the home one last time and shed what has been slowly suffocating you for the last year. You will not feel the biting cold of the Georgia winter, but instead pure, unadulterated happiness.

Your new life is within reach. Cheers to the season of taking.

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